The Ripple Effect
Forty years ago a high school girl did something courageous that would forever change my life. Let me rewind and take you back to that moment.
My mom, Heidi, was a high school girl who wanted nothing to do with God. She was an outgoing, tall, blonde, wild, party-going girl, who was living life to the “fullest.” She had a very clear reputation in her school, and everyone knew that “Christianity” and “Heidi” did not mix.
That didn’t stop Sheila.
A Step of Courage
Attending my mom’s high school was a courageous girl named Sheila. Sheila was a Christian, actively involved in her church’s youth program. She took her faith seriously and viewed her high school as a place to share the incredible news of Jesus with others.
Sheila and my mom were just acquaintances, but Sheila could see straight through my mom’s partying and wild side. Sheila understood how empty life without Jesus truly was, and she could see my mom’s desperate need for Him. So Sheila did something that no one else had ever done before. She invited my mom to church. My mom turned her down. But Sheila didn’t give up. She continued to regularly invite my mom for months. My mom continued to say “no.”
Finally, after months of being “pestered” by this Sheila girl, my mom agreed to go to church. Her goal was just to get this Shelia off of her case. She wasn’t interested in church or God, but she figured if she went, Sheila would finally leave her alone.
My mom didn’t know that her life was about to change forever.
She went to church and heard a clear presentation of the gospel for the first time in her entire life. Her eyes were opened. She understood her need. She realized that her life was empty and hopeless and that she was on the road to hell. When faced with her need, she accepted Jesus as her Savior and surrendered her life to Him.
Because of God’s grace and Sheila’s faithfulness, my mom’s life was drastically changed. She has been passionate about Jesus ever since and has continued to carry the torch of the gospel everywhere she goes.
The Ripple Effect
I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am for Sheila. Because of her willingness to be a “Jesus freak” and look weird in her friend’s eyes, my entire family history has been changed for eternity.
My mom was saved and as a result, the truth of the gospel was passed on to me. I’m actively sharing it with others. All of this was made possible because one girl was willing to follow Jesus and obey the Great Commission:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19–20).
Each and every one of us has a choice to make. We can either stand strong in our faith and boldly share it with those around us, or we can keep our mouths shut.
We can either stand strong in our faith and boldly share it with those around us, or we can keep our mouths shut.
I pray each of us will boldly share Christ. I pray we will be courageous girls who understand the value of the gospel and treasure it enough to share it with those around us. I pray we will be the “Sheilas” of our generation and reach out to the “Heidis” who are lost.
Who Is Your Heidi?
Who is the Heidi in your life. Who do you know who doesn’t know Jesus? (If you aren’t sure, ask Jesus to bring a name to mind.)
I want to challenge you to bravely do what Sheila did forty years ago. Reach out to that person with the gospel. Invite them to youth group or to church or a Bible study. Find a way to share the gospel.
Bravely do what Sheila did forty years ago. Reach out to that person with the gospel.
Take the leap of faith and reach out. And don’t give up! Remember, my mom turned Sheila down for months. Because Shelia kept asking, my mom eventually heard the good news of the gospel.
By Bethany Baird