Ordinary People Extraordinary Things

72. Heartfelt Stories of Kindness and the Impact of Hospitality with Nora Derrick

April 28, 2024 Nora Derrick Season 5 Episode 72
72. Heartfelt Stories of Kindness and the Impact of Hospitality with Nora Derrick
Ordinary People Extraordinary Things
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Ordinary People Extraordinary Things
72. Heartfelt Stories of Kindness and the Impact of Hospitality with Nora Derrick
Apr 28, 2024 Season 5 Episode 72
Nora Derrick

This episode is a call to action—a reminder to look beyond ourselves and our immediate circles, to extend kindness to strangers, and to recognize the humanity in everyone we meet. It is a prompt to practice compassion and to understand that, in doing so, we not only transform the lives of others but also ourselves.

In our fast-paced world, where time often feels like a scarce commodity, the episode also touches on the concept of divine intervention in our schedules. Nora discusses her belief that God can manipulate time, a notion that invites listeners to consider the role of spirituality in managing the demands of daily life. The takeaway is clear: our lives are not just about the tasks we complete but also about the relationships we nurture and the love we spread along the way.

The conversation gracefully transitions into the realm of hospitality. Hospitality is not confined to grand gestures; it is found in the simple act of making someone feel seen and valued, whether it's within the confines of a home or the casual encounters at a local store. In a world that often seems dominated by division and negativity, it is these acts of kindness and the intentional creation of a welcoming space that can sow the seeds of a more compassionate community.

The hope of this podcast is that our stories and insights will resonate with the listeners, inspiring them to carry the message of kindness, hospitality, and generosity forward in their own actions. This podcast episode is an exploration of the human condition and a testament to the transformative power of simple acts of kindness. 


ordinarypeoplestories@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/ordinarypeoplestory

https://www.instagram.com/ordinarypeopleextraordinary/

X: @storiesextra

Any advice should be confirmed with a qualified professional.
All rights reserved: Ordinary People Extraordinary Things

Stories shared by guests may not always be shared views of OPET.
Being a guest does not mean OPET approves of every decision or action in the guests' life.

We all have a story, all of us, share your story. You don't have to have the perfect answer or the perfect life - share what Jesus is doing in your life. This is an easy, real way to witness & share your testimony.


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This episode is a call to action—a reminder to look beyond ourselves and our immediate circles, to extend kindness to strangers, and to recognize the humanity in everyone we meet. It is a prompt to practice compassion and to understand that, in doing so, we not only transform the lives of others but also ourselves.

In our fast-paced world, where time often feels like a scarce commodity, the episode also touches on the concept of divine intervention in our schedules. Nora discusses her belief that God can manipulate time, a notion that invites listeners to consider the role of spirituality in managing the demands of daily life. The takeaway is clear: our lives are not just about the tasks we complete but also about the relationships we nurture and the love we spread along the way.

The conversation gracefully transitions into the realm of hospitality. Hospitality is not confined to grand gestures; it is found in the simple act of making someone feel seen and valued, whether it's within the confines of a home or the casual encounters at a local store. In a world that often seems dominated by division and negativity, it is these acts of kindness and the intentional creation of a welcoming space that can sow the seeds of a more compassionate community.

The hope of this podcast is that our stories and insights will resonate with the listeners, inspiring them to carry the message of kindness, hospitality, and generosity forward in their own actions. This podcast episode is an exploration of the human condition and a testament to the transformative power of simple acts of kindness. 


ordinarypeoplestories@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/ordinarypeoplestory

https://www.instagram.com/ordinarypeopleextraordinary/

X: @storiesextra

Any advice should be confirmed with a qualified professional.
All rights reserved: Ordinary People Extraordinary Things

Stories shared by guests may not always be shared views of OPET.
Being a guest does not mean OPET approves of every decision or action in the guests' life.

We all have a story, all of us, share your story. You don't have to have the perfect answer or the perfect life - share what Jesus is doing in your life. This is an easy, real way to witness & share your testimony.


Nancy:

Wow, season five is here. I am so excited that you're here with us on Ordinary People, Extraordinary Things, where your story is his glory. Thank you so much for sharing Ordinary People, Extraordinary Things with your friends and your family. Thank you for visiting on Instagram, Facebook and X. Thank you for giving us a five-star review on any of the platforms you listen to. We are so thankful that you are finding faith and hope in this podcast and we're thankful that you are sharing the word about Ordinary People, Extraordinary Things. We couldn't do it without you. Well, welcome to Ordinary People, Extraordinary Things. I'm here with my friend, Nora. Nora, thank you, Thank you.

Nora:

Nancy, I'm so excited to be here with you today. Very, really, I'm honored.

Nancy:

Oh, thank you. So a little backstory on Nora and I. We have known each other for a long time, but my most favorite thing that we've ever done is we went to India together.

Nora:

Oh, my gosh, that was like the best experience ever. I know that mutual transformation, but even friendships and how we hung together and those experiences that we have, they kind of bond, you don't they?

Nancy:

It changes your relationship, yeah.

Nora:

It does. I mean traveling to foreign countries. I think we figured it out. We did 21,000 miles between all the flights, inter-country flights and train rides. You remember the train rides, or you know I'm talking about like all the stuff.

Nancy:

Everything, it was everything, yeah, yeah. So we got to see just amazing things, hard things go into brothels, I mean, and so those things. They change you. Oh, to be with someone that, like I said, it's just a shared experience. A shared experience.

Nora:

Oh no, it was epic, and I would do it all over again.

Nancy:

Yeah, I'm so glad that I got to experience that Me too, me too. Yeah. So if someone doesn't know you, three words or phrases to describe yourself. Oh, my goodness, that was like one of the hardest ever.

Nora:

It's like well, how would I describe myself? Somebody else describe me, please, right, okay, so here's the three that I came up with. I even asked my husband, like, what do you think of these? He's always yep.

Nancy:

I would say I'm loyal.

Nora:

Yes, I'm a truth speaker. I'm a terrible talk texter. You are Nora the worst talk texter and it's phonetic, and the problem is is I don't edit, so you just send it. Yeah, I apologize if you've ever got a text from me and there you go. And then the last one be visionary.

Nancy:

That is good, I like those. I like those so years ago, and I don't know if you even remember this conversation, but it really hit me that we were talking about time and like how do you have time to do this or that? And you just said that you thought that God could do anything with time, and like he could give you more hours, or if he like, if he created time, he could do whatever he wanted with it. True, could you kind of share that, because maybe I just butchered it. No, you didn't.

Nora:

Actually, it's true, I believe our God is so big that he can do anything, and I remember being up to my neck in like work and ministry and personal life, and I was just like God. I know I have to choose and have boundaries, but I also really need more hours in the day because I have these commitments. And I remember praying. I'm like God, I know you're not a drive-through, Can I have five more minutes? Can I have 10 more minutes? However, I was like I would just like to be able to finish these things, and what I found out as I've been praying for that is, at the end of the day, somebody would actually say to me hey, did you get all that stuff done on your list? I'm like, yeah, I did that by one o'clock. And they're like there's no way somebody physically could actually do that.

Nora:

And what wound up happening is it became a continual recurring thing that God allowed. It was a gift, it was favor, and I totally believe it. To this day, God still gives me more time to manage multiple things. And the thing is, you guys, this is totally not me, this is God, because there's no way physically that I could do this. And if you measure it out and I gave you the list that a human being could. So that's supernatural and that's God giving you that. Here you go, go do it, go do it. So I believe in miracles, I believe he's a giant God and I don't know if everybody's a believer. It doesn't happen to everybody.

Nancy:

But for me it's happened. I love that. Yeah, that's kind of marked me and that's been such a long time ago. But when I've said yes to some things that I was like, yeah, I can go take this meal to this person and I did not have time in my day to make a meal or bring it, but I did and I was like that's what Nora was talking about was like I felt like I needed to do this and I didn't have the time, but yes, somehow I did have the time.

Nora:

Well, and what I love about that is like sometimes even we don't ask God allows it, because you're doing something for him or he's going to be glorified in it so it's like and then that realization and you giving him credit for it, that's pretty awesome.

Nancy:

Yeah, yeah, so that was just a little little snippet of the fun we're going to have chatting about today. So for you I know that's something that you're really passionate about is kindness, yes, or hospitality, or you could probably say it a million different ways Right right. So why are you passionate about this? Why am I passionate about kindness?

Nora:

Well, first of all, it's a commandment, fruits of the spirit. You know, we should be kind, love one another as we love ourselves, and what I've learned through my lifetime, especially for my mom, is that heaping coals is the most important thing you can do, because it changes people's lives, no matter how they treat you. We're responsible for our behavior. So from the time I was younger, that's been something that's happened, even from I call my mom and go, this person hates me and blah, blah goes. Okay, then pray for him.

Nora:

You can only be responsible for your behavior and your answer for your behavior and your answer for your behavior with God, and so it always helped me, you know, and to remember also that everybody has a story and there's a reason they're feeling that way. And if we enter in with kindness in spite of that, a lot of times it brings their shields down and all of a sudden it changes their heart, and I've seen it over and over and over throughout my lifetime and it's not always easy. I'm not gonna lie and go. Oh, I'm a Mary Poppins of kindness that is not true, um?

Nora:

but there have been times I've been reminded um, not just for my mom, but mentors, and, and it's something, it's a learned thing too, you know, and I think, being um in ministry a long time, we've got to remember to do that, and I'm not perfect at it, I've got to say that publicly, but I've seen the results of it.

Nancy:

So I feel like something we hear a lot is like acts of kindness or random acts of kindness or kindness matters and they're kind of like little things that get thrown out every once in a while.

Nora:

Um, you know like social media or just you know but do you think that it actually does matter?

Nora:

Oh, absolutely A quick story. My mother-in-law absolutely hated my guts when I started dating Don this is for reals and we love each other now just giving you a heads up. But when we first started she basically was like she's not the right person for you. He's an only child and of course, you know I'm not I'm not a parent, but I imagine that was like they have to be the perfect person for my son and I would call my mom, my mother, my future mother-in-law hates me. You know what am I going to do? And she's like Nora, you just be you and love her well, no matter what she says and does.

Nora:

And it took two years of heaping coals, praying for her, being kind, no matter what, and she was constantly on Dawn, this is not the right person. Why are you marrying her? She even went as far as to say we're going to disown you if you marry her. And I don't want to say something bad about her because the woman is amazing, ah, freaking amazing. Love the woman. But I can understand her, loving her, her son, but the kindness God allowed me to be in her life in spaces that she needed me and she wound up writing me a letter and said I'm so sorry. You are the right person and after spending time with you, I'm I just. I love you, just like I love my son. It was like the most beautiful letter, two years of hard, but on the other hand, this is an example of keeping coals and being kind. And then I wound up in an amazing relationship with her oh, wow so that's an example.

Nora:

I love that.

Nancy:

I love that. I love that so much. I've heard you talk about hospitality before, and when I think about hospitality, I mostly just think of, like, going to a hotel. Okay, is what I think of. What does hospitality have to do with the Christian walk?

Nora:

Oh, my goodness, this is such a big question. I could talk about this for a week, a month, a year. I believe hospitality is everything that you do Like. When people walk into your home like this is how I look at hospitality Do they feel like they're welcomed, like even in a party? Okay, we all feel like middle schoolers when we show up at a social event if we don't know anybody or don't know half the people. Even when we know people, if we're the last person to walk in the door, we get this angst of oh no, what if the hostess or you as a person immediately pulled them in? Oh, I'm so glad you're here. This is awesome. You know that kind of stuff. That's being aware of people's feelings. And then also to me, hospitality is making people feel so welcome that they leave and go. Wow, I want to do that myself.

Nora:

And like in your home, do you put yourself out and do you do more or better? Or are you thinking, or is it more like, oh, you're checking the box, but it's not just in your home. How about when you're out with people? How about just saying hello to people in the grocery store? Just saying hello to people in the grocery store.

Nora:

Hospitality to me is everything that you do and are aware for other people to make them feel comfortable. Okay, church, I know I've been the guest services director for years, but the thing is, one of the things that came out with my boss at the time was like let's make them feel the same way as if they were entering into your home. What does that feel like? I love that thought because what it means is, when they come in, we're like not only are they welcome, can I get you a cup of coffee? How are you? I want to hear your story. I have heard hundreds and hundreds of people's stories and it was a cool opportunity to hear people's story but also that feeling of people being seen and heard. So hospitality to me is people feel seen, heard, valued, valued and treated so special they can't even forget about it.

Nancy:

So like kindness, Like, kindness.

Nora:

It keeps coming up, doesn't it? Oh, my word.

Nancy:

Do you think that we see less kindness in the world? You think that we see less kindness in the world or are we just kind of really negative, like in the just just general? You know new united states, you know where we're I just feel like we have so much angst and we have so much division and we have so much unkindness?

Nancy:

do you think that's right, that is real? Or is it just that we're told that so often or we see it Like, or we kind of get drawn to that instead of getting drawn to the good? Am I making any sense? I do.

Nora:

I think it's again. I got to say I think it's what you're looking for. Are you looking for all the negative? And a positive can change a negative. Like I've been just in a store and I let somebody that has less things than me go in front of me and they're like are you serious? I'm like, yeah, I'm not in any big hurry at all. I hope you're having a great day and immediately there's that you can feel the angst off of them change. I do think there is a lot of negativity and a lot of angst, and I think it just culturally. Right now there's so many things to worry about and people are worried about paying their bills and taxes and war and politics and what's going to happen. And I'm taking care of older parents oh, my kids are struggling and I think all of that weighs people down. I can imagine everybody's got their things that weigh them down. So, consequently, when we focus on only the negative, we can't get out of the forest through the trees.

Nancy:

That's just the bottom line.

Nora:

I find like I've got a circumstance going on right now and I'm trying to have joy in it and I'm not trying to be false about it. But I also think there's a mindset of what is three steps look ahead of you If you've got some faith, if you've got a positive attitude and again, I am not Pollyanna, I am not a Mary Poppins, but I also see the value in positivity. Negativity doesn't help any of us. We lose sleep, right. We're not living in peace. I think God tells us we got to live in peace and have joy in the hard times too.

Nora:

But generally, culturally, what I see around and I run, run around a lot is a lot of sadness. People got their heads down. I love my cell phone, but we got our heads in our cell phones and we're reading social media. That isn't necessarily true. I got to speak into that Holy cow. You know I don't even want to talk about that, but let's not Because then we'll probably get slammed with comments. But the bottom line for me is, yeah, I see it. But you know, I still think people have good hearts in general and there's kindness to be had and I think we just have to enter into it that way and the way we smile at people and engage people, it does matter, it just does.

Nancy:

I think that's a good reminder is I like that perspective of that there is so much going on that it just kind of gets you down and that what you're worried about and what others may be worried about, and have a different conversation or just smile. I think what you said also is like we have our heads down sometimes I don't even think we look at people.

Nora:

No, like there's been times I purposely have done this and I realize this is so wrong. I've gone to a grocery store with a hat and sunglasses and going, I just want to go get my pot roast and my carrots and I hope I don't have to talk to anybody because I'm so peopled out sometimes and then I realize okay, that is not a good attitude. I have to really think about it and change my attitude, because bottom line is relationships and people are everything. So yeah, it's a thing.

Nancy:

So would you tell people like, try to get like one or act of kindness, or like what? Do you have any bullet points? Oh my goodness, what for people.

Nora:

or just, you know here. Here's the thing. Okay, engaging in your community is everything. We live here. What kind of neighbor are you? Right, this is what I think about all the time. I'll use my husband as an example. I want to be like him. He's a contractor. He walks into Home Depot. He knows a ton of people there and they all like gravitate to him because he's so kind to them and he prays with them and he knows their families and what's going on, because he pays attention and he smiles and he asks questions and he's helpful. He helps other like. People call him and they're in emergency mode. He just gets in the car and go. It doesn't matter how tired he is. That's engaging in the community, because people matter and relationships matter. You know what I mean, and I think it would make a world of difference. What if every single person could actually be somewhat outwardly focused sometimes? I don't think they have to do it every second. We're human beings. You know what a different world it would be, wouldn't it? That's what I dream about.

Nancy:

Yeah. You know, yeah, it's just one step closer to.

Nora:

Right One step. And it's not about painting your neighbor's fence or, you know, paying their mortgage. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about actual acts of kindness and smile.

Nancy:

It's not just the kindness part, it's a whole movement and culture shift in the way that you deal in life in a community so you said it's maybe not about like, we think about those huge things, like, oh, I think if I had a million dollars and I would pay someone's mortgage. But you're saying a culture shift, what, what would that? What would that look like?

Nora:

Think about if we left the house, went out of the garage and started saying to ourselves I am going to make eye contact with people, I'm going to let people go in front of me in the line. I'm going to let people go in front of me in the line. I'm going to like. I know another thing my husband does. I'm so proud of him. Every time he's at Home Depot I know this because I've heard it from other people he sees somebody struggling loading things and he's in a hurry, he stops. He doesn't even introduce himself here. Let me help you with that. You know, I think what if again, everybody does that? Or they see somebody struggling walking across the street, they stop and help them and say hello, how are you? Are you having a good day? Just even that interest in a person, even a stranger. I just visited my dad in Texas. I love Texas. You know what they are so into that Like.

Nora:

I go to the grocery store with my sister-in-law and I almost got to a point where I'm like how many people are going to say hi to me? I'm getting over this, and my sister-in-law laughs her head off and goes no, this is how it is. I'm in the garage with my dad hanging out and we're all you know, all the people hang out in garages in Texas and visit Neighbors. Come over, hey, how's it going, pete? How's your daughter? Everybody knows my name and they come over and visit. They drop food off, like his next door neighbor brought a whole bunch of cupcakes over because I was visiting.

Nora:

That, to me, is engaging in your community and it's very neighborly. You know, it's kind. I've been in restaurants. When I'm there or here I have, and you know what. It surprised the heck out of me. I'm eating dinner and the food server comes over and says, hey, these people saw you and they paid your dinner and they didn't even tell me who they were. I'm like again, it doesn't have to cost you money. But wow, right, yeah, kindness, yeah, and caring about others more than ourselves, and you know what? It's not easy because we're in a hurry, we've got things on her mind.

Nancy:

I feel like that might be one of the hardest things is if we're so distracted and so so overly busy with life, we have no room for God to talk to us and be like hey, can you say hi to that person? Hey, can you let someone go in front of you?

Nancy:

No, you can't, can't in air quotes because I got stuff to do, because I have to get to the next thing, because I have to run this red light, because I'm so, so overly like strung out on my schedule and you know, and we, just we miss a lot.

Nora:

I feel like Well, and the thing is too, is you're right, listening to God, listening to the Holy Spirit? There's days I come in and I'm like God, please shut my mind, my ears, my heart to anything that's not from you and that I shouldn't hear today. I do that occasionally when I feel overwhelmed and it's so amazing. The kind of things like did you hear that? Blah, blah, blah. I'm like I didn't, but that's okay. And then also the who am I supposed today? God, put them on my path, make it really loud and clear Again. I'm not perfect at it, but I find it's right, in line with God's path, when I do ask you know.

Nancy:

And I have seen like small acts of kindness. I'll give an example of we're at the Parker Library doing this, this podcast, and they have had a problem with getting their podcast room available and so right now you have to go and you have to go to the front desk and you have to make a time, and before it was all online and they had a little glitch, and so I went up and was like hey, you know, I was looking for this time, I don't know.

Nancy:

Monday at one o'clock and that system was kind of like glitchy, you know, and so they're like hey, I'm sorry. And I was like that's fine. I was like I've got time and it probably, all in all, literally took like five, six minutes of me waiting there and you wouldn't. At least two to three librarians came up and said we're so sorry, thank you for being so nice, thank you for being so kind. We are so sorry, we're going to get us figured out. Thank you for being so kind. And I was like I is this kindness, like I'm just standing here and just like, yeah, no worries, like it makes you wonder what their experiences are with people being impatient, right.

Nancy:

Exactly. It kind of hurts your heart of this is making such a big deal to you that I'm not we spend our whole lives waiting.

Nora:

We wait at stoplights, we wait in lines, we wait in the grocery store line, we wait at the airport, we wait everywhere. Yes, it's a mental. It's like where am I at in the mental Shoot? I actually read a book or I look around and start talking to somebody behind me, as long as they're not annoyed on their face, you know.

Nancy:

Yeah, sometimes they're like don't talk to me.

Nora:

And I want it winds up being absolutely awesome.

Nancy:

Yeah, you know, if you can think that way, yeah, yeah. So that makes you realize that sometimes it really is something very, very, very small that seems to make a huge difference.

Nora:

It does, it does, yeah, and it doesn't have to cost a lot. Yeah, just an attitude shift, right, right, and how we approach things. Yeah, I love it.

Nancy:

Yeah. Do you have any other stories of kindness that you'd like to share with us?

Nora:

Let's see, I know I made some notes because you had asked me some questions. See, I know I made some notes, um, because you had asked me some questions. Um, well, I will say that this is a kindness that blew my mind. I wanted to tell you about this one. Um, I bought a new pair of pants. This is gonna sound crazy. I'm so short. I'm admitting it publicly now, I am a short human being, okay and all my pants and all my skirts have to be taken up. And I was like, oh man, and I'm not, I pay people what they want to earn. But it was like $125 to him, two things. And I was a little bit shocked by the sticker price, right? And then I told my husband I'm just going to return them. I only paid like $28 for them each one and I didn't want to pay that. And he goes, and he goes. Well, maybe you can figure it out yourself I cannot sew to save my life.

Nora:

So I run into a really good friend of mine, stephanie, and I didn't even think about this, I was doing a project with her. I'm like, oh my goodness, you sew, I have these two things. Would you be willing to do it and I'll pay you something to do it and you know, whatever you think. And she looks at me do things. I'm like there's not, I can't have you do that without paying. And she's like you have to let me do it.

Nora:

And here's another thing when people do kindness, sometimes like for me, I have a hard time accepting kindness, receiving. I am great at being like I want to be, I want to do kindness for people. Then when somebody's kind to me, I like shrink up and I'm like, oh my gosh, and she did do this and she did it like in a day and gave them back and she was so happy to do it and it was so, such a kindness and I was so overwhelmed that she did that and that was to me, was sacrificial, like it was, you know, and she wouldn't let me pay her, she wouldn't let me take her to lunch or do anything. Those are the kinds of things that you can't. How do you buy that kind of kindness and friendship? You can't. How do you buy that kind of kindness and friendship? You can't.

Nora:

It's an attitude, thing of positivity, right? And she is that person. Oh my word Kindness, kindness, kindness, kindness. She does it all the time. And I was on the receiving end of it and that's been in the last week and I was just like wow, so yeah, it happens, it does.

Nancy:

Well, and I like that too, because I feel like I'm the same I love to give, but it is hard to receive Sometimes, yeah, so yeah, that's a good reminder of but if I give to someone and they don't receive it, that can be hurtful. So I need to remember that. Yes yep, that sometimes you just have to say, okay, that seems like too much, but I will.

Nora:

yes, yes, yes, yeah, um, and it actually works cool, because the other person too is in that place of they want to do things, mm-hmm, you know. So it's. It's we kind of gotta like let it happen, right, yeah, I'm getting better about it. I am, it's not easy, but I'm getting better at it.

Nancy:

I like that reminder. Yeah, thank you for that.

Nora:

Yeah, I love Ephesians 2, 8, and 9. I learned it a long time ago, so it's going to be in King James. A lot of people don't speak King James. It's for by grace are you saved, through faith, not of yourself. It is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. And I love it so much because I am so thankful that Jesus loves us first of all that much that he would sacrifice himself. I mean talk about a kindness and selfless, right and grateful and all of that.

Nora:

But I think it's also like I think, as Christ followers, so many times in disciples we're like working, working, working, working in ministry and then we're like trying to work into God's good graces and that's not even possible, not because he's like non-humble about it, but it's more like that's not what he's looking for. He's looking for the relationship, not what you can do for him, because it was free. And that is a great reminder to me, because I get into busy sometimes instead of relationships. I get in to check the boxes and I don't want to be that kind of disciple and I don't want to be that kind of person to my relationship with God. So that's a great verse for me reminders of all of it.

Nora:

And then the second one is 2 Timothy 2.15,. And it's study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word truth, and I think so many times when I'm in the Bible I think I have not divided the truth and what it actually says. You know, context matters. We say that, and I have learned so much about looking at God's word and looking before that, before scripture, after scripture and actually saying to God what are you saying? To me, and in my younger times in my relationship with God, it was so literal I never got it. So that verse especially means a lot to me as I'm, I've been in the word longer in my lifetime and.

Nora:

I'm, you know, growing in my relationship. It's like to remind me hey, when you get in that Bible, you make sure that you're reading it right and you're not making stuff up yeah, so that's why I like those verses.

Nancy:

That's easy to do and you can probably almost with anything. You could pull something to make it say what you want. But yeah, and sometimes you don't mean to and I think you learn later like, oh, I guess I didn't know that that's what that was about, and God is is gracious about that. He totally is. Yeah.

Nora:

Um, I, I was. I actually wrote down, um, a couple of stories that shape people Like I think I've known God since I was eight and, um, I think the thing that you're, you know your, your walk with God is ebbs and flows, ebbs and flows and I remember. The reason I wanted to share this story is because it changed my. This story changed my life with God and I was in my 20s and I was working corporately and I signed a paper when I worked in this organization that said I would never talk about God in politics ever, didn't matter the circumstances.

Nora:

And a client walked in and she I was in a financial institution and she came in on a Friday at like 3.30, 4 o'clock. There was no one in the office and I was licensed and I was approved to talk to her and she came in to talk about her portfolio and so I pulled her stuff out and I let her look at it and the woman did not look okay. I mean, she just looked like she just looked tired and unkempt, and I don't not being cruel.

Nancy:

It's more like I was worried about her okay.

Nora:

And so, while she's looking, I go, hey, are you okay? And she's like no, and I'm like okay, what can I do for you? She goes nothing and she's. And I said okay, and I just sat there and and then I was like I said please, is there something I can do for you or do you want to talk about it? And she said no, I just feel like I'm all by myself and I'm alone.

Nora:

And I was like I heard this voice in the inside going you tell her about me, you tell her about me. And the other voice was saying don't you dare. You signed that paper. Your integrity said you wouldn't do this. And this woman was like I feel like nobody cares about me and nobody loves me. And this voice over here is like you tell her about me, you tell her about me. And this is Jesus, like the Holy Spirit screaming at me and the other one's screaming at me if you do that, you're gonna get fired. If you do that, you're breaking your work. Like it was horrible and I was fighting this battle and I looked at her and I finally, I finally horrible.

Nora:

And I was fighting this battle and I looked at her and I finally I finally compromised and I was like that's not true. God loves you. I promise you that God loves you. And he goes. No, he doesn't. I'm like he does. And there was this voice again you tell her about me, like all of it. And I felt like God was saying you tell her about Jesus, you tell her about what he did, how much he loves her, all of it. And this other voice again just beat the crap out of me. And so in the end I went over all of her stuff, I didn't say anything else and she went on her way. So this was Friday night.

Nora:

Monday morning, I got a phone call from a woman who said, hey, I wanted to talk and I was the last person that talked to her and this was her friend and she was trying to talk to the person. She heard that she went to an appointment or went to go see her finance people and it was me. I said it was me and she was very depressed and sad and she looked like she was tired and she told me nobody cared about her and loved her. But I told her that God loved her. This woman started screaming at me. You had no right to do that. She screaming at me, you had no right to do that. She was an atheist. She didn't need to hear that from you and you overstepped and she went completely crazy on me. First of all, that is like devastating to be the last person oh my gosh, yeah, yeah and um wow just so you know, it's like one of the I used to never be able to tell.

Nora:

I didn't tell the story for 15 years, by the way, to anyone, not even my husband. I was so ashamed and embarrassed and freaked out. I quit my job because I was like I can't be in a space I can't talk about Jesus. That just hummed over me like a dark cloud, like I could not forgive myself. It was horrible. So I went to God and I asked for forgiveness. But I also made a promise to him and I said God, I will never, ever not talk about you when you ask. I will never deny you. I don't care what circumstance I'm in, I will do this and I will tell you. That has been true.

Nora:

I have been in the craziest places and I have talked about Jesus and my girlfriends tease me sometimes because, right a little couple of years after that happened, I was doing karaoke and I was with some of my girlfriends and we were in like a sports bar grill place and there was, we were in a large booth and the booth next to us was full of these guys that looked like bikers, tats and all this, and they were talking really loud. Well, we could hear them. They all worked in a mortuary, so one of the guys was like we could hear them. They were so loud. He goes hey, do you ever wonder where the dead bodies go? And I was like, okay, I turn around in my booth and I go.

Nora:

I know, I know, do you want to hear, do you want to know? And they're like yeah, so I get up out of the booth. No, yes, I go stand in front of them at the booth, I go go here. It is okay. It's like the Klingons window. Yeah, it's an empty shell and they either go to heaven or hell.

Nora:

But they get a choice because the bottom line is Jesus died so that you could remain with him and have he died for your sins and there is a way for you to spend eternity in heaven, or, if you choose not to, that person is in eternal hell and it can't be changed. And they were like dead silent. Oh, I bet They've been drinking, but they also were like holy cow and I go. The truth is, everybody has to make that choice and you can make that choice today and I'm happy to talk to you about that. And I talked more about Jesus and how you do that. You know, through his word. I talked about John 3.16 and 1 John 1.9,. If we confess our sins and I went into this whole thing, my girlfriends are completely silent in the other booth going holy crap, these guys are all drinking beer. You know, blah, blah, blah, completely silent and they're like you, just buzz killer. Talk about a party killer.

Nora:

You know they were having all fun and I'm like I'll tell you about Jesus. So, yeah, and that's just an example of how your heart changed from having a harsh, harsh lesson I don't think God was teaching us. I had to learn that lesson about obeying God and so, going fast forward all these years. I will never not speak of Jesus, ever. And so, yeah, we all have our stories. But that shaped me big, wow, yeah.

Nora:

And 15 years later I was speaking at a women's event at our church and I decided to tell that story and it pertained to what I was talking about. And I told Don, there's a story I'm going to tell and you've never heard, because I was too worried about how you would think about me. And he came and he stood in the back. I cried through the whole thing but I told him but here's the cool part People really took it in a good way, like I'm going to learn from this too, right, right, and what was? I don't know if it's humorous or not. So when I got done speaking, I went back to see Don and he hugged me. And he goes, babe Don. And he hugged me and he goes babe, are you kidding me? And the man just like, hugged me, loved on me and he goes.

Nora:

Frankly, I thought you were gonna say you had an affair. I was. He was like, oh my god, how can you be relieved? This is horrible. He goes, he goes. It is hon. But I would. And it was so cool because it was a learning moment for me, for for my husband he goes. I'm never going to be ashamed of you. You stop that. You know, because I was worried how he would think, oh, I'm a Christian woman and you know. And I was like he's going to think I'm a horrible person. And it didn't happen that way, you know. But yeah, so that's shaped me in my walk with Christ. Wow, right, right.

Nancy:

Thank you for being vulnerable.

Nora:

Might as well Tell it all right.

Nancy:

So I do have to ask, like have you had people that have taken your story? Like, when you went to those guys and did they take it? Well, Did they just say, uh, Did they take it?

Nora:

You know what has anyone like screamed at you, besides that other woman on the A few people kind of are in denial and they'll be like I don't believe the same things you believe and I'm like that's okay, yeah, but I just want you to hear this and then I walk away. I don't like push, push, push, right, right, I'm not a street evangelist, I don't do these guys, these morticians. They actually were really kind, they listened and they were like okay.

Nora:

You know, like we really appreciate that. You know, you could just tell the vibe. And then, of course, I carry my purse little cards that have our address on it. So I'm like, listen, why don't you come to church on Sunday? And of course my girlfriends over here are dying because they're like, in a good way, they just like, of course, you're in a karaoke place, you're talking to a bunch of, you know, biker, mortician people and you're inviting them to church, which isn't a bad thing. It's just they just know my heart because they know my story, and then I'm not gonna miss an opportunity. So it's to this day we will be in a place and there be like, there she goes, and it doesn't make me a better person, it just makes me I. I have learned a harsh lesson and I made a promise. So I'm just going to go forward.

Nora:

But yes, I've had good responses, I've had some people calm. I've had yeah, through the years it's been really cool. And then I find out later in life I heard your story and you know, I got a card this week from somebody from 15 years ago that wrote me a card and said thank you for sharing with me. It changed my life. I moved away and I just wanted you to know and I was so surprised what I know. I just got it from a lady. She said I don't need to tell you what she said, but it does matter and it does change people's lives.

Nora:

It just does, and so I will continue to do that, that, so I will continue to do that.

Nancy:

That's amazing. I was just going to say maybe you'll never know. You won't know until you're in heaven. But that's so lovely that sometimes God does give you those glimpses right now, yeah, and it was so precious it was when I opened it. To just keep going right.

Nora:

Yeah, persevere. Persevere, Because in the end, that's relationships and their relationship with God is what really matters most.

Nancy:

I mean that, yeah, oh, my goodness, nora, I've loved this time. I think the only question we haven't gotten to is what are you grateful for?

Nora:

that's easy for me. I am so grateful for um, my husband we just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary Friday. That man has been so steadfast in my life and my biggest encourager and just champion. And, of course, my family. Their influence in my life is unmatched. And then my tribe of friends, my church family. I'm just so thankful for people that pour into me my mentor, krista, who's been with me 25 years, maybe even I don't know how long, who just she just holds me accountable. Those kind of things to me, oh my gosh, I'm so and I'm grateful that God let me do ministry. I'm grateful for a God that knows our hearts and I get to do things that I never dreamed of doing.

Nancy:

So, yeah, oh well, I'm just praying this episode. There were so many little tidbits and so whatever someone you know, it'll be one thing for one and another for another. But I'm praying that someone will actually take something that you said and walk it out in their lives. Thanks, nancy.

Nora:

Thanks for having me today. This was so fun, it was. Thank you for coming.

Nancy:

I hope this episode impacted you as much as it did me. We will be back in two weeks with a brand new episode. In the meantime, check out all of our other seasons and all of the stories of faith and hope. Don't forget to follow us on Instagram, facebook and X for daily doses of hope and faith.

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