IS THAT YOU, LORD?
I finished teaching and promoting my wonderful students at Burnside Elementary to fifth grade. The school would let me know by July if they needed me to teach the coming year. My pastor asked me to organize his personal library and lead the summer youth activities. Having worked in the college library 3 ½ years I knew how to use the dewy decimal system. His wife was thrilled I would be typing the weekly, Sunday church bulletin, giving her a much needed break.
Only seven youth showed up for the first youth meeting. I noticed a pair of love birds who would need supervision. The teens seemed stand-offish at first. The fun things I suggested made the seven youth crinkle their noses; their fun suggestions were unrealistic and too expensive. It seemed nobody wanted to compromise so I made the first activity decision. At our first outing only four youth showed up at the church and one adult. The four youth filled the one adult’s car so I planned to follow them but the teens insisted I could take the day off. I was more than stunned.
MORNING LIGHT BY MISLAV MAROHNIC CREATIVE COMMONSFLICKR
With my roommate gone, I had planned to sleep in one Saturday morning. Without warning, the July sun burst down through the bedroom sky light and woke me. I covered my eyes and flipped over on my side only to be jarred awake from a door slamming downstairs. Someone yelled a few obscenities and the auto repair shop door slammed again. It was no use so I got up and got dressed. When I finished making the bed I slumped down on the edge of the bed with a sigh and closed my eyes. As plain as the curly hair on my head I heard a voice say, "Kathy, it’s time to go to seminary!"
My eyes flew open to see if Jesus was there. I couldn’t see Him but I definitely felt His presence. I finally whispered, “Is that you, Lord?” No response. The seven celestial words pulsated like a neon light inside my head. “If this is you, Lord, you’ve got to give me some kind of a confirmation.”
Just a few days later the phone rang. I answered it before the second ring. “Hello!”
“Hi, Kathy! Guess who this is!”
“Mary Lou, is that you?” I relished her giggle. (I don't have a picture of her but the image below reminds me of her.)
ODINE by Roberta R. CREATIVE COMMONSFLICKR
“Yes, who else would I be?” she said giggling again.
“I can’t believe it! How is seminary going?” I asked.
“Seminary’s great! I’m dating someone and we’re talking about marriage.”
“Wow! You’ll have to tell me all about him.”
“I will tell you all about Jim Beasley when I come through Somerset this Friday on a mission!”
“This Friday?” I asked. “What kind of mission?”
“A mission to talk you in to coming to seminary,” she said.
I was flabbergasted! Was this my confirmation from the Lord? I didn’t dare tell Mary Lou about the message … not yet. Had God spoken to her, too?
When Mary Lou arrived in Somerset, Ky., I let her talk non-stop about glorious seminary life and how the ratio of guys to girls was nine to one. Before Mary Lou lost her voice I told her about the message from the Lord.
“You mean you let me babble on and on like an idiot for three days and you already had a voice from the Lord?”
I sheepishly smiled, “Sorry, I needed a solid confirmation plus I’m still not sure.”
“You’re not sure? What more do you need to hear?” Mary Lou said, exasperated. “Abraham obeyed God the first day! The mother of our Lord said to Gabriel let it be as you have said.”
I could almost see the steam rising from my friend’s strawberry crop of curls. “I’m sorry, Mary Lou! I just want to be sure I’m going to seminary for the right reason and not to snag a husband. Besides, Burnside Elementary wants me back to teach fourth grade.”
“Okay, then. Go ahead and ignore God and me. Let the devil talk you in to staying in this small, do nothing town. You said yourself, Lee and the church youth dumped you.”
“Ouch! That hurts!”I said.
“It’s their lost and your gain! It proves God has bigger plans for you, but not here!” Mary Lou said. “Keep in mind, young lady, in case you have forgotten, you surrendered your life to full time Christian service in Hopkinsville, Ky.”
She was right, again. God was bringing me full circle and I doubted it out of fear. “I’m afraid to go to New Orleans, Mary Lou!”
“I know! I know! But, I’ll be right there with you showing you the ropes!”
“Alright, I’ll go!” I said as a boulder of relief fell off my shoulders. “I’ll have to say goodbye to a lot of good people and a very good job offer.”
“I know it will be hard but you’re giving up security to go into unknown territory for the Lord like a real missionary!
“Now, when you put it that way!” I said feeling more relieved.
“See there! You’re going to have the time of your life obeying God at seminary! Pick me up in two weeks on your way to seminary and I’ll navigate us down there!”
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Has Truth ever slapped you in the face and you doubted it so much you totally missed a blessing? Or, did you almost miss it like I did and you were glad you trusted the Lord? Please leave a comment.