Finding blessings in unusual places

By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist

Do you trust God to guide and give unexpected treasures along life’s journey? Tidbits of inspiration come – in Christ’s perfect timing – from people in familiar places and on roads less traveled. I am in awe of divine connections that come with blessings that can bloom into beautiful stories.

Hopefully, you will recount blessings placed in your path as you read this story of sweet treats our Savior sent my way while traveling close to and far away from home.

Driving home from Cedar Point Disciples of Christ Church provided plenty of time to praise the Lord for the opportunity to speak at “It’s All About the Heart Luncheon” recently. Glancing the program on the seat of my car with dangling hearts and a message meant for me (for most of us), put plenty ‘to do’s’ piled on my plate and planted in my heart in proper perspective.

“May we care more about what breaks God’s heart than what breaks our hearts.”

Pondering that question with conviction, praising God for healing my heart through loving Him out loud and helping others, and knowing HE makes no mistakes assured me I was in that place on purpose and should pass it on. Are we breaking God’s heart by “not knowing Him personally” or by “what we are or are not doing” as we travel life’s highway to happiness in Heaven or horror in Hell? Are we trusting Jesus to heal our broken hearts and lead us down the straight and narrow road to eternity with Him? Are we listening to His Voice while looking for ways to bless and be blessed?

Going to Cedar Point to bless with a message on being a help meet when one is single or widowed, God turned the tables and blessed me beyond measure. Hats off to the precious people at Cedar Point Church who made this experience possible. I am grateful to Evangelists Hattie Lofton and Joyce Taylor for sharing personal stories of The Praying Help Meet and The Help Meet. The scripture gave God’s perspective with a powerful boost from women on a mission to bring people closer to Christ with greater appreciation for praying and being a Help Meet! Read Genesis 2:18 and Psalms 37:4 for your own personal boost of faith. Thank you Sister Querranda Royster-Herring for inviting me to your church, but most of all for believing in the power of prayer and being a wonderful witness in my life. I am thankful He crossed our paths as we share His Word and ways on our journeys.

A recent road trip to Florida with my son, Clint, blessed me beyond words (now, that’s a blessing)! Yet, the stirring to share two encounters with you stirs strong, so here goes.

Our plan was to drive from Clinton to Tampa only stopping for food and bathroom breaks. And it worked, with a hometown – out of town – blessing waiting in a little town near the Georgia line. Subway seemed the perfect choice for dinner to go. Waiting for our subs to be heated, a young man jumped line to buy three cookies. He looked my way and said, “Oh, I am sorry. Please forgive me.”

I nodded it was okay while watching him make his purchase. Out of nowhere I said, “It’s okay, we are supposed to be kind to one another – aren’t we”?

He smiled kindly, starred hard, and finally replied. “Yes, we are mame… you look so familiar. Where are you from”?

Knowing Clint was close by, I felt comfortable sharing conversation with someone I did not know…or did I? When I said, “I am from Clinton, North Carolina”, his grin widened with a reply I did not expect. “I am too” he said.

By this time, Clint returned from a restroom break just in time to see a reunion in a far away place. The young man said, “I went to Sampson Middle School…7th grade! “

We chatted with Clint chiming right in and enjoying this brief encounter of a divine kind. We shook hands and exchanged words of encouragement. He headed home to Savannah; Clint and I continued our trip to Tampa. Munching on subs and rehashing what just happened, we agreed with J.A.’s belief, ‘ it’s just a thing’; yet, I knew it was a “God thing” that left me feeling good inside and thankful for students who remember with gratitude.

Reflecting on our fast but fruitful Subway encounter (not coincidence) and silently sharing some good ‘me and God’ thank You, love You, praise You, promise You time, I thought of how it could have turned out differently – breaking God’s heart, glorifying Satan, and making prime time news. What if I had cocked an attitude and made offensive comments when the man jumped line, he in turn did the same while recognizing me and not having good memories of 7th grade? What if Clint came out of the bathroom to a shouting match between the man and me and stood up for his mother. What if the man pulled out a gun? What if, in the heat of the moment, our wrong words and actions toward one another took a disastrous turn and one – or all – of us died due to ruthless reactions to words. God’s heart would have been broken – along with family members’ and friends’ – who would never have understood how such a thing could happen and life would never be the same.

What if people stopped hating and hurting one another, media stopped showing horrific happenings over and over, Christians stopped being silent, people seeking offices of leadership stopped bashing one another, families stopped falling apart…and all of God’s children started to LOVE, honor, obey, submit, trust, and respect Him and LOVE one another per His Word? God’s heart would not be broken! What a wonderful world it would be with good news being broadcast from sea to shining sea!

I sat in silence…“being still and knowing it was God” (Psalms 46:10) who was blessing my son and me with special time and sending blessings (kisses from HIM) along our way. We were enjoying our journey, having a blast, and the sweet, sweet spirit of the Lord was right there with us lifting our hearts in love.

Clint squeezed my hand, sharing words and ways that grew our hearts even closer. Stars twinkled through his open sun roof with a heavenly glow that let us know our Lord and loved ones were with us on our journey.

Next week, I will share the rest of our story. In the meantime, don’t break God’s heart and seek HIs healing for your achey – breaky heart! He can mend it and put all the pieces back together again. Yes, He can! I’m living proof!

Becky Spell Vann is a long-time columnist for the Sampson Independent’s Faith & Family section and owner of the outreach ministry Tim’s Gift.

By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is a long-time columnist for the Sampson Independent’s Faith & Family section and owner of the outreach ministry Tim’s Gift.