When I was a young adult living in Tyler, Texas, a time came when I found myself in difficult circumstances. My idealistic dream of a faithful husband and living happily-ever-after had been shattered. Suddenly I was on my own with a young son, no job, few marketable skills, an unfinished college education, and no savings. I felt like such a failure. I felt like Jesus would have no use for me.
Thank God I had a church family who embraced Hunter and me and loved us through those hard times. One church member owned a clothing store and gave me a part-time job. Another knew someone running for political office who needed temporary help setting up a data base. One time, when nobody but God knew that I didn’t have adequate funds to cover our monthly expenses, a church member anonymously gave me some money (in the amount that I lacked!) via the pastor.
But most importantly, this group of Christians—my church family—loved me and accepted me. Through people who were willing to be His representatives, Jesus gave me tangible proof that He loved me and had not given up on me as I had feared.
Chapel Hill is a loving, Christ-filled church family like the one that loved me back on me feet years ago. And we likely have people among us who are striving to climb out of difficult situations. People who, like I did, wonder if God has given up on them. There are 3 simple things we can do to help:
1) Be on the lookout for those who might need encouragement, acceptance, or assistance;
2) Listen for the Holy Spirit’s prompting; and
3) Be willing to act as Jesus’s representative in that moment.
I believe we are good at that here at Chapel Hill. Who knows, one simple gesture of kindness could have eternal consequences!
Shelli has been a member at Chapel Hill for about 5 years. She is an active teacher helping with Master Teachers, and teaching classes for the Wednesday Recovery Bible Study. Shelli and her husband, Dirk, are members of the Family and Fellowship Sunday School Class.