Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.Hebrews 10:23, New International Version
North Carolina is home to the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove. It was this past June that I chose to get away for a three-day personal retreat. You see, my husband passed away in January from complications after he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke just before Christmas. I needed to hear from God.
As I began to drive past the gate I could feel the presence of God—it was palpable. I settled in, and the next day I walked to Chatlos Memorial Chapel, where I climbed the steps to the intimate prayer room. Kneeling at the round bench I prayed, thanking God and eventually pouring my heart out to him. My knees grew tired so I moved over to sit on a bench along the wall. A presence also sat down to my left, one that I did not recognize but that I knew was positive—more so, divine. In sorrow I cried out, “God, I miss my husband!!!” Straightaway God spoke to my spirit and said, “I will send someone.”
Like Mary, when the angel told the virgin she was going to have a baby, I was taken aback, so I pondered this in my heart. Upon returning home I did not tell anyone about this particular experience right away.
At work the following week I met a gentleman at an interagency meeting that should have been virtual but was instead, in person. Noticing that he had an accent, I asked what part of the country he hailed from. He told me that he and his late wife came from Texas seven years prior. Oddly and unexpectedly, I reflected aloud that I had recently lost my husband. I watched this man at work that day and recognized that he was a leader. We exchanged business cards after the meeting; two days later he invited me to coffee. God’s hand and timing were clearly in our meeting, and we’ve been inseparable since. We knew what God did and were grateful.
When we called our single friend, Faith, to tell her we got engaged, she started to cry. Through her tears I could hear her say, “There is hope,” meaning, hope for her (and for others who want a special someone to share their life with).
My hope that God would talk to me was transformed into action. I believed, and God showed up.
Lord, thank you that when we come to you in an intentional manner, you show up. Your Word says that you are faithful. We know you hear us and understand what is going on in our lives—you care about us and have your best in store for us. Thank you. Amen.
Jodi Lair (formerly Jodi Rooney, newly married as of 11/12/22) lives in Prescott Valley, AZ
I am a first generation college graduate—Augustana College, Rock Island, IL—and a former Councilmember, Town of Prescott Valley, AZ.