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Is Our Word Good?

Over the last couple of weeks, I have attended three very different community gatherings in three different cities. All of the events were well thought out, planned agendas, pre-registered attendance, time given to decorate the space, and planned food. 

With a pre-register, attendees sign up and commit to come. They give their info and receive several reminders of the commitment. At the first event, 40 people no-showed. At the next, 36 people no-showed. At the third, 8 people no-showed. 84 people did not keep their word. They said one thing and did something else. 

Considering the other programs I attended in this two week timeframe, if I knew the remaining stats, the no-shows would be well over 100. Over 100 people who did not do what they said they would do. 

How do we trust each other? 

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. – Luke 16:10

If you have seen me in the last few weeks, this dilemma has been swirling in my head. What have we become? 

All of these people are professionals. They hold viable positions in their spheres of influence. They have hosted or attended a multitude of previous events and they are NOT clueless to what it takes to prepare. Each person is educated, likely the majority hold degrees above high school level. They have been taught timeliness since they raced to their high school home room class to avoid a tardy. Most of them grew up in an era where turning in school work late meant points off the grade or a zero. If we interviewed them on whether they were taught the importance of keeping their word, most, if not all, would confirm “yes.”

The Bible even teaches us about being people who honor our word. 

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.” -Colossians 3:9 

“The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.” – Proverbs 12:22

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are His delight.” Proverbs 12:12

If we asked someone who didn’t show up, “why did you lie to me?” they would probably explain…. “oh I didn’t lie,”

  • Something came up 
  • I overslept 
  • My kids needed me
  • I was late on a project for work
  • I got stuck in traffic
  • I needed a day
  • Someone died 
  • I felt sick 
  • I thought there was a zoom option 

On and on, we would justify our inability to keep our word with an excuse. Reasons for why our not showing up is reasonable and right. But, in those moments, are we not lying. We promised one thing and did something else. 

How can my word be trusted if I back out of all my commitments? Why would anyone believe I was coming? 

Evidence of the problem is the constant e-mail, phone calls and text follow ups we all receive to verify if we are coming. I don’t want people to have to verify “are we still on?” as I want them to have confidence in my ability to keep my word. 

Also, we are wasting time following up, canceling, rescheduling, and starting the cycle all over again. I’ve told people so many times, If I commit to you, you don’t have to follow up, and they tell me, “I’m so use to showing up and people not meeting me that I feel like I have to follow up to verify.” 

What I hear is… we cannot trust each other so we have to follow up again and again to remind each other and hope for the follow through we previously held close and called commitment. 

Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.” James 5:12

We do not have to swear to one another to validate our promises. Our word should be yes or no. We should be able to count on it! 

But here we are in a vicious cycle where we are disrespecting one another because we found something better to do. I remember when my friend paid $30 per person (maybe more) for a catered meal for her WEDDING and people did not show up. She wasted God’s valuable resources, He entrusted into her care, because her friends did not do what they said they would do. 

How hurtful! But, we do this to each other. We say, “let’s meet up for coffee,” but we do not follow through. We plan a meeting and cancel a few minutes before it is scheduled to start. We commit to one party, but ditch it for another which sounds more fun. We promise to cookout until we get free football tickets to our favorite team game. We over commitment so we tell each other, “I don’t feel well, can we go for a walk another day.” 

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” – Ephesians 4:25

We are family. Many of us profess to walk with Jesus, but we do not look like Him. Our actions do not match our words. He never breaks His word. He keeps His promises. If we want to love and live like Him, we have to tell the truth to one another. 

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18

As a follower of Jesus, our actions demonstrate our love for one another. If you cannot trust my words, how can you really understand my love for you? 

Over the years I have been working on my “cancellation policy.” My personal awareness has helped me embrace the desire to be a person who does what I promise. Unless something extreme happens, I’m not breaking my word because I never want another person to have to rebuild their confidence in my commitment. 

How can I be a good friend if I never show up? Why would you count on me? Why would you trust me to be there to listen? Why would you believe me? Why would you risk confiding in me? Why would you cook enough for dinner if you never believed I would come sit at your table? 

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:31

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12

I want to live that! No matter if 100 people failed to keep their word at the gatherings I attended in these two weeks, I want to keep mine. I want to obey God. I want to do to others what I hope others would do to me. I want to live authentic. I want my yes to mean yes. I want to be known as trustworthy. 

All the ways I want to live, I want you to live too. Not because of my preferences, but because God wanted us to be people whose word could be trusted. He knew if we trusted one another, we could impact the world with more collaborative ideas, unity and creativity. We would run together for Him because we would all show up and do what we promised. 

“For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.” – 2 Cor 8:21

We are people of integrity because we are a people who are seeking to emulate our Creator, to be a mirror of His attributes, so the world will look at us, and believe we really are who we say we are. Our actions will validate what we say. We will live what the Word says and every yes, backed by action, will earn us the right to be trusted. 

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:8-9

Today, let’s practice truth. 

The Power of Presence

What if we started forgetting the power of presence?

What if I missed seeing team members hold up 5, during this morning’s staff meeting, because they know their role is a definite 5 (in a 1 to 5 pick)!!

Or I didn’t hug my laundry fairy and hear about her adventures because I stayed at my desk instead of jumping up and going to the back door to greet her?!

Or I didn’t take the phone calls with my friends Billy and Bill who both made me laugh?!!

Or I could have missed my Monday prayer call which would limit me seeing how God is going to move this week?!

Or I could have decided not to pray with Nats on the phone at just the right moment?!

Or not been willing to jump up and go to a girl’s bday party if more people were needed? Because everyone should feel loved all the time, but especially on their birthday!!

Or failed to listen to Maggie explain her upcoming soccer party – which is going to be so American while we unloaded the dishwasher!!

Or missed this opportunity to swing Miss A on a Saturday adventure at LFR?!

Even when we work from home, we have so much opportunity for presence. I caught a bunch, but I still missed a few… I could have ran out on the front porch and greeted my mail lady, or been more excited when Jason walked in with cookies and cream coffee creamer (my brain was focused on something else – but I am excited to try it!!), said a few more thank you’s to team members in the middle of suggesting solutions, or thrown a few more emojis in my text messages.

When I’m with you, I want to be all there, which means I’m not all there with my phone, my emails, or my house cleaning. I am intentionally allowing God to do His work in me so I absolutely pick people over processes, faith over “play it safe,” and big dreams over a mediocre life. If I cannot give you presence, why would you want me around?!!

Don’t Grow Up

Denver Waltman sent us this picture while he’s in London. No matter how old we are, don’t grow up! The facade of adulthood really is a trap. The more we act like adults the more self reliant we become and we forget the safety of being little children who depend upon our Father who cares for us.

God bring back our innocence, when we believed the good in people, trusted the person who gave us a bouquet of flowers at the park, got invited to play without an ulterior motive, and cheered with us when we got a home run in kickball.

God bring back the faith we had when we were little. Our prayers were innocent and purposeful. We believed He could do anything and He still can no matter how we’ve reasoned ourselves to think now. We talked to him about our math test, prayed for granddaddy to come rescue us when we were stuck harvesting in the garden, believed God would heal our cousin when he had a motorcycle accident, and said “Jesus” when we were scared of the dark.

God bring back our unbiased, non-judgmental selves. Remember going to the park and every kid was our friend no matter where they were from, what they looked like, or what crazy story they told us. We loved until we learned otherwise. (Someone taught us to make fun of the kid that smelled, or ate food different than us or had four eyes.)

God bring back our genuine love. Remember when we gave everyone in our class Valentine cards (even if we made them homemade), we spoke to the little old ladies at our church as we made eye contact, and we thanked our mama (or whoever did) for cooking dinner. We had manners, we got our mouths washed out with soap if we made bad choices, and we always had our siblings backs. We had sleepovers and traded BFF necklaces, caught fireflies in jars, and rode four wheelers (or bikes) until we were covered in mud… all because our friends wanted to do those things, maybe even more than we did.

God bring back our belief in who you made us to be. Before we knew we couldn’t, we believed we could. We had moments where we would try anything before someone or some experience convinced us otherwise. Before we got sucked into self-pity, self-focus, self-abuse, and lack of self-esteem, we believed You had made us for greatness (even if we didn’t yet know that was You.)

God bring back our humility where we weren’t afraid to ask for help, to ask questions, to *not* know the answer. Remember when we listened to stories as one being taught, enamored by those who had come before us, curious about all the unknown, delighting in the new experiences we were afforded.

God bring back our courage. We liked to try new things even if we found out we didn’t like them. Remember the first time we tasted asparagus and steak, felt sand or a sunburn, the ice cream slide off the cone, or our knees shook while we stood on bleachers for a choir performance, swung the first bat, or saw the first sky full of stars. Or the time canoeing, snow sledding, or driving a car. We liked the new and we called it adventure. We didn’t say no, before we ever tried.

God bring back our confidence. Remember when we thought we could sing and we belted out the words, when we took pictures of ourselves in the mirror because we thought we looked good, and we jumped on the merry-go-round and went as fast as we could go with all our friends (because we were all friends). We lived to the full because we didn’t worry about what people *might* be thinking about us, what our outfit looked like, or if our hair needed highlights.

Life like a little child was for the curious, with a big support net to catch us and people who believed in us (even if it was not the people we wanted it to be.) At least somewhere or around someone we felt safe, we giggled and daydreamed, twirled our skirts, and walked barefoot in the dirt. We had big hopes and we believed we could do anything (even if we didn’t yet know we would need God’s power and strength to do it.)

“Don’t grow up, it’s a trap.”

Take the lowly position and be like a little child. If we think like a child, we will depend on Christ, admitting we need help, and trusting Him to lead our paths. We won’t be afraid because we will remember we have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us. We will actually believe what Jesus said… if we believe, we will do what He did and even greater things. We will believe God! And we will not be able to imagine what God has in store for us who love Him!!

“He (Jesus!) called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:2-5

Bench Moment

Don’t miss Jesus moments. They could happen at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams or anywhere!!

We realized a lady left her wallet on the bench so my friend ran to catch her. Another guy asked if we were going to use the bench and I asked if I could grab a quick picture since my name was Jenny.

Then, lots of people started coming for ice cream, so I summed the stranger by calling out, “Friend.” I figured I would sit on the bench for a few minutes and get to know him.

In a few minutes, we knew what the other did, where we lived, how we both loved Jesus, and realized we knew the best man from his wedding.

A bench, eye contact, listening and five minutes.

I even asked him to pray for our son while he was in London and we shared a Jesus story or two.

He asked us how this moment was happening. He never comes to this area of town. We all knew it was a Jesus moment.

He’s actually a very high level attorney for the City of Atlanta and as I was walking away I realized God put him in a very influential position.

As I turned to leave, I turned back to him, looked him in the eye, and reminded him, “God has given you a place of influence, don’t forget or miss any of the opportunities.” *or some variation of that

When I got in the truck I realized, I just told a stranger not to waste his life. An influential stranger. A city leader. Because we sat on a bench, in the middle of a place neither of us frequent, and we became friends.

He’s not better than me. I’m not better than him. We are normal people who both like ice cream. Wherever you are reporting to work tomorrow, you have influence in that space. Don’t miss the reason God has you there. He has a bench moment waiting for you.

Live Out the Truth of God’s Word

As a mama, I had high hopes of my kids memorizing lots and lots of scripture. In the end, I don’t know how much they memorized, but I see the evidence of the Word in their lives. Maybe that’s what we really want to hope for as parents.

Instead of pushing knowledge, what if we gave our kids every day examples of how to live out the truth of God’s word in their daily lives.

Do the ways of Jesus infiltrate our lives in a way that is enthusiastically contagious?!

Are we calling a family Bible study around a table because it is what we think we need to do or are we talking about a verse and then trying to live it as a family?!

The first phrase of this verse I said to my kids almost every day they lived under our roof.

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” – Philippians 2:14-16

Today, they don’t (hardly ever!) complain or fight because we practiced that mandate every single day. We called it out. We fought against those easy traps. We refused to let it snare us. God taught us to look for the good, to consider what was true, to always be FOR each other, to find joy no matter what hard hit us in the face, and to shine like stars.

Guess what one of Denver Waltman’s favorite verses is… “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10

You would never know, but as a kid he went through a sad season where he quit smiling and we had to take pictures of him to show him what he looked like. Jason Waltman encouraged him to memorize that verse and Amelia Grace Waltman read him scripture every night to help him go to sleep. We fought for joy when joy didn’t come easy because the joy of the Lord is our strength. May His joy sustain them and us until we dance through the gates. He is worthy of it all!

Letting Go of Control

Jason Waltman and I had no idea where life would take us when we got married in 1999.

In our early years, we traveled all the time, tried all the restaurants, and in general lived for ourselves despite saying we were followers of Jesus. We were more like church people and then “do what we want” people. Inconsistent really, without even realizing it. Chasing dreams because life was about us and nothing else. We worked to play.

When life tossed us a curve ball, we realized life is way more than how much money we have in the bank, what adventure we are chasing next, where we live, or who we know.

Risking everything to start a construction company and then a non-profit wasn’t what we were looking to do for a good time. We were learning God’s plan for our lives and not ours. I fought His plan, because it was hard, and who likes hard.

But slowly, God transformed me, exposing me to a life outside of myself, and I started to realize I had been trying to be in control when we are never in control.

When our kids were 4 and 5 we started living by faith in every aspect of our lives. It was hard. I knew God was faithful, but my body flipped out. I didn’t know how to “let go and let God.” People say that phrase all the time, but seriously… it is impossible without Him.

My anxiety was a beast. I couldn’t breathe for about 13-14 years. During that time I learned how to pray because you cannot worry and pray at the same time.

God wanted me to trust Him and I wanted to, but I still was your “what if” girl. My mind raced constantly figuring out solutions for every possible scenario which made me really tired.

The day the nation shut down on March 14, 2020, when the rest of the world panicked, God set me free. Idk?? Maybe my brain switched? We are not in control of anything and letting go of *trying* to control set me free.

Life still has a bunch of hard knocks, and my heart often feels like it is shattering into a million pieces. I cannot see what’s coming around the bend which can be terrifying, but I am fully confident God is around the bend as much as He is with me right now, so I can trust Him.

We do not have to figure out anything. We only need to get up and live today for Jesus. My yes for today is enough and if I’m blessed enough to have breathe in my lungs again tomorrow, I’ll get up and say yes again. Tonight one of our situations is empty shelves, fridges and freezers. We ran out of food today and we are going to go to sleep trusting He has a plan for tomorrow, because we don’t. And you know what, that’s ok. He’s bigger and more powerful than all my best plans. I can’t wait to see what happens!

A Bystander of Divorce

Maybe it isn’t a genius move to bring up this topic, but every time I take a few moments on social media, I find another untold story.

My heart breaks as the silence unfolds into a shattered narrative. I wonder what happened, not for the gossip, but because I don’t understand why this is the norm.

How does the affair start, or the slow fade, the lack of patience for one another, the silent addictions, the forbidden secrets, the codependency, the silent treatment or the enabling. Why?!

Being in my mid 40’s makes a 25 year span easy to see. And what I see doesn’t make sense. I remember the other couples who were around when we started as newlyweds.

Do the lack (or plenty) of vacations, pursuit of big dreams, social gatherings with no depth, overspending, workaholic tendencies, the fights over nothing, the exhaustion of raising kids, the hours at extracurricular events or the weeks no one sits together at a dining room table co-mingle into unexpected detriment and chaos.

Maybe people look at Jason and I and think, oh you wouldn’t understand, your life is all good, your kids are perfect, you have everything, when we’ve fought like hell to stay together, in the middle of grueling, challenging, and out-of-control circumstances.

Marriage is hard.

Hundreds of you have tried everything to stay together, to forgive, to go to counseling, but why are *we* still standing when so many of my friend’s marriages are gone.

I’m a bystander of your divorce.

I don’t even know what happened to you, but I have survivors guilt because if we all really put our stuff on the table, I think your hard and my hard would measure up.

Sure, the hard would look different, feel different and result in different, but we all wake up and fight for what we want or we give up. And if the other person won’t fight, where does that leave us?? We have the same choice every day and for some stupid reason selfishness, the lure of temptations, a pile of irritants, our wants, our lack, exhaustion, pain and our inability to communicate erodes us.

“God Chose Not to Bless Us”

The other day I ran into a friend, in the middle of a public setting, and a comment was said for which I did not respond. Not because I didn’t want to, not because I didn’t hear it, and not because I didn’t care, but because I didn’t know how to have that conversation under an umbrella, at a football game, in the middle of a mingle. The comment was heavy, deep, personal and highly influential in how my friend perceives God.

The comment from a painstaking journey of grief and loss was capsulated in one statement, “God chose not to bless us.”

I am not sure what I did in that moment. I think I held eye contact, trying to demonstrate how deeply I cared, while trying not to allow the outside of me to demonstrate what was happening inside me. I have not specifically walked the path these friends have walked. What right do I have to respond? But then, it’s *my God* for which they are referencing a pretty intense accusation or maybe even a statement of fact from their interpretation and I want to be physically sick, in that moment. I feel the deep pain of that statement, wondering how I respond, how they have fully landed on that conclusion, and if what they believe is really the truth of our mutual faith.

Are they really going to pound their stake into this hard ground?

All I think about is how I feel like I’m the wrong person, for the life in front of me, but God is making me the right person. If He can address my belief, I’m confident He can run head-on to their belief, in spite of the long, treacherous path their circumstance has called them to walk.

Does God saying ‘No’ constitute as a non-blessing? I look up the definition.

Blessing = God’s favor and protection

And then to the opposite of blessing, which drops a long list, including two extremely painful words: rejection and refusal.

Wow, no wonder they feel “God chose not to bless us,” as the answers to their prayers have been ‘refusal’ which most certainly must feel like ‘rejection.’

What if there is more? More for my friends and more for all the people struggling with some big ask, the deepest heart desire, the perceived right answer which constantly ends with another ‘no.’

My friend had the courage to voice what I believe thousands of people feel. What is our role in responding to a heart level cry?

I think about Job’s friends, during the front days of their visit, when they got it right with the gift of presence. Did my presence, standing there, get it right?

Or was my friend waiting for me to speak life, hope or peace over obvious loneliness, brokenness and disappointment?

What if ‘no’ is not actually synonymous for rejection? What if ‘no’ is God choosing to bless us? What if God’s favor and protection is giving us the opposite of what we want?

I’m pretty sure every scripture I could have shared would have felt like empty platitudes to the moment. I felt a deep urge to love. To love outside my capacity, outside my line of thinking, and outside the confounds of my belief system. I don’t need to figure out the truth of the statement to process the sorrow behind the statement.

And what I know about God’s love for me is He meets me in my pain. He comforts me. He sustains me. My pain looks different, but pain is not isolating, it’s universal. We all know what ‘no’ feels like and loneliness, rejection, fear, frustration, discouragement, anger. No one is on an island.

If we went on a debate of blessing, we could all say God blessed me here, but not there. But in the context of blessing, do we not immediately think of what we get versus what we don’t get?

God is bigger than a “get.” God’s blessing is bigger than a “got.”

In the same conversation, my friend explained the gift of knowing Jesus from a young age and how their faith in God had sustained them through the continued path of pain. Identification of one of the greatest blessings, our eternal salvation, was brought forth in the very discussion of a firm thinking of “God chose not to bless us.”

What if blessing is different than we perceive from our finite minds? What if the very statement of “God chose not to bless us,” is a limited thinking of who He is, His ultimate purpose for our life, and His protection over what we cannot see.

My life has given hard hits too, ways where I could similarly communicate, “God chose not to bless us,” but through God’s grace upon grace, He has held me with the blessing of hope, endurance, and courage.

He is giving me eyes to see the greater story, in spite of public opinion, research, or a million different perspectives. And I want all my friends to see past the limitations of a Sunday service, a small group, a counseling session, or a nature hike. Though all may play a role in encouraging us, nothing solely defines us, except the intimacy of a daily encounter with Jesus. Jesus meets us in the middle of our thinking, no matter if it’s aligning to Him or off base.

Pain and grief develop courage. For me, courage has been a necessary attribute I’ve needed to survive my life which makes my brain understand the blessing. The blessing of hurt makes me want to meet someone where they are because I know where I’ve been.

If I could have found my words, I would have told my friend, “here, let me squat down in this wet dirt, and hold your stake, while you pound the mess out of it, of what you feel right now, and let’s get the stake firmly in the ground. Then, you come back to this stake, alone, and meet with Jesus about your belief. You’ve been vulnerable and you’ve acknowledged it, owned it and claimed it. Go there with Jesus as nothing is too big for Him. If it’s valid, He will help you shore it up, and if it’s wrong, He will help you pull it up. But right now, let me hold your pain with you.”

No thinking is too hard for Jesus.

How the ‘wrong’ person’s yes led to successful community ministry

This article is sourced from the Alabama Baptist website. To view the original article, click here.

Sometimes the results of resting produce more than being productive.

Jenny Waltman, CEO/founder and director of the board of Grace Klein Community in Hoover, president of Grace Klein Construction and an author, learned this when she took six weeks out of her busy life to rest at a partner missions base in Africa. She spent the first three weeks “reading multiple books a day and hanging out with Jesus.”

Photo by Tracy Riggs/The Alabama Baptist
Her new book, “God Chose the Wrong Person: Surrendering to His Plan, Not Mine,” flowed from that rest.

“God gave the download, and I wrote the book in three weeks. It was amazing,” Waltman recalled. “My colleague, our director of development, was with me for a portion of the time, and she said it sounded like a symphony as the computer keys made ‘music.’

“As I prayed, each chapter would come to me. God does choose all the wrong people. If you read through the Bible, all the wrong people were chosen by God so He could make them the right people — so He would get the glory.”

Variety of roles

Waltman considers herself one of those “wrong people” for almost every role she’s had in life.

  • She became a fire claims adjuster, a job that required more physical strength than her size and stature suggested.
  • She never felt comfortable around kids but had two.
  • She became a bookkeeper when math was her worst subject.
  • She started a construction company, making her mark in a traditionally male-dominated field.

Then she saw a need to feed hungry people.

As that ministry grew, a friend suggested she file the paperwork to make it a nonprofit. She had no idea how to start or run a nonprofit.

But she knew God did.

In 2021 the ministry rescued more than 1 million pounds of food to provide 150,000-plus food boxes and 885,000-plus meals to the hungry. Grace Klein Community was included on the sustainability team for the World Games, held in Birmingham July 7–17.

“That wouldn’t have ever been on my radar,” Waltman admitted. “I would have said, ‘I couldn’t do that!’ But the ‘yes’ of obedience stacks and so you look back and turn around and realize, ‘Oh, that’s my life!’ All those yeses smushed together into something beautiful because I obeyed God.

“Sometimes if He showed us what was going to happen in 20 years, we would think that we couldn’t do it. But that’s the point. We can’t,” Waltman declared. “All God needs is today’s ‘Yes’ and He will do the rest.”

Encouraging others

“God Chose the Wrong Person” contains biblical principles and how Waltman strives to live them. Candid about her struggles and times she knew she was the “wrong person,” she writes about how God showed His glory through transforming her into the right person.

One of her main goals is to encourage others who feel inadequate.

“It’s okay to feel like the wrong person,” Waltman asserted. “It’s scary and dangerous if you feel like the right person because then you’re doing it in your strength and your capacity and what you can do.

“God’s capacity is so much bigger, so much grander, with so much more adventure — because we only see like a little tiny box of what we think we can accomplish in our finite selves. But He’s infinite, and He can use us to do things we would never believe we could do until we courageously say ‘yes.’”

Conduit for help

By choosing the “wrong person,” God has taken food that would have been thrown away to feed hungry people. He also has taken rescued flowers and fruit to give to those who need encouragement or as an outreach for volunteers to love their neighbors.

He also created an organization that serves as a “conduit,” Waltman said, by helping those with excess to connect with needs, those with specific gifts and talents connect with services, and a means for those who want to feed the hungry.

“Love does. It acts,” she declared. “At Grace Klein Community we see diverse people working together and living an ‘others first’ lifestyle. When hundreds spend their free time rescuing food through FeedBHM, our food rescue initiative, or building food boxes and praying with every person who comes through our drive thru locations, there is no way to not feel love.”

Waltman said writing “God Chose the Wrong Person” wasn’t simply to encourage others — she also has learned from it.

“I am in over my head and way past my own strength or capacity,” she acknowledged. “Every day before I get out of bed, I pray and beg God to give me His strength as I’m an introvert in a world full of people. It’s not about me.

“I’m so thankful that He would allow me to write that book and to hopefully encourage one person or a hundred to find the craziness, the beauty and the ‘hurts so good’ of saying ‘Yes’ to Jesus.”