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Signs

Earlier in Spring our family was visited by Influenza B.
I don't believe we have ever had the real 'flu'.
I know I haven't had it.
After the worst of it had swept through the family I was left with fatigue that wouldn't lift and a cough that I couldn't shake. 
One of those Thursdays after a coughing fit  my body was aching tired.  I found myself sitting in a pool of warm April afternoon sunshine.  My kids voices floating through the screen door, bicycle wheels spinning across sidewalk cracks. 
The baby was dumping toys in front of me.  And I just leaned back.
I felt so old. Every part of me felt worn.
Like my body and soul were way older than their real age. 
Whenever I find my body really tired, I find that my soul isn't far off.  It seems like everything magnifies under the lens of exhaustion.
My dark thoughts only grow darker under the dim light of fatigue.
I remember I consciously whispered to God.
I asked for some encouragement, some sign of His love for the day. It was a feeble little prayer.
I felt like my soul needed guidance too.  I remember softly asking God to show me what to do. What should I do to lift my spirit, have my strength renewed?
I didn't stay there long and got up to finish the day.
I remember that nothing notable happened the rest of the day.
The hours flashed by and I forgot the prayer.
No one called me on the phone, sent me an encouraging message.  I didn't hear any noteworthy sermons, listen to empowering songs, or read anything that changed the course of my mood.
Just laundry, dinner, changing diapers, and picking up toys.
We ran errands and did bath time. 
As shadows stretched long and night settled in I looked forward to finally laying down.
I was ready for sleep.
After getting home late, my husband sat eating his dinner.
I was cleaning up the kitchen and heard him say,
"Oh I forgot. You have something." He said looking up from his salad bow.
I stared at him quizzically.
"I have something? "
"Yes, someone dropped something by the church.  For you."
He reached into his computer case and retrieved an envelope.
Sure enough it had my name on it.
Turning over the lavender envelope I pulled out a card to my whole family and another handwritten note to me.
Within the note a crisp Benjamin Franklin stared back at me. 
My mouth dropped.
I couldn't say much. I quickly read the note
The note was short and told me to spend the money on myself with the promise of child care if needed to accomplish this.
The note was signed by a woman I didn't know. 
I only knew her name and face.  We had only briefly spoken once or twice.
A holy hush fell over me.
I knew it was what I had asked for.
God had answered my prayer that very day. 
I smiled and wondered over it.
When I had whispered that prayer I assumed I needed to do some kind of soul searching.  Get my act together.  Do something different.  Or maybe I needed to read some scripture.  Pray a specific prayer.  Or maybe someone needed to tell me something.  I needed to do more or do something better.
I didn't know what , but I just felt like I was supposed to ask God for help. For a sign of His love and guidance.
Standing next to the table rereading the note I couldn't believe the love I felt.
I was given the gift to go... shopping?
I went to bed in awe of this direct answer of love.  Love from a woman that barely knows me and had no clue of my present feelings.  Love of a God who answered my prayer through the generosity of someone else and asked me to go shopping and have fun.
The whole thing quieted the earlier questions and yet left me wanting to shout,
"God really does love me."
Tears misted my eyes.
The next day I saw the woman.  I looked at her fully, eyes direct.  "You don't know what that meant to me. God answered a prayer to me directly through you.  A prayer I prayed a few hours before."
Her eyes smiled back at me, "Then it was meant to be. That was God."

That weekend I decided to spend the money.  Part of me at first contemplated using the money to pay for my girl's summer camp.  It was enough for me to know that God had thought of me and used this woman to minister to me.
After toying with the idea for a while I decided that I would fully receive the gift I had been given and spend the money as intended.  Every cent. 
It had been a long time since I had done anything like that. Usually if I need something I will go get that one item.  It's a rarity to actually browse through racks of clothes and pick out a few items. I think I found six or seven different items. 
I didn't feel guilty, but loved and so thankful.
I know we don't need signs, we already have Jesus the signature of God Himself.
But the gift I received felt like God had handed me the envelope personally and signed His name next to this sweet woman. 
I'm so thankful that God chooses to quiet our quavering with His love and that there are people willing to show us love that isn't deserved, but freely given. 

http://jenniferdukeslee.com/




Comments


  1. dear summer ... it's so good to see you out and about again ... i am sorry for this difficult season you've been through, but my heart is touched as you share answers to prayer and other graces.

    blessings, girl ...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Somer,
    This was stunning! What a beautiful and generous gift that aligned just with the time of your prayer to remind you of God's love for you! Sometimes when we think that things don't matter and we seem to be spinning in the same circles, his love breaks through for us! And I love it that you went out and celebrated with a few things for yourself, just as the giver wanted you to do! Sending love to you today! xoxo

    ReplyDelete

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