Two weeks ago was a divine appointment for me in multiple ways for multiple reasons. I was a judge for Miss South Carolina Teen 2014. Several months ago when I was asked to consider being a judge, my initial thought was “Yes, absolutely.” I have always treasured opportunities to give back but those opportunities have been limited in the past 10 years due to our kids schedule plus my mom’s illness in the last few years.
I decided I should take a few days to filter through God’s hands in my morning quiet times whether or not I should commit the time to judge. Taking on the commitment would require giving up a week of my time, sometimes putting in 12-14 hour days. It didn’t take but two days for God to confirm my decision, especially when I found out the pageant wasn’t going to be held the week of the 4th of July. That was absolutely God’s confirmation of the timing and the answer of yes to being a judge. For years the pageant was held the week of July 4th which was a conflict for me with our family vacations.
Fast forward…you probably have seen the picture I posted of myself holding a birthday cake with all the beautiful, smiling people around me. I have to first of all inform you that, before last Sunday, those people were all complete strangers to me. I had never met a single one of them before the pageant. Over the last week, as we spent the better part of the day together for seven straight days, eating most meals together and sharing a common purpose of volunteering our time to judge for the Miss South Carolina Organization, we became very close friends.
I discovered we are all very unique and different with various gifts, abilities and talents, but when we were all put together and given the time to share, listen, volunteer, eat and laugh together, it is amazing how LIFELONG friendships were born. This, of course, was one of the greatest blessings of the entire week, along with getting to listen to our state’s beautiful, talented, motivated and courageous young women aspiring to be more and do more.
Funny, right after I had agreed to volunteer, I got a “little buyer’s remorse”. I started second guessing taking that much time away from the “writing” that I have been very passionate about doing, but decided I really wanted to give a week of my time. Little did I know that God intended to bless me with 9 NEW friends whom I now love dearly. From a physic’s professor from UC-Cal Davis who lives in California–just being around him and breathing the same air makes me feel smarter–to a beautiful woman, Gwen, who has a boutique right around the corner from where I live, they all are such dear people.
There is so much I could say about the past week, and I am sure in the days to come I will write about different things I experienced and learned. The very first thing I have been impressed to encourage you Back Niners with is this: the act of “serving,” which in essence means giving your time and talent to something, not looking for anything in return.
1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
We all have special abilities and time that we are given to use and manage. I have found when I become sensitive and filter my days and calendar through prayer and obedience to God, He has “divine appointments” for me that only He can orchestrate and fulfill with a willing and obedient heart.
Today, I can’t imagine the “missed blessings” if I had not prayed and then followed through with being led to volunteer my time. I did have to sacrifice writing (my passion) and time with my family (my passion) to give back.
God has divine appointments for all of us. They are not exclusive to me..…appointments that are rich and abundant blessings…that may look like a chore or inconvenience or an opportunity….until we pray and seek His guidance. When we are moved by HIM to say yes, then and only then can we receive the “gifts” He has in store.
I have truly been blessed and my life has been enhanced by my 9 new friends who were strangers just days ago. I want to urge you to start today to “filter” your life through God…to seek Him in all things…and move and say YES and NO as He leads….His ways lead to blessings….the kind we can’t predict or see in advance many times…we just have to walk by faith and obey…..
God fully intends for all of us to experience Proverbs 11:25, “Whoever brings blessings will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”
I have not just been “watered,” I have been “showered” with new friends….through a faith walk and willingness to “serve”. Don’t miss God’s richest blessings in your life…seek Him and His will…….His blessings await!