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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It takes relationships to make a difference

by Angie Hegstrom
Have you ever wondered if the relationships that you are building are significant?  Or when you are reaching out to others, do you wonder if the time you are investing will make any kind of a difference?

Fifteen years ago, I felt called to get a degree in Deaf Interpreting. After I graduated from college, I got a job interpreting in a school. I really enjoyed my co-workers and the students I worked with.

There was one particular student I got to know pretty well because I interpreted most of her high school classes. For four years, I watched her struggle and grow like most teenagers do. There were times she would confide in me; and other days, she wouldn’t listen to a thing I had to say. Often, I told her that I would always be there for her and that she could tell me anything and I would be there to listen.

The day she graduated from high school, she was one of the students chosen to give a speech. I was so proud of her because she had been on quite a journey for her four years in high school. After high school, she moved on to college and pursued her degree and graduated.

Over the past couple of years, we had kept in contact occasionally through text; however, last summer, God opened a door for us to re-connect in person while I was in Illinois. It was so good to catch up; but then as we spent more time talking, she poured her heart out to me and shared about hurts and trials she had gone through while attending college.

During our time together, I took her to the Word and reminded her of God’s love for her. I felt like God wanted me to tell her He would never leave her and that His love was unconditional unlike people. As we wrapped up our lunch and parted ways, I could sense God moving in her heart.

We continued to keep in contact during the year and she shared with me how she was growing and working on things we had talked about. I had recommended her getting a great devotional, “The Jesus Calling,” and she had shared at different times that the devotional readings were just what she needed.

This past August, when we went back to Illinois for the RM Golf Outing, we happened to be in Peoria and I got a text from her asking where I was and could we meet. We happened to be about 10 minutes from her and made a plan to meet at Starbucks. As we arrived, she was standing in the parking lot waving us in. We stood in the parking lot for an hour catching up on her life over the past year. What a change! It was like a new person was standing there in front of me. At one point when we were talking, she raised her hands to the sky and proclaimed

She shared what God was doing in her life and how the devotional ministered to her daily. She knew God had a plan for her and that she was walking in His will for her life. It was amazing to see the transformation of this lovely young women, who just a year ago, was so heavy hearted to being free from the weight and baggage of the past. Let me just say, we had a little church right there at the Starbucks’ parking lot. We said our goodbyes and I left with both tears in my eyes and a smile too big to contain.

Now, you may be thinking, “What is the point to this story?” My answer to you is RELATIONSHIP. You see, it takes relationships to make a difference. People want to know you really care, not just in your words but also in your actions. One of our platforms that Relevant Ministry is founded on is relationships. Our example is Jesus. He made time for relationships because people mattered to Him. Likewise, as Christ followers, people should matter to us.

To make a difference in someone's life, start right where you are. Yes, relationships take time and sometimes they are a lot of work; but if you want to make a difference, it’s the only choice you have. Who has God put in your life to build a relationship with? I’d love to hear YOUR story.

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1 comment:

  1. Tears feel my eyes as I finished reading Angie's blog. Not only have you and Pam changed my life through relationship. You've taught me how to begin new ones. Relevant Ministry has opened doors for me I never knew I could enter.


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