Have you ever had such a hard season of life that you vacillated between wanting to roll yourself up in a blanket and watch endless episodes of “The Price is Right” and praying the heavens would open and hosts would declare to the masses that you were in special need of TLC? Maybe it was encouragement, friendship, a big break or some other shortage you longed to see filled … NOW!
That would define my first year after landing in Virginia Beach more than a decade ago (although I PROMISE I resisted “The Price is Right”). If only something would change, someone would notice or someday soooon the skies would open, the Lord would speak, and the world would be right again.
Turns out, the something was right at my fingertips, that someone was me, and the someday was the day I decided to lift my head, open my mouth, and extend my heart.
My moment of change began with these eight words: “Hey! I’m new too. Let’s be new together.” That’s the simple phrase I blurted out to my new co-worker who wandered into my department while looking for the lady who gives out office keys; a phrase that opened the door to what would become a treasured family friendship.
You see, my family had just returned to the States from two years in Australia. Before that, we had lived in Ohio for 13 years. Now, here I was, transitioning clumsily from homeschool mom and freelance writer to event coordinator at Regent University, with my three daughters back in traditional school. The adjustment was brutal (often tearful, to be honest) for every member of the Chalfant 5.
At nearly the same time, Kristy, a single mom from Pennsylvania, had recommitted her life to Christ and bravely determined to forge a new path for her and her daughter, Lara. That path would lead her to a position in Virginia Beach as a graphic designer for Regent’s marketing department.
Two transplanted families in need of connection. One God-directed encounter that would bring untold joy and steadiness.
Kristy and Lara became dear to my entire family. Lara and my youngest daughter definitely played and fought like sisters, and, to this day, Kristy is lovingly referred to as “Aunt” Kristy by my girls. On the flip side, Chuck and I were privileged to support Kristy as she navigated solo parenting, deepening her faith, solidifying her creative brilliance, and eventually launching into a new marriage and yet another brave new season.
For two years, we would celebrate holidays together, take our girls to the pool together, study God’s word as ravenous wonder twins, and learn how to make Virginia Beach our home.
Today, Kristy is thriving as a designer, photographer, social media expert on the West Coast. More importantly, she’s thriving as a wife, mom, and mentor to young women in her church. She is remarkable … and a forever significant part of the Chalfant story.
Imagine what would’ve been lost if I HAD rolled into a blanket and chosen hibernation mode … or passively waited for a magical moment to land in my lap. Instead, I painfully, oh so painfully, chose to walk by faith and not by sight. To extend the friendship I needed so deeply.
Studies show that one of the best ways to make a positive personal shift is to serve someone else, to generously move outward. Along with that, a key ingredient to expanding our capacity is to teach or share with someone else.
Maybe you’re in a season of need. Or perhaps God is asking you to respond to the needs of someone in your world. I challenge you to live out Hebrews 10:24-25: “Think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
You have the power to reach beyond yourself. Your something is at your fingertips, the someone is you, and the someday is today as you lift your head, open your mouth, and extend your heart. On the other side of your obedience and encouragement, I promise you will find lasting, exponential rewards.
Devoted Devotional By Brook Chalfant