I have always believed that the more I talked with God, the more I would hear God talk to me. Just like any other friend. However, I can probably count on both hands I have "heard the voice" of God. I will share those times with you in other posts. There have been other times though when I felt a strong sense of purpose and knew that God was working in my day to day life. It's been a while since I have felt that type of divine intervention. Well that is until about two weeks ago. I was driving through Stokes County, NC. It is a beautiful area that nourishes my spirit with each mile I travel. I was feeling lonely for meaning in my life. It seemed to me that I was just staying the same. I was in a routine that was satisfying but somewhat dull and certainly not spiritually rewarding. So I talked to God about it, telling Him that I needed to know if I was walking in the right path, that I was doing something meaningful, that my life mattered on this earth and to Him. I explained some of those times when He had let me know my little life meant something and would it be too much trouble to remind me again? I was thirsty and I needed a spiritual drink of LIFE.
I was headed to my antique booth in Walnut Cove which is about a 20 minute drive from my house. I started unloading my treasures and placing them in a booth. I heard a lady checking out and she was talking about how happy she was with what she found. I turned to check out her purchase. It was a huge glass container with a lid. I told her I thought it was so neat and she explained she was going to make it into a terrarium and that she had had the other supplies for years but had needed this jar. I told her I was glad she found it and I got back to work. Nothing out of the ordinary, right?
I finished my work there and about an hour and one half later I decided to go to a shop I hadn't been to in a couple months about 15 miles down the road. I looked it over and was checking out when I felt a tap on the shoulder. I looked around and the woman said, "you don't recognize me do you? I met you in Walnut Cove a couple hours ago." Then I remembered her (the jar woman) and I said it was really something to see her again because I seldom came there. She said she hadn't been there in 40 years and that things in the town looked about the same as they had then. We said good bye to each other and I was on my way.
It was a beautiful day and I decided to drive 45 minutes in a different direction to another county and another one of my antique booths. This is where your ears should be perking up wondering if I will ever make a point. I'm getting ready to do just that. I was working along putting out my things into this booth and about 45 minutes into the work. I look up and coming down the hall is this same woman and her husband. She didn't need to remind me who she was this time. I spoke to her and grinned and I said I was sure it was not a coincidence that I had met her three times that day. I said God wanted us to talk to each other for some reason and I figured this was our 3rd and maybe final chance. She started crying (and with her first tear, my eyes started splashing down my face). She said she hadn't wanted to come out at all that day. Her 84 year old mother's health was failing, and she had put her in a nursing home a few months before. She explained it was the hardest thing she had ever had to do. She said she went to see her mother every day (she is in her sixties) and that she was so tired. Her husband told her she needed a break and asked her that morning what could they do this one day for fun. She had answered that going to check out antique shops in Stokes County would be good but then she decided she just couldn't do it. She said on the way to this last stop she had thanked him because he had pushed her until she gave in and came. She had a wonderful day and it was just what she needed. She had been in my arms since I saw her first tear. I told her somewhere in the middle of her story that I knew exactly why God had brought us together. Her story had been my story 20 years ago. I had been 40, pregnant, in a brand new town and I went to get my mother from a town 150 miles away. I found a home for her to live in and went to see her every day. My sisters asked me why I bothered to visit her when she couldn't remember to tell them on the phone that I had even been there. What they didn't understand was that I knew and she knew every moment I was there that it was me and that I loved her and was watching out for her. I told this "stranger" that yes, it had been the hardest thing I had ever done but that I had survived, that she would make it. I urged her to take time to go to antique stores and walk and walk where no one would interrupt her and let God restore her Spirit. She told me that is what had happened to her that day. I told her that my Mom had always told me that dying was as natural as being born. It is us that we mourn for, it is us that suffers loss when they are gone. They are in a better place. It was as though we were long lost friends being brought together for a healing of both of our Spirits.
And so, I ask you was this just a day of coincidence or did God answer my prayer? And hers?
It is a humbling experience when God moves mountains and uses antique malls to bring two 60+ women together. I just love getting to participate.