I slumped in the passenger seat as she backed down the driveway. I looked longingly at my house wishing I was wearing my over sized pajamas with a warm dog snuggled near me on each side.
I glanced at the clock. It was 7:30 and we were already an hour late.
“I really don’t want to go to this,” I thought.
She had invited me to attend a prayer gathering at a home very close to mine. It wasn’t the theme of the evening that was bothering me as much as it was that I didn’t want to be around people. In my life, I have gone to many of these type of meetings with enthusiasm expecting for someone to give me a ‘word’. However, I wasn’t much in the mood for a word, a sentence or even a paragraph.
Situations swirling around me regarding relationships, finances and the approaching pressure of the holidays was fully weighing me down. I had gotten out of bed that morning feeling absolutely dead inside. I was quickly finding out that my frustration at not being able to fix my problems was leading me quickly down the dark road of depression. Every time I went inward, I felt an empty space of nothing. On the one hand, I didn’t want to care about anything, and on the other I felt so grieved at the overwhelming loneliness I felt.
“If anyone has anything to say to me, they can say it, but I am not telling anyone what is going on with me. If God has something to say, it will happen.”
“I would like Brad to pray for you while we are there,” she said.
I was fine with that, but I was not going to open up and let any one of these people in on my problems. Either God was going to reach out and take hold of me or I was on my own.
I watched the streets go by as she followed her GPS and its instructions. The drive was only eight minutes but it felt like an eternity. I couldn’t wait to go back home and flop down in my despair with a cup of hot tea.
As we were turning toward our destination, I sent up this silent prayer,
“God, if you care about me, I need you to give me $1,000 in cash for Christmas. I have nearly nothing left to give right now.”
For weeks, I had been running low on money but made choices to cut back on things to make it work. At the same time, I kept getting small promptings to give where I could to put what I had into circulation to help combat the fear. Yet, I knew I had obligations coming and the strain of it all was taking me down.
I had heard on the radio that the average American family spends $961.00 for gifts. I don’t know if I come close to that amount, but being in the position of not being able to give anything was part of my unhappy state. The decorations and music in the stores were not helping. Everything was simply reminding me that I was going to be left empty handed.
My friend parked her car and I stood by the driver’s side as she collected her purse. I did not tell her that I asked God for money.
“I want this to be a night I remember,” I said. “I hope this doesn’t waste my time.”
We walked into an empty upstairs but found about twenty people in the basement listening to a man speaking about how God could fix anything if you let it happen. I watched as people went forward for prayer as he spoke positive, uplifting words. We were trying to slip in quietly. She found a seat near the front while I took one toward the back. My intention was to sit and watch.
Without warning, the pastor turned toward me and said,
“Do you have needs?”
I thought he was looking at me, but I was hoping he wasn’t. Two women who were seated in front of me shook their heads no, but then he said,
“The one in the pink. Do you have needs?” He pointed right at me.
There was no escaping it now. I had worn the brightest pink hoodie in my entire collection.
“Do you want to get rid of them?”
I paused because I knew what was coming.
“Yes,” I said.
“Then come on up.” Oh, boy, so much for sitting in the back and letting the evening go by.
I could feel my friend’s eyes on my back.
“Do you have a physical ailment?”
I shook my head no.
“Are you going to say what you need?”
I shook my head no. I was holding to my vow in the car on the way over. If God had something to say, then it would present itself without me giving out any information.
He began to speak, and his words pierced my heart. Two weeks before this, I had visited a church one evening and went into a room with two women who sat quietly for a few minutes praying and then began to speak. They had told me that my future was ‘bright’ and that there was nothing to worry about. They kept saying that I was going to be okay and not to worry or fall into despair. His words greatly mirrored what I had already been told. I felt my resolve crumbling as my pain, anger, frustration and sadness burst out of me.
I began to cry so hard I was paralyzed where I stood. His wife came and took me to a couch where she continued to pray for me. The only thing I felt in that moment was what I whispered,
“I feel forgotten. I feel like I am all by myself, and I don’t matter anymore.”
As the evening went on, more people came up for prayer, and I was still not totally out of my funk.
I heard my friend say to a man across the room,
“I would like you to give a word to my friend Christine.”
I was still wallowing in a puddle of tears, so I attempted to clean my face up which left all of my makeup on a tissue.
“This is Brad,” she said to me. He was meeting me at probably one of the lowest times of my life.
He knelt down by my side, and I closed my eyes as he began to pray.
The one thing I recall that he said was this:
“God wants you to know John 14:27 is for you.”
John 14:27 says this:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
“It’s like your mind is racing at all times. I see it going so fast and things coming and going in and out of your mind.”
Unknown to him, I was completely consumed with worry about my finances from the time my eyes would open in the morning. I would get out of bed just to immerse myself in tasks to keep my mind off of it.
As he spoke, I felt myself relax because his words were ringing true. He called his wife over who was so joyful that no one could possibly stay sad in her presence. It was energy that was alive and contagious that only further erased my negative state of being. It was like the two of them picked me up, stood me on my feet, brushed off the dirt and put me back on the road.
As she prayed for me, I noticed he put his hand over his heart, then he leaned over and whispered something in her ear. She nodded and smiled and he got up and walked away. I figured maybe he was leaving me in her care while he helped another.
Within moments, he returned with an envelope with my name written on it.
“We want to sow this into your life.”
I looked at it not fully understanding. I eventually took it from him and put it in my purse.
The pain had disappeared, and I felt happier and more secure. It’s difficult to describe an event when it is a spiritual experience. But, much like having a surgery, I felt as if a toxin that was choking the life out of me had been removed.
After thanking those who had helped me, I got into my friend’s car and said,
“Oh, I have an envelope with something in it.”
“Brad and his wife Lori gave me this.”
As I slid my finger along the enclosed edge, I suddenly recalled my silent plea to God for $1,000 in cash on the way to meeting.
I carefully opened it and saw a $100 bill on top. I slammed it shut.
“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I think God did what I asked. I think…” I started crying again as I looked at and counted $1,000 cash, all in $100 bills, in my lap.
“WHAT!?” my friend said as she leaned over to see. We headed for curbs and lawns as she tried to keep the car on the road.
I could not speak because I felt how much I was truly loved. For you see, it wasn’t just about the money, it was about feeling that divine, strong, powerful connection between myself and the One who is unseen. My request to God was said as a sort of ultimatum that I thought would go unanswered. I had asked for something to touch with my hands but it was so much more touching to my heart.
My faith was completely restored and in the past week since this event, I have found myself feeling more secure than ever and my problems seem to be more distant now than a heavy load on my back to carry.
I began to wonder the other day why I was able to have this prayer answered when I didn’t say a word to anyone about it. I was immediately directed to this passage of scripture:
6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6 NLT)
What I did that night was I shut myself away from others and sent up a private request that only my Creator was aware of. And, as I did so, my reward presented itself rather quickly. I encourage all of you that are weary to never give up, and to ask for supernatural help. I had no idea that I would go into a stranger’s home for a mere two hours and come out the recipient of a miracle on 132nd Ave.