Friday

God Sees

When I was in the 8th grade, I was nominated by a teacher to be in a peer program.  As a pimply introverted teen with a headgear and a blaring label that screamed, 'Christian,' I was honored.


The peer program matched me with a high risk elementary student, only 3 years younger.

Her name was Tiffany.

And she changed my life.

Or at least the way I viewed my life.

I grew up in a sheltered home. I had loving parents and a great church.  My biggest concerns were said headgear and pimples.  

I'll never forget the day I met Tiffany.  The school counselor introduced us.  I knew she came from a tough environment, but I don't think I even knew what that meant.  

My first impression of Tiffany was, "this is what poor looks like."  Her clothes were dirty and worn.  She wore a headband in her tangled hair.  She looked sad.  And old.

She also was very big for her age, and appeared to be just a size under me.

Our first meeting was awkward.  

The second time, we talked.  I will never forget what she told me. "My mom ran off last year. She left me with her x-boyfriend. It's just me and him and he's mean to me."

Oh, my.

I still remember the feeling I felt in that tiny room.  I wanted to help Tiffany.  I had never met a desperate child before.  It was the first time my heart broke for someone other than myself.

Through tears, I told my mom and sister Tiffany's story.  They agreed that we had to do something.  My sister and I filled 3 huge bags with clothes and shoes.  I remember going through my costume jewelry and picking out some of my favorite things for her.  

I had never given anyone something of mine before.  And it felt good.

Handing my used things to a flabbergasted, grateful girl was a defining moment for me.  We both cried and hugged.  I saw her hope in her eyes.

I couldn't wait to see her in new clothes.

But I never did.  The next time we were supposed to meet, she was gone.

The counselor explained that her father withdrew her from school.  No contact information. No forwarding address.  I tried to explain what she told me.  The counselor patted me on the shoulder and gave me the name of a new student to meet with.

I never heard another word about her, but I never forgot Tiffany.

My life went on much the same, but I was different.  I also struggled to make sense why I couldn't have helped Tiffany more.  Every time I thought of her, I said a quick prayer.

Five years later, I was a freshman in college 200 miles from home.  I had just landed a coveted job as a tutor for The Texas Baptist Home for Children.  It paid $12.00 an hour, a fortune even now for a college student.  

I got into the swing of tutoring these troubled kids after my classes.  The State of Texas had removed them from their homes for various reasons.  I mainly tutored elementary kids.

I came in one day, feeling down. I was dealing with the normal anxieties of young adult life. And I felt alone, away from home for the first time and questioning my purpose.

A new student had been assigned to me.  Her name was Tiffany.

It took a few minutes of us staring across the table at each other.  And then we jumped up and hugged.

A hundred questions tumbled out of my mouth.  She filled in the years since we'd last seen each other.  The State had removed her two years before.  She was safe.  Happy.  And she still carried a piece of the jewelry I had given her.  There was hope in her eyes.

Our reunion was brief because Tiffany was permanently placed into a home.  A real home.

I have drawn from this experience my entire adult life.  He knew I would meet Tiffany again one day.  He has woven the tapestry of our lives.  It looks messy and tangled at times, but when you turn it over, it forms a beautiful story.

I cannot tell you why I'm posting this today.  Except that someone out there needs to know that He knows where you are and what you need.

God sees. 



71 comments:

Lisa J said...

Thanks for touching my heart in a very special way. I feel it is so important to be and do the best we can, for we truly don't know how the outcome will be. I have learned that in all the years of police work, and especailly as a DARE officer of THOUSANDS of DARE students. I am finding lives were touched more than I really knew. Thanks for sharing that memory and allowing us all to look at ourselves more closely. What we do does matter, no matter how small it may seem. You are such an encouraging and uplifting person. I needed that.

Kim said...

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story. We never know how we will touch someone's life through obedience.

I love that God gave you the gift of knowing what became of Tiffany. He certainly didn't have to, but He did. How like Him!

Amberleigh said...

such a wonderful story, it brought tears to my eyes.

Pink Lemonade Liz said...

Very touching, I hope someday you will cross paths with Tiffany again, and get to hear about how wonderful her life has been because you were a part of it.

World's Greatest Mommy said...

To Kristen (through my tears)
Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes we're so close to the tapestry that we can't see what the big picture will look like. We think we know where the stitches should go. We think our plan might be better.

This is a reminder that the big picture is known, and if we want the end product to be His work, we must allow all the little stitches to be part of His plan too.

This was just beautiful and inspiring. Thank you.

Neurotically Yours: said...

I have tears in my eyes! What an amazing story. Words cannot express the joy you just put into my heart! Thank you for sharing :)

BTW - yes, that was the same guy in all the pics. He's now my husband.

Lightening said...

What a special story. *sniff*

I have a similar one but without the reunion part. I was a "big sister" to a young girl for a time. I often wonder about her and pray for her. We're no longer in contact but I am thankful for a God who sees and knows. I hope in some small way he used me to give her a little hope in her life.

nottryingforaboy said...

Add me to the group with tears in their eyes.

You're right, there is a plan for all of us.

Memarie Lane said...

Amazing! I've had a couple encounters like that, but never saw the girls again. It would have been really nice to get some closure and find out what happened to them.

Lisa said...

I'm all teared up now. This is such a beautiful story! God knew that you needed Tiffany as much as she needed you. I am so glad that you got to see her again - how wonderful.

Rebecca A.K.A. Mum said...

What a wonderful touching story, I wonder myself what Tiffany is up to now and how she is doing in her life.
I bet she will always rememvbr your kindness and that you gave her some hope that there is good in this hard world.

I loved this post. :)

Jenileigh said...

This was precious. Thank-you for sharing this. I read this out loud to my daughter her friend and my friend who was on the phone with me. I couldn't hold back the voice quivers or the emotion that over took me.
God is amazing, He is so many things that mere words cannot express or explain Him. I needed to hear a happy ending. Even though I know all things are used for His glory and His good sometimes the pain of hearing of others pain can be overwhelming. It may sound funny but sometimes I almost feel guilty because things are so good for me. I'm so thankful for this happy ending. Hugs

jennifer said...

Kristen, I think it could be any one of us that God wanted that message given to. It could be the person that needs to be reminded that WE are His emissaries in this world, or it could be someone going through a trial. The important thing is that you obeyed the call He put on your heart to share this story. The reason why this story happened to you in the first place. So that you would see His hand at work in your life, and then share it with, well, ME. And everyone else who reads.

Be blessed Kristen.

Jennifer

Gotta GROW with it said...

please read my post from june 2nd. this is the second affirmation i needed to hear. thank you!

Marcy - The Glamorous Life! said...

Chills. This gave me chills.
Oh God is doing good things with you...and that is just COOL

Leah said...

Thank you, I am sure that each of us took away a different message from the same story - but it is the message that we each needed to hear. Thank you for being obedient to share even when you didn't know why. God bless you.

Tausha said...

Hi! I found your blog through your title designer. I am not too sure how I found her though. Anyway-I love your blog! I loved your story and the way that your writing made me stop and think and realize what is important and this is people. And you my dear, are a person that I like. I was hoping that you don't mind if I add you to my blog roll. I too love my family more than anything and am constantly reminded, that they are the reason why I am on this earth. When I have tough days I think, if Heavenly Father has enough Faith in me to send me this girls, I need to have enough Faith in myself that I am doing the right thing. Thanks for the great, uplifting read. I will be back. Please stop be and say hi anytime! I love to meet new friends!

twin power mommy said...

that was totally, amazingly, awesome!
i loved reading that and was glad that you chose to post it.
i sometimes wonder where people are whom i thought i had created a "bond" with and it's neat to think about how many people were touched because we chose to obey God's call to us.
Have a WONDERFUL friday!

Kimbrah said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. I really needed that reminder today. You are a blessing to me. :)

Kimbrah

Laura@Storytellin' Mama said...

I grew up a girl like Tiffany, and I'll never forget when a counselor intervened. His name was Rich and he really listened and that transcended my life from that point forward!

Thanks for the beautiful story.

myra said...

what an incredible story. i often remind myself that you just never know when and how you are having an impact on someone's life. and when it may come around again. it's something that has often shaped my actions.

i'm so glad her story turned out ok.

Valarie said...

Ok, I am not used to coming over here and crying. That is an awesome experience.

God truly is in our lives in every little thing we do. We never know how we will impact others, or how they will impact us.

Next week I am chaperoning about 30 youth to church camp. We are doing Mission Fuge, I just pray that we can impact someone, or that someone will impact us in a positive way.

Kim @ What's That Smell said...

What a beautiful and touching story! Isn't it amazing how the girl you "helped" probably touched your life more? God does work in wonderfully mysterious ways!

onemoreequalsfour said...

OOOh! I have chills down my spine and tears in my eyes! It is so easy to forget that sometimes the smalest things to us are huge to someone else and that we can make a difference! Thanks for a great story and reminder!

marky said...

That was a beautiful story!

Tanya said...

I am SO GLAD you bumped into her again! As I read your post, I worried this would be one of those stories without an end. Sometimes we meet people who embed themselves in our consciousness; we can't get them out of our heads, but then we never see them again. There are so many people from my past for whom I continue to pray; I continue to wonder about them and what happened to them. Thanks for the encouragement and reminder. God does see even when we don't.

THopgood said...

What an incredible story. I'm all choked up and my daughter is sitting next to me asking why I'm crying. Wow. Thank you for sharing.

Julia said...

What an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I really, really enjoy hearing about how God works in our lives, even when we are but young, pimply-faced kids. God uses everybody!

Dawn said...

Kristen,

What a wonderful, touching story! My husband and I are active supporters of the Texas Baptist Children's home. Our church is located close to the facilities, so we have quite a few of the children and their foster families in our church congregation. This gives us a lot of additional opportunities to interact with these kids. Their stories are often sad, like Tiffany's, and it is incredible to hear them tell of hope that God has provided for them through people like you.

Blessings!

Kristi said...

Great, great post. I just said a prayer for Tiffany.

Kim said...

Wow Kristen, I'm all choked up. Thanks for posting that today - it was a great story to start my day with!

Merrianne & Spencer said...

I got CHILLS throughout your entire story!!! WOW.... i am speechless....i'm gonna be sharing your story with some people!!!!!!

*Merrianne*

Christie O. said...

You actually met Tiffany again???? This is amazing! I mean, REALLY???? I am completely speechless, too. It is times like these when I believe that there are no coincidences. That things truly happen for a reason. I mean, you may have never even been tutoring like that had it not been for her in the first place! and then you meet her again! I am just completely speechless. What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing this.

Mom of TWO Princesses said...

That is awesome! I got chills reading that! Thank you for sharing your story!

Toni said...

What a great story from beginnning to end! What a wonderful testimony of one of the ways that God works!

Thanks!

D... said...

I got chills from this and your words means so much to me. That is so wonderful that you got to see Tiffany again. God never ceases to amaze me.

I work with kids, who could be Tiffany, in an elementary school. I pray, love, & worry for them. Yesterday, I said good-bye to the new crop of 5th graders moving on to their jr. high.

I hope it's God's will for me to see at least some of them in the future and know that they are safe.

P.S. My google reader recommended your blog. I'm glad it did!

The Fritz Facts said...

That was story that will stay with me.

Thank you for sharing it with us. There is something we can all take with us.

Caution said...

Thanks for the reminder that's it's okay to stop trying to untangle those threads and to wait and trust.

Beachy Mimi said...

That was an awesome story. I love to see how God works things out throughout our lives. Thanks for sharing.

Suzie said...

That is a great story. You made a big differnce in that girls life you should be proud

Kendra said...

Wow what a touching story. God is so amazing. My heart breaks and my eyes tear up when I hear stories like this. Thank GOD for the special person that you are for taking time and for caring. You did an amazing thing.

Heather J. said...

A beautiful and meaningful post, my friend.
Isn't it interesting to look back at the people and the things that shape our lives.
How each experience is a chance to learn and grow, and most of all to be grateful.

Enjoy Sea World!

Jennie said...

Kristen, this was such a beautiful post. I have tears in my eyes, marveling at God's plan and how the threads come together. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks - I needed to hear that God knows and is working in our lives all the time. Thank you for the post.

Deborah said...

What a beautiful story of how our God works in our lives....and yes, I have tears in my eyes too!
I've had many Tiffany's in my life, and I pray that one day I will have some reuniouns...if not here, then in eternity.

AC Momma said...

That was a great story. I got all teary-eyed after reading that one. Thanks for sharing.

P.S. He loves you... said...

This told by anyone else would not have meant the same...you have a beautiful way with words Kristen and you have blessed my life with it!
Thank you...

Becky said...

When I post on my blog, I always feel the need to show my fun side...not my depth.

Thanks for showing me that you can be fun and funny and still share your heart and God's plan with others. :)

I've missed you at my blog lately (I even referenced you in one of my posts)..I don't know how you have time to even write with all of the comments you have to read these days! :)

God Bless,
The Maid

Nancy M. said...

Wow! Even in this hot room, that gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. It is so amazing how that worked out for y'all to meet again!

Robin said...

You've got me crying again Kristen! Thanks for this beautiful story! We never know when an opportunity to affect someone for eternity will arise. We always need to be ready!

Jenn said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. We serve an amazing, loving, awesome God don't we!

Liza's Eyeview said...

This post blesses me more than I can ever tell you. Thank you.

and thank you for leaving a comment on my friends (the Johnsons) blog. That meant a lot to me too.

Liza

Mrs. Querido said...

Thank you for sharing that beautiful story! Our God is amazing and he truly orchestrates every detail of our lives. And yes, God sees.

Blessings!

Mrs. Q

Tara said...

Wow. I've got chills. I needed to read this today.

Remember, I'm a high school teacher? Well, one of my students told me that she'd be moving over the summer. I put 2 and 2 together and ascertained that she's pregnant, and her parents (very wealthy, prominent members of our community) said that they "aren't the kind of family whose teenage daughter has a baby" and kicked her out. I can't fathom choosing status over my child, but it wasn't my choice to make. Anyway, this girl has been weighing heavily on my heart. I gave her my home phone number, and I really hope she'll use it. I just want to help her.

Cathy/ Mommy Motivation said...

THank you (((Kristen))). God sees. :)

Karen said...

I'm glad you shared that story. It's nice to be reminded that God sees us and knows our needs. We have no idea how we're going to pay our mortgage this month, but we are trusting that God will somehow provide what we need...

bunchofbull-ers! said...

That is a VERY cool story! And a VERY cool reminder of our God. Thank you Kristen. Blessings.

Becoming Me said...

Oh Kristen...this is was of those Amazing "Only God" stories. How incredible. I am at a loss for words. THANK YOU a thousand times for sharing this.

gina said...

I don't "practice" religion anymore- I was raised Catholic and once I was old enough , i couldn't wrap my brain around all of the hypocrisy I found in the structure...anyhoo- since I had my first apartment I have a poem taped on my refrigerator(I have moved it with me each time I've moved- it's on my frig right now)- It's called My Life is But a weaving and I know it by heart and think of it often. Thanks for an example of this thought.

Marni Tiani Self said...

How do you do it? I don't understand how you can be so amazingly perfect? I mean, I know that's not true, but you are in my eyes.

Thanks for posting this. It brought tears to my eyes and was much needed.

Karen said...

God is amazing. That was such a wonderful story - thanks for sharing.

Happy Mommy said...

Thank you for sharing that very touching story! I have a friend who has been having some big problems lately and God does see and Know!

KD-Pie said...

I have tears in my eyes and I am not sure if I could speak right now. Beautiful...Thank you so much for sharing.

thediaperdiaries said...

How wonderful that she came across your life again. What a gift from God. Man, a lot of my blog reads are testifying today!!! It is good to be reminded just how good HE is.

Laura said...

Wow...thank you. Thank you for listening to His leading and posting that...because *I* needed to read that. Today has been one of those days, adn I needed the encouragement. Thank you.

samsakara said...

Great story! Made my day to know theres great people out there. I hope your paths cross again.

Michelle@Life with Three said...

Wow -- that gave me chills!

Threeundertwo said...

Incredible story. I help run a little tutoring program and I've been meaning to write about how I know it affects the tutors as much as the recipients.

May I add a link to this beautiful story?

Elle said...

What a great post - two devine appointments.

jewels said...

How wonderful that you two were able to see each other again like that! As I read, my heart was breaking for Tiffany, and all I could think of was how I hoped you would find her again one day. I am so glad that things turned around for Tiffany and that because of your experience, you became an even better person. God is truly awesome; He never ceases to amaze me!

milissa said...

Thanks for sharing! This post brought tears to my eyes...so sweet...and a story I needed to hear at this time.