• 4 minute read •
I’m currently in Bilboa, Spain, playing basketball professionally. All teams do things differently dealing with living situations, and I live with a host family. The woman who is in charge with putting all of us with families in the city is actually the family I live with. Her name is Yolanda, but she goes by Yoli. I know God purposely aligned for me to live with her. There were two other families that wanted me to live with them, but something happened, and Yoli said, “I would like for you to live with me.” She is also my boss. She owns her own academy, and I am the teacher this year. I have only been here for two months so far and there are times where Yoli is the sweetest person on earth and other times where I wish I was living somewhere else. You see, the first or second day I was here, we got on a topic of religion. I told her about Jesus and who I believe in, and she told me she’s heard of Him but she doesn’t believe in Him. That’s not the first time I’ve heard that, so it didn’t bother me. I just knew who I needed to pray for.
Yoli started to notice how I read my Bible in the morning, we eat together and I always pray silently before I eat (she even asked me to say the prayer out loud because she was curious of what I say to God), she even pointed out how at peace I seem, and how I put myself second. She said, “Are you this way because you believe in God? I’ve never met someone like you.” Yoli even told me that was the first time she had seen a Bible. I let her read through it, and she doesn’t know it, but I’ve ordered her her own Bible, so she can read and learn the truth herself!
Now Yoli’s curiosity has turned into ridicule and hurtful words towards me. Everyday she is making fun of me for who I believe in and she says things that are not okay… so bad, that sometimes I have to walk out the house so I don’t say something that would hurt her. I even told God one time, “Why did you put me with her if you knew how she was, God?” Before I could even finish that question, God simply said, “Because I want you to witness to her, I want Yoli to see me through you.” Sometimes God puts difficult people in your life because He knows you are not going to treat them how they treat you, but you are going to be Jesus to them. He needs you to be Him to those difficult people in your life. Don’t run from it, but accept the assignment and be like Jesus. As Paul said, “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
Just a few days ago, Yoli was mad at me because after class, there was this one little boy that was absolutely horrible in class. He was throwing things, wouldn’t sit down, and yelling the whole day. His mom happened to ask me how her son did in class. Well, I was honest and I told her that today wasn’t his best day. He was throwing things and yelling the whole time. The mom was upset and she left class. I asked Yoli for the child to be moved to a different class so he can focus without so many people, and I explained what happened. She got mad at me and said, “Never tell the parents the truth, always lie.” If you know me, I can’t hide my facial expressions. I looked at that woman like she was absolutely crazy. Then she said, “I know you are a Christian and you can’t lie but I am already going to Hell since I lie so much, so I feel like God would be okay if you just lie for this reason.” Again, I looked at her like she was crazy, I breathed a minute before I said anything. I smiled at her and simply said, God forgives all no matter what you have done, but I am not going to lie.”
Dealing with those difficult people in your life is not easy, I am living it right now haha! I want to encourage you and remind you what God says: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Romans 9:17
Keep being love to them, keep treating them with kindness and patience. God is going to give you opportunities to minister to them. Sometimes it is not sharing a story of the Bible or sitting down and trying to tell a story about Christ. But it’s with your actions. If it’s a co-worker, one day bring them coffee and just say, “I hope you have a great day.” If it’s a family member, send them a text and just tell them how much you love them. Ask if they need anything.
One day I noticed that Yoli was having a terrible week. I wanted to sit down and pray with her, but she’s not ready for that yet. I noticed she loves flowers, so I bought her her favorite flowers and left them on a counter. I wanted to leave a Bible verse, but I prayed about that too and could feel she’s not ready. So I wrote a note simply saying, “I hope you have the time today to smell these beautiful flowers and rest, I was thinking about you.” I came back that day and she was crying, bursting out in tears. I believe she felt Jesus at that moment. I believe through my actions daily, she encounters the spirit, she just doesn’t realize it yet. Every jab she throws at me, I take it and I love her instead. I challenge you to do the same with whoever that difficult person is in your life.
Remember Romans 9:17… you were raised up for this very purpose. God wants to use you and display Himself through you!!!
Be Jesus to somebody today or to that difficult person! That may be the only Bible they read!!!
You were chosen.
Have a blessed day!
Written by: Sierra Jones
My name is Sierra Jones, I am from Huntsville, Alabama (War Eagle!). I graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, TN with a degree in Spanish and minors in ELL and Education. I was fortunate to be apart of the Poland Tour June 2018! Currently playing basketball professionally in Spain!
3 Instant Joys
1) I love people!!!
3) Watching Football
1) Walking without a destination
1 Favorite Verse
In the season I am in right now…
“Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord. Isaiah 66:9