Sometimes I can’t believe English is my first language. I will be on the phone and words that I know that I know will not be there to come out.  As a nurse, being on the phone is a major part of my current job.  I don’t have a script and people say some of the most off the wall things.  I am constantly caught off guard and my brain goes into overdrive trying to remember that English word that describes what the heck I am trying to say.  The sad thing is, is that there is no other word coming to mind.  I don’t have some Spanish word that I am trying to translate in my brain.  I have nothing and I am trying to translate nothing to this person who thinks I must not be intelligent because I am saying nothing to them.  It is really hard to translate “nothing”.  When the person on the phone has an accent and is having a hard time thinking of words, I start sounding like I have an accent and can’t think of words too.  It’s really quite annoying and silly but I can’t help it.  It’s like subconsciously I am trying to make them feel comfortable for not having all the words to say.

Anyways, that introduction has nothing to do really with what I am about to say except that sometimes I don’t say exactly what I want to say to people when they are standing in front of me.  Sometimes I find the words later and I hope they know how much I love them.

Tonight I had dinner at a lady’s (JoAnne) house who means the world to me.  She is always eager to believe the best, pray the best, and speak the best.  I left her house tonight wondering that  if she went blind and deaf tomorrow, would she know how much I enjoy her,care about her, and need her to just keep being herself-keep praying for me, hugging me, and saying things like “I bet your mom is missing you today” as I cry my little eyes out because I am homesick on Mother’s Day?  Would she know?  Truly know?

Different seasons bring different mentors.  At the previous church I was at for 8 years, a woman named Shari, poured her life into mine.  Sure, I was one in many that she prayed for, loved on, hugged, encouraged and gave gifts to, but I shall never forget her care.  I shall never forget having Valentine’s Day with her, her husband and daughter a few years back.  I shall never forget our walks and talks, etc.  That stuff is impacting.  To someone in their 20’s, trying to figure out who they are, trying to find their identity, trying to become independent of their parents but still not quite sure how that looks, wanting opportunities but too scared to go after them alone-it makes a world of difference when someone will stand by you, believe in you, speak hope, grace and peace over you.

You know that story of the boy who is walking on the beach, a beach covered with Starfish that washed up on the shore?  The boy is picking them up one by one, and throwing them back into the sea.  An old man comes by and says something like, “You are never going to be able to throw them all in, you aren’t making much of a difference, you know?”.  The boy bends down, picks up another one, and throws it far out into the ocean and says, “It made a difference to that one”.

Can the previous two women I spoke of, touch every single life out there?  No.  Not even Jesus, while on Earth, could do that.  But for the ones they do touch, it does make a difference.  It made a difference for this one.  For me.  I don’t want to go overboard in my expression of gratitude (but why not?).  I would not be who I am if it weren’t for these women who were just themselves, encouraging and caring for the people around them.

But I can’t forget the most impacting woman.  My mom.  The first woman who mentored me.  I remember in middle school being irritated that certain people at church had mentors, people who really cared about them-I just couldn’t believe how unfair it was.  It wasn’t until much later that I realized, I had mentors too.  They were called my parents.  The best mentors of all. People who actually laid down there lives to feed me, clothe me, drive me places, read to me, encourage me to go on mission trips and love unlovely people, and pray like there is no tomorrow.  My mom can pray.  And I am exhibit A of that.

So, just FYI, Mom, Shari, and JoAnne.  You have made a difference.  To many, many people.  Sometimes we don’t express how much we have been impacted, how much your words meant.  Sometimes, it’s not at the moment you say them that we catch what you are saying.  It’s weeks or years later that we are reminded of those words and our lives are changed.  The seeds you have planted will grow.  So, thank you.  Thank you, from someone who doesn’t always feel that English is her first language.  This blog is for you. 🙂

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