** This post is dedicated to Valentinne Rudolphy (Val) **
You know what I’d really love? I’d love to offer this in Spanish too. I can get by but my bilingual days are a bit rusty and I don’t trust myself to translate this correctly. I typed these words to my publisher last fall after listening to their encouragement to write a 7 Day Choosing REAL Devotional.
You see, I have a deep deep love for the Spanish language. Church missions trips brought us eager students across the border to build houses and play with neighborhood kids. At the time we thought it was about serving, when in reality, we were being changed by the most humble of people, in their modest homes, on their dirt roads. Immediately I hit it off with Diana, one of the girls I met in Cuernavaca, and for years we pen-palled from Mexico to CA and back. Our feeble attempts at English and Spanish and hilarious translations marked perseverance to maintain a friendship beyond language.
In high school my friend Tay and I took every Spanish class we could together. We conjugated jugar like no one’s business. We listened to Shakira before Shakira was cool.
In college I switched my emphasis from English to Spanish after studying abroad in Spain for a summer. Sevilla captivated my heart, opened a culture pocket I wasn’t aware I longed for until walking the cobblestone streets, observing our host mama cut thin shavings of jamón from the pig leg hanging in her tiny kitchen, breathing in the architecture and flamenco dancing and vibrant colors. Sevilla invited walks to the majestic bridge; half-day classes (taught solely in Spanish) left remaining hours to explore with groups, my roommate or often alone, to take buses to the beach of Matalascañas and get lost under colorful flags waving paths to open air markets. Every morning, on our mile walk to class, we passed cafes where men leaned over small circular tables sipping from miniature ivory cups holding rich dark café. I loved everything about Spain. The people. Siesta. Chocolate and churros. The language. Oh, the close-your-eyes-romantic-language of Spain. I went home fluent, with the Spanish-influenced lisp, but fluent nonetheless .
Back to the present. After emailing my publisher, I confessed aloud, almost a whisper prayer. Would You bring someone who can help translate this devotional to Spanish? I tucked the idea in the back of my mind and went on with the day. That evening I noticed a message request on Instagram from someone who has become the main character in this story. Valentinne Rudolphy. Otherwise known as Val.
“I wanted to say hi and interact from here and say THANK you and thanks God for inspiring you to write your book… I shared it on Spanish, because I’m from Chile (South America) and find it very inspiring. If any opportunity of publishing it on Spanish comes, I definitely want to know.”
I know. My mouth was on the floor too.
Val went on to share that she’s a journalist with experience editing books.
“Probably you receive thousands of messages like this- but still…”
and I’m reading her words, bawling. Is this for real? Could the timing be more divine?
Sometimes I doubt. I fling prayers into thin air wondering if God cares, if he takes the time to listen or answer. Does God really mind helping a silly devotional get translated into Spanish?
He does indeed.
The rest is history. Val and I hit up a friendship (all hail when social media is a genuine win) and I bravely asked if she would consider helping me translate the devotional into Spanish.
Which she generously did.
When she reached out, she did so much more than use her skills and time to spin English into Spanish words. She crossed time zones and languages to say, “…still...”
Even now as I write this, I’m shaking my head in awe at God’s personal ways He draws and stirs and connects when we are still enough to listen. To ask. To pray big prayers. Spanish style prayers. To write encouragements to perfect strangers on Instagram. When we’re still, knowing that He is God follows.
The day has come. Thanks to my new friend, Val, I could not be more freakin’ excited to share this news:
Choosing REAL, 7 Day Devotional is now live on YouVersion. In SPANISH.
Perhaps French will be next on my prayer list 😉