I woke up this morning excited about what the day ahead held in store for me. Continuing to find joy in the journey, as I cast my cares on Him. I had an appointment with an artist, Betty, who was drawing a charcoal portrait of Makenzie, for me. I met Betty last weekend at a church fair, as I watched her sketch in charcoal, a portrait of the woman who was seated opposite her. I thought the likeness was uncanny. After we chatted, Betty agreed to do a charcoal drawing of Kenzie using still photos, although she explained to me that she preferred to draw from live subjects. She was trying to capture Makenzie’s likeness in the drawing and we exchanged several emails as I sent her more pictures to assist her. She was having a bit of a challenge portraying Kenzie’s eyes. I think that I can understand where it could be more difficult not knowing your subject nor being able to interact with them by witnessing their mannerisms during the process. So Betty invited me to her home as she finished up the sketch this past Saturday.
As I stepped into this new friend’s home, her paintings on the walls instantly struck a chord in my heart. Africa! Beautiful paintings adorned her walls of a distant place in Liberia. She explained to me that she and her husband and their six children had lived there for eleven years as her husband served as a doctor and missionary. He first went there as a general practitioner and then eventually obtained additional training back in the states and became a surgeon.
I wanted to know more and so we chatted as she worked on the portrait that she had been sketching of Makenzie. I remember in the early part of our conversation asking her if she had one extraordinary memory of her time in Liberia. I was surprised by what she told me, ( I was half expecting some sort of tale about the wildlife there or perhaps about the village people where she resided). She shared however, that she had suffered often from panic attacks and at times was uneasy when her husband would need to leave her and the children in the village where they were living as he accompanied a patient to the hospital for medical treatment. Betty recalled this one particular time when she was having a panic attack and she prayed to God “Help!” She told me that she soon felt an immense peace come over her and from within her, and that from that day on hasn’t experienced the severity of those panic attacks. God was with her as he sent the Holy Spirit to help her. It was sweet that she shared that experience with me and I found myself opening up to her about Kenzie and the accident.
My new friend told me that she too was writing a book of her memoirs and she read to me from a few of the letters that she wrote while living in that foreign land that brought her joy. I talked with her about God’s faithfulness in my own life, and even when writing what became “Wish You A Goode Journey”. God had introduced me to a pastor who would help me get the book off the ground and my Godwink then was first learning that that pastor had a granddaughter named MacKenzie. Pastor Rick affectionately called me his joy project as he helped me put my journals together in the form of a manuscript, and then eventually a book; Kenzie’s story! I shared with Betty that when I became anxious about how I would end the book, I prayerfully asked God for my ending. God was faithful and connected the dots for me with my “chance” encounter with the family who would lead me to Brian, the man who had found our daughter moments after her automobile crash. It was so emotional for me to share what Brian had told me as he recounted that time sitting with Kenzie in her crashed vehicle, as he tried to comfort her lifeless body. I believe that Brian was hand picked by God to be the last person on earth to spend time with our beautiful daughter before she escaped to a better place, which is Heaven. Brian told me that he knew while sitting there with Makenzie waiting for rescue, that he was meant to be there. No, there are no chance meetings, only God-winks. God shows us by gifting us understanding; by fitting together the pieces of the puzzle in our lives. Betty shared with me that she too has a granddaughter named Mackenzie. And there it was, my Godwink.
As some of you know me or have learned from reading the book, I have an affinity for Africa. I sponsor a child who lives in Kenya and have for about fourteen years now. My daughter Kenzie and I chose a little five year old girl named Naeku from the Compassion International website. Our little girl is now nineteen years old. My heart’s desire is to meet her in Africa one day, but the cost is prohibitive for me right now. Naeku has invited me many times to come see her. She calls me her second mama, and I think how amazing it would be to meet her to get a glimpse of her heritage and to simply give her a hug. I will prayerfully ask God for His timing and provision if it is His will that I travel there and meet my other daughter. My friend Betty has also asked me to pray for the people of Liberia as there is division and unrest. I will pray.
So in finishing up my post today, I wanted to share yet another Godwink story which brings me joy. Last evening my friend Pam called me from Rhode Island, as she was attending a conference there over the weekend. Pam explained that the hotel room that she had booked for her sleeping accommodations had turned out to be too far away from the conference that she was attending. On Friday night it was extremely late when she headed to her hotel room some thirty miles away. So she decided to give up the hotel room for Saturday night with hope and trust that she would find accommodations closer to her meeting. She called the hotel that was hosting the conference and there were no rooms left, only suites available at the price of $170.00 per night. Pam told me that she thought it was too much to spend on herself for one night and turned the suite down. She explained that she was going to wait and trust and I reminded her of the importance of prayer for her need. I promised to pray to Christ for His provision for her and I prayed. I reassured Pam that it would work out and that I was almost excited to hear back from her on how things turned out. So I received an excited voice mail from Pam this morning. She explained to me that when she returned to her conference last evening for their banquet she was told that her ticket had been pulled as the winning ticket of a 50/50 raffle that she had purchased a ticket for earlier in the day. The amount of her winnings was $170.00, and so Pam took the suite for the night.
Our God is an amazing God. If we cast our cares on Him, his answers and provisions will always exceed our expectations. We just need to trust and wait on Him for His timing and His perfect plan.