Wednesday, July 6, 2011
It was Sunday morning, the last day of our trip, and we were going to church with my cousins.
I was sitting in the service listening to the funniest preacher I have ever heard. He was preaching it from the pulpit, spit flying. He was animated, and I was laughing really hard and really loud.
Confusion overwhelmed me. This place was wonderful. This life style was one that I never imagined I would be attracted to. A smile rested upon my face, hiding my real emotional state. I could feel the pressure behind my eyes, tears standing by ready to be released at any moment, by any trigger. Think about something else, I thought to myself. But no matter how hard I tried, no topic, not even the preacher’s voice, was bigger than the topic of moving our family to this place.
I imagined driving away, waving to my mom and dad as they stood on the street corner with large tears streaming down their faces while they waved goodbye to their daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. I imagined the miles of distance resulting in a detachment from them emotionally. Would my children know them anymore? When Grandma and Grandpa came to visit, would they shy away from them as they do with strangers? I can’t do this, I thought to myself, I can’t think about these things. Truly, they were things that did not concern me, things I had no control over, things I couldn’t worry about, shouldn’t worry about, but then why did they have such power over me?
Before I knew it, my thoughts were interrupted by the preacher closing in prayer. Oh good, let this day pass quickly. I was looking forward to the flight home. I wanted to see my kids, and I wanted to have a chance to process all the thoughts that were racing wildly through my head.
As we filed out of the row of seats, I looked up, my eyes quickly scanned across the room, finally resting upon an elderly man looking at me. His face stuck out to me for no particular reason, only because his eyes did not shift from mine. He looked at me as if he wanted my attention. I smiled politely. He started to come closer, approaching me and my husband. He must be a friendly guy, I thought to myself. His wife followed behind him. Once we stood before them, the man began to speak, “I believe God has put on my heart something to say to you.”
I was immediately taken aback by his comment. Now I am not one to believe in signs, so I stiffened. But what if this person could be used? Could God really talk to me through a stranger? In my head I quickly said to Him, “If this is from you, this is going to have to be very specific for me to believe it is from you.”
The man continued, “God wants me to tell you that you need to simplify your lives.” He then continued, “We can only see a few steps ahead of us because God gives us a lamp to light our feet not a beam.” Oh my gosh, I had been so stressed attempting to plan 20 years ahead for our family! He continued, telling us how he used to live in L.A. and decided to move to this place to raise his children and to live a more simple life. I could no longer hold my tears back. And the tears that were coming, were not just a few. I was sobbing. I looked up at my husband who was standing beside me. His face was covered in tears too. It is very seldom that I see him cry. He is not a crying kind of guy. I said to the Lord, in my head, “Yep, I believe that was specific enough.” The man and his wife hugged us and told us they would be praying for us. I didn’t want it to end. I had important questions I needed the answers to. But we didn’t say much back to them. We didn’t have the chance; we were too overwhelmed. We didn’t even explain ourselves or tell our story. It was such a brief encounter, one that seemed anything but coincidence.
We parted ways with the couple and searched through the crowd to find my cousin and his wife. Looks of shock and concern were on their faces when we approached them with red eyes and tear stained faces. “What happened?” They asked. “Oh, it would be too hard to explain,” we answered. We believed God just spoke to us through perfect strangers, that somehow these strangers knew exactly what we needed to hear at exactly the right time. Could we even explain?
I left from that place, confused, but also, at the same time reassured that we were headed down the right road. Everything in our lives, strangers and all, were pointing us in the same direction….to simplify.
And that is all we could be sure of.
Now, if I could only find that man again…
and ask him if we should have another baby.