I call them Divine Appointments and Holy Introductions. Some would say they were nothing more than coincidence — but personally, I have found coincidence is merely God’s way of remaining anonymous. In His discretion, allowing us to enjoy an awe-struck moment, filled with wonder.
I talk about just such an occurrence in the first chapter of Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over. When I met Holocaust survivor, Dr. Edith Eger. We met by chance some would say. I know we met by ordained arrangement. Out of my entire existence, we’ve only interacted over a twenty-four hour span, yet she changed my life. When I was in my darkest valley, she taught me how to walk out. If it weren’t for God introducing us in the unbelieveable way He did — I probably wouldn’t be writing this now, more likely, my body would lie cold in the ground.
Yesterday, it happened again — a Holy Introduction. Not as dramatic as the one with Edie, and this time, I wasn’t the one in the valley. But in God’s special style, for just a moment, He allowed me the honor of reaching back into that black place, gripping the hand of someone else trudging through, and guiding them toward the light I now relish.
I am walking proof that you can count on what God says in the Bible. His promises are true. If you don’t believe me, then you might consider taking the risk and trying God yourself. It’s okay, He tells us to do it. For example:
Through Paul, we are told to, “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” (1 Thess. 5:21)
1 John 4:1 (ESV) says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
Psalm 34:8 (NIV)
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
I have tested and tasted — the Lord and His promises are absolutely reliable. They are good. But now let me get back to my story.
The MoDot emblem on his hoodie told me they were from my home state. Mo is the abbreviation for Missouri, and Dot stands for Department of Transportation. We were boarding a hotel shuttle bus from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and it was obvious he was the one who was sick. Unable to verbally communicate, he spoke love to his wife through smiles and adoring touches. I felt a nudge from God to speak to them.
I caught her eyes and asked, “Where in Missouri do you live?”
She looked a bit stunned, and answered timidly, “Ironton, it’s a tiny town…”
I didn’t intend to interrupt, but my immediate laughter caused her to stop speaking. “I’m sorry. It’s just that I live in Steelville, and know exactly where Ironton is.”
Her eyes lit up. Instantly, we were neighbors — and friends. For the next ten to twelve minutes, she told me about her husband’s MS. She introduced me to her daughter across the aisle. She told me how God had miraculously introduced her to someone who arranged for them to come to Mayo, where Marvin, her husband, was receiving helpful treatments not available back home.
I pulled an autographed copy of Getting Through out of my bag, knowing God wanted her to have it. I felt my face blush with embarrassment, “Here. In your difficult moments, I hope you find a little encouragement in here.”
“I can’t take your book,” she shook her head no.
“It’s fine. I wrote it. I know what it’s like to go through adversity so tough you sometimes wonder if you’ll survive, and then discover God carries you through.”
With a glint in her eye, she became almost child-like. Though her daughter was watching our entire exchange, she shook the book in that direction and bubbled, “Look. She wrote it. She gave it to me.”
In that moment, I knew. God had arranged another Divine Appointment. He was offering a Holy Introduction to the folks from tiny Ironton. Though He’s done it for me before, this time my appointment wasn’t about what He wanted to give me, it was about giving to someone else through me. (Now that I think about it, I did receive much in return.)
When we are forced into a valley we don’t want to enter, we often question why. There are many things I wish I could have avoided in life. But if I had, I would have missed something greater than the pain. Victory. Purpose. The opportunity for God to take the mess of my life and use it to qualify me as a message-bearer of His supernatural power and care.
When we are in the midst of trauma or tragedy, we often get focused on the hurts, and lose sight of hope.
Faith is deciding to believe in God, despite how we feel, before we see the results of His hand at work. Often, it starts with a miraculous meeting — I call them Divine Appointments. Where ordinary people are connected, so extradordinary events can occur.
Anita Fresh Faith
Have you experienced a Holy Introduction? If so, what’s your story?
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (NIV)
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
Anita Brooks motivates others to dynamic break-throughs. Blending mind, heart, and spirit, as an Inspirational Business/Life Coach, International Speaker, and Common Trauma Expert.
Anita is also an award-winning author. Her titles include Amazon best seller: Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, Barbour Publishing, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market, Leafwood Publishing, Death Defied-Life Defined: A Miracle Man’s Memoir, and contributor to The Change: Insights Into Self Empowerment Book #4. Her books are available at major and independent bookstores, Amazon, plus several online retailers.
She fulfills her mission to help 21st century women and men make fresh starts with fresh faith by sharing what she’s learned through experience, interviews, and research. Anita shares hope and encouragement on her Fresh Faith Inspirations podcast.
Anita’s favorite pastime is watching sunsets with her husband of 30 years, while they laugh and dip their toes in the water. Her favorite passion is inspiring others to transform battles into victories.
You can connect with Anita on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Keep up with Anita’s latest happenings at anitabrooks.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request information on having Anita inspirationally speak or train at your next event.