“This Is Irena”

“You came to my mind today! I don’t know when you are starting your new job and training, but very proud of you!”

“It will be great!!! Great for you! For your family!”

“This is Irena”

“We make our plans but God determines our steps–He will be by your side, because He is sending you this opportunity.”

These are the four text messages that came, one on top of the other, yesterday morning. My phone’s chirp letting me know that someone was messaging me.

But I didn’t expect it to be Irena.

And I certainly didn’t expect the words she typed.

Irena is an acquaintance, really. Our oldest daughters were in the same kindergarten class so I know her from school. This summer we’ve had a couple of opportunities to chat a bit at the pool. We traded numbers as she offered to watch my girls if I needed to run to the store or even take a break.

She’s always been friendly. The encouraging sort who will tell you that you look great after you have your third baby. The kind of person who smiles big and means it.

During a brief poolside chat a few weeks ago, I told her I was going back to nursing part-time. I’ve discovered that Irena is a Christian. I’m not surprised. Actually my thought was, Oh,  that makes sense.

Isn’t that kind of how it’s supposed to be? People notice something different and alluring about us.

The timing of her texts blew me away. Made me know Jesus was running things.

To say the timing was eerily amazing isn’t adequate.

To say her words were “nice” is kind of a joke.

Here’s the thing: God knows exactly what to say to our hearts, exactly the way to say it and exactly when to say it.

And sometimes He says it through unexpected people. People who have no idea the impact of their words unless we tell them.

I’m quite imperfect. And sometimes my imperfections tire me out. I’ve been told by more than one person I think too much and am too hard on myself.

I know.

I will always battle striving and earning.

And I will always win.

Because Jesus won.

And He loves me. Imperfections and all.

So later in the day as I was thinking things over (the way I do), I felt like this is what I needed to hear…

I’ve got you.

I’ve got you, little daughter.

Irena’s messages did not impact me so greatly because I’m nervous about starting a new job next week.

They hit me soundly and in a particularly perfect moment because I needed to hear this specific thing…again.

I’m proud of you…

It’s going to be great…

I’ve ordered your steps, I’ve sent you this assignment and I will be by your side…

I need to know He’s pleased. I need to know God sees my imperfect, striving, needy and sometimes sloppily devoted heart and is still pleased.

You know what?

I’m really just a girl.

A girl who needs her Daddy.

A woman-girl climbing on without the training wheels because she wants to feel the wind in her face…

Looking over her shoulder every few minutes to make sure He’s still there…

I need Him in my sights. Ahead. Behind. Beside.

I need to see His smile. Pride and pleasure in His eyes as Jesus watches me. Sends me.

So, yes, it was you Irena.

But it was Him.


One thought on ““This Is Irena”

  1. I’m in tears myself reading your blog. We never know who, when and how God can use along the way to help us or to uplift us. Your words are an encouragement to me, a reminder to be open to God, and to do His will when He puts something in your heart. Thank you!


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