Don’t Stifle

I sat outside of In-N-Out with a small group of friends, just hanging out after basketball games earlier that night. It was late (by most standards) and we were all pretty tired, so the silliness was on high. Of the four tables available our group took over three, while at the other table a lone girl sat hunched over with her hands shoved into her pockets, a hoodie covered her head and I could barely see the girl’s eyes from behind her hair, but I could see enough to know that she was not okay. She just sat there staring at her phone lying on the table. I saw a depressed and lonely girl needing someone to love her.

I looked at her and felt that I needed to say something. My mind asked, PAlease Emily, what are you going to do? Walk up to her awkwardly and say, “hey, are you okay?” What’s she gonna do? Tell you her life story?! Right. Of course. Stupid thought.

lonely-girlBut the Spirit wouldn’t let me ignore his promptings so easily. I decided that I could not let this go. I went inside to refill my cup (and get up the courage to go say something to her), when I came back outside I just asked, “hey, are you okay? You look kinda down.”

“Oh, yea, I’m fine.”

“You sure? Do you need anything? Prayer?”

*Small smile* “Thanks for asking, but I’m okay.”

What else did I expect her to say? I would not tell some random girl at In-N-Out about my pain. I didn’t want to push the issue so I just smiled sympathetically and sat back down next to my friend. I still had little ache inside my heart. I turned around a few minutes later to see if the girl was still there—she was gone.

I cannot shake the feeling that I should have done something more. I just pray that by simply asking her if she was okay meant something to her. I pray that God brings someone in to her life who will speak truth to her, tell her of the love that He has for her and tell her that she does not have to be alone.

Paul encourages us in 1 Thess. 5:19, “Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.Obey His promptings. He lives in us that we might change lives—bringing others closer to Him.


14 thoughts on “Don’t Stifle

  1. We often have God’s voice in our heads to do something for someone else and its easy to fall back into the thought that, “I’ll look stupid”, “It’s just a feeling, or “They don’t need help”. But the hard part is to come out of the “shell” that’s keeping us to do something but that “shell” in my opinion is Satan telling us to not help.

  2. It seems that in that situation that’s all you could have done… But it’s not over! Thanks for posting about her, I’ll be praying too. In the end, remember how the Spirit will be the one to Heal her no matter how much or little we do!! I agree about how it didn’t turn out like you thought it would… happens with me at college a lot! It’s amazing how complex people’s lives are… Making backgrounds and life stories until they are so entangled in the web of their own deceptions the Only One who can rescue is Christ!

  3. Emily, This is very good. I would say this is one of the biggest things God taught me in Peru. Sometimes He leads us to do these things for the other person and sometimes He leads us to just be obedient and to trust that He will give us the words and actions. Maybe that girl was begging God to show her that He sees her and through you He showed her. Only He knows, so don’t feel like you didn’t do anything important. You might have even saved her life. You never know, but it’s cool to think about.

    • Thank you Aunt Susan! I don’t think I’ll ever forget her. I know that the Lord will bring her to mind the next time I’m in a situation like that. It is amazing the way He chooses to work in our lives.

  4. Praise God that you were obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is in His hands, not yours. Maybe you would have liked to see more evident fruit, but think how you might have felt had you not taken the step to speak to her and then you saw that she was gone.

  5. By you stepping out of your comfort zone and obeying the Holy Spirit, God has already completed what He wanted in you. Maybe that is all He was doing, growing you. He might have grown that girl as well. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  6. Emily, thanks so much for sharing! First of all, I commend you for stepping out in faith and ministering to her. God put you there at the specific time He did and promises to put the words in your mouth. That may have been exactly what the girl needed, just someone who noticed and cared enough to ask. You have no idea how those few words you spoke to her may have impacted her.

  7. Cool thing about prayer – you don’t have to know who they are. Pray for that sad girl that you saw. Pray for that family you saw in the news whose house burned down. Pray for the families who have lost sons and daughters in war. Pray for whoever that blaring ambulance is hurrying to help. And keep praying for them. God knows who they are, even if you don’t.

    • Thanks Stephen. And yes, yes, yes! When we were kids we’d hear an ambulance and all just stop and pray for them. I don’t know why, but we just stopped. Bad habit to break.

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