Someone Needs You to Believe in Them Today LENAE BULTHUIS

Someone Needs You to Believe in Them Today LENAE BULTHUIS “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:13 I can still feel the sting of his sarcasm. I was absorbed in my schoolwork when a popular boy in our 7th grade class leaned in and whispered, “You will make a great poet someday!” Stunned that he acknowledged my existence and spoke into my secret dream of writing, I asked why. “Because you remind me of Longfellow,” he sneered. “Look at your feet!” No need to look. I was painfully aware my feet were longer than his. Maybe the biggest in the class. I tucked them under my chair and took another step deeper into my insecurities. I believed the lie that good plans didn’t belong to ordinary girls like me. What I didn’t recognize at the time was the work of a bigger bully seeking to steal, kill and destroy a young woman God called His own. (John 10:10) Can you identify where war has been waged against God’s plans and purpose for you? One of my battlefields was middle school. In one classroom was a bully, but in the next was Mrs. B. My favorite teacher had this red pen that was always, always with her. That pen was in constant motion, and it did its share of correcting. But much more than that, it encouraged. Mrs. B. used her red words and her real love for God and kids to fight for the next generation. That dear lady saw something in me long before I could see it in myself. And it changed everything. The Apostle Paul got that. Along with Timothy’s grandmother and mother, Paul believed in Timothy. He called him a true son in the faith. He prayed for him day and night, spoke grace and truth into his life and urged Timothy to follow his example. In 2 Timothy 1:13, Paul wrote, “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.” God used Paul to fight for Timothy. And it not only shaped Timothy and the church he served, but by God’s grace, it’s still strengthening the universal church today! Who believed in you before you believed in yourself? Was it your grandmother, mother or a teacher like Mrs. B.? Maybe a coach spoke life into you or a family friend gently squeezed your shoulder — no words necessary — to let you know she saw you and was there for you? Even in the battles when it felt like you stood defenseless and alone, there is One who was always, is always for you. Jesus believes in you; He is your hope and help! Often He makes His power and presence known through His people. We need each other. When we’re pushed down, we need people who prop us up and believe in us. So does the next generation. They need women like Mrs. B., people like you and me who use our lives to show the love of Jesus to every child in our sphere of influence. Women who give it their all so the next generation can know Jesus is for them, too. Is that challenging? Exhausting? Inconvenient? Yes. Paul got that, too. As he mentored Timothy, he was facing a probable death by martyrdom. But he kept his eyes on the eternal instead of the easy.

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