There's a mom I run into several times per week because our sons attend the same school. I always think she is adorable. She has a fantastic figure, cute hair, great teeth. I always want to tell her she's adorable, but I don't want to embarrass her in front of the other parents.
Yesterday presented a rare opportunity where this mom and I were the only ones left after school while our kids played together.
But I chickened out and didn't say anything.
We started walking to our cars, but then her son called my son over to talk again. This time, I didn't want to miss my opportunity.
I said, "I always want to tell you this, but I never want to embarrass you. I think you are adorable." I told her a few details of why I think she's cute.
Her reaction was awesome. She confessed that she has been feeling very down about her looks lately. She even said she's been driving her husband crazy asking if she's still as pretty as when they met. She said the compliment made a huge difference for her right now.
My simple statement that I was too timid to say before was exactly what this uncertain mom needed to hear.
What a challenge/reminder to me to speak my mind when I'm thinking positive things about people around me. It's worth getting over my fear of sounding weird in order to encourage others.
I thought God was teaching me about giving compliments right at the time that other people need to hear them. Little did I know he had more in mind for me yesterday.
I had been carrying a secret fear/insecurity for a day or two. I hadn't even discussed it with Jared.
Last night I had a meeting at church, and we finished before the church service so several of us stood around talking until the service let out. Out of nowhere, a woman gave me an unexpected compliment. As I stood there trying to receive her compliment, I was stunned that her words spoke directly to my secret insecurity. Unfortunately, I couldn't stop my eyes from welling up. Oh well. At least now she knows that God used her to give me the right compliment at the right time. And God allowed me to see both sides of how compliments can heal.
It can be difficult to speak compliments, for many reasons. It's also challenging to receive a compliment when it's something you don't already believe about yourself.
But my challenge to you is to speak up when you have something nice to say, and hold your tongue and simply receive kind words when they come your way.
As I was thinking about all of this while driving this morning, the song "Remind Me Who I Am" by Jason Gray came on the radio. He clearly understood me when he wrote this song. The chorus says "Tell me once again who I am to you." I feel that way. I ask God over and over and over to remind me. I still haven't figured out how to rest in my identity in Him. I'm working on it.
I hope to live out the line that says, "I'm the one you love. That will be enough."