The God of Surprises
It all began New Year's Eve night. I was convinced by the precipitation falling from the sky that driving 45-70 minutes was risky, and besides the Holy Spirit lives in me so we can celebrate God and bring in the New Year anywhere...right? It was a battle of flesh and spirit, but the flesh was going to win without much of a fight. However, my spirit-filled friend Tamara was dialing up God on one of her channels with a different message, so I decided to go.
It was a long drive, but we made it. We had already told a family we would stay with them through the morning of New Years so we continued on, lighting fireworks as the clock tolled past midnight. The next morning came, and I was up fixing my bed and preparing for the trip home, when the hostess of the house, Teresa, decided to share a book with me. She said, "Check this book out, it has a lot of wonderful testimonies in it that you might enjoy." She passed me the book and went back downstairs.
Later I joined everyone at the table, and she asked what I thought of the book. To which I replied, "I like it...it's truly a page turner...I was wondering if I could take it with me?" Of course, she granted me the privilege and the rest of the week I would become consumed by the power of the word of God and the reassurance of His deity in every testimony.
I returned to work after the holiday, and we sat in a morning staff meeting around the boss' desk and ran through the calendar and other administrative things we all had to attend to over the course of the next few weeks. As the meeting drug on, a feeling of despair overcame me. Everything within me wanted to quit suddenly. I wondered what my purpose in this land of Germany was. I thought of all of the other things I could do for the Kingdom of God somewhere else. I wanted to cry, but I had to hold it together because just breaking down in a staff meeting would be the grounds to start the psycho-study on me.
Thankfully the meeting ended shortly thereafter and I thought walking it off was a wise move. I stood at my desk wavering between going for a bite to eat or going to check my mail. After speaking this out loud to my colleague, I decided the walk to the post office was longer, and I needed the walk.
With my new book in hand, I walked and read slowly through the snow and ice, crossing streets and walking through car-filled parking lots to the post office. Looking up slightly to check traffic at the street crossings and more so to ponder the words of the testimony of Staff Sgt. Heath Adams and how it related to the verse of scripture the author was explaining. I looked up in wonder trying to grasp how this guy received this gunshot wound, but I put my head right back down and continued my course through the busy post office parking lot.
As I neared the door unconcerned by the possible danger associated with reading and walking in traffic over iced pavement, wearing the slipperiest shoes I own, I heard a voice call out, "Hey ma'am, are you reading Psalm 91?" As I looked up, I thought, "who could be interrupting me. ...do they not realize I'm reading?" Once I responded "yes," the taller blonde said, "do you want to meet the author, she's right here."
As she caroused the people in the car informing the author that someone was reading her book, I was overcome with hysterical, joyous laughter and realized that God heard me in that moment in the earlier staff meeting.
Peggy Joyce Ruth, Lesley King and Angie Schum stood before me telling me of their stay in Germany, I shared how I got a copy of the book and we all laughed and talked in fellowship as I tried to gather myself. But I couldn't get past God and how he caused us to meet at that moment.
While we stood there, they shared with me their goal of visiting Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. They had come this long way in faith that they would actually get to touch the wounded and pray and lay hands and even lead a soul to Christ. I didn't know how I could help them, but I was so compelled to do so.
I returned to my office, and the rest of the afternoon was seemingly a wash for completing a large amount of work. I was working the phones for the Kingdom of God. I called Ramstein Public Affairs to get a number to LRMC Public Affairs, they referred me to the protocol office at LRMC who referred me back to LRMC PA. But of course, by the time I redialed the number, they were gone for the day; their offices are within whisper room of the other. I then reached out to our chaplaincy, the administrative assistant Sabrina didn't have immediate answers, but she said she would get them, "Let me call you back," she said.
In the meantime, I searched the internet to see if there was a number, but all I could find was a press release about their Warrior Care Center. I also called the cell phone number on the business card Angie had given me earlier, only to get a guy named Scott who shared with me the extreme hope of the team from Brownwood, Texas. "Landstuhl is one of their main prayer focuses, so they would really like to be able to get in tomorrow," he said. He gave me the number to the other cell phone to reach Lesley. And while I spoke to Scott and then Lesley, I was convinced that they would get in, I just needed to make sure they had a point of contact when they got there.
I tried to make a couple more phone calls before Sabrina finally rang my line. Good news, she had some good numbers, but it was well after 4:30 p.m. The possibility of me getting the chaplain's assistant whose name was associated with that line was looking slim. And with no surprise, I didn't get the assistant. Instead, I got the man in charge, Chaplain (Colonel) Griffith who was willing to receive them the next day but offered no confirmation that they would be able to see the soldiers in the hospital. "Even celebrities don't get to go in there when they visit...I can show them the WCC but getting into the hospital may be a problem." [A divine connection was made helping the team tremendously.]
– Chrystal Smith
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