I met a girl a few days ago five minutes after her boyfriend died.
He had been fighting for his life in the hospital for more than a year after he was shot in the head.
I knew them both because we have a mutual best friend. I had been following their journey through her and watching in awe at his recovery and the way God was using their testimonies.
My friend told me she had been visiting them at the hospital a lot because he wasn’t doing well, but they prayed and believed for a supernatural healing – and so did I.
But on the morning of Dec. 15, I woke up with God telling me I had to go visit my friend that day.
I work in Florence, AL a few days a week where he was currently in the hospital, and that day happened to one of my days to drive there.
I kind of forgot what God had told me that morning (how often do we just forget his nudges) and went on about my day until my friend texted me to ask for prayers for her friend in the hospital.
God nudged me again to go back once I was off work. I got off work early and almost talked myself out of going because I had so much to do and didn’t have makeup on… and I just kept making up reasons not to go, but then God REALLY nudged me and I knew I had to go.
I sobbed the entire way there, not because of the situation, but because of how God’s love was revealed to me in that moment. Even though I wouldn’t get anything out of it and didn’t “have” to go and could think of reasons not to go, I showed up anyway. That’s how God loves us. He doesn’t have to ever do anything for us and there are thousands of reasons why He shouldn’t show up for us, but He ALWAYS does it anyway. He always shows up just to sit with us and let us know He cares and let us cry on His shoulder – that’s how we are called to love each other.
When I got to the hospital, I walked up with a huge smile and waved to my friend. She walked fast toward me with tears in her eyes and hugged me and said, “He’s gone.” He passed away five minutes before I got there.
I felt my heart drop to the very bottom of my stomach and, for once, I had no words to say. I just hugged her and loved her – that’s a lot like how God just hugs us and loves us anytime we need Him.
I knew in that moment exactly why God had nudged me that morning and all day long. He wanted me there for a reason, and I felt it.
Again, I hadn’t met her friends, but I was about to meet the girlfriend in what was the worst moment of her entire life.
She hugged me and had the calmest smile on her face – she felt so at peace, and if I got nothing else out of that day, it was that. She was a walking display of the peace of God and He was using her to be a light in a moment when it would have been humanly acceptable for her to be a wreck.
We exchanged our “nice to meet you’s” with a giggle and I just hugged her again. I told her how much I loved her and she told me she couldn’t wait to hang out with me – and there it was again – a sign that she knew life would go on. Her boyfriend had just died yet she loved on me, a stranger, like everything was fine because she knew it was.
At one point, I looked away and sobbed thinking about what I would do if I lost my fiancé. I couldn’t imagine having her strength.
The only words of wisdom I could muster up were straight from God and I told her that He was going to use her boyfriend’s testimony for the good of so many people but He was also going to use hers and THAT is powerful. Her testimony is so powerful and so encouraging and I felt that in her presence the entire time we talked.
I knew I had to write this for her just to make sure she knows how integral her part is in leading others to The Kingdom. The impact she had on me in the 15 minutes I spoke with her moments after her world crashed down gave me so much hope, and that’s how I knew she would do that for thousands of other people with her testimony.
I think as much as God led me there for her that day, he led me there for our mutual best friend. She told me she had been so strong until the moment she saw me, and that’s when she knew she could let go and break down.
Please understand I didn’t do anything – God did everything. And she knew that. She knew that my hug embracing her and taking her burden was actually God wrapping her up in His arms and wiping her tears away in the way only He can.
As the three of us talked, they told me about little signs they had gotten from God, and I called them “God winks” from a book I had heard of.
When I left, I googled the book so I could order two and send them both a copy.
I found “When God Winks At You” by Squire Rushnell. There were other similarly titled books but that’s the one that jumped out. I didn’t order it but I went to Barnes and Noble that night to do some shopping, and when I walked in, it was the first book on the first shelf I saw as I soon as I walked in the door and my heart sunk again.
Tears streamed down my face and I picked up two books. I shipped them to my old friend and my new friend and felt God saying, “Does it all make sense now?”
It’s amazing what can happen when we really listen to God and do the simple things He asks of us.
As for Allison, she has done exactly what God asked of her through the entire journey with her boyfriend and has exercised her faith during a trial. I hope she knows how strong God must think she is to have given her this job and how proud He is at how she has followed through with it.
We can all learn a lot from her. She lost the most important person in her life, but she didn’t lose her faith in God.
Here’s to that girl and being a little more like her in our pursuit of The Kingdom.
From my heart to yours,