Divine Connections

There is so  much potential in a day when we stay open to God’s plan.

Do you ever pray about divine appointments, connections and interventions? This is something I recently became more aware of and started praying about on my journey.

It amazes me to see how God puts people in my path to help me. Recently I was given the opportunity to help someone else.

Of all the people in the San Francisco airport on so many different flights and headed to different destinations, each on their own unique journey, God still connected me to someone who I feel needed to hear my story and God experiences.

Do you ever stop to think about all the decisions we make throughout the day and why we make them or how sometimes you change your mind at the last minute and do something totally different?

I now see these as nudges from God.

I had just arrived in the airport and found my gate. I had a lengthy layover, so I headed off to get something to eat. The whole time I am wondering where to get food, but I had already decided I would go back to my gate to eat it.

The first place I came to was a deli. My first thought was to just get something there but then I decided to see what my other options were.

I came upon a Pie Five and decided to try that instead. I hopped in line behind another woman and we ordered our food. We stood together at the end of the counter waiting for it to arrive without saying a word.

I still had in my mind as soon as I got it, I would head to my gate. But when our food came out, she turned to me and asked a simple question. “Do you think they would mind if I sat at those tables?”

The establishment we were at didn’t have any tables and she was referring to the food place next to it.

I first answered with an, “I’m not sure.” But quickly changed my course to join her saying, “we can try it.”

As we sat at tables next to each other, we started eating without saying another word at first. But then I felt the nudge to start a conversation with her. I began by simply asking where she was going, if she was headed home…you know the normal airport trivia.

When she dealt the questions back in my direction, my trip to Mt. Shasta and the reason I had been there became our topic of discussion for the next several moments. Of course, that led to the accident and my story which is my testimony of how God spared my life and changed it forever through a tragic year.

Out of that I described the relationship I now have with Christ that I didn’t have before. She inquired, “So that is real? You can have a relationship with God?”

Several questions followed and I knew why I was put there, in her path. She told me she struggles with believing God is real and that she really wants to believe that she can have a relationship with Him. She went on to say she knows He loves her deeply. She just hasn’t experienced what others seem to have so it makes her question it.

She explained how she sat next to a man on her last flight who also had a message for her. During our conversation I admitted to her that I had prayed for divine connections and felt she was one of them. Looking astonished she said the man on the plane had told her the same thing.

God placed at least two people in her path that day (maybe more before the day was through) to show her He is indeed real and encourage her to keep trying. Only God can orchestrate that kind of divine connection. I was blessed to see it firsthand and be able to share the Good News with her.

What a beautiful reminder that God is still at work, Amen!

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:18

Mission Complete

Part of this journey was to visit Hope Church in Chico and meet the people who received the encouraging notes sent last year after they lost their homes and church building in the fire. Yesterday, I drove to Chico, CA to attend services.

The message was about how God can use your pain and past experiences to help others. That was appropriate. I enjoyed worshiping with them and got the chance to meet the pastor afterwards.

On my way out of town I made a stop by the Butte County Fire Dept. to thank them for their service and let them know someone across the country in Lexington, KY is still praying for them.

The photo above is at McCloud Falls. Tim has been a great tour guide and given me many new memories of the area including a picnic and our hike to the falls.

Today is a quiet day, preparing for the trip home. I am grateful for all the experiences, love, new friendships and hospitality that has been extended to me on this journey- but I feel the mission is complete and am looking forward to getting back home.

God was definitely at work making divine connections and new memories.

We adore You as the one who is over all things. I Chronicles 29:11


I knew I had to go back. I had to do this on my own- with God. I needed a few moments in that space to thank God for sparing my life and turn a daunting mountain memory into just another spot in the road.

My heart raced faster than the speed I was traveling as I drove a snails pace, praying the whole way. The drive seemed a lot longer than before. I am still a little perplexed how the turn off to the mountain is nothing like my memory.

I noticed the 20 mph curve sign in a new light as I crept around the curve and pull off in front of the rock embankment- tears followed.

I knew I needed this time just as I knew when it was time to go. I didn’t want to linger there longer than necessary, but snapped a few photos, said my prayer, had a moment of silence and moved on.

Yak’s was my next stop, which was the location we had brunch the day of the accident. It had also changed. It is now a coffee shop with a new name and no longer has the tables outside that I remember.

As I sit sipping my chai latte and write my thoughts in my journal for this post- I reflect on the changes that have taken place here in the last six years- and in me.

I found my way back to the t-shirt shop and then meandered back across the street and into the shop where Amorah’s store used to be. Without entirely realizing it, I had traced our steps from that day, only in reverse.

It is now complete- I have come full circle, and am so grateful God gave me the strength to make this journey.

As I sat at the accident site with my journal in my hand this verse came to me. “I love you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Phil. 4:13


I made it. It was a gorgeous day with a deep blue sky. My friends Timoth & Shahan drove me to the mountain yesterday. From the backseat, just as I requested, I peered out the window anticipating the moment I would recognize the location. The roads didn’t seem all that familiar to the memory I had until we got to the section of curve just before the accident sight.

I caught my breath as we slowed to a crawl and passed on by to conquer the drive to the top where the above picture was taken. Then we hiked a beautiful trail called Panther Meadow with lovely wild flowers of all colors scattered about in every direction.

A new day with new memories to cherish.

Light is sweet. How pleasant to see a new day dawning. Ecclesiastes 11:7

He makes me surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. Psalm 18:33

Photo of the day

Today’s photo comes from my favorite spot on yesterday’s drive through Brookings, OR on the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. Arch Rock picnic area offered character, beautiful scenery, a place to eat my lunch and enjoy a nice walk along the perimeter.

Of course I shot several photos along the fence line before seeing the warning signs to not touch and steer clear of poison oak! I am pretty sure I did not touch it but sent up a little prayer anyway, because God only knows how allergic I am to that stuff and my past history with it and it’s cousin sumac.

Anyway, it was lovely drive and day. One of the most surprising things to me was seeing blackberry vines and apple trees on the trail down to the beach.

My talk went really well last night. I had a decent turnout and was pleasantly surprised once again how much love I could feel in the room for my sister, Amorah, and how it was extended to me as well. God continues to bless and amaze me in beautiful ways on this mission of hope. Thank you for all your prayers.

Divine Intervention

Ocean view cabin at Smith River, CA

Since I had plenty of time on my hands with the lengthy layovers and flight delays I’ve spent a lot of time reading. I met a girl at a writing conference recently who had also just published a book about her life story- also full of tragedy, loss and broken bones. We exchanged books and hugs. Her story also included an abusive relationship, but a different kind of abuse than my own. She was duped into a marriage full of lies by a cocaine addict and didn’t have a clue until the ink had dried on the marriage certificate.

Her dreams of becoming a mom were dashed not only from a broken pelvis, not once but twice, but also from a lying, drug addicted man whom the foster care dept. saw to be an unfit home for an adopted child.

Her prayers for a child were not answered.

I can look back at my own story and see places where I was heartbroken over things not going my way. Things God knew were not good for me. Like an abusive relationship that I clung to with everything I had in me.

In hindsight, God’s unanswered prayers and divine intervention saved my life many times over and changed it for the better. I think in her story God knew it was best not to place a child in that situation.

God always knows best. He always wants better lives for us that we sometimes want for ourselves, simply because we can’t see the big picture when we are in the middle of the trenches just trying to survive.

If we can learn to trust Him with the outcome even when we think we want a different one than what He is offering, we could just enjoy the journey knowing God’s got this. Just because I can’t see the bigger picture – I know God can and I can have faith that He is preparing the way before me. I just need to listen and respond with courage, trust and obey.

I have learned in my own life I need not fear the path He leads me to and am still learning to push through the fear and nerves and the not known variables to just do the next thing- the one He is leading me to- not of my own understanding or courage; but through the strength, discernment and faith He gives me to be confident. Not in myself but in what He is doing in and through me. The past things I entrusted to men proved to be the things I should have feared most, not the things God is offering. God is a good, good Father we can trust with our lives and our dreams.

“See, God has come to save me. I will trust Him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song, He has given me victory.” Isaiah 12:2

Mission of Hope Tour:Photo of the day

Now I know how Alice in Wonderland felt…

Hello from Smith River, CA! (somewhere between Crescent City, CA and Brookings, OR) Before I talk about the photo of the day I first want to catch you up on my flight experience yesterday.

As you know I flew into DC – I already had a 3+ hour layover in the airport waiting for my connection to Denver. Once we boarded the plane and started to what we thought was the runway ended up being a parking lot for planes. With several lined up in a neat row we sat there…and sat there…until they finally told us that the route had been changed to avoid inclement weather. Okay, I am fine with waiting on the ground for that. Then the pilot told us they had been crunching numbers and with the longer route we wouldn’t have enough fuel. So we headed back to the terminal to top off the tank.

While we were fueling up the storm moved closer and by the time we got back to the runway…all routes had been closed. Then the storm came. We sat there a good 3 hours before taking off for Denver. Of course that meant I missed my connection to Medford.

When we landed in Denver I received a text from the airline that they had re-booked my flight – Great! It was now 7:28 and my flight was scheduled for take off at 7:40. I was about 20 gates away from where I needed to be in about 10 mins. I actually got off the the plane about 7:38. Mental note: Sandals are good for initial security check. Bad for running in the airport to your gate as you hear your name being called over the speaker. But, by the grace of God- I made it! Apparently they were waiting on me. I was the last person to board and got to walk the isle to the complete rear seat of the plane with everyone looking at me with that ‘we’ve been waiting’ grimace on their faces.

I know most of you have your own flight stories to tell and have probably had much worse days than mine, but in full disclosure this just made me question my sanity a little and wonder why I go to the trouble to get to another destination at all.

Then I see God’s magnificent design in nature like the photo above and it all comes back into perspective. I did ask God a couple of times if I heard Him right…because when I finally got to my hotel, in my exhausted emotional travel weary state, they didn’t have record of my reservation. They did end up finding the info and thankfully had a room for me, but by the time I got settled down and into bed it was about 2 a.m. Ky time and my body felt every minute of it.

As I was watching the news and eating my free continental breakfast this morning the weather man announced the coast would be having rain today and possibly tomorrow. Something they hadn’t experienced in a while. So my coastal drive was a bit cloudy and yes it did rain most of the afternoon, but I still saw some amazing trees and beautiful coast lines. I am grateful for being here and to have a cabin and a bed to lay my head down.

This was not the photo I would have shared but you guessed it, my laptop isn’t reading my SD card so I can’t download the photos from my Canon. Good thing I took a few with my phone. Just in case.

Tomorrow…Brookings and then Mt. Shasta for book signing and talk. Good night friends!

Mission of Hope Tour-next stop: Mt. Shasta, CA

Photo taken June 2, 2013 – a couple of hours before the accident.

I will be boarding a flight this morning headed to CA. (well technically I have to go to DC and San Francisco first) But you get the point. Folks, this is where a big chunk of my life-changing year occurred. So it feels like I have come full circle to return with books and a story to tell.

This time I hope to actually make it to the Redwoods! God willing, I am going there first. This journey is a necessary part of my healing and growth. Just a couple of years ago I would not have thought I would be going back to Mt. Shasta if you had asked me. I just didn’t see a reason for it.

But now, God has given me a reason. A few actually.. Do you all remember the encouraging notes I got some of you to help me write last year and sent them to a church from Paradise who lost their building in the fires? Hope Christian Church is still meeting in Chico and they are only a couple of hours from Mt. Shasta. You guessed it…I am going to meet them and attend one of their services. I also have a talk and book signing at the Mt. Shasta Library.

Another reason is to see my caregivers that took such good care of me when I was dismissed from the hospital until I could fly home. And on top of that I have asked them to take me back to the accident site on the mountain. Now granted I know I can’t drive it myself and I also know I can’t sit in the front seat. But if I sit in the back I should be fine. I recently read something about returning to the place of Spiritual significance. This definitely qualifies. I do not look to the mountain itself but for what God did for me there.

Since this journey is so significant it only feels right to document it and bring you along for the ride. So I hope to do a travel blog with an interesting photo each day while I am gone letting you know how it is going. I will get back to my weekly post after I return. So bear with me and stay tuned- I am really hoping not to have technical difficulties using my old laptop on the road. This should be fun!

“This is my command- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Prayers appreciated!