The Ripple Effect of Living Loved

So you want to impact the world for Jesus—but your life feels more like a train wreck than a billboard for God’s love. I used to feel this way, too, until one young girl changed everything.

Her name was Leilani, Hawaiian for a heavenly garland of flowers. I felt an immediate connection with her bright spirit. As a teen mom, she knew what it was to be wrecked by rejection and cast out by the callous. Yet she also understood the joy of being loved by Jesus without limit.

I first met Leilani when she invited herself to a Bible Study in my home. You heard that right. She invited herself and arrived with a well-marked Bible, eager to learn. On her way out the door, she whispered, “I want to be like you.” Startled, I asked her what she meant. “When I grow up, I want to tell others about Jesus.” But growing up would not be part of her story—she would not reach eighteen.

Leilani’s unexpected departure from our little community sent waves of witness to all in her sphere. Her classmates, who attended a last-chance high school for students with behavioral problems, felt her impact too.

What was it that made her so impactful?

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