There are NO COINCIDENCES!
Everything happens for a reason. I’ve chronicled these ‘divine moments’ in an effort to honor them – and me. My world showed up for me – and I’m fully available to it all. I hope these accounts inspire you to tune in, be still, open up and reach out.
My mother-in-law – to answer or not to answer, what a dilemma!
After 20 years of marriage I can truly say, my mother-in-law hasn’t liked me for 19 of the years. She’s the ultimate ‘church lady’. Stout, white hair, piercing blue eyes, reads the bible daily and quotes scripture like a grocery list. She can talk about anything and is positioned as the ‘spiritual leader’ of the family.
I’ve seen her dark side. I know her to be judgmental, snarky, close-minded and cold. I’ve struggled for many years to live in the warm place in her heart – the place she shows nearly everyone else. I could never wiggle in. She shut me out – and I did the same. For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction – we were a dysfunction law of physics – and neither had the will or love to change the dance.
I NEVER answered whenever our caller ID indicated her number.
I’m not into small talk and she rarely showed interest in me or my life. She liked to talk, and I didn’t want to listen. Her biblical platitudes wore me out…so I shut her out.
The night I received the text – I want to separate – from my husband, I was home alone. My kids, on a mission trip….my husband, somewhere over the Atlantic texting his intentions from 30K feet. I was in an emotional puddled; confused, scared and alone. OMG – after 20 years, my husband was leaving me!
P A N I C!!!
I texted my friends – please send some book recommendations to help me be strong – help me get through a major life challenge. My cell phone rang before I pressed SEND on my text.
Her number appeared, my mother-in-law WAS CALLING ME at the worst possible moment! I cried – Why is she calling me? Why now? She never calls MY cell? What does she want? She’s old, is it an emergency? Should I answer? Maybe it’s a health issue? Okay – I’ll pick up.
Her voice was soft and sweet. She said she was thinking about me; knew I was home alone and remembered how much she hated that when her husband traveled.
She felt ‘called TO CALL.’
I was crying, she could tell. I didn’t know what to say to her. I didn’t want to tell her anything, I didn’t trust her. If she learned he was leaving me, she’d most certainly BLAME me for being a horrible wife. I couldn’t bear to hear that.
After a few minutes of hedging, I vaguely admitted the troubles in my marriage – not knowing what the future would hold. Scared at the thought losing my husband, her son. She listened and encouraged me to keep fighting, keep trying, pray – do anything to keep the marriage together. I listened. I agreed.
We prayed on the phone together and she was loving and kind – gentle and supportive. Who was this person? Was this real? She was my adversary of 19 years and called at the exact moment I needed a soothing, reassuring voice. How could this be? Should I trust myself? She I trust her? What was God up to? Should I let go and let her INTO my heart?
I did let go and let God and let her into my heart during that call.
I cried, she reassured and prayed some more. It was what I needed in that moment. And, I’m grateful.
At the end of the call she encouraged me to find the ‘Jesus Calling’ book she sent to her son months prior. She said the passages helped her get through tough times and it might do the same for me.
We said goodbye and hung up.
I was skeptical of her suggestion but looked for the book and couldn’t find it. I subconsciously decided it was just the church lady trying to be a holy roller and push the Jesus factor down my throat.
A few minutes later I picked up my cell and pressed SEND on my earlier text to my friends/my support group – asking them for a book recommendation. Within minutes and to my astonishment, several women offered ‘Jesus Calling’ as their GO TO devotional for daily affirmation and spiritual support. Others chimed in and agreed – “the pages of the book save me on a daily basis – I kiss the pages with gratitude.”
I guess Jesus really was calling – time to wake up and pick up the phone!
I called my mother-in-law back, elated that her suggestion and prayer was answered so quickly. She confidently responded – ‘sometimes God immediately gives you what you need. Amen to answered prayers.’
Since then, this book is on my iPad and part of my challenging journey…a treasured, vital part.
Try leaning of Jesus….even if you’re more spiritual than religious. It’s working for me! Now when I pray or think about being ‘safe’, I imagine sitting on a beach with Jesus…I’m resting up against his chest and I’m warm. I feel the soft ocean air on my face, and the bristles of his unkept beard on my forehead. His arms are wrapped around me – cloaking me in comfort. The sun is setting – or rising, I don’t know – direction for me is irrelevant. I just AM. I BE. I’m still. I’m in the NOW. I don’t need to know about time; I just need to know I’m not alone.