Earlier this fall we put out the call for nominations for our second-annual World Changer Quest. We asked you to tell us about sisters you know who are acting as world changers right where they are. And you did not disappoint! Thank you for sharing the names of those women you’ve watched take the next step, who’ve done that hard thing in order to be a world changer for good.
We count it our great privilege to introduce to you another of these World Changers, When Abigail Irene Fisher walked through an open door in her very own neighborhood, she became a world changer right where she is.
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The Open Door Neighborhood
by Abigail Irene Fisher
Two years ago my husband and I were searching to buy a home. Our first home. Now, I had always been the type of person who loved adventure, loved the idea of living with a sense of the unknown. I didn’t mind not knowing exactly what my five-year plan might be. Not that I didn’t have goals or was afraid of commitment, because that wasn’t the case. Getting married didn’t scare me. Having kids didn’t scare me. But buying a home… That terrified me! Up until that point I had lived my adult years in Chicago, Spain, the Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Costa Rica and finally Colorado. And buying a home meant staying put, and that was extremely intimidating to me.
Watching the housing prices soar higher and higher each month in Colorado, we thought we better not wait too long to buy. And on our budget, we learned finding a starter home in the Denver market was going to be difficult.
We put in offers, which lost to higher ones and lost to cash ones. The roaring market made it frustrating, so my husband and I decided we needed to take a big step back and spend some serious time in prayer.
Instead of wanting the “perfect house” for us, we prayed for a home that could just be a blessing. A blessing to everyone who set foot in it, and also one where we could be a blessing to those God put in front of us.
Finally, after looking at lots (and I mean lots) of houses, God blessed us with our perfect little home in South Denver, in a cute cul-da-sac.
A month after we bought our home, our current new “neighbors” (they weren’t actually living in the home) were selling their house. We prayed mightily for the home to be filled with someone we needed and someone who needed us. We prayed for a family we could share life with.
When they moved in and I met the mother Lorena, I quickly realized she did not speak English. Now, I studied Spanish and I was a high school Spanish teacher. When I met Lorena and realized she could only speak Spanish I was so excited. We have children about the same age and had both been living in Colorado two years. We became friends immediately.
The two years I lived in Colorado, my oldest daughter had a lot of health problems. We lived in a bubble and it was hard. Her immune system was so weak that when she caught a virus we often ended up in the hospital. Being confined was extremely lonely. A week after I met Lorena I remember asking her if she had made some good friends being in Colorado two years. She looked at me, smiled, and said, “Sí . You!”
We both had been craving a good friend. Lorena had felt God had blessed her by putting us next door, but I knew I was the one being blessed. Finally, a friend. And so close. And one who I could speak Spanish with all day long. My heart was bursting. God had given me a friend, a friend who needed a friend too, a friend who needed someone who spoke her language.
Before we knew it, we were outside with the kids all the time, which then pushed us into the lives of all the other neighbors in the cul-de-sac.
Sometimes it feels awkward trying to intimately know and care for your neighbors. But in God’s Great Commission he tells us “GO, and make disciples of all nations.” Our pastor jokes that we often think of the Great Commission as the Great Suggestion. I will go when I am older. Or when I have more time. Or when I know God’s word better. Or when I am better. But the first word he says is GO. Go now. Go with the people he has put right in front of your face.
I aim to create something magical and build on God’s love in our cul-da-sac. I want to love my neighbors because I want them to see how much we love Jesus in our home, and I want them to want that too. I want them to see what he provided for Lorena and me.
I started with befriending Lorena. And have moved on from there, one house at a time, just trying to love each of them. And I have some amazing neighbors. Opening our door and getting to know each of them has been such a joy. My husband and I are starting to learn about some of their pain. And some of our neighbors have intense pain that just breaks my heart. It’s human to be afraid of stepping into someone else’s pain because we don’t know what to say or what to do. But I am learning that sometimes you don’t have to say or do anything. Just be there. Just go.
These are the people God has put in front of me at this time in my life. I don’t want to waste his Great Commission on such wonderful people. I want to embrace the blessing and the responsibility He has put right in front of us. I want every car that comes into our cul-da-sac to know there is something special here. God’s presence is strong and the love and community we share is abnormal. God has put me here and put you where you are. So we just have to listen, and GO.
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Abigail Irene Fisher is a daughter to Christ, wife to Jason William Fisher, and momma to two daughters and a new baby boy. She was a Spanish teacher, now turned stay-home-mom that tutors at night. She is a yogi, a writer, and a wanna-be CEO who is finishing writing her first book. Abigail is passionate about chasing God’s freedom and adventure, and just wildly loving God, her family, and her people.