We left Sabor around 5:45pm and headed towards home. We were driving separately. Me alone, and Josh and Mack in the truck behind me. It hit me that I actually did have time to make it to Ember, a local gathering of ladies that gather under the banner of Jesus. I took a right on Providence Road at the last second…the irony was not lost on me. I sensed that I was supposed to go. I hadn’t particularly been super anxious to go because, first of all, I was alone. Secondly, after dinner I am usually ready to be home and chill out. And thirdly, I am just in a season of deep introspection and it can be exhausting. But I knew that the Lord was saying, “Go and Be.” That sounded simple enough. And that is what I did.
I made small talk with a girl standing alone waiting for her friends to arrive. I caught up with a sweet lady I met when I first moved to Charlotte three years ago. I even ran into a lady I had been in Bible Study with a couple of years ago and had just seen earlier that day at the mall. We caught up a little bit more, realizing maybe God had caused our paths to cross and meant for us to have a conversation, and I now know better how to pray for her.
So far, so good.
I walked in the sanctuary at 7:00pm, roamed around a bit before deciding to sit in the middle section more than halfway back and in the middle of a row.
I was soon surrounded by ladies. Nice ladies who came with other people. They talked with me some, and we made some connections while we chatted. As the service began and the worship music started, my heart was warmed and I was glad I was there. I noticed the two rows in front of me and the ladies to my right were all together. A young group that obviously knew and cared for one another deeply. It reminded me so much of our days in Woodstock, Ga. at First Baptist Woodstock. Man, I was missing my friends. Missing those days when I was in my twenties and newly married. Life was there for the taking! Time was on my side. I grew up with many of the ladies that became my dearest friends. The community we built in Woodstock was unique and special and such a support. My mind stayed there in Woodstock for a little bit while I watched the girls in front of me interact and worship together.
The speakers for the evening were on a panel and were asked questions about personal Bible study, prayer, discipleship and community. They did a great job and gave wonderful examples of how God has been personal to each one of them through His Word and His Spirit and His church. I was encouraged. If I am honest, I wasn’t blown away with anything new, but I was definitely saying, “YES!” and “Amen!” in my heart and head.
When Whitney Blight began to close the evening with prayer, she asked for those in need of prayer to raise their hands and those of us around them would pray for them. She mentioned that she had prayed that each of us would be divinely seated in the exact spot that we found ourselves. As I prayed alone, I thanked God for getting me there that evening. Thanked Him for stirring my mind to memories of past community and friendships and asked that He might help me cultivate more of that in my life in this season. I prayed for my current church to continue to grow, for God to bring ladies who also want to grow in their knowledge of Him and grow in their friendships. It was a sweet time. Then, we stood up to sing some more, and I watched the group in front of me continue to pray for each other and talk to each other. I saw two of them hug for a very long time. I think one of them was praying in the ear of the other. I felt the hot tears pop out from my eyes. So thankful to see their friendship and love. So sad that moving here seemed to stifle that for me. I continued to sing. I continued to pray. I continued to feel tear after tear roll down my cheeks.
Then, the lady to my right leaned towards me and said, “I think you need a hug.” She hugged me; I cried some more, and I thanked her for being so kind.
I drove home and smiled as I thought about how personal God is. He heard Whitney’s prayer to divinely seat us. And He heard my need for a hug and provided just the right person to sit next to me. It may seem like a small thing. And I guess in one sense it is. But that is just how God is! He knows the small, little things we need. What a thoughtful Father! I am thankful to be His child.
Matthew 6:8 “…for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”