Getting Our Attention, A Faith Series #3

In the first post in this series, Getting Our Attention, A Faith Series, I touched upon an unforeseen event that occurred in my life in the summer of 2009. It not only affected my life, but for many, especially in the United States. It was the economic crisis of 2008 that resulted from the mortgage industry bust. Never in my wildest imagination would I think my life would take such a dramatic and frightening turn as it did that summer. My career suddenly ended. My family’s entire future was at risk. The old aphorism comes to mind when we suddenly find ourselves in dire straits – “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

Yet God doesn’t only get our attention when unusual circumstances cause extreme stress or fear; He can turn us toward Him with wonderful unforeseen surprises too.

A Love Story

It was the year I would turn 31 years old. My father had passed away suddenly the year before. I began to take stock of my life and wondered about my future. I was single, unattached, and my friends had not only married, but we’re beginning to start a family. My career kept me traveling during the week and it was difficult to meet new people. I decided to put a personal advertisement in the local newspaper. This was before the Internet and personal ads were the thing then to meet new people and potential significant others.

After considering what qualities in a significant other I desired and the activities I enjoyed, I crafted a specific and concise personal ad. I decided that the photo was optional because after all, the person was taking a chance on my looks too.

Several weeks prior to placing that personal ad, my best friend suggested, “Perhaps God doesn’t want you to be married and have a family.” Like a dagger in my heart, I was crushed to think God did not want me to have a life companion. While I felt desperate at the time and I wondered if I was making the right choice in placing a personal ad in a newspaper, I relied on God to show me if I was meant to be with someone. I was willing to accept whatever direction and answer He gave me.

“Everyone should live the life that the Lord gave him when God called him.” 1 Corinthians 7: 17

After a few anxious days of my personal ad being published, I received a total of 24 letters many from whom had not bothered to read my personal ad. I had letters from men ranging in age far from my designated target range. There were inarticulate letters and others that seemed like essays on why they would be the “one.”

notecard1There was one card that kept drawing my attention. The handwriting on the envelope was small and neat. My heart had skipped a beat when I pulled the Henry Matisse note-card from the envelope. I had the exact same note-cards. After several days of examining and re-examining the note-card and gathering my courage, I decided to call him. After several weeks of dating, and discussing our individual hopes for the future, he asked me to marry him. Fearful of rushing too quickly into marriage, we waited a year before getting married on a Maui beach in Hawaii. In a few short weeks on February 14th, my husband and I will be married 27 years.

Love

“Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Vinny Sal Soul Mate

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, Thank you, Lord for getting my attention in unusual and unforeseen circumstances to that I may turn to You who knows me best. You have created us for companionship and have re-created us for fellowship in our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you, Lord for helping me to find friendship among those who know the constant love and mercy of Your Son especially my husband. Help me to continue to live under your direction, always ready to hear the call, “Follow me.” Pour into me Your good Spirit, so that I am not afraid to follow, and fall, and follow again. In Jesus Christ’s name, I pray. Amen

Getting to know God

I have written a journal since I was a young girl. In the last ten years I have kept a prayer journal to draw closer to God. Has an unusual circumstance dropped you to your knees? Draw closer to God. I encourage you to begin a prayer journal today so you can know Him too. When you draw close to God, He will draw close to you. Is He trying to get your attention today? Answer the call. I know you will be glad you did.

Getting Our Attention – A Faith Series is a four-part series. I am grateful that you have taken the time to read the third post in this series. I pray you will continue to follow The Prayer Journals blog.

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts. If you have a specific prayer request, please email me in confidence at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

God’s Blessings to You,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved

Getting Our Attention, A Faith Series #2

I can still see their faces and hear their voice. When I do, I return to that time of doubt in my life. It seems like it was just yesterday. As I look back on these moments, I know they were messengers from God providing unsolicited words of encouragement.

Our Earthly Angels

“I prayed, ‘Almighty LORD, you made heaven and earth by your great strength and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” Jeremiah 21:16-17 GW

When I was a young, I was deathly afraid of thunderstorms, and living in the Midwest, there was always the potential threat of a tornado. A tornado had swept through the area I lived on Palm Sunday when I was four years old. Whenever the sky grew dark with an approaching storm like it did one night in high school, I pleaded for my date to take me home. Upon arriving in the driveway of my parent’s home, he gently asked, “Why are you so afraid of thunderstorms? There isn’t anything you can do to prevent them.”

“While they were at the table eating, Jesus said, “I can guarantee this truth: One of you is going to betray me, one who is eating with me!” Feeling hurt, they asked him one by one, “You don’t mean me, do you?” Mark 14:18-19 GW

Later in my twenties, I had a discussion with a friend about past relationship problems. I remember being very upset and discussing my trust issues. Curtly, my friend answered, “You know, you are not the only one in this world that has been betrayed. You are acting as though it has only happened to you.”

“Aren’t five sparrows sold for two cents? God doesn’t forget any of them. Even every hair on your head has been counted. Don’t be afraid! You are worth more than many sparrows. I can guarantee that the Son of Man will acknowledge in front of God’s angels every person who acknowledges him in front of others.” Luke 12:6-8 GW

There have been times where angels suddenly appeared in my life. Their names, I do not know, but I remember them just the same.

Running short on time and gas, I had stopped at a gas station in Baltimore to fill the gas tank of my rental car. Looking a bit bewildered, I was unsure of what direction to turn to get back to the airport. I felt a tap on my shoulder and as I turned there stood an elderly man who softly asked me if I needed help. I asked him directions to the airport. He kindly pointed me the way saying turn right, then another right and then exit onto the expressway and follow the signs to the airport. Turning to thank him, he nodded and walked away.

“Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength.” Luke 22:43 GW

On another business trip I was returning to Detroit from Dallas. Dallas in August is a dreadfully hot and humid place to be. I was sitting in my seat on the airplane waiting to depart and the airplane’s air conditioning was on full blast. I asked the flight attendant for blanket as I had packed my suit jacket in my now stowed luggage. She apologized and said the airline no longer keeps blankets on board. It was so cold on board the airplane; I was visibly shaking. I did not know how I was going to survive the over 2-hour flight home. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder. The gentleman behind me in the opposite aisle handed me his suit jacket. He said, “please, wear my jacket.” Are you sure? I had asked him. He simply smiled at me. As we were departing the plane, I returned his jacket and thanked him profusely. He said, “one day you will return the favor to someone else.” I nodded in agreement.

God doesn’t always put the people in our lives that we want, but the people we need.

Many would say that a few of my examples were random acts of kindness. God’s love is not random. He deliberately puts his angels in our lives with messages to assure and encourage us. He places these individuals in our lives when we are most likely to pay attention and to hear His message. Sometimes it may feel like a cold slap in the face or it may simply be a gentle tap on the shoulder, but our Father in heaven  communicates in ways to show us His love and mercy.

As I have drawn closer to God, He has shown me that He is in control and that I need to give every worry over to Him. He has healed my hurt time and time again because Jesus knows firsthand the pain of rejection. And when I allow Him to lead me, I can be assured that He will take care of my every need.

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or gather the harvest into barns. Yet, your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?” Matthew 6:26 GW

sparrow - serena vachon
Serena Vachon Photography

My Prayer

Thank you, dear Lord, I cannot by my own reason or strength fully comprehend the fullness of Your love and mercy. I am grateful for your ways and your angels that you place in my life to gain my attention and to put my attention rightly back on You. Help me to continue to see and hear You every day. You do so much for me without any merit in me that I all I can do is thank and praise Your holy name through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen

Getting to know God

I have written a journal since I was a young girl. In the last ten years I have kept a prayer journal to draw closer to God. If you want to recognize the angels in your own life, draw closer to God. I encourage you to begin a prayer journal today so you can know Him too. When you draw close to God, He will draw close to you. Is He trying to get your attention today? Answer the call. I know you will be glad you did.

Getting Our Attention – A Faith Series is a four-part series. I am grateful that you have taken the time to read the second post in this series. I pray you will continue to follow The Prayer Journals blog.

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts. If you have a specific prayer request, please email me in confidence at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

God’s Blessings to You,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved