Sunday, January 6, 2008

How Many Times Have I Done This?

I found out this week I offended someone. I mean, really offended someone. To the point this person went home and cried all night. If you know me, and many of you do, but many more of you don't, you know I am direct. Especially when it comes to fashion advice. But I also have a very tender heart...I mean, really tender. It would kill me to know I hurt someone's feelings or thought someone would take something I said the wrong way. But it happened. The problem is, I almost didn't even find out about it.
I happened to drop by a church this week to drop off some color swatches that were ordered and as I was leaving I was told by a couple of women how much fun the event was when I spoke there. They said the women were still talking about it and they were having so much fun with the information they'd learned. Then the bomb. I asked them if the woman I had used as my bra model had a good time cause I thought maybe she was a little embarrassed of my pulling her bra straps up about 3 inches to where her bust needed to be, so I was worried because the look on her face was a little more than embarassed. They immediately said, "Oh Nooooooooo, she was fine with it, but one girl in the audience went home and cried all night." They went on to tell me the details of which I remembered the girl and I remembered what I had teased about. I am soooooooooooo upset. My eyes filled with tears because I felt so terrible. I would never, I mean never intentionally set out to hurt someone. I know I am direct, and I think women want me to be when it comes to advice, but sometimes our words are just stupid. Whatever I said, however I said it, didn't make her feel good at all and so I made someone cry. I made her sad. I made her stay up all night. I wonder how many other women's feelings I've hurt? Seriously. I asked the front office for her address so they gave it to me. I'm going to write her a note tonight and ask her forgiveness. Please, please, be careful with your words today. I pray EVERY single time before EVERY single event I do that God will give me the right words and that they will edify the women, lift them up, make them feel better. It just about killed me to hear what I did. I have been thinking about this all weekend, asking
God, even, why He allows me to do this ministry if I am gonna offend women. I have really been beating myself up.

So I was at church this morning standing at the Children's Ministry area greeting the newcomers. A woman approached me and asked me my name. She said, "I've been wanting to find you because a few months ago I asked for a prayer request for my husband's job thru the prayer team at the church and you wrote the most beautiful e-mail back to me with a prayer. It meant so much to me I copied it word for word into my journal. I just wanted to say thank you. Your words thru that prayer touched my life." I just stood there after she left and whispered a "thank you" to God...I think He sent her to me today to touch my life because I needed to know that my words do edify most of the time. It's just that sometimes I just really mess up. Isn't God so good to bring a complete stranger to me? Now I've gotta go write that note. love ya, Shari

11 comments:

Micca said...

Girl, anyone who knows you knows that you can't hurt a fly. I love your pure and honest heart. We've all said and done things we wished we hadn't. I'm sure God will give you the right words to say to that person. But...hear this. Whatever the outcome, God knows your heart. I do, too, and it's beautiful.
love,
Micca

shattuck7 said...

Shari, your tender heart is definitely coming through in this blog. May God anoint you with the grace He alone gives when we have unintentionally hurt someone. If you write the note to her and are as honest and open as you were in this blog, it will have a profound effect on her. Who knows, maybe God will use this in a dramatic way in her life just as He has in yours. Thank you for sharing in such a tender and open way. Never lose your tender, teachable spirit. It is beautiful to see.

Alyce said...

Good Morning Shari!
I do hope your Monday morning is going well. I pray that you are at peace today. Sometimes words just spew out of our mouths uncontrollably. My sister in law, when they lived in this area, used to do our Children's message on Sunday mornings. I remember her telling the children about how God wants us to control our tongue. She used the example, and you may have heard this before, of a tube of toothpaste. Once that toothpaste is squeezed out, there is no going back in that tube. Just like our words, once they come out, they can't be put back. I have never forgotten that example. God knows we are going to slip up sometimes, we aren't perfect like He is. Just by getting to know you some over the past couple weeks, I am sure you meant well with your words. If you've asked for forgiveness, you know you've received it. It just takes us some time to get past these situations. You've done right by sending this lady a note. I am sure she will forgive you too, if she is Christ centered! Take care and have a wonderful day..oh..I see my clothes on your site ;-)
Blessings,
Alyce

Shari said...

Thank you sweet sisters for your confirming words to me. I wrote the note, it is stamped and ready to go. The rest is up to God, but please pray for her to have an open heart and for her wound to heal. love you all, Shari

Charlene Kidd said...

Shari,
I am praying for favor as you write and send that note. We all know your heart, and so does God. He will not let this one go without fixing it. Thanks for your honesty and your encouragement.
Charlene

shattuck7 said...

Shari, I am going to pray that her heart is soothed and opened even before your note gets to her. That way it will be that much sweeter for her spirit. I believe this whole thing was a divine appointment whereby God will be glorified by your tender heart and her healed heart. I love how He takes the every day happenings and uses them for kingdom purposes. May you rest in the shelter of His arms and forgiveness. May her heart be ready to embrace your words and your person.

camhoward said...

Shari-
I love your humility and tender heart.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shari,
Great post...one that we can all relate to. Your humility is shining through...may God redeem this relationship and bring His kingdom to bear. I met you on the cruise...I was the other triplet mom. You were a great blessing to me and my friend (you have posted a comment on her blog). I hope to see you again at the SheSpeaks conference. It will depend on our adoption timeline (we are adopting child number 6). Thanks again for your wonderful ministry. blessings,Christine (thefahys@hotmail.com)

Dawn said...

Hey Shari! I can't wait to hear how God was glorified in all of this! I realize that it may not be until we get to heaven but I still can't wait to hear how this turns out!
I'm praying for both of you,
love, dawn

Melissa said...

Shari,

I read your story and I could so relate. I could relate to you and the woman you wrote the letter to. Too many times my mouth goes before my mind and I would never want to hurt anyone. Usually I'm joking. But also, I get hurt easily too. I read too much into what others are saying. Go figure, my love language is words of affirmation.

Don't you just love the verse in 1Samuel that says...man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (I'm paraphrasing here) But the Lord knows your heart. And it is so good. Otherwise you wouldn't care as much as you do. I bet your letter will make this woman's day. That is so sweet of you to write her.

Love you sweetie,
Melissa

Holly said...

Hi Shari!
What a great and encouraging story!
It's impossible to control how others will react...you are a dear and always focusing on the good. I know your intentions...I'm sure she'll appreciate the note though!
love,
holly

God is so good!