Friday, September 25, 2015

Single Women Series-BOOK REVIEW: "The One" Revealed by Karolyne Roberts

Throughout my life, time and time again, I've heard the age-old adage, "Experience is the best teacher." As I grew and matured, I remember owning those words as a personal truth because I'd seen, first hand, how the pain from a bad decision kept me from repeating whatever it was that caused the pain. Experiencing it caused it to be planted in my memory, and anything that I'd later encounter that resembled it in any way would throw up caution signs and likely trigger thoughts of the pain. And who wants to experience the same pain over and over? 

So as it was designed to do, and like it does so well, the experience taught me to stay choose differently. And thank God for that! I wholeheartedly agree that experience is a mighty fine teacher. And it doesn't have to be my personal experience that teaches the lesson; it can be someone else's experience, and THAT is the BEST teacher--learning from others' mistakes. Why go through it when I don't have to?

With complete assuredness, I can declare that I don't have to burn my hand in the fire to know that it can happen. All I need is to see that fire burn something or someone and I'm good. There's no need for me to travel down that road to test the theory. The same goes for me learning from others' mistakes and pitfalls. If they've told me what to do to stay out of the line of fire, or they've told me what not to do, I've learned that that's just as good a teacher as my own experience. I DO NOT have to learn the hard way. And thank God for the Karolyne Robertses of the world who take what they've learned from experience, couple it with God's truth, and share it with the world so we don't have to get burned.

Women, especially single women, take heed!

"The One" Revealed: A Woman's Hopeful and Helpful Guide In Knowing Who Her Husband Is should be considered nothing less than a jewel. Karolyne Roberts, ebonically speaking, if I may, PUT HER FOOT ALL UP IN THIS BOOK!

The subtitle, A Woman's Hopeful and Helpful Guide In Knowing Who Her Husband Is, could have very well stood alone as the title of the book because Karolyne guides readers in not only knowing how to know who their husbands are, but also in knowing who they are not. She guides readers in knowing how to be in position for their husbands and how not to get out of position prematurely. She teaches how not to manipulate situations to make it fit one's own desires to have a husband. She instructs readers on how to allow God to make all the moves in orchestrating the meeting of, and eventually the joining with that husband. And she so eloquently does this with Testimony, Truth, and Tough Love as she stresses the importance of Timing and Trust.
Naturally, most women (likely, all) who will purchase the book will be drawn in by the title. Isn't that how we decide what we want to read, for the most part? Readers see a title like that and they want to know how to know who their husbands are. And if the author is married and willing to share how she knew who her husband was, BINGO! There's just nothing like learning from someone who's walked it out. Karolyne opens the book with her story, and it was the perfect way to start! I devoured that first chapter in minutes; it was hard to put down. The details of how she met her husband, Chris, were candid and transparent. From them meeting and dating, to them taking a break to grow individually, to the God-orchestrated reunion, to courtship, to engagement and finally to's all there. The emotions that she felt at each stage were literally jumping from the page. Love. It was there. Shame. It was there. Pain. It was there. Doubt. It was there. Fear. It was there. But then there was this overwhelming excitement that was laced through all of it because she was learning at each stage--from their initial meeting to the day they were married--to trust God more and more with handling the husband he had for her, regardless of what it looked like. Karolyne doesn't falter in telling readers that no one could have written her love story more perfectly than the God who knew her and knew Chris and knew exactly what each of them were destined to do, together, for His glory. If she would have written it herself, it wouldn't have been that good! Inside her testimony, she guides readers and tells them where she went wrong and what she did right. She talked about times that she was led by the Lord, and times that she was led by lust. After hearing her personal play-by-play, it's evident that she has a lot to share and that she can offer wisdom in the area of knowing who one's husband is. And it's almost impossible to stop reading after that!

I was SO glad Karolyne didn't paint ribbons in the sky or hang a fairytale curtain to cover the window of truth. She didn't say "you'll meet him on a perfect Spring day, you'll both fall in love after your first conversation, and you'll live happily ever after." She was real in telling readers that everyone's story is different; everyone's situation is different; people are different. She explained that God is God and can very well cause someone's story to go that exact way, but He can also cause it not to. She encouraged readers to not even look to anyone else's stories, but to allow God to write their story His way specifically for them. And how does one do that? She must first know God and know His voice, and she can't know His voice without knowing His word.

One of my favorite excerpts from the book reads, "When God is speaking, it's either directly from His word or in line with His word. You will have peace about it. When the enemy is speaking, it's contrary to God's word or it's a twisted version of God's word. If you don't know God's word, how will you be able to decipher whether or not what you're hearing is a twisted version of it?"

So can I believe that the Lord said Mr. Man is my husband and be completely wrong about it? Absolutely! The truth is this: The enemy is a master deceiver. If your hope is built on simply knowing who your husband is and being found by Him rather than knowing "The One" who knows your husband and being known by HIM, the enemy can play on your emotions and your hope and have quite a field day! The only way to prevent that is to be so closely in tune with God's voice that you'll know when you're hearing Him. If you know His voice, God's word tells us that another voice you will not follow. And Karolyne keeps God's word flowing, scripture upon scripture of truth, throughout every chapter so readers will understand that THE "KNOWING" DOESN'T HAPPEN APART FROM GOD! Relationship with "The One" is everything in knowing who one's husband is. That's the ultimate truth.

Tough Love
Single women everywhere can be honest and say that there are moments when being single gets tough. When a single woman's friends are married or in relationships, but she's alone, and when her family gathers on holidays with their spouses and she's alone, it can be down right hard. We were created for relationship (first, with God), so the desire to be in relationship is as natural as it gets, but relationship must be purposeful. Someone might say, "If we were made for relationship, and I desire to be in a relationship, why can't I just marry someone I love and who loves me?" That might work if we weren't created with individual purpose and if God didn't design for our individual purposes to come together and work as one in a marriage unit. Karolyne explains this very well in the book. Marrying just anyone will do more damage than good because when two people are joined in marriage, it's not just for being together. It's for working together to fulfill the purposes of God in the earth. It's to make Jesus known and to draw others to Him.

The single season can be even harder for the one who knows she's heard from the Lord about who her husband will be but doesn't see any progress. It could even seem like any hint of a relationship between the two of them is actually headed in the opposite direction. Karolyne addresses this with specific scenarios in the chapter titled, Knowing Who Your Husband Will Be..." The scenarios are so eye opening and definitely help readers see what it means to simply let God be God. In one scenario, a woman who believes God has told her who her husband is takes matters into her own hands. Rather than allowing God to speak to the man, and rather than patiently and quietly waiting for the man to pursue her, she makes moves to try and "help God" out with the process. This was probably one of my favorite parts of the book. It paints such a clear picture of what it looks like to get in God's way, somewhere we should never want to be.

Karolyne explains, "What we sometimes fail to realize is that God does not need our help in keeping His word. He will keep His word all by Himself, whether we are involved or not and whether we have knowledge of the future or not. You can sabotage God's plans for you when you are disobedient and step outside of His will by trying to take matters into your own hands."

It's tough to hear, but Karolyne says it in love. We just can't do it our way. It has to be God's way.

He knows the plans He has for us. He knows what we need when we need it. And the truth is this: If the Lord wanted us to have something right now, we'd have it right now. Who knows what He's trying to develop in us in our waiting? Karolyne uses the example of when she became pregnant with her first child and how she and her husband wanted, and hoped that the pregnancy would've been sooner. They both saw later that they needed that time together to grow in marriage first. They needed time with just them to figure out their new oneness. The same goes for individual development. God knows you. He created you. He knows if you're ready to handle sharing your space. He's still working compromise in you. He knows if you're ready to handle sharing your time. He's still working patience in you. He knows if you're ready to endure trials and miscommunication and hardship. He's still working perseverance in you. You have to trust God with the timing. He sees our end from our beginning. He knows what's best for us. He knows the plan. And no matter if you have to wait 6 months or 6 years before even meeting your husband, you have to know that God's timing is what's best, no matter what it looks like. Karolyne knows a thing or two about that too. She knows about timing. 7 months. You have to read to learn about the 7 months that took place in her and Chris' story. Just know that He has the plan...He has the plan... He has the plan...

Trust is evident in Karolyne's testimony. She had to trust what she heard from the Lord when she heard Him say that Chris was her husband. She had to trust when it didn't seem like it was him. She had to trust when she thought back to another relationship that hadn't worked like she'd hoped. She had to trust Him because if He said it, then it must be. And it proved to be so when she heard Chris say that the Lord told him that she was his wife. You've just got to read her story!

There were so many powerful nuggets of wisdom throughout this short, very well-written book. And like I said, it was so good that I couldn't put it down. I read it in pretty much one sitting. This guide is rich with truth. It's rich with openness and a genuine desire to see women not have to travel a road that's unfruitful. Karolyne shared her experience, the highs and the lows, to keep us out of the fire. Will we take heed?

Get a taste of some of the titles of the chapters in the book...
  • I Keep Having Dreams - What Do They Mean?
  • He Doesn't Even Know Me. Am I Crazy?
  • How To Hear God's Voice
  • I Think I Married the Wrong Person
You can learn more about the book and the author by joining us on the virtual book tour! Read more reviews and book excerpts, read/watch interviews and other videos, and register for giveaways! Click Virtual Book Tour to register!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Single Women Series: Let Him Honor You

This morning I was studying I Corinthians 5, focusing on the subject of judging and feeling like I might go a bit more in depth with my study there, but the Lord interrupted that train of thought and came full blast with this. I quickly wrote it down in my journal.

Dear Single Women Who Desire To Do Marriage God's Way:

A man who loves and honors God would not even ask you...push you...suggest that you have sex before you're married. And if you suggest it, he'd reject you. Why? Because he knows that it doesn't honor God, and as a man, knowing that he is in a position to potentially lead you, he has to show what integrity looks like. He has to show what fidelity to you, to the scriptures, and to His relationship with the Lord look like. A lust that causes him to answer to his flesh and ignore his spirit is DESTURCTION. And he knows this. He refuses to dishonor God, and he knows that dishonoring you in this way is certainly dishonoring God.

He knows the consequence is a conviction that will grab him so tightly that he'd rather die than live through it. He knows he'll have to answer to the Lord and that consequences will follow. Then, he has to answer to you. He'll know that he failed you. He'll know that those moments of pleasure will have potentially destroyed a lifetime of purpose in his union with you. He'll now struggle with assuredness in leading you because he failed to lead in that area. He'll battle within himself, wondering if he's even worthy of leading you at all.

A man who wants you as his wife...a man who desires to lead you and walk together with you in purpose, refuses to dishonor God by dishonoring you. He REFUSES! If sex outside of marriage is okay for the man you're with, RUN! He does not honor God; He does not honor you. If you marry him anyway, expect unfruitful compromise in his leadership that will probably be a result of him caving under pressure.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


A few weeks ago I traveled to Lake Charles, LA to conduct a dance workshop. While there, I had the privilege of hearing Pastor Michael Cuba (Saints Memorial Church of God In Christ) teach the Word of God, and I can say, with all sincerity, that I followed the message from top to bottom. For the life of me, though, I cannot remember the overall message. That's because somewhere about midway through his teaching, he said something that hasn't left my spirit. It's been stirring and stirring within me from the moment it fell upon my ears. I literally stopped in my tracks and subconsciously, and rather intently, processed the phrase as I slid in and out of hearing the rest of the message. Later, when being transported to the airport, I sat in silence and thought about that phrase and what it means to not just me, but to everyone who professes to be a follower of Christ. I thought about it on the plane and then began talking to God about it, and I've been talking to Him about it ever since. Which led me to this moment--the moment that it just HAD TO BE shared.

Pastor Cuba referenced Matthew 5:13 (NIV) which says, "You are the salt of the earth..." In this verse, Jesus is talking to crowds of people who'd been following Him from city to city to hear His teaching and see Him perform miracles. He was saying to them that if they were His followers, they should be "the ingredient" that others need to better "taste" and understand His teachings. They were to be the living "ingredient" that others "taste" to know what it looks like to follow and be like Him. Although Jesus was speaking directly to the followers of His time, it was a parabolic teaching that applies to all of His followers-- the followers then, the followers now, and the followers to come. We (Christians) are all the salt of the earth.

After Pastor Cuba referenced the verse, He took it a bit further. He talked about some of the natural uses and basic benefits of salt. He said salt was used for this and salt was used for that, but he ended with that phrase--the phrase that won't leave me alone. He said...

This is true for our physical bodies. The salt in the foods we eat does make us thirsty. (Quick Science Note: Salt acts like a magnet and pulls water out of our cells. The cells send signals to let the brain know that they need water to dilute the salt. This is when we begin to feel thirsty.) I immediately thought of myself and my ongoing love affair with potato chips. I could seriously eat them all day! But as much as I enjoy chips, I can't eat them without a drink nearby that I sip constantly. The times that I've eaten chips without a steady drink, I experienced dry, cotton mouth, and my body screamed for fluid to offset the salt intake. And no drink did the job like water.
So, just like salt gets into our physical bodies and causes them to thirst for water, we, who are salt, should rouse thirst too. There should be something about people who are considered salt that makes others want to "quench their thirst" with the living water, who is Jesus Christ. People who are the salt of the earth should make others thirsty.

I've been asking myself, "Iantha, are people thirsty when they're with you? Do people desire the living water, Jesus, after 'tasting' your presence? Do they want to know more of who He is after seeing who He is in you? Do they desire to follow Him and be more like Him because of how He lives in you? Or has your salt lost its flavor (effectiveness), like Matthew 5:13 goes on to say? Is there no thirst at all?

When people are around me, there should be something about me that's flavorful. The salt of my speech, my conversation, my kindness, my compassion, and my love should reflect Him. My reactions to situations should reflect Him. Where I spend my time should reflect Him. My relationships should reflect Him. My LIFE should reflect Him. All of that salt should make them thirsty. And not thirsty for me or to be like me, but to be like the One who makes me that way. They should want to know who He is when they 'taste' my life.

And what about you? When people are with you, are they thirsty to know Him, the living water, who if they drink of Him, they'll never thirst again? (John 4:10-14)  Are you making people thirsty?

  • Are we joining in conversation with coworkers about others in our workplace?
  • Is our speech wholesome?
  • Are we building people up, encouraging them, and complimenting them, or are we making sly jokes and tearing them down?
  • Are we loving like He loves?
  • Are we taking cheap shots at people on social media with blanket statements that target them?
  • Are we creating and posting crude memes?
  • Are we honest?
  • Are we catty, conniving, and/or crafty?
  • Do we scheme and plot others' demise?
  • Do we obey and respect authority?

I was convicted by the Holy Spirit on some things very recently that made me take a long, hard look at myself and measure the effectiveness of my salt. You should do the same. And we should do it often. Let's not have our salt lose its flavor. Let's make people thirst.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Do You Love Jesus But Still Cuss A Little?

A few months ago, I saw a meme floating around social media that literally broke my heart. I screen shot it and held on to it because my spirit just wouldn't let it go. I was hurt! Every now and then I would look at it and ask God, "WHY, Lord? Why would anyone who loves you say something like this? Why do people insist on making the Christian life look like a circus and Jesus look like some clown?"

I knew the time would soon come when I'd write about it because every day, my heart grew heavier and heavier at just the thought of how many times the meme was "liked" and shared. Then, just the other day, I ran across a picture of a t-shirt that is very much like the meme, and it bothered me SO MUCH that I was on the verge of tears in prayer.
As I talked to God about it, I cried out for those who merely love Him with their lips but have hearts that are far from Him. And shoot...after reading the memes, I wondered, "Do they even love Him with their lips?"
Since the meme, and even more since having seen the picture of the t-shirt, a slew of questions have been pounding away at my heart. Why do we, who claim to love Jesus, glory in the fact that we still knowingly and voluntarily behave contrary to what He desires of us? Why do we knowingly and voluntarily do what He tells us not to do?

I understand that we don't get saved and give our lives to The Lord and get delivered from everything all at once. I get that. And I know that some things in our lives take more time than others to be completely surrendered unto the Lord. I know that we are daily "working out our salvation" as The Word says we should, but when did it become okay to flaunt that we engage in acts of sin? When did it become okay to make sport of our unwillingness to live and walk as He says we should?

To say, "I love Jesus BUT..." says quite a bit.
Those words alone are evidence that we know loving Him requires more of us. When we say BUT, we acknowledge that what comes after the BUT isn't pleasing to Him, and that it does not represent who He is. It's like saying, "I know I shouldn't eat these cookies, BUT..." You know that you've been working hard to lose weight and your personal trainer said that cookies are out of the question. You want the cookies, and even though you know you shouldn't eat them, you eat them anyway. You know that what's on the other side of the BUT is no good for you, but you do it anyway. You let the cookies win, and at that moment, you show that the cookies have the power. The cookies have control.

When we say, "I love Jesus, BUT I cuss a little and will cuss you out," we say that sin has more of a hold on us than the Jesus who we claim to love does.
We say, without saying (which really says it all), that sin is our master and that it has the power to rule over the Jesus who we claim we love. And that shouldn't be. When we've given our lives to Jesus and said that we want to live for Him, sin SHOULD NOT be our master. (Sin, in its simplest explanation, is anything we say, think, or do that does not please God.)

Romans 6:14 - "For sin shall not be your master because you are not under law, but under grace."
Romans 6:18 - " You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness."

God's word tells us to be self-controlled and temperate (Titus 3). It tells us to not let any unwholesome speech come from our lips but only what is helpful for building others up. The Word of God tells us to get rid of rage and malice, and to be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:29-32). When we lose control and allow rage and malice to take over and "make us cuss", sin has become the master.

Jesus says, in John 14:15, "If you love me, you'll obey my commandments." That's it. It's plain. We don't show Him we love Him by simply saying we love Him. It doesn't work that way. He sees our love for Him when we do what He tells us to do. Love is an action word, and He showed it first with the ultimate display of love--death on a cross so we could have life. He showed His love for us and now requires that we demonstrate our love for Him. One way we demonstrate our love for him is by taming our tongues.

We want those who love us to show that they love us. We're not okay with them just saying they do, especially those of us in relationships with a significant other. When those who say they love us don't show it, or do anything contrary to what love looks like, we question that love. Others may even see that their "love" doesn't look like "love" based on their actions. Why should our love with Jesus be any different?

What do others think when they see someone who "loves" Jesus not "loving" Jesus, but doing things and saying things that look like they don't even know Him?
We not only have a responsibility to "love" Jesus, but we have a responsibility to show others what the love of Jesus looks like. If you have given your life to Christ, know that there are people who are specifically assigned to you. God has them strategically placed throughout your life's walk to learn from the life you live. Lead them in righteousness by living a life that pleases God. I urge you, if you love Him like you say you do, SHOW it in how you live for Him. SHOW it in how you obey Him. Love Him for real.

By all means, continue to work out your salvation and allow the Lord to captivate your heart and gain complete control over sin in your life, but please, for the REAL love of God, don't blast your sin to the world like it's okay. Don't parade your voluntary, I'm-gon'-do-it-anyway sin and become a stumbling block for those who may be watching you as Christ's representative. We all have struggles that are worth sharing, but we share our struggles when they'll benefit someone else, and we share them when we stand on the other side of them so others can see how we came through and how we overcame. Talk about your struggles when you can let the world know how God delivered you. Let them hear about what the struggle WAS to show them that they, too, can be free from their own struggles. Until then, take your sin to The Lord, and let Him have it. There are lives at stake! Others' lives could change based on the way we live ours!

When we sin, we should have Godly sorrow, and Godly sorrow doesn't boast in displeasing God. A heart that really loves God suffers and breaks when it knows it's not pleasing to God. That heart...that life...wouldn't dare stand boldly before God and say, "Lord, I love you. And I know you sacrificed and died for me, and you provide for, protect, guide and love me unconditionally, but I'm gon' live any kind of way and drag your love through the mud."  The heart that loves God cries to Him to change it so it can look more like Him and so it can not only look like it loves Him, but SHOW that it loves Him. It wants its actions to line up with who He is. It wants to go and hide under a rock if it doesn't! The last thing it wants is to post its sin--its voluntary, I'm-gon-do-it-anyway sin--on the mountaintop for all the world to see.

When Christ lives in me, and I develop His mind and His way of thinking as my own, I should WANT to live like Him. When I love Him, I look like Him. When He truly lives in me, the words that come out of my mouth represent Him.

I'll close with this last meme. I was so glad when I saw it. It was my glimmer of hope. It was a sweet reminder that there are those who labor with me...with us...who honor God's word and love Him with not just our lips but with our actions. There are those of us who know that cussing a little could hurt a LOT. We know that "going off on people" doesn't represent Christ. We know that fits of rage exhibit a lack of self-control, and we refuse to engage. We refuse to join those who take part in the Christianity Circus because we prefer the Christ-Like Kingdom! Will you join us?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ooooh, Siri...

I have been having quite a time with Ms. Siri lately! My LORD!

I remember when I became an "iPhoner" and how I REFUSED to use Siri. It felt weird to ask "someone" the things that I was accustomed to looking up or getting some other way on my own. Part of it, too, was that I just hate acclimating myself to new technology. I didn't want to give 'ole girl a chance because I was a little aggravated with the differences between iPhone and Droid. I was spoiled and just wanted to talk, text, and search the way I always had. (I thought I would DIE because I couldn't swype when I texted! "Tap tap" texting was not my style.)

I had a phew iPhone phanatic phriends who would tell me over and over that my life would be easier if I just let Siri set my appointments and guide me where I wanted to go. They told me that I'd save so much time if I just told Siri to call Billisha or call Chantel. I wouldn't have to use both hands and totally take my eyes away from doing something else. I could speak into the phone and work on something else at the same time.

They literally showed me what to do. My friend, Aiesha (the Apple guru supreme), met me at my house the day I bought my iPhone to give me a tutorial. I mean, I was SET! But it still took me a while to get into "talking" to Siri. I wasn't feelin' that chick.

Eventually, I got into the hang of telling Siri what to do, and I grew accustomed to her coming through pretty much every time. If she didn't get my request 100% correct, she got me close enough that I was able to figure the rest out. She set appointments and made reminders perfectly, and to this day, she has reminded me of everything I've ever asked her to.

...and we were good up until about a week ago until Siri started straight TRIPPIN'!

I wasn't doing anything different. I wasn't making any strange requests. I would set appointments and reminders, and like I said, those were made with 100% accuracy, but one day I held down that button and asked, "Where are the one-hour cleaners in my area?"

This was not an unusual question, and you would think she would know "my flow" since we've been kickin' it for about 2 years, but she didn't answer the question accurately at all! So I asked her again in a different way. And another time...

I got NOTHING...nothing that I could use anyway.

This one-hour cleaners request was like the 3rd request that week that Siri just couldn't come through on. Before I knew it, I was engaging in a conversation with the Siri that I remembered, at that moment, I never really wanted to become too dependent on in the first place. Our "conversation" went like this:

And no sooner than I read that last one, I heard the Lord say to me, "She's not your source for direction."

I sat the phone down and just smiled. It was such a sweet and gentle reminder. The Lord just stopped me cold and reminded me to look to Him for direction. NO, not for directions to a one-hour cleaners. NO, not for directions to a store or as my navigation to some place I'd never been before, but as my direction in life.

I could never ask Siri, "What was I created to do?"  OR "What's my life's purpose?" and get an answer that would satisfy me. She wouldn't be able to answer that question because she didn't create me. I could never ask her how I should go about fulfilling my life's purpose because she didn't create me with purpose in mind. She doesn't know the path I should take because she doesn't know my destination. But God does.

Psalm 139
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

When I think about how God created me with purpose in my mother's womb, I'm reminded of why I MUST seek HIM for direction.

When I hear Jesus say in Matthew 10:30 that the hairs on my head are all numbered, I'm reminded of why I MUST seek HIM for direction.

When I see how God gave me particular gifts and skills to be used SPECIFICALLY for fulfilling the purpose He created me for, I'm reminded of why I MUST seek HIM for direction.

He's the manufacturer who knows just how His "product" should work. Me seeking after anyone or anything else for the answers would be a waste.

I was so grateful for that reminder. I'm grateful that my hope isn't in Siri for life's questions. I'm glad my purpose destination isn't in her hands. If it were in her hands, or anyone else's for that matter, those 2 minutes of frustration I experienced with her could very well be a lifetime--no answers, no direction, no destination--just aimlessly wandering about.

Can you imagine asking Siri a pressing life question and getting this response?

That's the response I got to a question today.

But if I ask Jesus, though...

Ask Him those life questions. I bet He can make it real clear. No one else (and nothing else) has the answers for your life. You were created with a purpose, and the manufacturer knows how His "product" should operate and where it should go. Let Him be your source for direction.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Unexpected Blessings from Strangers Unaware

Some Saturdays ago, I was having a lazy day at the house with NO plans of going out...AT ALL...for ANYTHING! I just wanted to bask in the nothingness of having nowhere to be at some appointed time, and the joy of having no papers to grade.

It wasn't until I had a craving for something that wasn't in my kitchen that I ended up going out. I threw on some jeans and one of my "look good with anything" jackets, and to Smoothie King I went. (Their Apple Kiwi Kale is AMAZING!)

As I was leaving Smoothie King, I thought of some things that I should pick up from the grocery store since I was already out. I had to pass the grocery store to get home, so why not stop? I ran in, got what I needed, and got back in the car to make the less-than-3-minute drive back to my house.

I turned the key in the ignition, but the car wouldn't start. I didn't even give it a second thought to just go ahead and start it up again because my car, in all of its 10 years with me, had NEVER given me any major problems. Outside of regular maintenance, it's been good to me. I knew nothing was wrong. I was even a little arrogant about it. I said to my friend who I was on the phone with the whole time, "I'm just gon' give it few minutes. I'm gon' sit here and just let her chill for a second and I'll try again."

I waited.

Then, after about 5 minutes, I tried to start the car up again, and nothing. That time, I noticed that the battery light was flickering a little on the dash when I tried to start it. And so it was. My battery had died right there in the grocery store parking lot. I couldn't believe it.

If it wasn't so cold that night, I would've walked right on home and had someone go and take care of the car the next day. That would've been the perfect solution, I thought. But my friend convinced me to just find someone with jumper cables, let them get my car started, and get the car to my house, at least. After sitting in the car for a bit, talking about how to do what to do, I finally decided to go into the grocery store to Customer Service and see if they could help me find someone who could get me going.

I told the young lady behind the counter that I was gonna stand right there for a second, in a place where I could see lots of customers moving about, because I needed to find someone who had some jumper cables.

She said, "I have some in my car." 

I squealed! I said, "Giiirl, no you don't!"

She laughed and said, "I do. My grandmother just made me put them in my trunk too."  She told me to just hang tight for a second while she finished up what she was doing. When she finished, she looked around and said, "Now we just have to find somebody to jump it."

I don't remember if the young man came along while we were still in the store or if we met him outside, but I just know that when we got outside to the girl's car, he was right there, ready to do whatever he needed to do to get my car started.

We got the jumper cables from her trunk, and as she was closing the trunk, a woman and her daughter who were parked right next to her said, "Y'all need  a jump? You can use this thing my husband put in here."

She went to the back of her truck and pulled out a jumper cable box. She said that her husband had just put it in her truck THE DAY BEFORE because the truck had stopped on her a few times before. The woman and her daughter handed the box on over to the young man who was ready to help. He got right to my car, hooked up the cable, and got the car started. Unfortunately, the start up was too weak for me to even get the car in reverse.  It died after about a minute or two.

I had to call someone.

I didn't want to call my brother in Christ who is sort of like a father figure because I knew after working long hours Tuesday - Friday, he loves being able to work a short day on Saturday at Manny's Service Center. Plus, he works on cars all day. I didn't want to call him to come and work on ANOTHER car. He was the last person I wanted to call, but he was the first person to come to mind.

I called him.
I explained what was going on.
He finished what he was doing at the shop.
He came to rescue me.

He had a nifty little jumper box that he uses at the shop. That thing couldn't have been bigger than a Nintendo DS! It started my car right up and had her purring like her first day. I had already determined after everything that had happened and NOT happened that I was going straight to O'Reilly Auto Parts, get the battery changed, and THEN go home. I had already called the store to make sure they were still open. They were scheduled to close in an hour.


My brother followed me over there, assisted me in the store to make sure I got a good battery and new plugs or something they said I needed on top of the battery (I'm sure that term is wrong. Ha! Whatever!), and even helped the O'Reilly technician get my new battery in the car.  He didn't leave until the job was complete and I was in my fully operational car.

I was beyond grateful for the love God showed me through those people that night. I was COMPLETELY taken care of from the beginning to the end of the ordeal. I didn't even have an opportunity to become scared or frantic.

When I got home after it all, I clearly heard the Lord tell me to thank the young lady and the young man at the grocery store. He told me to love on them with His love and encourage them to continue to love others with their service. When they give of themselves as willingly as they did, they show God's kind of love to others even if they don't know Him. That was my main point in their Thank You cards. And per God's instruction, inside each Thank You card was a Walmart gift card. I couldn't wait to give it to them! I couldn't wait for them to experience the gratefulness that comes with unexpected blessings from strangers unaware.


I went back to the grocery store a couple times in the next couple weeks, but I didn't see either of them. One Saturday, though, I hit the jackpot. They were BOTH working! I gave them what I had for them and asked if they'd mind taking pictures with me to commemorate the experience. They didn't mind at all.


I only know their names because I asked. I didn't even have to know. Knowing them didn't matter. I may not ever see them again, and that won't matter either. (When I took the picture with the young man, he told me that he would only be working there a few more days. Umph, umph, umph...) What mattered was that moment. What mattered was that time. What mattered was pure, genuine humanity--the sheer desire to help others in their time of need. I haven't been the same since that experience, and I never will be. I'm grateful that God chose me to have the dead battery that night. I'm grateful to have learned a lesson in love that night--love that's shown through service.