Welcome to Songs of Salvation! Each Sunday I will feature a Christian author sharing a "Song of Salvation" to uplift and encourage believers and glorify God.
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. Revelation 12:11 NLT
Authors, find out how to share your Song of Salvation here.
by Amanda Tru
Some of my earliest memories are of when my family lived with my grandparents for a few years. Grandma and Grandpa would frequently take me to breakfast at a restaurant called the Gristmill before they went to work. I was only about three at the time, but I remember walking into the restaurant and keeping my eyes downcast to the floor. However, I would look up just enough to see an older man who looked like Santa Claus swivel on his barstool to turn and greet me with a smile. He’d then proceed to have an entire one-sided conversation with me while I never said a word to him, instead working to carefully hide any smile that may sneak out.
Obviously, I was painfully shy. Though at home I would talk about “my friend,” I never actually had the courage to smile or speak to the man. Instead, I was always caught between my desire to be involved in life and my natural tendency to duck and not be seen.
When I was a little older, about six-years-old, I remember not being able to sleep one night. It was as if I suddenly realized that God could see me and what He saw was a sinner. Completely miserable, I got up from bed and found my mom.
That was the night that God called my name. In that moment when I heard Him speaking to me, I mustered the courage to raise my eyes and see my Savior. My mom led me to the Lord, and when I went to sleep that night, I experienced the rest of knowing that I was saved by God who loved me, died for me, and washed me clean.
Because I was saved at such a young age, I believe God kept me from many of the pitfalls that others encounter growing up. My shyness probably helped. I did not have a rebellious stage but kept my head down and my voice silent, going unnoticed by most people in school. I always watched and had big ideas, but I didn’t feel that what I had to offer was valuable enough to give me the courage to raise my eyes and contribute. I was the girl who always got picked last, longing to be invisible, yet secretly desiring for someone to notice. Beneath the mask of shyness, what I wanted most was to do something of lasting importance.
I grew up, got married, became a teacher, became a mom, and though I matured, I remained my shy self, preferring to stand in the wings of life and simply observe. If there was a job to do, I was sure someone else was more qualified than me.
Until one day that changed. I had become Facebook friends with one of my former students. From his posts, it sounded like he was in a pretty bad place. I’d been his teacher at a Christian school about eight years prior, and by all appearances on social media, he was not in any way living for the Lord. My thought was that I wished someone would reach out to him, remind him of the Lord, and help save him from himself.
Then, startled, I wondered if maybe I was that someone. Maybe God truly had equipped me and put me in the right place as the most qualified person for the job. At the core of my being, I wanted to be that someone. I didn’t want someone else to do it. I didn’t want to pray and move on, never knowing if my prayers had been answered. I wanted God to use me, and then I wanted to experience the blessing of being there to watch Him answer my prayers.
So I got up the courage, raised my eyes, and said, “God, pick me to do this one.”
I sent a Facebook message to my former student. I just wanted him to know that someone cared about him and was concerned for him. To my surprise, he responded very humbly, appreciating my concern and admitting that he was not living out his faith as he should be, especially in the picture he presented to the world. He said he was going to get his life back on track and strive to make it better match his faith. Overall, he was touched that someone cared enough to be concerned about him and his actions.
It would be easy to say that one experience changed my life, but it didn’t. Instead, it was just one stop along the way where God led me to realize that I had something valuable that He intended to use. I didn’t overcome my shyness overnight, and it’s still a struggle at times. I’m not so accomplished at posting to social media or shouting “buy my book.” But I’ve always loved writing and found that I can express myself and my faith through my writing in ways that is difficult outside the cover of a book.
Now when I see something and have an inkling that “someone really should do that,” I try to raise my hand high and tell God “pick me!” I earnestly believe that there is a blessing in doing God’s work, in being chosen to serve and in turn be a blessing to others.
If God has a message He wants to convey through a book, pick me. If someone needs kindness shown to him or her, pick me. If God needs someone to do something really difficult… give me a minute to take a deep breath… but pick me.
Anyone who reads my books sees a piece of who I am. My faith, my struggles, and even my experiences are on every page. With every book, my desire is to glorify God. My eyes are up and my hand held high, hoping He sees fit to use my work to do His.
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 139:16. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. God has written my story and yours as well. Just like Zacchaeus, he has already planned for your needs before you even know them. God planted a tree for Zaccheus long before He had need to see Jesus. God planned for my mom to be awake and in the living room the night He called my name. He planned for me to read my student’s posts and gave me a love that overcame my fear, providing the means of social media for us to connect. Through it all, God has shown that even in my weakness, He has planned for me to successfully serve Him.
When God called Moses to face-off with Pharaoh, Moses objected, saying that he couldn’t possibly do what God was asking because he wasn’t good at speaking. God then told Moses that Aaron was on his way and would be Moses’s mouthpiece. Even before Moses knew the need, God had arranged to meet it. For me, when I objected that I was shy and not so good at sharing my faith, thinking that God should use someone better for the job, He handed me a pen, saying that He created me uniquely qualified to do the work He’d planned.
I’m not perfect, and many other experiences and inspirations have gone in to making me who I am today. My life has been marked with my fair share of difficulties, and I have countless other testimonies that make for a much more dramatic tale. But sometimes the simple ones can be the most profound. At this point in my life, when God swivels around to talk to me, I try to lift my eyes Him, ready to hear how I can serve, knowing that the same One who saved me late at night at my mother’s knee has everything I need waiting in my next chapter.