Friday, July 13, 2012

Faithful Friday: Shine Little Light

"This little light of mine...I'm gonna let it shine.  Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine."

When I think of song I'm taken back to fond memories at church, first as a child myself and then of my own boys, learning and singing these verses.

I always loved seeing the unique personalities of the kids when they got to the part of, "hide it under a bushel, NO! I'm gonna let it shine," and which ones would enthusiastically shout out "NO!"

I'm reminded of this song thinking of my niece, Tina, and her experiences from mission camp this week.  We haven't been able to talk much, as she's been in putting in a full day of work each day, but one thing has stuck out from our short chats on the phone.  She's been blessed by helping others this week and God's been at work in her.

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." -Matthew 5:16

When you blog, you're basically agreeing to share your life with the world.  And I'm ok with that, for myself.  I hesitate though when it comes to others in my family.  I tiptoe between their privacy and what I feel needs to be shared.  With Tina especially I've been very light in what I divulge.  What I will say though is that for her thirteen years, she's certainly had more trials and burdens than any child should.  She's come through it all with grace, determination, and strength, that can only be provided from God.  The one scar I've noticed linger the past year, however, is shyness.

Now anyone that knows Tina - and has for awhile, would not describe her as shy.  As a young child, she was fierce, full of attitude and spunk.  Because of what she's endured, I think her shyness was a way to protect herself.  She's not as trusting as she used to be because she's been hurt.  She's hesitant to put herself out there, but piece by piece, I'm noticing a positive change in her.  And I've seen it through her voice more and more this week.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline." - 2 Timothy 1:7

Each time we've talked, she's shared about how much she's enjoyed her time.  How it makes her feel to help someone else.  How she's been touched and moved to see others in need.  How the stories have impacted her.  She said to me one night, "I did the devotion," and I wasn't sure how to respond.  Not knowing fully if I understood her, I asked what that meant.  She explained that they have a daily devotion and had asked for volunteers and she raised her hand.  She led it and enjoyed it!  I was beyond proud of her and told her so immediately. 

That small act spoke volumes to me.  For a somewhat timid girl to voluntarily lead others in a devotion...Wow!  Only God can bring about change like that.  I think back to the first time I placed a new pink Bible in her hands and how she looked up nervously at me.  She was worried bringing it to church because she didn't know how to find the books of the Bible and was worried someone might look down on her.  (We bought cute neon tabs to help with that!)  And I recall the first time she brought me into her room and showed me a verse she'd highlighted because it spoke to her.  All the way to where she is now, shining her sweet little light on this trip.  I'm just teary and thankful and blessed all at the same time just thinking about it.

Progress.  Growth.  Transformation.  Healing.  All good things that come from God.  And I'm praising him for shining through her.

You can see our little light at about 1:30 and 2:46 into this video.  She's in a purple sock monkey Tshirt. 


Christi Morgan said...

Forgot teary eyes as I was reading that...I cried!!!! I swear you should be a writer!!! Put all these blogs together & send them to a publisher! I get an autographed book I hope! :)

Heather said...

Honey if only it were that easy! Just print, send and publish! :) But, yes....when my dream comes true someday you'll get a shiny new book with my fancy schmancy sig! thanks for the support.

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