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.

Reflect on this:
Does God know better what you need than you do? How might God transform your hope into action today?

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.

9 replies
  1. judymikes
    judymikes says:

    Thank you for your story… the presence you felt, the words you heard, and then the Lord’s completion of that promise. God is faithful. My parents, aunt and uncle, cousins, sister and my son all went to Augustana in Rock Island!

  2. Beth
    Beth says:

    Since my mother’s death, and going through that experience with her (she remained single after my parents’ divorce when I was about 10), I have said often that I truly do not think we are meant to be alone. Jodi – what a gift and I am so happy for you both! Life is an interesting journey. God is good!

  3. Debbie Nahodil
    Debbie Nahodil says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! God is so amazing and I love how He comes to each of us in different ways. I can’t even imagine how incredible it must have felt to feel God in such a real way and to hear His promise, then see it all come together. I am so happy for you and your new husband!

  4. Julie Chisholm
    Julie Chisholm says:

    Jodi has been a very important person to our family. She took our daughters hand in teaching her about faith and Gods love! We could not be happier for you Jodi! God Bless you both!

  5. Leeta Mackey
    Leeta Mackey says:

    What an amazing story of how God hears and responds to our prayers! Many blessings to you in your new life, Jodi!


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