May 30, 2016
The Quiet Impact of One Woman
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” 2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV)
Feeling overwhelmed by the needs around me, I turned to a wise friend for advice. I knew Christie could help me because of the impact I saw her making in others’ lives. I poured out my worries then finally got to my question: “How do I attempt to meet all the needs and touch all the hurts of the women around me? It seems like too much, and I feel myself shutting down.”
Christie pointed out I had taken on too much responsibility and self-imposed tasks. “Pray for one woman,” she advised. “One woman whom you can pour your life into.” I instantly knew what she meant and what I needed to do.
Years before, when I was a teenager, a godly young woman named Layne had made me her “one woman.” I originally met Layne at a Bible study filled with high school and college students, and one day she casually shared that she was looking for a place to live while her house was being built.
Her need sparked a brilliant idea, and I went home to beg my parents to invite Layne to live in the travel trailer parked in our backyard.
Looking back, I can see this wouldn’t be a dream-come-true for anyone. Travel trailers are fun for about a week of vacation, but Layne moved in for nearly a year. Each day she got ready in a tiny bathroom where she could barely turn around!
Although living in my backyard was challenging for her, Layne’s life changed mine that year. Just like in today’s key verse, where Paul encouraged Timothy to pass on his faith, Layne took every opportunity to share all that Jesus had taught her. She modeled self-control in her dating life. She taught me to love Scripture above my own opinions. She showed me how to be a long-term, loyal friend. She was an example of being a loving and respectful daughter.
More than 30 years later, I can confidently tell you Layne’s influence has shaped the whole of my life. I was her one woman, and Christie challenged me to prayerfully choose a woman I could pour my life into as well.
Over and over again, Scripture shows this is God’s pattern. Moses invested in Joshua and raised up a new leader. Hannah invested in Samuel and influenced kings. Paul invested in Timothy and built the church. Timothy must have followed Paul’s advice to invest, because here we are.
I followed the advice to pray for and invest in one woman, too! With the visual of a lone woman before me and Layne’s example behind me, I constantly look for a woman who will teach me, as well as a woman in whom I can invest. It’s become part of my spiritual DNA.
If you’re feeling burdened and overwhelmed by the needs of the people around you today, begin changing the world by investing in one woman. Your one woman might actually be the little girl who sits at your feet while you wash the dishes. She may be the woman in the cubicle next to yours or the woman who lives down the street. She may be in your small group or a woman who doesn’t own a Bible.
It’s impossible to meet all the needs surrounding us, but by making a difference in one person’s life, our story becomes part of God’s story. By investing in another person what we’ve learned from Him, our story expands beyond our lifetime into eternity.
Father, whom do You want me to entrust with the lessons You’re teaching me? Who needs me to pass on what You’ve given me? Show me my one woman today, and make me faithful to invest in her life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Titus 2:3-5, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” (NIV)
In Amy Carroll’s book, Breaking Up with Perfect, she shares more about living imperfectly but joyfully in deep relationships with others.
Visit Amy’s blog today where she’s giving away a resource pack of encouraging books to walk through with your one woman.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Who has invested in you and what difference has it made?
What valuable lessons has Jesus taught you that you can use to help someone else?
© 2016 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 30 May 2016.