What is God waiting on you to do? Reading through one of my old journals while waiting on a stirring for a Mother’s Day story sparked memories from 2009. Several pages were filled with adventures in NYC with dear friends. My journal entry dated November 12, 2009 brought visions of television crews and meeting a girl from Bosnia who personalized the power of Samaritan Shoe Boxes.
Rhonda and Selma chose to sleep in our first morning in New York. I arose early and quietly dressed with determination to experience Good Morning America and mark that off my bucket list. My country girl fear of big cities could have kept me safely snoozing in my warm bed that morning, but I mustered up courage and took steps of faith toward Time Square.
Walking briskly, I thought of Peter being a scardy cat in the city where mobs of people sought out those who knew Jesus. He denied Jesus three times and cowered in fear choosing to hide out instead of standing up for Jesus. With each city block I walked, anxiety tempted me to turn around and run back to our hotel instead of facing my fear of being by myself in unknown territory. Pushing back panic, I pressed on knowing I was not walking alone. With every step, I prayed for: safety, a sea of people pressing toward their own destinations, taxi cabs not to run over my toes while waiting to cross streets, a chance to be on Good Morning America, and to share the joy of Jesus.
Sharing the page from my journal that stirred this story replays my morning in NYC in my mind and makes my heart happy I journaled it and hopefully stirs yours to journal also. Penning thoughts and recording daily gifts from God preserve precious memories.
“…Walked fast down Broadway. Stood in Times Square and prayed out loud to God my Father over the noise of cars and people. Sat in a chair feeling overwhelmed, saw film crews setting up, felt led to go over to a group of people in red shirts with Samaritan’s Purse. Amazing — they pointed to my North Carolina shirt. I introduced myself and told them we did shoe boxes, about Ken and Marilyn working with Billy Graham ministry, and it went from there. ‘I was in the middle of a miracle.’ One girl from Bosnia told me she got a shoebox in 1994 – war tore her country apart. She (Lejla) was 11 – her brothers were at war – family trying to survive cold winter and war. She had no shoes- food scarce; she decided to take her life. Went to school thinking about how to do it. Saw a white truck backed up to school door. All students called to auditorium. Samaritan Purse people passed out shoe boxes. She opened hers and had a pair of shoes. She knew God heard her prayers and wanted to live not die and become a worker with Samaritan Purse when she grew up. And she did! Meeting her in NYC and telling about my life in NC was awesome. They asked me to be in the filming for S.Purse with them. It happened so fast – news crew told us what to do – Wow! 3 minutes we were live on GMA sharing about ministry based in NC that helps people all over the world – met woman who works for S.Purse -she received a shoebox in Bosnia when 11 yrs. old. She walked to school barefoot in snow – got a miracle in her shoe box: shoes! Exchanged phone numbers – hugs – prayer in Times Square. – felt like we knew one another forever – went our separate ways, new friends. Walked back to hotel thanking God every step for a miracle morning in NYC”
On the same journal page, I wrote: “What is God waiting on you to do?”, but never finished the entry. Wondering what sparked that question sent me down sentimental lane with my hands resting on keyboard and visions of my precious mother dancing in my head. Writing about a trip to New York, Samaritan Shoe Boxes, and what God is waiting on us to do for a story supposed to honor mothers makes no sense. Or does it?
Mothers train up their children in the way they should go, instilling courage, work ethic, joy, peace, love and pushing them to step in faith to each new season of life. I thought of Lejla’s mother teaching her daughter to press forward when life beyond war, starvation, and no shoes seemed futile.
Then, I thought of my precious mother and the lessons she taught (use your time wisely, rise early, work first – play later, shop sales, don’t be afraid, go to church every Sunday, give to others, pray, and set the tone for happiness in your home Becky) that have made all the difference in my life. I never faced war in my hometown, hunger with no food, or a day without shoes while growing up in a close knit family where blessings flowed greater than we could even imagine. What then is God waiting for us to do?
In retrospect, surely this story stirs for ‘we the people’ who enjoy, expect, even take for granted the abundance of God’s goodness and for children who do not obey, cherish, and honor their mothers. God is waiting, watching, and working miracles among us as we rush through life giving Him leftovers instead of our best! What is God waiting on you to do?
May you be moved to show gratitude to God for blessings beyond measure and make time to remember your mother (whether here or in heaven) … for she and her lessons of love are treasures that time can never take away!
Becky Spell Vann is the owner/operator of Tim’s Gift Ministry.