You Just Never Know

This week has been a really special week for me.  I was able to reconnect with an old friend who I haven’t seen in several years.

We parted ways because of circumstances really beyond either of our control… some other people in our lives made decisions (poor ones) that resulted in my friend needing to distance herself from that particular place and season of her life.

I loved her like a sister and I felt like I had failed her in many ways.  I wasn’t personally responsible for all the pain, hurt and confusion she was facing, but I absorbed some guilt for not doing more to protect her.  (Yes, I have trouble with a savior complex, but that’s another post for another day.)

So over the last several years I have prayed for her often.  I have wondered how she is and whether she was pursuing her dreams.  I have begged God to protect her, heal her and keep her safe.

And He did.  Of course He did. That’s what He does.

Reconnecting with this friend was such a beautiful moment.  We laughed big.  We shed a few tears.  We shared old memories.  We caught up on six years of each others’ life story.

The most humbling part of our conversation was when my sweet friend shared the influence I had been in her life.  We had spent years working and traveling together… just doing what life required.  I always hoped that I encouraged her and inspired her to be her best.  I always dreamed that she would find a mentor in me and that I could be a trusted support and confidant.  I just never knew if God had really used me in that way.

But apparently He did.

I don’t share this to give myself a big pat on the back… “Way to go, Jenni.  You are such a great mentor.”   I share this because you just never know… you never know how or when you are influencing another’s life.  You never know what interactions will be critical to help someone make it through another day.  You never know how God is using you without your full understanding.

You Just Never Know.

And because you just never know, let me challenge you to embrace every interaction as if life depends on it.  Because it just might…

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  • Pete June 16, 2011  

    I had lunch yesterday with a guy who spoke at a chapel service for a Christian school I attended in 5th grade. His talk, attitude, and caring spirit had a huge impact on me as a kid. Some 25 years later I had the opportunity to loo him in the eyes and thank him.

    You’re so right….you just never know.

  • Larry Baxter June 16, 2011  

    Love your post, so true! If we don’t share stories like this (out of false humility) how will other people know the impact that mentoring and simple touches can make, and take a bold step to invest in others. Thank you 🙂 

  • Marcia Ramirez June 16, 2011  

    Great post Jenni…. I have had the opportunity to tell a few of my past “mentors” what influence they had on me at certain points in my life, and the look of surprise is always the same… “Really?”, they always say, completely unaware of how they had impacted me.  Seems to me that often God uses people the MOST when they aren’t even TRYING to be influential…  🙂 

  • bethanyplanton June 16, 2011  

    My fiance and I were just talking about this last night. I was encouraging him that he has some incredible opportunities to influence many. I think it is definitely a lot easier to see how someone else is being an influence than how we are being an influence. 

  • Kevin June 17, 2011  

    Great post Jenni! I am so glad that you and your friend were able to re-connect. Such awesome moments! Thanks for encouraging us to embrace our interactions. You are right…you just never know.

  • Grant Jenkins June 17, 2011  

    I love this, Jenni. I’ve been on both sides of this equation and you’re right, you just never know.

  • Heidi Menges June 17, 2011  

    I just had to tell you I have learned in counseling I also have a savior complex haha! Love ya