Thank God for cell phones. Most people probably will laugh when they read this because they know I use my cell phone a lot. Yes, I enjoy communication and keeping in touch with family, friends and my kids. Some have found it strange that everyday of my adult life I have talked to my mother. Today I am so thankful I ignored the funny looks I have gotten over the years now that my mom is sick and is losing her ability to communicate. I have learned not to care that much about other’s opinions of things, especially the things that I think matter and are important.
It was a typical day of running errands and about ten in the morning several years ago. I will never forget being on the way to Target and making the usual call to check in with my mom. When she answered the phone that day, her voice was noticeably different and for good reason. A dear friend of ours, Rick, who was just a few years older than me, had lost his wife in a tragic car accident. My mother shared with me the details that she knew and asked me to pray We then hung up so that I could let the news absorb.
Even though it had been years since I had spoken with Rick or his family, there was a huge heart connection. Rick’s family and mine shared life together and my only trip to Disney World when I was growing up was with Rick’s family. I was devastated for him. I honestly did not know how to pray for him. I kept going through the motions of my morning routine. I found myself in Target holding a package of Charmin toilet paper when a heavy impression came over me to call a dear friend, Sherry. I have learned not to ignore that feeling, that heaviness, over the years. I now recognize that it is one way God speaks or prompts me into action.
Sherry, a friend from college, had lost her husband, Billy, also a dear friend from Clemson, a few years back and was a widow with 2 boys. Sherry’s testimony of faith and prayer as she lived through Billy’s illness was a screaming testimony to all who had the privilege to know her. Just weeks earlier Sherry had been in my home and shared her prayer life and journal of how she walked with God daily. Her sharing changed my prayer life forever but it was also the catalyst for me to call her and ask her to pray for Rick.
It didn’t surprise me that Sherry picked up on the first ring and had 30 minutes to spend with me as I shared the story and request for prayer. I knew it was a God orchestrated prompting. I also realized Sherry’s visit to my house just weeks earlier was no coincidence for many reasons. I asked her to pray for Rick and his children. Rick was currently out of the country on a mission trip and was having to travel hours back home to his devastated kids and dead wife. I knew that having lived through the death of a spouse, Sherry, of all people, would know how to pray.
The details are precious and also better told by Sherry and Rick, but just for your benefit, Sherry prayed and, over time, maybe even days, reached out to Rick through email. Over time God prompted their meeting. As their connection grew through God while sharing their pain they eventually got married, a modern day “Brady Bunch.” There are many lessons to this story which I would like to point out.
First lesson: God does speak to us, He does. We just have to have the ears to hear. At different times in my life I feel, for a lack of a better word, I have slipped into a spiritual coma. I truly want to encourage you NOT TO! Learn to know the voice of God like I have by praying more, sitting quietly more before a HOLY God, and read His word. HE speaks. He does. We just have to develop the ability to hear and recognize when He does. For me personally I have grown to feel what I call a PROMPTING by God, a heaviness that comes over me that gets heavier if I don’t spring into action. I have noticed the more I heed the prompting and spring into action the more confirmation I get down the road that it was truly the Prompting of God in my life.
Second lesson: I don’t get the credit for Sherry and Rick’s marriage. God does. I get the affirmation and assurance of God’s voice in my life and the assurance of the scripture in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for good of those who love him and who have been called according to his purpose.”
Third lesson: God has not made it hard to have a relationship with Him, it costs us nothing. It is FREE. We just have to Choose Him.