Do you believe in "Divine Appointments"?
I do. I definitely do! You will too after this story.
(Rather long post. But definitely worth the read.)
Right now I am attending a wonderful conference for women in ministry. This is kind of like taking continuing education courses for ministers. We are in the big city of Dallas, TX with so many fabulous things to record - but those will have to wait until later.
Because this is a conference designed specifically for women ministers, the organizers have us sitting at round tables for the purpose of encouraging conversation and connection. (Not difficult for a bunch of women. Smile.)
Each lady chooses her own seat but then stays with that group for the remainder of the conference. A facilitator at each table helps direct discussion, etc. Women from all over the country are here and the age range is broad.
I met a dear friend of many years here and as we headed down to the meeting area yesterday, I heard someone yell, "Sheri! Hi!!" Robin from PA was stepping out of an elevator; we hadn't seen each other in about three years. Great reunion moment in the lobby. Met her travel buddies; introduced her to Brenda. Off we go.
When we arrived in the meeting room, Brenda and I wandered to the right and began looking for a seat near the middle-front. (You know, close enough to see the speaker; not close enough to be seen. Smile.)
Suddenly, a beautiful lady with a smile like sunshine reached out, tapped my arm and said, "Hey, sit with me." She looked vaguely familiar but you just never know at these things if you've actually met someone before or not.
Brenda and I sat down with her and she reminded me where we had met. Several years ago, when I came to speak for Sandra at the South TX Women's Retreat, this was the lady who had graciously taken me to shop on Harwin St. in Houston. (Jewelry Mecca! Another post.)
"Oh, yes of course. Now I remember you, Sharon. We spent a GREAT afternoon together!" Catch up. (Sharon and her husband now pastor in KY.) Reminisce. Reminisce. Discuss our mutual sorrow over Sandra's death. (Sorrow shared is divided indeed.)
Just about that time, I look up to spot Robin from PA and her two friends.
"Hey, Robin. You guys sit with us."
So now we are six. Debbie from Houston joins us. More hugs. More reminiscing.
The service is about to start and Melanie (also from TX) dashes over to grab the final seat. The first speaker comes to the podium and we're off and running. Writing notes. Nodding at one another with knowing looks. Drinking in new information. Accepting the challenge put before us.
Then came the first discussion time. We went around the table and briefly introduced ourselves. Telling of our varied areas of ministry; what we hope to gain from the conference.
And that's when it happened.
It just so happens that "Melanie" has just accepted the position of Women's Director for South TX - the position left open when Sandra graduated to Heaven. And "Robin" had recently been named as a sectional director in PA - the position left open by Gloria who was killed in the automobile accident with Sandra.
(Tears spring to my eyes as I write this.)
Out of five hundred women; more than fifty tables; God orchestrated the seating of those two women at this one table.
That was no accident, dear readers. That was a DIVINE APPOINTMENT!
It was as if we could all sense Sandra and Gloria peeking over the edge of Heaven, giggling with delight at the ways of our Heavenly Father. We all sat back with tears in our eyes; marveling at His ability to direct us. And knowing we were in a special moment.
He is still in the business of ordering footsteps! Never doubt that!!
Multiple speakers have said several times during this conference, "Watch for the surprises of God."
You better KNOW our eyes are wide open.