No, I don’t have a photo, but I’d like to tell you about the woman God used to richly bless me.
It was Easter Sunday of 2015. I was driving back home to New Haven after a lovely time with family in Philadelphia. It was a gloomy day, and frankly, my soul was as downcast as the weather. I was struggling with depression after coming home from the mission field, ending a serious relationship, and starting a job I didn’t even want. I felt like the total definition of a “Hot Mess”, but that day God would say otherwise.
An hour into the drive I saw signs for a random exit on I-78, and Holy Spirit strongly urged me to get off. I almost didn’t get off because I just wanted to get home, but last-minute I jerked the wheel and off I went on another adventure. For about 20 minutes I drove down whichever roads I felt led to take and eventually I ended up at a beautiful state park. “Wow” I thought to myself “Jesus, I’ve been so depressed, and you… you really do love me, and know what makes my soul come alive. This place is a gift. Thanks for bringing me here.”
I sat on a bench for a half hour reading my Bible, praying, and just trying to stay warm. It started spitting rain so it seemed like the perfect time to depart, and continue another 2-1/2 hours home. I reached my car, and waited just another moment…. Wondering, “Could there possibly be another reason why God has brought me here?”
Hope was rising, and Jesus had my full attention.
A moment later a middle-aged-golden-haired woman emerged from the woods and was hurriedly heading straight toward me. With one arm raised as if trying to stop me from getting into the car, she boldly exclaimed “I believe God has called you to this place today”.
I stopped dead in my tracks like a deer in headlights. She caught up to me, looked me in the eyes and said “I see the light of Christ in your eyes, you must be a Christian.”
Pausing…. Pausing some more… finally I explain how I am indeed a Christian and that God had called me to that park. We ended up talking for quite a while – praying and prophesying over each other before saying our goodbyes.
Her name was Joan. She came to the park because it was a special place where time after time she would hear the audible voice of God sounding over the gorgeous lake. She explained that I was not the first person God had called off the highway to meet with Him at the lake. God called her there for the first time a few years back, and since then she has met many believers who have wandered off the highway through the prompting of Holy Spirit.
I have never felt so in the palm of God’s hand than during the rainy afternoon I spent with Jesus and Joan. It was so perfectly orchestrated, and it showed me that God hadn’t forgotten about me. He cared about the pain I was walking through, and used a complete stranger to speak life and identity into me when I felt like giving up on life.
God cares. When we listen for His voice and follow even the slightest inclinations in our spirit, we may just be signing ourselves up for the most divine of appointments with Him.
Read Part 1 for another faith building story about a divine appointment