“The people who influence us the most are not those who detain us with their continual talk, but those who live their lives like the stars in the sky and “the lilies of the field”— simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold and shape us."
- Oswald Chambers
I love this quote. It conjures up so many names of those who have had a significant impact upon my faith life. These are individuals who have walked in and out of a season of my life, but have left an imprint that remains. They didn't set out to influence me. It wasn't in their agenda. They didn't see all my flaws and think that I'd make a good candidate for fixing. They just lived their life sold out to God. I saw beauty and hope and grace and strength pour out of them and I wanted to know - really know - every aspect of this God for myself.
There is no doubt in my mind that their impact came because they lived in Christ. They abided fully in Him and He in them. It wasn't their busyness, their mad dashing around, their long list of to-dos checked off, their continual God talk, their many church responsibilities or activities that influenced me. It was the Jesus that I saw alive in them in very ordinary, mundane tasks of the everyday. If "apart from Christ we can do nothing," (John 15:5) then in Him we can do everything.
By no means is this a thorough list of my faith influencers. A complete list would have Paul at the very top, my mom, grandfather, and Paul's parents listed among many, many others. This is just a quick compilation of people whom I wanted to thank off the top of my head - those who would never know they made any difference whatsoever. These women have helped to change my life for good. And they are continuing to work very quietly, without recognition or praise, to change the world with the influence of God in them.
Stacey - you helped me to know the God who answers prayer.
Yoshi -you taught me how to love passionately my Jesus, my husband, and my children.
Ruth- you were faithful in teaching me about Jesus, when I couldn't have cared less.
Courtney-you never forget a birthday or an anniversary and you use every chance you can to encourage me and challenge me.
Carolyn- you taught me about the God who heals deep wounds and brings joy to sorrow.
I love each and every one of you and am so thankful that God chose to send you into my life for a moment in time. Continue to live lives for God, simply and unaffectedly.