It All Started With A Book
“Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10
It all started with a book.
I was standing in the hallway of my high school talking to a few teachers about our recent “good reads.” The book, “The Same Kind of Different as Me” was suggested, so I decided to look it up. I don’t have much time to read during the school year, but something was tugging at my heart telling me to read this book, so I did. It was about a woman volunteering at a soup kitchen, who developed a close relationship with one of the homeless men who ate there daily. A quick read and a touching story - however, I was soon back to lesson planning. The life of a high school teacher...
A few months later, I was asked to take over our school’s summer soup kitchen ministry. I was hesitant at first, but that tugging at my heart began again, so I said yes. I took a group of about 20 students to the soup kitchen every Monday that summer. That’s where I met Drew. He was 21 and in found himself in rehab, struggling with addiction but trying to turn his life around. As a part of his rehabilitation, he came to the soup kitchen each day to eat lunch. I kept feeling this tug on my heart to get to know him better, so week after week I talked to him, spent time with him and let him know that I was praying for him. I looked forward to seeing him every Monday and from what I could tell, he felt the same way.
After talking to Drew one Monday, I found out that the rehab facility was hosting a summer picnic day. It was one thing getting to know Drew at the soup kitchen, but going to the rehab facility was a bit more daunting. However, that tugging at my heart showed up telling me to go, so I decided to attend. I met so many wonderful people that day, including the director of their volunteer program. We had an enlightening conversation and I shared with him my summer with Drew. By the time we were done talking, he asked if I would be interested in speaking monthly to the women in recovery! I had never done anything like that in my life and my gut reaction was to say no, but there was that tug again! I couldn’t ignore it so I said yes! Ironically, I never did find Drew that day.
Fast forward to today. It’s 11 months later and my life has been completely changed. Never had I imagined that God’s plan for me included helping men and women in addiction recovery, but I truly can’t imagine not being a part of their lives now. I teach monthly classes at the women’s campus and I love it! I teach them how to love themselves again and how to forgive themselves for their past mistakes. I have met some of the strongest people I have ever known and have found a ministry that makes me feel more alive than ever. And Drew? He is like my son. I attend weekly meetings with him and he spends weekends with my family often. He is our family now.
As I look back, I can see God’s plan being so perfectly orchestrated. I’m so glad I listened to those tugs on my heart. He knew all along. From the first conversation in the hallway at my school to, up to now. What God had planned for me far exceeded my expectations.
Listen to Him, let Him guide you and trust in His plan for your life. For it is then, and only then, that you will feel most fully alive!
“Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 3:6
And to think….it all started with a book.