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Be The Person

BEThe Person

Have you ever held onto something someone said to you or did to you and allowed it to AFFECT you for years and years?

I want to share with you about why some of my passions are more intentional or more over the top than others.  And, why during this new season of life, it is important to me to be authentically and intentionally in the lives of others.    

I will never forget when I decided to get back involved in the local church when I was in my mid-twenties. I started attending Houston’s FBC’s singles ministry program.  I was ready to make some new friends, who were single like me, and who were walking with the Lord. I was at a point in my life when I needed community, and to be at a place where I felt like I belonged.  I did not grow up in Houston so I was not known by many of the others there.  There are two incidents that happened during my time in this singles department.   I remember walking into a huge room, for the first time, not knowing a single person there and everyone was talking among their friends and having a good time.  There I was feeling–unwanted, unimportant, scared, and literally out of my comfort zone!  I was standing there by myself with no one to talk to.  None of the others were reaching out to me, welcoming me or even acknowledging me.  I truly felt like an outsider.   A few months later, in August 1997, I decided to attend a church retreat at Glorietta in New Mexico.  Again, hoping to make some new friends.   I drove up with two girls who I wanted to get to know better.  We hung out together for parts of the retreat but not really connecting or engaging in any deep conversations with each other. On the way home I sat in the back seat listening to these two girls talk about their lives.  Neither of them even attempted to include me in the conversation or ask questions about me and my life, not ONCE.  I felt invisible!  The whole drive home I felt lonely!  I went home and cried like a baby.  

These two similar occurrences affected me for years.  I remember thinking to myself that I never want to be a person who would ever make someone else feel like I did.  I have always been a social person so to feel excluded was really uncomfortable for me.  I made a decision at that moment that I would always “Be the Person” who would make others feel invited, welcome, and included.  I took this opportunity to reverse the pain I was feeling to ensure others would not experience the same pain I did.  Not at church, not in my home, not in small groups, not at the park, not at school, not at work…NO where!  Yes, I would share love with everyone!     

Fast forward…20 years!  My passion is to love others and to be very intentional if I see someone new at my church, at my kids school, at the park, or wherever I am to introduce myself and make them them feel welcome.  On many occasions I have exchanged phone numbers and have connected people I have met with someone else who may have a common interest with them.  And, at times I have even found some people who have become really amazing CLOSE  friends!  All it takes is me introducing myself, saying hello, and letting them know they are welcome. In bible study classes I have invited someone new to sit at my table, breaking the ice to let them know again they are welcome.

 

#BeBrave and of #GoodCourage because the Lord is with you! #LiveRight before men and #WorkHard unto the Lord!-4

As a Christian, we all share posts on social media about being kind, compassionate, showing mercy, loving others and so much more!  Let’s put these words into ACTION.  As parents, we know that it is not natural for everyone to be outgoing, inviting or welcoming to others,  I get that.  My daughter was very shy in Kindergarten and she didn’t speak to anyone except her friend who was more bold and outspoken.  This friend would do my daughter’s speaking for her.  Our responsibility as parents is to teach our children to include others, lift up each other, invite others to sit by them in the lunchroom or at a table in bible study or class.  We also need to help our children to feel more confident and bold.  God made us all different but through His love and His word we are given strength to be courageous.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where not everyone is a Christian.  Our world is made up of broken people and we are not always nice and kind to each other.  We are surrounded by people who can make us stronger or they can tear us down.  We can let past incidents stop us from growing or from moving forward.  Or we can use the power of the Holy Spirit to break through the worldly expectations and share the love of Jesus Christ with everyone we encounter.  Let’s be intentional about what we have been commissioned to do. Let’s “Be the Person” that can help change the world.

I am far from perfect in this area, but I do have reminders that are always on alert of what others are feeling or thinking when it comes to being NEW to a church, school, or neighborhood.  I want people to feel loved and welcome.  We don’t have to be BFF’s (even though some will become that).  I truly want us as parents to teach our children to be the kids who intentionally include the new student, who smile more, who say “Hi” to the lonely classmate that struggles making friends.  Yes, let’s encourage our kids to make a difference in the life of someone by showing a little kindness that could lift an attitude or change a heart.  Believe me, this is real.  There are a lot of kids who are lost, lonely and struggling who need to feel loved.

We WILL make a difference by putting our social media words into ACTION as much and as often as we can!  

Be the Person to say Hello!

Be the Person to Welcome others!

Be the Person to Smile more!

Be the Person to ask How are you doing?

Be the Person to Invite a person to sit with you at lunch.

Be the Person to Include others.

Be the Person to Listen.

Be the Person to Break the ice and introduce yourself.

Be the Person to Wave across the street to a new neighbor.

Be the Person to Help someone with their locker lock.

Be the Person to ……………………………………..

Joyfully,

Shanna

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