Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Divine Appointment I Nearly Missed

Last weekend I had a moment I couldn't have planned or prepared for.

I was at a large aquatic center and the place was buzzing with excited swimmers getting ready to compete in our Championship meet.

According to the Swim League website there were  over 1000 swimmers registered to compete. Just swimmers. Add a parent (or two) and you could say the place was crowded.

The competition had been in full swing for a couple of hours when The Girl told me she needed to use the restroom. I asked her to find a friend and go, after-all I was socializing with a couple of moms. But she was insistent that I take her.

 I (begrudgingly) did.

While I was there I decided I should go ahead and use the facility as well, and when I came out of the stall to wash my hands I noticed a gal about my age doing her best to stop crying.

Our eyes met.

I gently asked if she was OK.

She told me she was "just trying to get it together" and then added "its just that single-parenting is sometimes really hard."

Her tone wasn't whiny or full of pity, she was just stating a fact: Sometimes life is hard.

Before I knew what I was doing I walked over and threw my arms around her, which she readily accepted.

In that bustling bathroom I whispered short encouragements to her: Hang in there. You can do this.

We held each other tight and after a short time I let her go and walked out of the room into the masses of people.

I've been thinking and praying for her all week. Simply cannot get her, and those like her, off my mind.

I wish I had had the courage (or thought) to pray over her, right there in that encourage her in a more tangible way.

But I've been praying ever since...

Praying for those in my life who - be it by choice or circumstance - walk this arduous and beautiful road of parenthood all by themselves.

I'm praying that I would not underestimate being ready to encourage others with a Love that never fails, and that I would be ready in season and out. I pray that I wouldn't allow selfish desires to get in the way of moments and opportunities to comfort those in trouble with the comfort I've received.

Sometimes life is hard.

May I never be too busy, never be too blinded by the sights and sounds of life, or by things that clamor for my attention, to be an encouragement to those around me...Lord, may it be so.


O Mom said...

I thought our swim meets were big, but we only have about 500 swimmers....
Thank you for being there for that Mom. I am not a single Mom, but honestly some days it feels like it, and I can not imagine the pain of really having to do it all by myself. You may not have physically prayed right in that moment, but I'm sure she can still feel your (Jesus') arms around her.

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Oh Kellie. That makes my heart so sad. Thank you for being you and for hugging that mom. I hope and pray I would have done the same thing.

I just love you! Thanks for the reminder to keep our eyes open for those divine moments...

His Girl Amber said...

Geez, Kel... that totally got me all choked up. So glad you were there for her, and that you have been praying for her since.
You're right... sometimes life IS hard, but it's easier when you know Who is holding it in His hands.

Amber said...

Precious reminder that opportunities to be Jesus' hands and feet are swirling around us daily.

Carpool Queen said...

One of my favorite things about you is that you choose to be engaged with the people around you.

You don't avert your eyes.

You don't walk on by the hurting.

You don't wait for someone else to minister.

You are the embodiment of the Good Samaritan and as someone who has been on the receiving end of those hugs, I'm so grateful for you.

Lori said...

This is a great post. Sometimes giving someone a hug and a little encouragement is the best gift we can give - along with prayer, of course. :)

Sandy M. said...

I could SO see you doing this! I had a similar opportunity at the USO on Tue. & another last week in a department store. I just love those "God moments" when you know He prepared it & gives us the nudge to follow through.