Welcome to my blog...

Green trees, cool water, a gentle breeze...the perfect place to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. Jesus taught so often on the shoreline, and He's still speaking today.

This is where I share the lessons He teaches me, often during the time I spend on the shores of a local lake. I don't have all the answers...and some days I don't have any. But I go here when I need to draw near to Him in a tangible way. Come with me...

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Divine Telephone Tag

I retrieved a pretty typical message from a caller who wanted a food pantry appointment.

I called back, got her voicemail, and left a message to return my call.

Tag was officially in play when she called back the next day and spoke to a volunteer who didn't have the schedule. Once again, I received her message.

It was another day before I could connect with her.

"Hello?" Her voice cracked a bit and I thought maybe she had a cold.

"Hey, we finally connected! When did you want to come in?"

She gave me a date, but her voice sounded awful.

"Are you sick?"

"No, I'm just having a moment."

Suddenly I felt bad I hadn't ask how she felt sooner - I could tell something was wrong from the first word she had spoken.

"What's going on?"

She broke down crying as she shared her concerns over her two year old daughter's verbal development.

"I can't afford to send her to day care but I'm afraid I'm holding her back by keeping her home. I guess it's my fault she's not reaching the full potential for her age." She went on in this vein, beating herself up, questioning her parenting ability.

"Let me stop you right there. Conviction is from the Holy Spirit, but condemnation is a lie from the pit of hell. Stop listening to lies. You are a loving parent doing what feel is best for your child. You are training her up in the way she should go, telling her about Jesus. If you feel God's nudge to have her checked out to make sure she's progressing appropriately, go ahead. But do NOT blame yourself if you discover there really are issues to be addressed."

She explained that she had older children - the youngest of whom was already 15. She had her tubes tied, but a number of years later, she discovered she was pregnant. She had made arrangements for an abortion, but the day she was to go, she received a text that said "This is an anointed child - a gift from God. Who are you to end it's life?"

It was a harsh question, but she knew it was true. She cancelled the appointment. Perhaps guilt over her earlier plans for this child was spilling over now, making her question her ability to parent at this age and in this way.

"Can I pray for you?"

"Please, I would appreciate that."

I prayed, she wept. But when we were done, she thanked me and said she felt better. I made some suggestions on where she might go to get help with evaluating her daughter.

"You know, I think God caused that phone tag so I would call you today, at this moment, when you needed reassurance."

"I was just thinking the same thing."

From there, she shared how she hadn't been to church in awhile because of her child's separation anxiety, but she had been thinking she might be able to return by serving with the children's ministry.

I encouraged her to do so and told her the upcoming sermon series would have a component about serving where you're gifted and feel called to be.

God was already orchestrating things through her "moment" of doubt, fears and tears.

And what I thought was a game of phone tag over an every day request turned out to be a divine appointment.

God speaks every day in a million different ways if we'll only be open to hear what He's saying.

Best of all, He is always on time to answer our call.

Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"


  1. So glad you were able to throw the ball back in her court to encourage her as a mother and divinely appointed parent for her daughter. It truly is the devil that tries to convince a loving parent that their child is better off being raised by others in an institution. Especially at such a young age. Late verbal at two years is not unusual. Devil tried to abort this child, and now discourage the mother. I hope she does attend and gets involved at church. Discipleship together, surrounded by a loving church is the fertile ground necessary for God's purposes to sprout and blossom in their lives. Joy!

    1. Amen Kathy! I also told her that late verbal at two wasn't unusual. I believe she will come back - she had been involved prior and I think our conversation was confirmation of what she had been feeling about returning. Thanks for your comments!

  2. Toni: Yes, this was a divine appointment. My friends and I call them "God Moments" or "God Sightings". Peace and Blessings to you and yours.

    1. Amen Cecelia, and I call them "Godincidences" :) Thanks for your visit.

  3. Toni, thanks for sharing this moving reminder of how God orchestrates our steps, including our conversations. Keep writing! Your ministry and gift are appreciated...and needed.

    1. Thank you my friend and encourager! I appreciate your kind words. I'm glad this post spoke to you.

  4. We are all servants for the Lord...you step up and out to greet those in need in a daily basis...not just your job but your calling. Toni thank you for sharing this precious story. You pour light out on all who are blessed to cross your path...for this I am so grateful to see your heart and know you are walking the talk.

    1. I appreciate your comments Eileen. I know you too pour out light - you love and care for many. Grateful for your friendship.

  5. Wow, Toni, this is great! Another reminder for me today to trust in the Lord's leading and His timing and to follow when and where He leads. Blessings to you!

    1. Thank you Gayl! Amen - we need to willingly follow when and where He leads. He'll never lead us down the wrong path!

  6. We never know when God is planting opportunity to show His love to others. So glad you were able to speak with her and pray for her.

    1. So true Melissa. I think there are many opportunities we miss because we aren't attentive to that nudge. I'm grateful we were able to pray and chat - in the end, things she said wound up blessing and affirming me in my calling. God showed His love all the way around.