The pathway to love

By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist

Do you believe God marks our pathway with signs of His love – making us ready for mansions above? I am in awe of how God works things out in our lives as He sends those signs and seals them with His love. Signs came today that sent me to my knees, then to my computer to write this story about God’s loving signs for Sarah Vann, her mother, and me.

On a recent Saturday, I finished watering my flowers and headed inside for a shower. After supper, I had a stirring to clean out our filing cabinet. In one of James’ folders, I found a beautiful birthday card stuffed with clippings and old cards that had been neatly trimmed to show only the messages. Reading each one and realizing these cards were sent to Sarah when she was battling cancer stirred my heart with signs of His love. I moved my box of Kleenex, pulled an old S.I. newspaper from the file drawer, and remembered James sharing how Sarah and her mother cherished the story I wrote in that 2007 paper. Sitting cross legged with cards all over the floor, I read the old story again and wept…with renewed faith that signs are sent to heal our hearts and help us see His handiwork.

Recounting the summer Saturday in 2007 when loneliness loomed and Floy Carroll popped in my mind soothed my heart with sweet divine signs on this Saturday in 2017! In January, 2007, a Hospice nurse called to say Mrs. Floy had cancer and wanted to meet me.

She said, “Mrs. Carroll loves reading your stories.” So, six months later, it happened in His perfect timing. I did not know Mrs. Floy or any of her family but drove to her farmhouse on Clayton Road near Baptist Chapel Church with wonder in my heart.

Sarah answered the door, I told her my name and that I was trying to find Mrs. Floy Carroll but was not sure I was at the right house. She welcomed me inside and made the introductions. Mrs. Floy and I sat at the kitchen table talking and laughing as if we had known one another all our lives. Sarah and her daughter, Tina, sat with us as Mrs. Floy shared her deep faith and belief in the power of prayer. I asked if I could write about her in one of my stories. Her joyful consent was humbling. We were having the time of our lives when Sarah’s husband came inside from mowing grass and sat at the opposite end of the table from me. Little did any of us realize, (except the Master) when we prayed together that day, the signs God was sending and sealing in His love.

Three years after meeting Sarah and her precious mother, God called them both home only three months apart. Sarah went to be with Jesus on June 12; Mrs. Floy spent the next three months at Autumn Wind Rest Home. James visited her every day and lovingly cared for her until she passed away in September.

Five years after visiting the Carroll’s home, James took me back to the humble home where he and his family ate many marvelous meals and made precious memories together. Everything was the same as it was that day in 2007, except the two women James loved with all his heart were in heaven and the woman who loved him with all her heart humbly stood by his side in awe of God’s miracle of bringing them together. James picked up a newspaper beside the chair where Mrs. Floy always sat and rushed me out the door so we would not be late for a Christmas program at his church.

James shared the rest of the story while driving to Baptist Chapel. He said, “Mrs. Floy was so proud of the story you wrote about her and her prayer life. She kept it on a table beside her chair and showed it to everyone who came to her house.” He handed me the newspaper from Mrs. Floy’s house; my happy heart was humbled. I held it close to my heart and thanked God for sending stories to share and bringing James and me together.

James said Sarah told him, “I believe mama is happier over that story than she would be a million dollars. She loves reading it.”

When we sat down in our special place on the pew in the balcony, we held hands as Rev. Roberts prayed. My heart was humble, happy, so in love with James, and in awe of God signs sealed with His love.

In the wee hours of the 2017 summer Saturday night (actually Sunday morning) after finding the cards Sarah saved and the paper her mother saved, spending time in sweet memories, resting in God’s peace and promise, writing this story while listening to love songs on Pandora, and shedding a tear or two…Sarah’s cards are scattered on my bed. Picking up two of them, I read the messages aloud and believe heaven hears what my heart writes.

The first card’s message, “God’s purpose and plan is sometimes concealed, But someday His purpose will be revealed.

Someday God’s wisdom will make it very plain, why problems were permitted and how He uses pain.

Things thought illogical – disease, tragedy, fear – will someday make sense when God makes all things clear.

We’ll see the Lord’s purpose from the Lord’s point of view, and we’ll know the answers in ways we never knew.

Until we’re home with God some answers must wait, until His plan unfolds we’re called to live by faith.”

The second card is not one Sarah received but one of her own cards she signed but never mailed. Reading the message and seeing Sarah’s signature… His sweet spirit settles so strong with signs of love truly from above. Sarah’s Home going birthday is June 12, my birthday is June 14! My fingers cling to the keys. My heart races in my chest. I am in awe of how God works things out…even sending a birthday card “that seems illogical, but I have no fear, for someday God will make all things clear.”

This is the message in Sarah’s card.

“Remembering and hoping that your special day will bring many bright and happy hours you’ll love remembering.” Love, Sarah

My prayer is the ending, before I close my computer and go to sleep.

“Dear Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, thank you for showing us ways beyond understanding how much You love Your children and care about helping us on our journeys. I am in awe as I finish a story with signs that only You could send. Thank you God for birthdays here and in heaven.” Love, Becky

By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.