Someone recently asked me a very simple question that I have been thinking about a lot lately. It wasn’t a question that would really change the world, and it wasn’t a question that men have pondered for generations, but it was a question that has replayed in my mind over and over again. The question was, “If you could meet any five people in the world, who would they be?” When the question was asked, I didn’t have to give it much thought. I quickly rattled off the five names of the people I would most like to meet. Those five people were: Doris Day, Joanna Gaines, Kelly Ripa, Reba McEntire, and Dolly Parton.
Like all good questions, there was a follow up question: “Why those five people?” Now, I have to admit, this is the question that I have been thinking a lot about. I answered not long after the question was asked, but I have continued to think about why I said those five people. What is it about these people that I am drawn to? What do they have in common? What makes them special? I am going to do my best to answer those questions, and hopefully I will learn a little bit more about myself in the process.
I had never heard of Joanna Gaines until almost two years ago. I became aware of Joanna Gaines at a time when I needed joy the most. I first saw her on Thanksgiving Day 2014. I was alone in the house and I had the TV on, something I rarely do. I had just had a very difficult year and things were starting to improve, but I still had a long way to go. I had been struggling for so long with life and I was tired and uninspired. The TV was in the family room and I was in the kitchen doing something. Suddenly I heard this voice say something about a farmhouse sink. I was drawn to the voice and walked into the family room and there on the screen was Joanna Gaines. I sat down and watched her and immediately felt some kind of connection. I know that sounds crazy, but that is exactly how I felt.
I had stumbled upon a Fixer Upper marathon, and I sat most of the day becoming more and more wrapped up in what was going on on my television screen. After that day, I began researching Joanna Gaines. I always do this. If I am introduced to someone I like, I try to learn as much about them as I can. I learned that Joanna was from Waco, Texas and that she and her husband, Chip, had four children and that Joanna had had all sorts of dreams for her life. She wondered if her dreams would ever come true. I learned that HGTV had found her through her blog, and I learned that she had a store called Magnolia Market.
Then one day, out of the blue, my friend Diane asked me if I had ever seen the video of Joanna’s testimony. I had not seen it, but as soon as I could, I found it on YouTube and watched it. As I listened to Joanna’s testimony, I soon realized why I had been drawn to her. She explained how she felt like she had never fit in because of how she looked. Her father was Caucasian and her mother was Korean. She talked about how her feelings of loneliness and isolation were “The enemy’s” way of making her feel less than she was. She spoke of how she heard from God and how He talked to her and told her that she had a calling on her life. Then she looked directly at the screen and said, “You have a calling on your life” and I felt as if she were speaking directly to me because so many of the things that Joanna had experienced in her life I had experienced in mine.
She felt like she was less because of whom she was. She felt like people would not accept her because she was different, and I had always felt the same way. She was not afraid to say that God speaks to us and she was not afraid to say that she recognizes His voice. This touched a special chord in my life, because my grandma had always told me the same thing, and I knew that they were both right. God does speak to all of us. Even when we do not realize it is Him, He is speaking to us. You see, every positive thought you have and every positive word you hear is God speaking directly to you. It really is that simple.
So we all hear directly from God, and we should never, ever doubt that for a minute. Unfortunately we are often afraid to say that God speaks to us because we are concerned that people will think that we are crazy or that we think we are better than they are, but that is just Satan’s way of trying to silence us. Joanna was not afraid to say that God speaks to her and guides her life, and I admire her for that so much. Her designs and caring ways bring so much joy and happiness to other people’s lives, and God has given her a platform to make the world a better place full of more joy and peace.
I am not sure if I will ever meet Joanna Gaines, but I will always be thankful for that Thanksgiving Day that I was first introduced to her. I will always be thankful for hearing Joanna’s testimony because it gives me the courage to continue to do the things that God is asking me to do. When we do our best to follow God and to listen for His voice, we will have more peace in our lives and PEACE MATTERS!