“Nobody Ever Told Me”
Posted On July 17, 2009
Over the past few weeks I’ve heard the exact same phrase twice in the midst of heavy conversations:
“Nobody ever told me.”
Two different friends. Two different situations. One common hurt.
“Nobody ever told me.”
One friend, in discussing how she came to know Jesus, shared that when she was growing up, nobody ever told her about Him. Of course, she knew His name, but she didn’t know what it meant. She didn’t know how easy it was to ask Him into her life and how life changing that could be.
Another friend shared that when she was in high school, despite being very intelligent, she decided it was pointless to do homework. She already understood everything and could ace the tests—what was the point? No one in her family had gone to college. All she knew was that you had to be “smart,” and she was definitely smart—gifted, in fact. But despite being smart, she didn’t know that being smart was not enough. It wasn’t enough to score high on her ACTs; she had to maintain a good grade point average. Why didn’t she know this? Simply because nobody ever told her. Her poor homework grades brought down her cumulative grade point average, and while her friends were heading off to college, she was left with rejection letters and no plan for her future. Thirteen years and four children later, this single mom is now unemployed, and the hurt is still there—Why hadn’t anyone told her? Her mom? Her teachers? Her guidance counselor?
Maybe everyone assumed these two girls already knew. Didn’t everyone know these things?
Maybe everyone thought someone else would tell them.
Eventually, someone did. But my first friend wonders how many years she wasted chasing after things she knew, deep down, she didn’t really want—but didn’t realize there was another way.
My other friend struggles with starting college this fall with a family to support and no income while she fights to make sure her children do not fall through the educational cracks as she did. And she wonders how different her life would be if someone would’ve just told her.
This has made me really think about how much I may be withholding from people because either:
- I assume they already know it;
- I am afraid of speaking up; or
- I am too busy focusing on myself.
Maybe you need to tell someone that they’re doing a good job.
Maybe you need to tell your kids about sex.
Maybe you need to let someone know that God has laid him on your heart lately.
Maybe you need to explain to someone how salvation works.
Maybe you need to apologize to someone.
Maybe you need to let go of a secret you’ve been holding inside.
Maybe you need to tell a student specifically what she needs to do to get into college.
Maybe you need to tell someone he’s heading down the wrong path.
Don’t assume they already know. Don’t be afraid of speaking up. And don’t get so busy focusing on your own life that you miss opportunities to affect others’ lives.
The beautiful woman you see walking through your office building may not know that she’s beautiful. The harried young mom taking your order at the drive-thru window may think that’s her lot in life and not realize that she has options. And the drug addict may not have ever heard that Jesus loves him, no matter what he’s done in the past or where he’s at right now.
My heart aches at how many opportunities I’ve passed up telling someone something they really needed to hear.
Is there a “Nobody ever told me” that you can prevent today?
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