A few months after I decided to actually get into a relationship with Jesus (aka become Christian) I remember having the weirdest feeling that I should go tell this girl I knew that God loves her.
While praying, I would frequently hear “Tell Jane I love her.”……What? What the heck was that? Am I making stuff up in my mind? I questioned myself.
I was still crazy new to this whole Jesus thing, so much so that I thought I had to start with Genesis chapter 1 in order to read the bible. No one told me that I could begin anywhere else, and I was too proud to ask. At this point I had finally gotten out of a caustic relationship and (true to form at the time) had jumped into another one. I could go into more detail, but let’s just say that I was still a hot mess, an insecure, prideful, unholy mess of a girl who was just trying to figure out this whole Jesus relationship thing.
But still, I kept hearing “Tell Jane I love her.” No! What? I’m not telling anyone that I’m hearing things, that’s for sure. Jane was just some girl in one of my classes, actually we got on each other’s nerves a bit AND I knew she was a practicing Wiccan (I had been one as well at some point and knew where she stood on the Christianity thing).Talk to Jane? No thank you!
I gave it my best efforts to ignore any voice I was hearing, but it got louder until finally I couldn’t take it. I figured I would tell Jane and just get it over with. So, I go into class and immediately go up to Jane. “For a month now I have been hearing that, God wanted me to tell you that He loves you. So….. He loves you. Ok, bye” I ran to my seat, not wanting to watch the realization on her face that I was a psycho Christian freak. Then Jane’s friend Mary comes up to me. “What did you say to her?!?!” exclaimed Mary. I look across the room and see Jane sobbing uncontrollably her friends unable to console her. “Ummmm nothing really.” I said uncomfortably. I guessed that a good Christian would try to talk to her, so I went to Jane again. “Ummm Hi” I said awkwardly. “My parents have been going through a divorce for a month now,” Jane said through her sobs. “It’s been so terrible and I haven’t even told my friends about it!”. “Oh” I said, having no clue what was the next Christian thing to say. “Well, God knows about it and He really does love you,” I managed uncomfortably. I went back to my seat, still awkward and pretty sure that, if I had been a better Christian I would have told her something amazing and she would have dedicated her life to Christ on the spot.
Reflecting back on my first time to tell someone something God told me to tell them, aka share a prophetic word, I see how much of a mess it all was. I waited a month to tell Jane something so simple! And though I really didn’t have any idea what to do afterwards, God knew exactly what was I capable of and Jane heard what she needed to hear. He was planting seeds of love in her heart while teaching me to learn to trust His voice.
I was reminded of this story a few weeks ago after a similar encounter with a woman here in Uganda. I had joined the group from our church that goes to the Hospital to pray for and encourage people. I went both to pray for people and to practice my Luo (hardly any of the patients at the hospital speak English). By the second week, my native speaking friend fed me to the wolves and refused to let me stand near her to just listen. She even asked someone if they wanted to be prayed for and, when they said yes, she just nodded at me and walked off, leaving me to attempt to figure out what they needed prayer for and then to pray for them all in Luo! My friend is mean… and great… and I love her… and she’s mean.
So, I end up being asked to pray for the mother of a patient who said she had a little back pain. I attempt to make it through praying for her in my stuttering, completely ineloquent and occasionally incomprehensible Luo and during this prayer disaster I hear, “Tell her I love her.” Fortunately, I’ve had practice with this one by now…. not in Luo… but still. “Lubanga owacca ni, En omari matek adada”. God told me that, He loves you very much. I had already found out last week that this woman was a believer and goes to church regularly back in her village, but you could see that “God said He loves you so much” was important. Her face looked like God had just dropped some new truth on her that would change her whole perspective. She didn’t start weeping, nor did I keep talking (mostly cause I didn’t know many more words, apart from being able to say what I ate that day) but I walked away from the hospital that day knowing that God had used my messy, awkward language skills to share His love with this woman.
I love that God uses me to share his words with people. If you told me I would be doing this before I became a Christian I would have imagined me saying something ridiculously specific about peoples future like some fortune teller “You will meet a man in a white shirt on Friday, tell that man yes to whatever he asks… thus saith The Lord.” Fortunately, its nothing like that and often God wants me to tell people that He loves them. And often, that’s exactly what they need to hear.
So then the question is, will I? Will I tell them that He loves them? Even if I’m stuttering and fumbling and a cross-cultural distaster, will I tell them that He loves them? I hope that my answer will always be yes.