Back Don't sweat the small stuff…but what if it's a cupcake?
April 24th, 2014
By Tabitha Taylor, Volunteer Writer
I’m an epic worrier. I know I shouldn’t be. I know I need to give all my worries to God but I’m human, so…I worry on!
I realize there are many “small things” in life we certainly shouldn't spin our wheels worrying about, but after an event I was a part of last week, I found myself realizing there actually are times to “sweat the small stuff.”
I was privileged, along with some awesome ladies from Brentwood Baptist, to host a Transitions Ceremony for four graduates at The Next Door (TND). TND provides services for women and their families impacted by addiction, mental illness, trauma and/or incarceration. They equip women in crisis to develop lives of wholeness and hope.
Once the women have completed a six-month program, a ceremony takes place honoring their dedication and praising God for the work He's done in their lives as they prepare to transition back into the “real world.”
As the hostess team sponsoring the event, we were given a list of things to provide. The two that stuck out most—a plastic white tablecloth and a plain white sheet cake to feed 100. While there's nothing wrong with these two items, I, along with my friend Trish, was horrified that these were the things we were told to bring.
We worried the women wouldn't feel celebrated. We worried about the décor. And we worried about the women feeling empowered and encouraged as they transitioned out of this amazing organization. There was prep to be done!
As attendees of the ceremony began to arrive, 80 of which still live at TND, their response to us welcoming them with smiles was beyond comprehension. What really captured my heart was when the women looked toward the refreshment table. I've never seen so many people take pictures of cupcakes!
We'd worried about the details of the night, but we didn’t realize what impact the results of our small worry would make. When they saw towering tiers of personalized scripture-inspired cupcakes, they were shocked!
One of the future graduates came to me, with a tear rolling down her face and said, “You know, my graduation is next. Please don’t forget about me. I want beautiful cupcakes and people who care enough about the ‘small things’ to make my day special too!”
The ceremony began and I opened the room in prayer. It was one of those moments when you knew the Lord was present. The room was still as both graduates and audience latched onto every word of encouragement and drop of hope we could pour into them.
What happened next brings me to tears even as I type. After I spoke, my friend Jessica took the mic delivering an amazing speech on hope. She then
explained I had gotten a gift for the graduates.
You see, I had worried they, while transitioning, wouldn’t have the strength and encouragement they had been receiving daily while living at TND. We knew they could get all the encouragement they needed from the Lord, but what would hold them accountable?
I presented them with their gift and explained they had just been handed a very special Bible. The Bibles had not only been prayed over, but we had taken the time, as a team, to go through with post-its and mark our favorite verses on hope and encouragement.
The next thing I said came as another emotional moment I'll never forget.
Upon telling them their names were inscribed on the front cover, there was a collective gasp from everyone in the room. They couldn’t believe it! Why would a group of complete strangers love and care about them enough to take time to worry about something so small?
Their roads have been tough. They each have heavy burdens, scars, and memories they will spend the rest of their lives trying to shake. I can’t even begin to comprehend where they have been.
But in that one moment, I know they were honored. You could tell by their tears of gratitude and big smiles how special they felt. That was all we wanted! We wanted them to know, the Lord loves them and we do too!
Psalm 37:23 tells us “…He delights in every detail of their lives.”
If God delights in the details, shouldn’t we? Sometimes those details may be the “small stuff” that everyone else doesn’t spend time worrying about. It may seem silly, but worrying about a plastic white tablecloth and a plain white sheet cake to feed 100 brought us to a life-changing moment.
What an honor to serve, and an even greater honor, to witness God's transforming power in the lives of the women we met! What we did wasn’t monumental. It didn’t take much from us—some time and a few dollars—but it was a MASSIVE example of love to them.
They felt like celebrities, and rightfully so. They deserved to be honored for all they have accomplished.
Has there been a time in your life when maybe you didn’t worry about something or someone as much as you should have? When you didn’t act on that little nudge God was giving you to step in and do something?
Pay attention for those moments. I feel pretty certain He will give us all something “small” to worry about for his glory. In our case, it started with a cupcake!