There’s a good chance that at some point you’ve gotten a random, out of the blue, moderately awkward text message, Facebook message, or phone call from me. It might have started something like this: “I know this might seem weird” or: “I’m not very good at this, but……..” or “I know I’m not going to get this right but I guess I think it’s better to say it wrong than say nothing at all” or even this: “I know we haven’t seen much of each other over the years, you know, since you were my KINDERGARTEN TEACHER”. Like I said, awkward.
From there, I likely went on to explain that you’ve been on my mind, on my heart, and that I’m praying for you or grateful for you or glad you’re in my life. Or all of those. You probably wondered why in the world I was reaching out at such a random time in such a weird way.
I guess I feel like I owe you a bit of an explanation.
I don’t feel as if these communications are completely random. It might sound strange and a bit far fetched, but I sincerely believe that I’m being compelled to reach out. A “God nudge”, I like to think of it. Kinda like maybe God is looking out on mankind and thinks, “That gal over there needs to hear a certain truth. That she is loved. She is valued. She is important. She is special. That the work she is doing matters. She is not alone.” And since He can’t just thunder those words down from heaven (I mean, He could, he IS God, but I think He recognizes that a thunder from heaven might be sorta scary), He uses us to do it.
And here’s why I think that. More often than not, when I reach out in a weird, random, awkward way, the response isn’t “you friggin’ weird-o, leave me alone!” but something altogether more tender, like “how did you know I needed to hear that?” or “I really needed that encouragement today!” And since I’m a rather dense gal, I KNOW it wasn’t ME that recognized the need for those words at that time, it was God working through me. And it feels really good to pass along messages of love. And because I think it’s really cool to be used by God in this way, I just keep doing it.
Also, I really love being on the other end of a “God nudge” too.
Three years ago a high school freshman wrote a paper for English class. In it, she talked about me. For whatever reason, she was inspired by some things I’d done in my life. The words she wrote were flattering and kind and encouraging. And for three years she didn’t share them with me. She waited. She waited until she felt the time was right and then she emailed me the paper. Her email was short (and not the least bit awkward) and she explained that she’d been given this assignment years ago and recently came across it and thought I should read it.
What she didn’t know is that I’ve been going through a season of self doubt. I’ve been asking myself questions like “Why am I doing these hard things? Am I really making a difference? Is it worth it?” Yeah, I’ve been a real treat to live with the last few days. I’ve been questioning, wondering, obsessing about why I do what I do. And then, out of nowhere, I get an email from a high school senior who tells me that at a very important time in her life she looked at me as an example. She saw what I was doing and felt like it was important. That it mattered. That I was making a difference.
I cried (and I don’t cry often). I cried happy tears. Tears of reassurance. I thanked God for the reminders that I needed to hear. And I thanked my young friend for reaching out. She too had felt a “God nudge” and although it would have been awfully easy for her to shrug it off or ignore it, she didn’t. She acted on the nudge and spoke words of life to me. At a moment that I REALLY needed to hear them. She didn’t know that I was in a funk, but God did. I think maybe He looked down on mankind and saw me and thought, “Abbie is getting discouraged, she is believing lies, she is questioning the calling I have given her. She needs truth.” And then he picked an unsuspecting teen to speak to me.
So the next time you’re thinking of someone for no apparent reason or a particular situation is weighing heavy on your heart, don’t ignore it. Consider that maybe you’re being “nudged” to reach out. It might feel like random timing or just completely awkward, but take a chance. And the next time you receive a random, awkward text from someone who is just thinking about you, know how loved and valued you are!!!