My investment portfolio

Don't let the title fool you, this post is not about money. It is about investments which are, in my opinion of much higher value. Back when I was a freshman in high school, young and immature in the worst kinds of ways, I was what you might call boy crazy. Crazy being the operative word. I wish I were joking.

Anyway, there was one boy who I had my eye on all year. I'm pretty sure I filled a couple of spiral bound notebooks with his name. It was no secret that I liked him, the feeling was not mutual, but that didn't seem to bother me. I can't remember having very many standards for the object of my affection except for how he looked and the presence of a smug, disrespectful sense of humor. Until I met Treva.

Treva and I were both part of a rather large church youth group. She was a senior when I was a freshman and for some reason she decided to invest in my life. My first memory of her is vivid. I remember talking about the boy I liked to Treva, surely saying something brilliant about his blue eyes, and she asked one question,

Does he love Jesus?

The question struck like a blow to the head. Why had that not occurred to me? No, he did not love Jesus. Slowly, as the Holy Spirit moved, my affections dissipated until they were finally gone, replaced by a desire for more Jesus in my life. That one question marked a turning point for me and I will never forget it.

Treva and I hung out a few times. She would pick me up in her vintage, hippy, VW van and take me to the most amazing places deep in the heart of Tulsa. My first steps in a thrift store happened with Treva as my guide. That year, she took the time to invest in the life of a nerdy, misguided freshman. And I was never the same.

 

Fast forward a few months. I was on a plane by myself headed back to Tulsa from Denver. I can't remember why, but I'm sure it was a family event. I found myself sitting next to a pretty blonde girl and we got to talking. She told me her name was Ashlee and I can recall clearly one of the first questions she asked me,

Do you love Jesus?

What boldness! Ashlee had such a passion for the Lord. She had just graduated high school and was headed off to college. We had the same taste in music and love of journaling. We exchanged numbers and kept up with each other through letter writing {pre-email days!} and a few visits to see each other. She was an aspiring photographer and I would get amazing pictures of sunsets and wheat fields in the mail with verses written on the back. A few years later my friend and I went to spend a weekend with her at college. She took us to the lake at midnight to look at the moon and talk about Jesus, then woke us up at dawn to admire the sunrise. Everything about her was peaceful and she modeled so much of who I wanted to be.

I was several years younger than Ashlee. She didn't know me. She could have easily walked away from the airplane without a second thought about me. But she didn't. She invested in my life and spurred me on to love Jesus.

God was obviously working through these young women to sanctify me. He knew who I was drawn to, who I would look up to, who could influence me. He was so gracious to meet me where I was. My life was marked by these girls in such a profound way, only the Creature could have orchestrated it. So I can't help but think to myself,

Who am I investing in?

I'm pretty sure these girls weren't scanning the room looking for a helpless victim to pounce on. They just were

Loving

Caring

Committed

Peaceful

God-focused

Living the Word

Intentional

Unashamed

They might not even realize that their words and actions affected me so profoundly. We might never know, either. So if we want God to use us to influence lives, we must just be these things too and let God take care of the rest.