Today we are so excited to bring to you a guest post from Niki Nowell. Niki is a special friend and an extremely talented writer. Her family works through the Sevens ministry in Boulder, CO reaching out to the homeless and those who live life on the margins. We highly encourage you to check out her writing at Sometimes I Write and her Sex, Love & Marriage blog.
So many nights I’ve cried out to God asking Him for reassurance that we’re still doing what He called us to do with our street ministry. The heartache and lack of respect are draining, but there’s also been a drop in financial support, and increased criticism. We’ve reached a rocky incline and I’ve found myself doubting my ability to keep going, wondering if I’m making a difference at all.
I spent last weekend in bed with the flu and had to miss our weekly meal in the park. I was too sick to care, but then my family brought this card home to me. My breath caught around the lump in my throat as the gesture sank into my heart. Somehow, my street friends had scrounged up a greeting card. The inside was filled with their names wishing me peace and love, get well soon, and angels all around me. I was filled. It reminded me of Galatians 6:9 which says,
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Don’t give up. I matter. Got it.
Most of us are not in the habit of reassuring each other of our significance, which makes it easier to believe the lie that we don’t matter. But the truth is who we are makes a difference even if we don’t see it and need to be reminded. Sometimes those reminders come in strange, unexpected ways.
A few years ago, I sat slumped at my desk, working on a writing project I didn’t think would matter to anyone but me. Lost in my melancholy mood, I sat there so long my screensaver popped up. I love bubbles. I watched as they bumped and bounced, passing over or through each other, and sometimes sticking together for a bit. Some moved faster than others, some stayed in one general area while others made their way to all corners of the screen. I thought to myself, we are just like those bubbles, confined to a certain space and have no control over who we bump into on our journey. Notice the words confined and control – good indicators of my mood. But then I watched something amazing happen. As the bubbles touched each other, they changed colors, and it struck me that we’re like that too. While there is constant motion in our lives, we are all changed by our interactions with others.
That’s true for you no matter who you are and what you do in this life. You are changing the people around you just by being you. That’s pretty significant. And it’s okay if you need reminders now and then. They may be as bizarre as a screen saver or as sweet as a greeting card, but they come when we need them, because we are loved, and we all matter. We need to say it and live it.
Who are the people you’re bumping up against today? Tell them they matter.
You just might be the reminder they need to keep going.