The Story of Selome
I met Selome Assefa the second week of the fall semester in my Judaism class. As soon as the professor asked how to pronounce her name and she replied in her thick accent, "Sal-o-may," I wanted to be her friend. Class ended and I walked with her to her next class, questioning her along the way.
I learned she was a junior, transfer student from UVA, studying Biochemistry, and an international student from Ethiopia. I asked her if her name had any meaning and she replied, “Yes, I am named after Salome from The Bible.” She was shocked that I knew who Salome was. But I never thought twice about her having a biblical name.
The semester rolled on and we sometimes walked together after class, and eventually realized we took the same bus to campus. After riding the bus together a couple times we realized we lived only one bus stop away from each other. Still I wasn’t thinking anything abnormal about this girl. Until all the sudden the Holy Spirit began daily reminding me of this girl and directing me to reach out to her. But I didn’t know why. Until last week.
Last Tuesday Selome walked into class with tears streaming down her face, head down, working to sniffle beneath the quiet of the classroom. I knew something was wrong. At that moment I again felt a tug at my heart to reach out to her. But I waited. I told myself I would talk to her after class. The clock hit 1:45 and students began to file out of the room. In the 60 seconds I had to reach out to her, I hesitated. Around the corner her fiancé stepped to her side, reaching his arm over her shoulder. And I lowered my head, disappointed that I didn’t get to talk to her, and headed to the bus stop. My week went on, but I couldn’t get this girl out of my head. Random things would remind me of her every day.
That night my roommates and I met together for bible study, working through the study on the Forgotten God by Francis Chan. A question came up and I shared with my roommates that I had been asking for more of the Holy Spirit in my life, and God had abundantly answered that request. But I was continuing to quench the Spirit by ignoring his voice. Selome was only one example of that. That night after talking and praying with my roommates I knew the Holy Spirit wanted me to talk to her, and that it wouldn’t go away until I did. So after bible study I sent her a simple e-mail telling her I was worried about her in class and was thinking of her and praying for her, and to let me know if she needed anything. And this was our dialogue:
Thank you so much for praying for me. I wish I get sometime to talk with you and
pray with you. I will let you know if I need something. Would you pray for me
about my classes esp. my analytical chem. class and also for my spiritual life
-that I grow more and more in the Lord. I can wait to talk to you on Tuesday.
If you will be available before then please let me know.
I am so blessed for your openness to share and your honesty. I will
be praying for you, especially for your classes and your spiritual life. I cannot imagine the stress school has placed on your life at Tech and I pray that you can find rest and peace in obediently serving the Lord as a student, and being able to walk with him through it! I would love to get coffee or lunch sometime and talk and pray. Let me know what times are best for you, my schedule is very flexible. And even if the weekend is best, that is fine with me too. Here is one of my favorite verses that I pray can encourage your heart: "I will make a way in your wilderness and provide rivers
through your deserts." Isaiah 43:19
Oh my God...I think you are the answer to what I have been praying about for
several months. I always wanted to have a friend to pray and talk with. Can you
meet me tomorrow. If you tell me your address I can come to your place. We can also meet somewhere around school. Please let me know.
Needless to say I was and am floored by the Sovereignty of our God. Selome and I met together last night and she told me her story, and I shared parts of mine. She is a beautiful, quiet spirited woman of God, desperately in need of friendship and fellowship. I cannot wait to continue to get to know her and grow in my faith with her. She is already excited to come to InterVarsity this Friday and to continue meeting together. The Spirit of the sovereign Lord is mighty and all-knowing. How weak and insufficient we are in our fear and inadequacy. But how powerful and strong we are in His promises!
“He will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
1 Timothy 6:15-16