On October 5th, 2018, God solidified in the natural what He had started in the supernatural. It was first thing Friday morning when Trey got the call and job offer to work for Ramsey Solutions. We sat parked in front of a potential rental house in Spring Hill as we celebrated the news. The kids threw their hands up, with shouts of excitement, and I looked at Trey, with tears in my eyes, overwhelmed by God's faithfulness. He is who He says He is---faithful, trustworthy, all together good, and He finishes what He starts. He isn't a liar and will do what He says He will do! In return, He asks of us to keep pursuing, praising, and praying!
It's important that I share some of the months leading up to October 5th.
On August 28, 2018, it was early on Tuesday morning and, like most mornings, I made my way down to our basement. I was about 13 days deep into The Circle Maker and Draw Your Circle by Mark Batterson. This book and devotional had transformed my prayer life. I got on my knees, with a repentant and humbled heart, and thanked God for who He was and for his faithfulness to draw me in as I prayed. I prayed for God's will to be done even if that meant I would leave the comforts and familiarity of Atlanta to venture to a new state. I boldly and confidently asked him for a sign--the neon light, the writing on the wall, the plane writing GO in the sky. I wanted it not because I lacked faith but because I wanted his glory to be made known. The best stories told are the ones of God revealing himself to his people in the here and now, not just in the days of old. I'm certain that stories such as this one leave people with a renewed sense of faith! I want to live in the awe and wonder of God, don't you?!
In true God fashion, He showed up and showed off. On that day, He made it clear to me through six signs, one of which came in the form of being handed a one year old boy whose name was R-A-M-S-E-Y, that Nashville would soon be our home. I didn't know when but I knew, with great confidence, that I would be leaving the state of Georgia that I had called home for the last 10 years to settle in a new place with my people.
I would leave the state different than when I first arrived in May of 2008. For starters, I was married with two children and a dog. I had moved to Georgia, just days after I graduated college, with a few trash bags filled with my clothes and some personal keepsakes. My faith was stronger than ever, my calling was a little more clear, and I was more free than I had ever been in my life. Sure there was some heartache and sadness, but I knew God was making a way for us and how could I be sad about that!
We ended the evening, on that October 5th, by walking to the Longhorn Steakhouse next to our hotel. We celebrated the new job, a soon to be new start, and God's faithfulness to make himself known, once again, in our lives. As the hostess greeted us, I gave her my name and informed her that we were a party of 4 and she immediately responded "right this way." She escorted us to the back of the restaurant where we got situated in our seats, in a cozy booth. We immediately started to scan the menu for what would be our last meal of the day. I looked over HG's shoulder reading off the dinner options to her, and then, out of what seemed to be no where, an elderly man was standing at the end of our table. He had to have been in his late 70's, early 80's, wearing hearing aids. He leaned in and mumbled to Trey asking if he could give our kids a surprise. Trey obliged him, as he glanced over to me, unsure of what would happen next. The fragile man proceeded to stick his hands down into his denim jean pockets resurfacing just minutes later close fisted. He looked at Bear telling him to pick a hand and "when, what to our wondering eyes should appear," a shiny gold one dollar coin! I'm not sure Trey and I knew what he was going to pull out of his pockets but money was definitely not on my radar. He would do it all over again for HG. Then he would hand each of them a pack of juicy fruit gum, which instantly lit up HG's eyes as she is an avid gum chewer, folks. She insisted on a piece and for the sake of a 3 year old melt down, I agreed.
As I dropped my head to open the packet of gum, which probably took less than 30 seconds, I look up and the gracious gentleman was gone. He left as quickly as he came. I don't know about you, but I don't know any elderly people in their late 70's to 80's known for their speed at that age. My eyes immediately began to scan the restaurant with no sign of the man anywhere. It was then that it hit me, and I looked at Trey and said, "we just had an angel encounter." I was semi-shaken, in awe and wonder, totally amazed by what just happened. Trey's eyes grew big as he scanned the restaurant, too. Our distance from the exit, this man's fragile state, and the timing of it all resonated in my spirit--this man was most definitely an angel in disguise.
As I sat there, amongst all the restaurant noise, God's gentle whispers began to speak--"not only will I give your family "daily bread" but there will be provision and blessing that follow!" For the sake of making a scene, I kept my tears to a minimum.
I've had one other angel encounter (that I'm aware of) in my very early 20's. I was t-boned by a hit and run driver. I was knocked unconscious, for I don't know how long, and as I started to come to, I felt someone holding my hand and a female voice praying in Spanish over me. I heard, "Jesus Christo" and by the time my eyes were fully opened she was gone.
As I bring this blog post to a close, this is the God I serve. He's moving, making himself known to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. I don't know your church background, what your preacher proclaims from the pulpit, or what you believe about God, but He's very much alive and on the move...for the sake of our good and His glory!
James 4:8 NLT
"Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world."
Hebrews 10:22 NLT, "Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water."