overcome the butterflies and believe

I had been attending a weekly bible study since my oldest was in preschool. It had been a solid 4 years that I saw a particular woman in the hallways. We never ended up in the same small group and I never made the time to stop and engage in conversation with her, but there was something special about her. I had watched her amazing style evolve over the years and was a great admirer. I looked forward to seeing her every Wednesday and even drew much inspiration from her style. She was tall and walked confidently. I like that in a fellow sister, don’t you?

It was our last Wednesday for the year before summer approached and there she was, gliding down the hallway as usual. She was a bit intimidating to be honest. After all she was tall, beautiful and so “fashion”. I paled in comparison. I was dressed in all the budget friendly threads I could find and felt haggard and weary from chasing two toddlers around every day. She was someone I looked for every Wednesday and was glad I had the chance this one last time. As she approached my direction, however, my stomach dropped. It started to flip out of control. The butterflies were released and I wanted to hurl! What was going on? Sudden;y, there was a strong sense of “compliment her” that overwhelmed me. She was approaching quickly and before I could have time to protest, I reached out, grabbed her arm and said right into her eyes, “You are beautiful.”

What? Freak alert. Take that woman {me} and throw her out, she is harassing the pretty people.

She stood there stunned looking back at me, speechless. Tears filled her eyes. She said thank you sheepishly and walked on. We had large group right after this and it was share time. One by one brave women made their way to the front and shared their heart of how this year’s study effected their lives. One by one these courageous stories flowed to every ear in the room, inspiring us all.

Time was closing and there was room for one more speaker. SHE stood up. She floated to the front and began to pour out her story. She started with how long she has been attending the study, the relationships she made and then she began to cry. Barely putting her words together, she shared how her husband had left her that year for another younger woman. How she had struggled with feeling less than and not enough, rejected. And then she looked my way. My ears started burning and my heart racing. She said she had felt that way until now. She shared that when I stopped her to tell her she was beautiful, she knew it was from the Lord. She knew it was her daddy telling her she was beautiful, loved, and wanted.

You could imagine the buckets of tears that filled the room that day. We embraced for a long time and just cried together. It was surreal to be a part of God’s message. Sureal. I was humbled and to this day, am so honored he chose me to speak life into a person with just three words. “You are beautiful.” What are your words that He has for you to speak life? Who is it that needs that positive affirmation in their life today? I say go for it, it just takes a second to empower your people.

This  post is of a 31 day series called Empower Your People. You are invited to empower your people:

Today’s Call: Compliment a stranger.

Go here for the entire list of calls as well as to join the empower your people project.