Dear friends, as I walked and prayed Tuesday morning, I asked Abba for the words to share with you what I experienced at Bethel. I really wasn’t sure if I had anything definitive as God kept this visit very personal, which makes sense for this year of intimacy He’s called me to.
But as I walked the memories and words began to flow (thank You, Abba, You are so good), like a kaleidoscope of images and colors that stood unique but together created the complete story of God’s intentions.
Where to start? At the beginning of the journey. I was a bit anxious about making this trip on my own (I love road trips when hubby is in charge) and my car had been acting up a little. (I should share with you that I call my little VW Bug by the name of Gracie as she is a gift from God and never lets me down. Why did I doubt?)
I had five hours of road ahead of me each way (thankfully Lynn road with me from Sacramento to Redding on the way up) and knew I would wind up stopping frequently for breaks out of necessity. I kid you not, both up to Redding and on my way home on Saturday every place I stopped had Christian music playing. In California?!?!?
As I walked into each place, I noticed it right away! And smiled…God uses music frequently to minister to my heart. I was never alone. My Gracie carried both me and Him on this trip.
At Bethel the first evening I noticed a woman near us. Not sure why but she just stood out to me so I took notice. The next day we were introduced by a mutual friend. That seemed significant too, so I ask Abba if there was a reason, did I need to know something. I heard the name “Amanda” over and over again. Wasn’t sure why, maybe that name meant something to her. I asked Abba who this Amanda was. He said “her sister.”
Well…I wasn’t sure what to do with that, but I have seen God do this enough times to trust Him to put it into motion. I wouldn’t track this dear woman down. If I was supposed to share what I heard, I’d leave it to Him to bring her to me at the right time (just like my new friend at the ACFW conference).
The next day I was sitting on a bench and there she stood. I waved her over and asked her if the name Amanda meant anything to her. She said no, but then shared how someone else had told her she looked like someone they met in Montreal, almost identical. What stunned me is what she shared next. She’s been searching for her twin sister. They were separated and given up for adoption when they were very young.
I gave her my business card and asked her to email me when this all falls into place as I had no doubts God was hearing her heart and leading her to her sister. When that story unfolds, I will sharing it with you, my friends. God is so amazing, so good!
On the last day, Friday, I found this verse waiting for me in my inbox:
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. — Psalm 37:7
Later that afternoon, I wound up in the prayer room. It’s a small octagon shaped building that stands part from the rest of the campus and has the most stunning view of the surrounding hills and mountains, including Mount Shasta.
Immediately I felt the peace of Jesus in that room. About a dozen or so people were there either sitting by the fountain or in chairs or on the floor by the windows. I wanted to stay in this place forever. Remembering the Scripture I received that morning, I rested by the fountain for a while.
And then it happened. Words, words, and more words. It was like my creativity had suddenly been unleashed. I couldn’t stop writing in my journal. Page after page. I wasn’t sure what it all meant though.
Not until I finished. I realized I had written the ending of the book I’m going to be working on. It was not at all what I expected, but it was very much the heart of God—tender, powerful, full of love and purpose.
God had told me He had something at Bethel this time. He told Lynn too. What He gave me was His heart. So unexpected, so gentle, so quiet.
So, my friends, God was my divine appointment this trip. What’s so amazing is that He longs for us to meet with Him each day. He has so much for us. For you.
Which brings me to the end of this story. My final “divine appointment” was with you, dear SUMites. This is the prayer God lead me to pray for our community as I sat outside and looked over the hillside.
Lord, be gracious to Your SUMites and bless us and make Your face shine upon us so that Your ways may be known in our homes, that your salvation will rest upon our pre-believers.
Let all those in our home praise You, God; that our pre-belivers would praise You. Let us, your SUMites, be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge righteously and govern our hearts and homes.
Let us, Your SUMites, praise You, O God, let every single one of us praise You and bring You glory. Then our homes shall yield increase. God shall bless us and our loved ones. God shall bless us, and all those in our home shall fear Him.
In Your mighty name, Jesus, amen!
Rest in His promises, SUMites!