It just so happens and it just so happens…

So I had an idea what I wanted to share today, but God had other plans.  Yesterday the message from Steve Carter wrapped up, *Where’s God in all of this?*  He used the story of Esther, weaving together all these seemingly insignificant moments that led up to a much larger story of God showing up.  Every step of the way, God was there.  Sometimes louder and more present than others, but always there.  He rattled off 20 or more *it just so happens…* moments.  Not mere coincidences.  It was a message I desperately needed to hear.  It prepared my heart for the week ahead, and as it turns out the night ahead.

For the past few months I‘ve been leaving voicemails for a friend I’ve lost contact with.  She has been weighing heavily on me, and so I’ve been intentional actually using my phone to make a call… *shocking*  Last week she reached out by email, and in a very short message said she needed to talk to me, and that I might be the only one who could understand.  I was touched, and moved and immediately responded and gave her my schedule of availability.  More days went by, and finally I got a message back from her last night.

It crushed me.  The despair in her message I can still feel.  I know the sadness.  The isolation.  The feeling that the world is too much, and that I wouldn’t be missed.  Lies yes.  But that doesn’t diminish their impact, and the power they hold over us especially in isolation.

I called her and exhausted the time her voicemail system gave me.  Then I followed-up with an email to her.  Then I prayed, and prayed some more. Some of the peace I prayed for washed over me and I was able to finally get some sleep.  I woke up to no text, call or email until a few hours later.

Like most others I come in contact with, she had no idea some of my own challenges.  She also had no idea that for the last few months I’ve been calling her.  No idea that I’ve been worried about her.  No idea that I’ve been praying for her.  She’ll never hear the voicemails I’ve left for her, but that doesn’t matter.  Fortunately, regardless of the lies that are bogging her down, she still knows that she matters enough to try and ask for some help.  It just so happens, that despite those voicemails she still reached out.  It just so happens some of the lies she shared I’ve struggled with.  It just so happens, there aren’t coincidences.

It just so happens that after 2-plus years of prayerful consideration we were able to start this group.  It just so happens nobody showed up the first day.  It just so happens I showed up week 2 despite that.  It just so happens you all were led to the group.  It just so happens we have community together because our struggles unite us, not divide us.

Our God loves us unapologetically all the time.  In all due respect to Stevie Wonder, our God is not a *part-time lover* and He will pursue us without relenting.

Grace and peace

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