Mandy Johnson

“I have nothing to offer her.”

This thought settled into my mind one dreary, Wednesday afternoon. Sitting in a busy, bustling coffee shop, I listened to a college student spill her heart about a difficult circumstance she was navigating with a friend. I had been mentoring her for months and knew she was feeling off that day. Her tense shoulders and furrowed brow told me she was deeply hurt, and in that moment, my mind went blank. 

I had no piece of advice to give; no perfect line of scripture or famous inspirational quote to help her restore her broken friendship. I felt completely unprepared and inadequate to serve her that day. I wanted to cover her in helpful, Godly advice, and provide comfort that would put her at ease. Yet, no words came to mind.

You’ve been here too, right?

We place pressure on ourselves to serve perfectly; to be the hero of the day who meets one need after another. While I listened to my friend continue to share her struggles, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper, “Only I can meet her needs perfectly. Just be with her.” 

“Just be with her? You mean like, say nothing and just listen? What? I’m supposed to have the right words!”

This prompting hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized that day, the best love you can offer someone is your presence. It’s giving someone a hug and empathizing with them. We don’t have to have all of the answers, but we can rely on a Father who does. God is at work behind the scenes, intertwining His presence with ours to cover His children in love.

There is priceless value on your ability to serve those around you, even when serving means listening to a student spill her troubles in a coffee shop. God never asks for perfection. He asks for participation. Following Jesus means following His instructions, and sometimes, those instructions are to simply listen!

When you feel unworthy and unprepared to serve those around you, ask God to teach you His ways. Remember the words in Psalm 143:10. “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground! (ESV)” Allow the Holy Spirit to whisper instructions to you in only the way He can. Then, if all you feel led to do is listen, know you’re doing exactly what you’re called to do! 

In a world that entices us to do more, Jesus entices us to listen more. Your unique, priceless presence is one of the greatest gifts you can give. No matter what discouraging thoughts creep into your mind, know you have incredible gifts to offer by just being you!

About the Guest Author:

Mandy Johnson is a high-energy, encouraging writer and speaker with a passion for guiding and inspiring women. She has a heart for mentoring college students and young adults and loves encouraging women to chase a life of joy. You can find Mandy sharing her faith-based encouragements through weekly devotionals on her website and through social media. Mandy currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Kyle, and their fur-child, Dolly!

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