This is a story of how God worked in my life.
It happened Thursday, at Josh's soccer game. On the way there, I had this feeling... this feeling like, when I get there, no matter what, I should talk to the people that are there, sitting in the bleachers beside me. I've met a few of the other players' wives, and I had one in mind that I was hoping would be there and I had resolved to really dive into her life, make her feel important, and hear her story.
So I got to the game, sat down... and pretty much no one was there. I've never seen the massive facility so incredibly empty. As I got myself situated, I noticed a players wife on the bleachers just beside me, I've only met her once but remember her because we share our name. (and there aren't a whole lot of Leslie's out there) She wasn't the person I had been thinking of, but I had decided to talk to whoever, so, here she was.
As I had previously resolved, I began a conversation with an enthusiastic "Hey Leslie! How are you??" To which I got a hesitant, odd reply like... "Oh ya know... pretty good... now." Heavily implying that somewhat recently she hadn't been good about something. Anyway, I didn't take the bait and thought... ok maybe I'll just mind my business... I had brought stuff to work on anyway.
So after a few minutes of avoiding conversation, I dove in with a, "So hey, how have things been going for you lately? How's life?" which started the conversation about how she had been called to jury duty, that it was a really difficult criminal case and that she was really stressed and worked up about it. The jury she was on had closed the case that day, so she was free to talk about it... and talk about it she did!
As I said before, the place was literally empty except for me and another chap. Leslie to my left, and then to HER left (and my far left) another guy who was probably in his mid 30's. I noticed that as she started talking about the case, his ears perked up and he was clearly listening in on the conversation. During a pause in her story, he asked her who the judge was. He explained that he's a prosecuting attorney, and from there they dove into a deep conversation about the events that had taken place with the lawsuit, the other jurors, the defendant, etc etc.
However, I was on her right. He was on her left. Quickly and surely, I was shoved aside and pushed out of the conversation. Forgotten. They were immersed in conversation. He was affirming her, telling her she had done the right thing. Setting her mind at ease about the whole thing....
....I was writing in invitations to a Bachelorette Party.
I was so completely out of the conversation that after a little while, I was sort of bored and decided to listen to my ipod. That's how completely shut out of it I was. I'm really not exaggerating at all. and then this feeling started to set in... this.. "wow, that was really rude" feeling. This, "I started talking to her and now she is completely ignoring me, ridiculous!"
but then, I felt strongly and with 100% certainty in my heart, God "spoke" to me.
He informed me that what had transpired was exactly what was supposed to happen. that she didn't need to talk to me, she needed to talk to the prosecuting attorney. I couldn't offer her the assurance she needed like the attorney could. I, "the encourager", couldn't encourage her the way she needed to be encouraged! However, God has given me an ability to start conversations and get to know people. and He used THAT to get THEM talking. He used my gift, to get her to where she needed to be, and then my job was done.
and I think it's the first time that I've seen God specifically use that ability. If I hadn't struck up a conversation (as I had been inspired and set out to do before I had even arrived at Soccer Spot) those two never would have talked.
and when the other Leslie left, she was visibly happier; she clearly had more peace. She even apologized for completely ignoring me, but I didn't mind at that point. I was so unbelievably happy to be used by God (whether or not she or the attorney ever know it)
I realized, with ever-increasing humility, that God created me the way He did to bring Glory to His name. The gifts and things that I can do are for His use, and I need to let Him use me in whatever way He wants.