Take this one risk today

After an impromptu dance session before church on Sunday (thanks Hannah and Anna!), my girlfriends and I walked into the sanctuary. We had enjoyed an early breakfast and had an hour to kill before church started so we naturally (well, naturally for us) decided to dance. We walked to the upstairs lobby of the church, turned on Spotify, and started to boogie. It was random, hilarious, and I loved every minute. Before we knew it, it was time for church to begin and we headed downstairs.

During worship, there was a sweet family in front of us who I hadn’t noticed at church before. One woman in particular caught my eye. When I first saw her, a thought instantly popped into my head. This woman has strong faith. The woman wasn’t really doing anything besides standing there so it was pretty random, but then another thought came to mind. You should tell her that. “I should tell her that she has strong faith?” I asked. I’ve come to learn that positive thoughts (followed by positive actions) are usually invitations from God to encourage someone, so I kept it in the back of my mind as the sermon began.

The message was awesome and after it ended, I was chatting with my friends and before I knew it, I missed my chance. The woman and her family had left. I was about to leave as well but realized I accidentally left my coat upstairs during the dance session. I said goodbye to my friends, walked up the stairs and grabbed my coat. When I came down the stairs, I felt a nudge to go out the front entrance (I usually exit the back entrance) and all of a sudden, there she was. The woman from the row ahead of us.

My heart started racing. Should I tell her? No, that’s weird. She’s with her family. You’ll just bother her. What does “You have strong faith” mean anyway? So I passed her, but then something in me stopped. I turned around and said quickly, “Hi, I was behind you and your family at church today. You have really strong faith.”

A huge smile spread across her face. “You have no idea how much that means to me,” she replied. “I actually think God wanted me to tell you that,” I said. “That’s so funny because I saw you too and I felt like I was supposed to tell you something, too!” she said. “But I got nervous.”

She went on to share a really encouraging word with me and I asked her if it was her first time at this church. She said that she had been going there for about a year. Last year, she felt God leading her and her family to move to Chicagoland from south Florida (I wanted to ask how that felt now that it’s winter, but I refrained) :)

“My name is Lauren,” I said. “My name is Dahlia,” she replied. We shared a few more minutes with each other and then headed to our cars. “I love you already,” I told her. “I love you, too!” she said, and we gave each other a big hug. “I’m excited to see you again soon!” I said with a big smile and waved goodbye.

I walked to my car filled with so much joy. It was a simple encouragement to a stranger, but it lifted up my entire day. And to see how God orchestrated it so Dahlia and I could connect even when I thought I missed my chance was so kind. If I didn’t say anything, the world wouldn’t have ended, but I would have missed a new connection and possibly a new friend. Sure, it could have been a semi-awkward experience with a stranger, but it turned out to be the opposite.

As I’ve stepped into new situations lately, I’ve found myself asking God, “God, what if it’s terrible?” One day, I felt like God responded in my heart. I said, “God, what if it’s terrible?” And he replied:

What if it’s wonderful?

Today, God may invite you into a new situation and your initial reponse may be fear. You may expect it to be terrible. You may not have time for it. But on the other side of your yes, your risk, your step of faith may be something wonderful. You may see a stranger or be with a friend and a random encouraging thought may come to your mind. I dare you to say it. Take a risk even if it feels awkward and your heart is racing. Take a deep breath, put a big smile on your face, and go for it. Take the leap, make the move, do the thing.

I bet something wonderful will be waiting for you on the other side.

Joyfully,
Lauren

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