I believe in the "still, small voice" and the ways that God says He loves us with the world He's created. I believe that if you and I pay attention, we'll see Him guiding us and preparing us for something coming up down the line.
I recently had my world completely shaken with news from a friend that broke my heart. Just as I was beginning to process that, I received a phone call the next night about another friend going through another, unthinkable situation. With 2 very strong blows to my heart, I felt helpless and like I had been caught off guard.
Today, I woke up with new clarity. Over the last month, God had been preparing me for this and showing me exactly what I should do. Surprisingly, it was in looking over my Facebook timeline that I could see with my physical eye how He works.
*July 28th: I was working on fixing up a cabinet on my parent's front porch when a man's motorcycle brakes locked up, flipping him over the bike and landing beneath it. I was the only person there to help until his grandson showed up. That day, and following that day, I began to pray for him as he was pretty well wounded. I was able to pray with him before he went to the hospital and I couldn't shake the feeling of praying for him further when I got home. Allen was added to my prayer list.
*August 6th: I had a day without kiddos to go out and shop. I found a chair I'd like to fix up and called my mom to ask her opinion on how difficult a project it would be. She told me to bring it by since she was home and alerted me to some wicker furniture on the curb across the street.
When I got to her home, I first stopped at the house with the wicker furniture and ask if it's OK to take to my mom's house across the street. With that question, a woman opened up about how her sister just died and left her to care for her 16 year old niece, picking up the pieces of what was left behind. She was emotionally wounded and just needed someone to talk to. I listened and asked if I could pray for her. She gave me a look of relief and said "Yes. Would you, please?". Kathy was added to my prayer list.
I prayed for these two people along with other people in my family/friends who have been on my heart.
*August 10th: I posted the following on my Facebook wall:
I'm in such a sensitive season in my walk with God. I pray for people until I feel just a tiny bit of what God feels for them. Whether I know the person, or I just happened to meet them in passing...hearing a bit of their story or seeing something play out before my eyes...I pray for them by name and I can't help but cry at times. May I learn to love the way HE loves...
My heart was so burdened to pray because I know that prayer is all I had to help the people I met.
*August 12th: I kept thinking this as I was praying for people on this day:
Never give in to feeling weak when it's time to be strong but don't put on a strong face when it's time to give yourself a moment to be weak.
I didn't know exactly why I thought that but it seems to make more sense to me today. There is a time for everything.
*August 15th: I got a text from a friend that I never thought I would get and she never thought she'd have to send. Her world was changing as she was faced with heartbreak. All I could do was pray.
*August 16th: I got a voice mail saying "Call when you can" and I knew from the sound of my mom's voice that something was wrong. When I called her, she told me that a childhood friend of mine was dealing with a great deal of heartbreak. "The funeral will be on..."
I have to be honest. When I got home last night, I didn't begin to pray. I couldn't make sense of any of this. I sat and cried and wanted to do something to CHANGE the news I had been given. My husband sat with me and encouraged me before he went off to bed.
After sitting, slumped in my grief, I decided to try and get some sleep. I walked to the bathroom and started my night routine of brushing my teeth and such as I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Wiping my face clean of the tears and mascara mess, I felt something begin to stir in my gut.
"Amy, you are NOT without hope and this is not about you. You know what to do. You've been moved to respond with prayer for people you don't even know. You've felt all your human heart can handle of what I feel for those who hurt. It's time for you to GET UP. Pray!"
My friends, prayer is a wonderful gift to give if you do more than just say you'll pray for someone. Prayer may not always reverse what has happened but it will surely guide those who are walking through it. Prayer can bring comfort and peace to people in a way that's much more effective than our vocabulary.
And so, today, I pray with a shout. I thank God that He is near and ask Him for peace. And although my heart is truly broken, I don't sit in my emotions. I go to the "front line" so to speak and stand in the place of those who need time to heal.
The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
Perhaps this can be an encouragement to you too. If you say the kind words, "I'll pray for you", then pray. Really pray. The people you spoke those words to are counting on you.