From Across a Crowded Room

I knew better.

When I started writing, I pretended I’d never have to speak. In 2006, I was invited to teach at the North Texas Christian Writers Conference. It wasn’t what I had to teach that scared me. It was standing in front of people–all eyes on me–and not knowing for sure if words would actually come out of my mouth.

To be honest, I’m shy. I prefer talking one-on-one to being in a big group.

That Friday night, we had a staff meeting. Me staff? I’d rather be serving on the kitchen committee or cleaning bathrooms. There we stood, fifteen or so of us, introducing ourselves. Everyone smiled as I said, “Hi, I’m Julie Garmon.” After we closed in prayer, a pretty redheaded lady with electric-blue eyes darted across the room.

“I’m DiAnn Mills . You look a little shy. Could you use a friend?”

Have you ever heard more beautiful words?

We hit it off immediately. This past weekend, we roomed together at the ACFW conference . Here we are checking out a new feature on DiAnn’s computer.

Julie and DiAnn ACFW 2011

Once again, she’s leading the way with grace, gentleness, and confidence. Meeting DiAnn reminds me of that scripture when Jesus talks to Nathanael.

I saw you while you were still under the fig tree….” John 1:48 NIV

Has there been someone who’s noticed you right where you were? Who reached out in love? Rekindled your faith? Lifted you out of your fear?

Thank you, DiAnn. I’m forever grateful.





  1. Mary says:

    Well, yes, as a matter of fact… and it was you! Just over a month ago, I reached out to you, because I had read your Guideposts articles and somehow felt a connection to you. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by anxiety, and I did something I had never done before… I wrote an email to you, Julie – someone I didn’t know – and I described my situation and asked for some spiritual help.

    You answered me so quickly that I couldn’t believe it! Your answer was warm and caring, and I felt like you understood me. Since then, you’ve become an ’email pal,’ and I am grateful for your friendship.

    Funny, but when I look back on the times that I have been scared and weak, God has often answered my need by providing a special person. I remember meeting a girl on my first day away from home at college. We became fast friends, joined a sorority together, kept in touch over the years, stood up for each other when we got married… what a blessing she has been for me!

    Maybe in our weak moments, God finds those ‘chinks in our armor’ and squeezes love and assistance in. I’m counting on it!


    • Julie says:

      Mary, you have such a beautiful way with words. Such a tender spirit, too. I’m so glad you emailed me that day and we’ve formed a friendship. Isn’t it lovely how He sends friends–even one friend is plenty-good.

      Much love to you today, my friend. Thank you so much for writing. I’m praying…..

  2. Isn’t it comforting to know He sees us where we are? Thanks for the reminder to always be looking for those who look like they need a friend. I am thankful you reach out to encourage me! Thanks Julie!

    • Julie says:

      So true, Tom. He sees us where we are. You’re posts are amazing–always what I need to read for the day. Thank you!!

  3. Julie, your post is beautiful. And so are you. Look at Mary’s response where she says: “Maybe in our weak moments, God finds those ‘chinks in our armor’ and squeezes love and assistance in.” What an awesome thought! I love the squeezing in of love and assistance. I’m going to hold onto that when I think I’m overloaded and can’t get one more ounce of serenity in.
    Hugs to both you, Julie, and Mary too!

    • Julie says:

      Hey, B.J.,
      I love Mary’s words too. She’s such a sweetheart. Hugs right back to you!!

  4. Thank you, my friend! I’ve been so blessed by our friendship!

  5. What a blessing to have someone come up to you and utter those words. I remember interviewing a teenage girl for a story for Sweet 16 who is the middle child between two very outgoing sisters, and she struggled with shyness. As we talked, she discovered that she may not be the most outspoken, but that she is a very good listener to her friends. That too is a gift!

    • Julie says:

      Oh, Meg. What a beautiful comment. Made me smile big time. Listening is such a gift~~~

  6. You J…you have a gift of noticing a need and then running to meet it. I’m so thankful that God puts people there for you when you have a need.
    love love love u

    • Julie says:

      Thank you so much, Rob. You have that gift too!!! Love, love, love you too.

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