the whisper that changed my life

Written by Alene Snodgrass

Alene is a south Texas girl who loves to tell a story whether it is from behind a camera lens, writing at a computer screen, or speaking into the lives of others. Check out her newly released ebook Graffiti, that she wrote along side a homeless friend.

April 24, 2013

Guatemala City dump

I woke up feeling the cool breeze of the Guatemalan morning. It was refreshing as my heart had been wrecked beyond what I could imagine the days previous.

Walking around the Guatemala City Dump community the previous day had left me feeling overwhelmed. My mind continually thought What are you doing here? This is too much. You can not make a difference. One person can not influence this much poverty. I have nothing to offer.

So waking up refreshed after my mind had stirred all night with visions of the children I had seen living in the dump was such a welcomed feeling. And wouldn’t you know it, that peaceful feeling didn’t last long as I soon heard we would be serving at a Cerebral Palsy hospital that morning. I don’t know if you ever do this, but I had a come-apart with God! I told him I couldn’t do that.

I had nothing left in me to give as I was already broken and spent.

Arriving at the hospital my heart began to beat fast. Not with excitement, but with anxiety and fear. As I stood in the doorway of the Cerebral Palsy ward, I froze when I saw the level of needs in these severely handicapped patients. And the thoughts began again. What can I do here? How can I make a difference? I don’t want to do this!

Realizing that standing in fear was doing no one any good, I began to walk through the rows of wheelchairs in the ward. Carrying these raw emotions around, I was fighting back tears when all the sudden a young boy in a wheelchair smiled and his eyes lit up to see me. I stopped and began talking to him. His eyes danced. His smile got bigger. And the shell around my heart began to break.

I learned his name was Micky from the nurse. Micky couldn’t talk or feed himself, but his eyes told a story.

I leaned in closer gazing into his eyes and questioning why God had me there. I was already devastated from the amount of need in this country and feeling like I couldn’t make a difference.

That’s when the whisper that changed my life came.

“Alene, Micky is enough.”

It wasn’t an audible whisper, but one of those quiet words spoken into the pit of your soul where you know it was from God. And so in silent awe I answered back, “Oh God, I know. Thank you for loving each of us as we are.” And the whisper answered back.

“Alene, you’re enough.”

There was no holding back the tears that I had been stuffing. They spewed forth as I realized God didn’t need me to fix anything. He didn’t need me to have a plan to solve the poverty and heartache. No, God just needed me to be there.

Just showing up, loving God’s people, and serving others is enough. There is such freedom in realizing that you are enough.

I am enough.

You are enough.

Do I want to make a difference? Yes, I think we all do. But sometimes making a difference means we drop our agenda’s to fix the world and just love the person in front of us.

19 Comments

  1. Keri Reyes

    So powerful and amazing story! Ill be going with you to Guatemala in October. I’m really excited.

    Reply
    • Alene Snodgrass

      Keri – YES, so thankful you are going to Guatemala. You will see and hear God in such a new way. I can’t wait!

      Reply
  2. Dayna Renee Hackett Bickham

    Wow. Thank you for this. The quiet whispers heard deep in our souls are the ones that rock our world the hardest. Thank you for being so transparent and sharing such a beautiful part of the trip. I am enough. What a wonderful message! As they say in the south, “That’ll preach!”

    Reply
    • Alene Snodgrass

      Preachin’ it, Dayna!!! It’s amazing how our world has to be rocked before we can hear those small sweet whispers. Thankful I heard this one as I cling to it daily!

      Reply
  3. teri-free2bme

    Words of truth beautifully said, Alene! What a blessed experience God allowed for you to have so that you may pass it on and bring Him much glory. Thanks for the many reminders I needed to hear through this message.

    Reply
    • Alene Snodgrass

      Teri – so thankful you snagged some nuggets to hold on from this piece. I can’t even begin to put the emotion I had from that small whisper down on paper. But I do know it was a life changing moment for me.

      Reply
  4. Kendra Kinnison

    Love this. Too often I go through the world with tunnel vision, so focused on a goal that I forget to experience the journey – and connect with others.

    Reply
    • Alene Snodgrass

      That’s what I suffer from “so focused on a goal that I forget to experience the journey.” That is so easy to do when you look and all you see is need. I always feel like I am supposed to do something. But yet, realizing that just being there was something enough was really freeing.

      Reply
  5. Karen

    We often make the mistake of thinking that we aren’t enough or that we have to be doing physical work when working for the Lord. “But the greatest of these is love.” Love is the essence of Christianity. Happy Birthday Alene…I Love you !

    Reply
    • Alene Snodgrass

      Thanks, Karen. I think our society tells us to be “busy” and “do something.” That’s all grand and good, but when we miss the small whispers or the people right in front of us that need love — we are the ones that miss out!

      Reply
  6. Alia_Joy

    Yes, I love this Alene. You are enough. And I love that He told you so. I think that’s one of the hardest things to wrestle with. The need to lay down our agendas and ideas and plans and just walk with Him. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Alene Snodgrass

      Laying down agenda’s and goals has been my challenge the past 6 months. One that God is slaying for me. I’m totally a goal girl, but I’m learning that following God’s purposes are so much more grand than my own. I think I’m learning the hard way. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Joy Lenton

    Those whispers to the heart are always worth paying attention to. This is lovely, Alene. Such sweet encouragement coming from God just when you needed it and in the process you were enabled to bless others by simply showing up and being yourself. You are enough because He is enough, always. Thank you for sharing this tender moment.

    Reply
    • Alene Snodgrass

      Joy – your words here just pick me up! You encourage me to keep stepping out of my comfort zone. It’s a scary place out there, but such precious moments come when we are surrendered and uncomfortable.

      Reply
  8. woreout

    I know that I am enough….but I am tired and need for me….I have given so much I feel I am in overload….No More!

    Reply
    • Alene Snodgrass

      Dear Woreout — any time we neglect rest, the time God set aside for us, it is so easy to feel wornout and stressed. I pray you can find a day of rest, or even a 1/2 day, to sneak away to breathe in the fresh air of heaven and spend time with God. Once our soul can rest, we can see things a little more clearly. And there are certainly seasons that wear-out us more — caring for little ones, caring for the elderly, high profile job, or even looming deadlines — but there always needs to be a moment of rest. There are also seasons where we give so much of ourselves, but yet it enables others. If that’s the case, it’s time to spread the workload around. Praying that for you now.

      Reply
  9. kelli woodford

    oh man. yes!!

    remember that old preacher’s story of the millions of starfish stranded on the beach? a man was walking among them, throwing them back into the water so they wouldn’t dry out and die. a critic saw what he was doing and asked him why he even tried? could he really think that he was making a difference with so many?

    the man picked up another starfish and flung it far into the pulsing ocean. his answer (which has stayed with me always): “it made a difference to *that* one.”

    love this story. great write, Alene.

    Reply
    • Alene Snodgrass

      All for the ONE! Why is that so hard to remember when you are standing amid so much pain and need? Taking this lesson to heart.

      Reply

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the whisper that changed my life

by Alene Snodgrass time to read: 3 min
19