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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Be the One Person

Let me be clear from the start: you matter, you matter, you matter.

We said goodbye to a beloved friend today at church. Goodbyes are hard for this ENFP. I feel all the things. The hardship of change, the ushering in the new and airing out the old. It hurts. It's painful.

But at the same time it makes you reflect on impact. On how one singer, one worship leader can have the influence to break down the walls of my heart. To capture true worship with the beauty and power of a voice. To inspire you to live your life better, with more honestly, grit and virtue.

This is the power of one person's influence on your life.

I've been a member of First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk for five years. I met my husband there. Started a small group for young women, which blossomed into four years of refining, beautiful friendships there. We baptized our son there.

We have community there. 

As we said goodbye to our friend this morning, I recalled another goodbye we said to a family at church a few years ago.

The mother of the family – ironically the pastor's daughter of the church I grew up in – invited me to come with her one Sunday during a particularly tumultuous season in my work, personal life and faith.

Her kindness and patience with me as I accepted her invitation to attend that first service with her was the first step in my life changing for the better.

I met the good man who became my husband a few weeks later. We got married. We started a family. I fell in love with my new job. I had community. People who noticed if I didn't show up.

And it was all because of that one person. I don't have the words to write to share how utterly thankful I am.

A few nights ago I sat across the table from a dear friend. 

We hadn't had good one-on-one time in ages. And I wanted to convey to her that I missed her. That her absence from my life didn't go unnoticed or that our friend group didn't care one way or the other.

We do.

That one person has such power to make a difference.

I suddenly wanted to share that with the world. Because I'd been feeling temptation to withdraw.

Sometimes, as a mom, it's just easier to.

Why go to church if I'm going to have to sit in the nursing room for half the service? Why go to small group if I'm going to be distracted by my kid the whole time?

Why go to the party that's hours away if there are going to be a bazillion people there and the host won't likely notice my absence?

To be present you have to pack. Plan. Strategize. Change diapers on the road. Let the baby stretch his little legs. Coordinate with your significant other. Texts back and forth with such romantic liturgy as: "need anything from the store?' And "coming home late, can we leave by 6?"

But then you show up. 

And to someone else you're that one person that day. That one person who's kindness and attentiveness puts you back on the right path. Puts you in the arms of friends – for the bad times and the good.

You matter. Your presence matters. It makes a difference, whether you like it or not.

If you're in a season where it's easier to be lonely, because lonely is easy, may I encourage you to push through it? May I encourage you to take the time, make the date, put it on your calendar and start showing up.

Because you matter.

You extraordinarily matter.

And you just have no idea how much you could do by simply being the One Person in someone's life.
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1 comment

Christen said...

You totally just verbalized what I've been thinking in my head for ages but haven't been able to articulate well without seeming selfish or needy. Community is so crucial, and while showing up can be hard to coordinate, I truly think it's worth it. I've been reflecting a lot on the people in my own life who have been that one person for me, and also the time's I've been the one person for them. My church's tagline is "better together" and it's so so true!

<3 Christen

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