The Gift

I looked at my phone and pressed send…the area code I recognized….but not the number. I expected to hear a friend’s voice on the other end of the phone….but it wasn’t who I expected.

It was the soft, quiet voice of a young woman who was deeply hurt, scared, and felt abandoned. Even though I knew of her and had seen a beautiful picture of her, I had never met her. But I knew her boyfriend very well. In fact, I met him about 14 years ago on the golf course. I will never forget it. He had scripture on his golf ball and our son, Thomas, ran up to me and introduced his new friend. Thomas was so excited that he knew Jesus. I consider myself very close to this young man today. Over the years we have had deep conversations. We have much in common and, at times, I have felt like a second mother to him.

He had called me just hours before his girlfriend did to tell me of his dramatic life change. He had “recommitted” his life to Christ. He had many questions for me about making a 180 turn from some of his previous life choices. Not easy. We talked a long time about what that was going to look like and the challenges ahead. We talked about the empowerment he has to make the changes with God’s help and his recognition of sin and desire to turn from it. It was a “refreshing” time for me to hear the young man talk with passion about living to please an audience of “One!” To live out I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

With this decision came a change in the relationship with his girlfriend….for them to “back up” and take new roads and make new choices! It was such a change that the girl on the other end of the phone was seeking answers to this sudden change her boyfriend had made.

You see, she had not been on the retreat with him. The weekend retreat was reserved for male golfers mentored by “Christian PGA” golfers and an organization called College Golf Fellowship. The retreat was a God appointment for my young male friend. A prominent PGA golfer and his wife opened their home to aspiring “golfers” and shared their journey, their relationship with Christ, advice and fellowship.

I loved talking with the young, precious girl on the other end of the phone. She was a great listener and was genuine in trying to understand the changes in her boyfriend. She also had great and real questions. Almost two hours later she prayed to receive Christ on the other end of the phone! The whole thing was amazing, exhilarating, and unexpected.

I didn’t see it coming….the call……it was a God appointment for me…to be available…to stop the busyness of the day….two days before Christmas!

It was really a “GIFT” to me! A sincere gift that “knocked at my front door”. It was used by God so that I could love on, listen to and share Christ with a complete stranger who had read my book, “The Front 9,” and who felt comfortable enough to call me.

You see, just a year ago, “The Front 9,” was released. In fact, after looking back at my calendar, it was exactly one year ago from the day the young woman called me. On December 23, 2013, a box of books arrived at my house from the publisher! That was the first day I actually held the book that God inspired me to write. Her call was a continuing confirmation for me that I wasn’t looking for but that God continues to give and the timing of the call….Wow……was SUCH A GOD THING.

Editing the second book hasn’t been as easy and I now know why. The young woman on the other end of the phone told me something very, very important. She said, “I read your book 3 months ago. I loved it but I didn’t know what to do next.”

As our conversation unfolded on December 23, I asked her questions and realized she did not know Christ. She shared she had read my book, knew that I knew Christ, realized that she didn’t and my first book didn’t tell her what to do next. It was a God moment for me. It was then and only then did God reveal to me what I had to make sure was clear in my next book, “The Back 9, Finishing Strong!”

My friends….God is so amazing. He has a perfect plan….all the frustrations I have had over finishing this second book, all the interruptions make perfect sense now.

This is a post about God’s perfect timing and perfect plan…about how He causes “All things to work for good for those who love Him and are called according to his plan,” (Romans 8:28).

In one day….God revealed what was missing from the second book and He gave me a “huge hug” from heaven, assuring me….that the first book…was exactly what He had planned. The stranger was comfortable enough from reading the first book to call me…even though she didn’t know me…to share her deep, personal pain so that I might help her!

God is Great…He is GREAT all the time. Learn from me…trust Him, follow Him, do what HE says even if it doesn’t make sense. HE. WILL. LIGHT. THE. WAY! The phone call was one of the best Christmas presents I have ever received fulfilling what I believe to be true–the greatest gifts in life are things money can’t buy and death can’t take away!

Psalm 9:10, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

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