Sunday, July 13, 2008

If only......

If only I had called her.

If only I had listened to that little voice in my head that told me to call Linda several times.

Linda was on my women's ministry team at church for several months about two years ago, until her cancer returned. Since she had to focus on her treatments again, and also since they drained her energy, keeping her from being involved in too many things, she made the choice to step off the team temporarily. We had an agreement that whenever she was up to it, I desperately wanted her to come back and be a part of ministry team, and she agreed that she would.

Linda always had the most beautiful smile on her face, a zest for life, a sweet spirit, and an obvious love for the Lord. She was one of those people who lit up the room when she entered. She had a beautiful talent for making home made notecards with ink stamps, and before she got sick again, she had offered to make them by the dozens, so that our team could use them to send out to people in our church who needed prayer. But when she had to leave the team, we put that idea on hold.

Many months passed and Linda was in remission, but still decided not to make the commitment to being back on the team, so she could reserve her time and energy for her family. Although I would see Linda at church from time to time and smile and wave, we didn't really talk very often.

For the past couple of months, I have felt God laying Linda on my heart. I kept meaning to call her, but then would get busy and forget. This morning at church, I read this sentence in the church bulletin, "Our deepest sympathies go out to the Johns family in the death of Linda Johns".

I was shocked, my heart skipped a beat. I had seen her fairly recently, buzzing around the sanctuary, and she looked great. But now she was gone. Now it was too late. The door of opportunity to call her and hear her kind voice had slammed shut.

If only I had called her.
If only I had stopped what I was doing, and taken just a few minutes to check on her and let her know she was on my mind.

If only I had listened to that subtle whisper from the Holy Spirit, who had been nudging me to get in touch with her.

If only I had taken time to tell her how much I admired her stamina and perseverance, but most of all, the precious joy that she carried in her heart and on her face, despite the difficult circumstances in her life.

If only I had told her what an impact she had made on me.
If only......

Tears fill my eyes as I write this. Although Linda and I were not super close friends, and our paths did not cross very often, she was still my sweet sister in Christ, and at one time we had served God side by side. Linda will be sorely be missed by me, and everyone whose lives she touched with the love of Christ. I do have peace though, knowing that she is still smiling today, as she stands in the light, holding hands with my Jesus.

Today, I am making a commitment to God and to myself that I will never again ignore even the tiniest, quietest whisper from the Holy Spirit. I know that His ways are not my ways, and He knows what is best and what is needed. I was reminded of this in Isaiah, where God says:


Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.


From now on, if I have an unusual thought prompting me to take some action that I would normally not consider doing, someone comes to mind that I feel I should call even if I don't know why, or the thought of someone pierces my heart whom I haven't spoken with in months or even years - I am calling them immediately, or doing whatever it is I feel God is nudging me to do. Never again, do I want to have to say to myself, "if only I had listened to God's whisper".

Is God laying someone on your heart to call today? Has He prompted you to be obedient in a small way, or even a big way, that you have yet to act on? Have you told those you love how much they mean to you recently?


Don't delay. Listen to those whispers. Don't discount those thoughts as your own, but believe that it is God communicating with you and instructing you to take a certain action, for good reason, even if you don't understand it yet. The consequence of not listening to those whispers, could result in you having to say, "If only.."

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2 comments:

Shari said...

Ohhh Tracy, what a beautiful post. Thank you for the sweet reminder that we all need to listen to. You are loved by a lot of people, especially your P31 sisters....love you, Shari

Stephanie Brandt said...

I am constantly ignoring the little promptings to call people that pop into my mind; after reading your blog I am hoping to no longer ignore these (or not as much!) Thanks. I am Susanne Scheppmann's daughter-in-law (if you know her) and found your blog through the devotion today (July 23).