I heard from God today. He appeared in the form of a young woman wearing a braided ballerina bun, a warm smile, and an IKEA uniform.
It’s been a busy season for us, and now we’re plowing full-steam into Christmas (and Evan’s birthday, and our anniversary, and…), so today’s quick trip to Sacramento wasn’t just a leisurely window-shopping outing. We had one mission, and one mission only. By the time I went to gather my children from Smaland, we were already running late and I was a bit flustered.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” she said from across the desk. “I hope this doesn’t offend you, but…”
Oh great, I thought. What did my boys do this time?
“I wanted you to know I prayed with your son today. I hope that’s ok.”
Suddenly there was very little air in my lungs. The expression on my face must have worried her a little because she started fast-talking a bit, but I was simply trying to figure out if I’d heard her correctly. I wanted to burst into tears and throw my arms around her in a big bear hug, but in a rush, I smiled sheepishly and reassured her that I wasn’t offended at all. I thanked her for her thoughtfulness, and that’s when she added, “I’m just gonna believe God will heal him, and when He does, you come back and show me, ok?”
How do you thank someone for such a precious gift? I regret not slowing down to talk to her longer. To accurately express my gratitude for her courage and thoughtfulness and faith. I regret that I don’t know her name, but I will never forget her face or the way she touched my frazzled heart. Her simple gesture told me a lot about the kind of woman she is, and reminded me to
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid and do not panic… For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6
Ryder is still experiencing improvements in the strength and function of his arm, but they’re very minimal and have been that way for quite some time. I often feel discouraged because I so desperately want him to be “normal” again. But God used this woman today. Through her, He whispered, “I haven’t forgotten your brave one-armed boy. I haven’t turned my back on your heartache.” He’s already five steps ahead, working on His plan for us… and when this chapter is finished, we’ll sing and cry and shout so loudly from the rooftops that she’s bound to hear us all the way to IKEA.