Butterfly Sparks Designs

Sunday, May 18, 2008

...God is so cool...

so i'm back. from the craziness of selling and buying a house. and from a 2 week mission trip to ghana.  did you even know i was gone? i haven't blogged for a month and a half (eeek), and i'm ready to get back to it. so give me grace if it's a little patchy over the next few weeks.

i plan to blog a bit about ghana, but for today i'm gonna start with a story about God's goodness.

yesterday i was feeling a little blue.  it was a mix of a bunch of things-- jet lag, an argument with steve, being displaced, and the reality setting in that we are in our last week of being in florida and will be leaving some really great friends.  i had decided to get a pedicure because: 1. i haven't had 30 minutes alone in 3 weeks and needed some time; 2.  my feet were in need of some serious tlc since pounding the dirt roads of ghana; 3. i only get 2 or so pedi's each year, and i've been waiting ever so patiently for my summer treat. :) so i went.

so while i'm getting my pedicure i notice an older woman come into the nail place.  i'm a people watcher, and i always find myself wondering about people's stories... what's going on in their lives, how they see themselves, and if they know jesus.  this particular woman looked a bit blue herself.  i had finished up the pedi, and she was still waiting for someone to work on her nails.  i decided to get a manicure to boot because my hands were in awful shape and it was only 8 bucks more. i was moved over to a manicure booth, and that older woman was moved to the booth next to mine.  she only said about two or three sentences to the vietnamese woman helping her, but i could tell from those 2 sentences that she was struggling in life.  i surmised that someone important in her life must have died. now, granted, i was not invited into her conversation. i just overheard her because she was 2 feet away. 

then i felt like God wanted me to encourage her. i have to admit i quickly (but temporarily) dismissed this option, because, well, i had no idea what her response would be and it's uncomfortable to approach a complete stranger with a "word" from God. so i waited. and God said to do it. i knew it was him because he wouldn't let me blow it off. and my heart was beating extra fast. ugh.... what if she screams at me about God's lack of intervention in her life, etc.? geez, i was depressed myself. i wasn't up for a theological debate in the nail place. all reasons to not do it. but i knew i was going to anyway. i listened for what he wanted me to say.

i was moved over to the drying lights, far away from my original spot next to her. after my nails were dry, i made my way back to her.  i touched her on the shoulder, leaned down, and told her that the Lord told me to tell her that everything was going to be alright, even though it may not feel like it. her eyes welled up with tears, and she asked, "really?" i showed her the emblem on my ghanaian necklace, and told her it is a west african symbol meaning "except God." except for God we can do nothing. i told her the scriptures tells us that God never lets anything happen to us that we can't handle. and reminded her once again that she would be alright. she thanked me sincerely, and i knew that our conversation-however brief- had affected her and given her hope. i didn't share overly profound words, but i'm convinced they were exactly what she needed for this season.

god is so cool. i love when he does stuff like that!  he allowed me to minister to a woman in real emotional need, and to get outside of my almost overwhelming self awareness.  i believe that he orchestrated it all-- she and i to be there at the same time, the wearing of this particular "except God" necklace on this day, the prompting of my manicure (i NEVER, EVER get a manicure AND a pedicure), and he prepared her to hear and receive encouragement from him.  he reminded me his nearness all of the time.

i want to be less aware of myself and live more aware of others and where they are. i want hear God's voice.  i want to be used by Him all of the time. life is more fun that way. and that's the way it was meant to be.  


lindsay said...

whew, you're back. i was beginning to think y'all got lost up thar in them Georgia hills and we'd ne'er hear a word from y'all agin.

but you didn't. and that is a REALLY. COOL. story. dontcha just hate it and love it when God doesn't let you off the hook? yeah. goodstuff, my friend.

L said...

God IS so cool. What a great story and reminder to always be making yourself available to God so He can use you. love it.

April said...

I am so sad that we missed getting to say good bye. Our weekend was nuts with family stuff.
I can't wait to read about your trip and your new life as you settle in!

The Maddron's said...

hey girly! that is a very cool story. you are amazing... you never stop working for the Lord - AMEN!

we had so much fun saturday night. the pics are great - i'm sending them later to you. that's what i love about the mac - click and drag into iphoto!

love you tons!

Woodard Gang said...

glad to have you back :o) what a cool story...jesus in action through you! i am going to miss seeing you around!

Jonathan said...

amy here:

love your obedience!

Scott, Heidi, Brooke & Parker Armstrong said...

I have tears in my eyes reading your story.. I love how free we become when we are so close to Christ! We will do anything to give him the Glory! Thanks for sharing it's an inspiration to die more to MYself and live more in him! Can't wait to hear about your mission trip. Think of you often!

John Mitchell said...


Whit said...

You made me cry! the good "God is so real and good" kinda cry. Thanks for sharing.

steve and randel hambrick said...

y'all are encouraging. thanks! it's really great that God wants to use us right here in the good ole US of A. we don't even have to be on a mission trip!! :)