Tennessee greeted me with the same power and beauty as it ever had. As I drove over the state line from Kentucky into the Volunteer State, it’s as though God himself, in all of His glory, stood there welcoming me. It was just before 11:00 A.M. on an October Saturday morning. A fine, misty rain had been steadily falling since the night before. The signs of autumn were showing in Southeastern Kentucky but once I crossed into Tennessee, there was an explosion of color from the trees along I-75. The “smoke” off the mountains around me lay atop the trees, creating a scene that only God could orchestrate. The beauty of it all brought me to tears and I felt my entire being surrender all in a split second. Only God understands how to reach into the very depths of my soul like this…breathing life into my weary bones.
Not quite an hour earlier, at a Kentucky rest area ladies room, the LORD showed up out of nowhere and performed a (noticeable) physical healing in my body. A body that for far too long has known much pain from my hips down through my left leg, from a combination of hormones, multiple knee injuries and goodness knows what else. Pain I walked and even jogged through, daily. Pain that was, at moments, so bad I didn’t know if I could make it from one room to the next in my small apartment. Pain, like the Apostle Paul, I bore and praised the Lord through.
Pain, that was, and is, a liar. But God….
A few days prior, this pain was radiating and felt debilitating. I don’t complain of the pain but I do talk to compassionate ears and hearts (my friends and sisters in Christ) about it. I was taking the dog out to potty and suddenly heard myself, through a wellspring of tears, talking to God and telling him that if I had to live with this pain, I would, while continuing to praise and serve Him through and despite it. I said, ‘Like Job, I will never curse you for it, nor anything bad that happens’. Then I said, ‘but I can serve you so much better, so much more, if I did not have to suffer this way’.
Always on a mission
I was heading to Tennessee for a quick overnight trip, to do something the LORD began putting on my heart over a year and a half ago. He moved all the pieces and players (other Christ followers) into place behind the scenes without any help from me, to accomplish this. He provided a new sister/friend who extended an open invitation to visit and stay at her and her husband’s beautiful home, without ever meeting me in person. (Even allowing me to bring my dog along.)
He provided the extra money for fuel to drive to Tennessee and back.
He put the name of a town on my heart in early 2017, a town that a weekend shy of a year ago, I first had the absolute pleasure of driving through…and by the response of my spirit…I simply knew and recognized what God had been showing me. Oh how the sight of the forested mountains in the distance made my spirit leap and my heart flutter. (I had an epiphany during my recent trip: my soul has known what God has been showing me, for over 20 years: Every time I have driven through Eastern Tennessee my spirit has sprung to life.)
A few days before I had cried out to God in regard to the physical pain, I’d had a conversation with the same friend I was to stay with in Tennessee. She confided she had experienced the same issue. Later in the day of my arrival, while driving around in order to further this mission, I mentioned to her how I felt God heal me that morning. Her mouth fell. She turned to me and said, ‘I thought of your pain and prayed for you around that time this morning’.
And just like that…God heard and answered one intercessory prayer, on my behalf, and it was done! The POWER of ONE prayer moved God to finally deliver me of this issue. We praised him and our hearts were so joyful over this discovery! God is an awesome Father, amen! I do not believe this was a coincidence because there are no coincidences with God. He always has a reason for his action or inaction.
I too had prayed one prayer in regard to this mission I was sent on: for God to give me a clear sign on a very specific part of it. Once again, He showed up and the clarity was undeniable! I won’t share what it is (now) but will say the only thing I can now do is continue walking forward in Faith, in order to fulfill His purpose for my life. I have only a slight vision from Him (compared to his omniscience) to help me understand what the purpose actually is. I also know one thing for certain: I am always on a mission!
The LORD has placed people in my life over the past couple of years, whom He clearly plans to include in this future purpose. Every one of them has a distinct purpose as well. What I love the most is how he has so effortlessly introduced us, knowing we’d have instant friendships in Christ. Leaning and loving on one another in support of His mission: To share the good news of Jesus Christ with all the world (or at least our pockets of it). Ministering to one another, to keep us strong in our faith walks and relationships with Jesus Christ, in order to carry out His purpose for our lives, together.
I cannot truly put into words how beautiful this is. How liberating. Miraculous. Our God is an awesome God who deserves ALL of our praise and ALL of our worship, especially when walking through fiery trials because HE knows the outcome of every…tiny…thing. He has us in the palm of his hand, without a doubt!