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Monday, November 10, 2008

He Knows Your Name


I am home from an awesome weekend with the ladies of Eutawville, SC (and surrounding areas). We spent the weekend in beautiful Valle Crucis, NC at the Valle Crucis Conference Center. Over 100 ladies converged on that place for a weekend of worship and refreshment. We literally had a mountaintop experience! I got to speak four times and was blessed by the dynamic young worship leader, Lanae Hale. She has a very cool sound and played a concert for us on Saturday night that was part music, part testimony. We were all very blessed by her story of learning how much God loves her and how far His grace reached into her life. The ladies from this weekend were all very special and they have earned a place in my heart forever. I will never forget our time together! If you are visiting here after this weekend, thanks for stopping by and please keep in touch with me! I hated saying goodbye to you all!!

I left the retreat center after lunch yesterday about 1:30, intending to be home no later than 4:00. It was a beautiful day and the drive ahead seemed like it would be uneventful. I chatted on the phone with my husband and my friend Lisa, who spent the weekend with me at the retreat but had to leave early Sunday to be back home. I called to make sure she made it and when I hung up, I realized I had left clothes she had given me for my daughter back at the conference center. I was about 30 minutes away from the conference center by then, and everyone had left. I really hated the idea of turning around and going back-- but I also wanted to get those clothes that Lisa had been so sweet to bring us. So, I turned around. As I did, I got the distinct impression that this interruption was for a purpose. This helped me not to have a bad attitude as I trusted God and felt that perhaps He was protecting me with this delay.

I drove back to the conference center and the place was deserted. I didn't see the clothes sitting where I had left them. "Oh please Lord, don't let me have driven all the way back here for nothing!" I prayed. I drove down to another building to see if I could find anyone, but there was no one there. The place was deserted completely and it felt terribly lonely to see it that way when just hours before it had been filled with so much life. I drove back up to where the clothes were and parked for a second praying, "Please, please, please let the clothes be there." I looked up and someone had moved the clothes up under a covered porch onto a bench. Hallelujah! I was glad I hadn't come back for nothing. I loaded up the clothes into the back of my van and set out again. I thanked God that I had gotten the clothes I came for, and I thanked Him for whatever the purpose of this delay had been. I would soon find out.

I drove for as long as I could, but knew that I would need to stop for gas. I wanted to find a stop that had a Wendy's and a gas station in the same place so I could grab a large sweet tea for my ride. About an hour down the road, I found the place I was looking for and stopped, then it was back on the road and headed for home. I was an hour behind schedule, and anxious to get home. I enjoyed having my Ipod with me so I could listen to music I love while I drove. I immersed myself in some David Crowder, reviewing the weekend in my mind and thanking God for what He had done, while asking Him to continue working in the women's lives. It was not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

About an hour outside of Charlotte, I noticed something on the other side of the highway flying through the air. It took my mind a second to register that that something was a car. I watched in horror as the car was airborn, then hit the ground, only to flip and become airborn again, then finally come skidding to a stop. Dust and debris was flying around in the air as I drove up to the scene. People on both sides of the highway had slowed and the scene was surreal. Some people drove on. Others pulled over and stopped. I didn't know what to do. I felt God nudging me. "Get out and pray." I pulled over, parked my car, and joined the few others who were running towards the car. I have never witnessed an accident, and had never been someone who was first on the scene. In that moment, I knew exactly why my earlier delay had happened. I had a purpose in being there. I wasn't a medical professional, but I know the Great Physician personally!

I will never forget walking up to that car-- the smell of burning rubber, the glass scattered all over the highway. The car had come to a stop upside down, and the roof was completely crushed. To look at that car, you would have thought that there was no way the person inside would be okay. I feared the worst as three nurses and one trained paramedic who "just so happened" to be driving by ran to the car and those of us who had no medical training stood by and watched. I feared what they were going to find until I heard someone say, "We got her out. Was there anyone else in the car?" I think they feared someone could have been thrown.

As I waited, I surveyed the damage. There were cd's scattered all over the road, an umbrella, some pieces of mail. The normal things we keep in our car, yet they looked so out of place scattered on this stretch of highway. And then, miraculously, just beside the car, I saw a Bible. I heard God's voice urging me: She is one of mine. Go and pray with her. I was scared to death as to what I would see when I walked around that car to where the woman was with the nurses working on her. I didn't know that I could handle what I would see but I went. I stooped down to where they were gathered and asked, "Has anyone prayed with her?" There was silence for a moment and then someone answered, "No." I knelt down beside the bleeding, stunned woman. "Ma'am?" I asked. "Can I pray for you?"

She nodded, then turned to look at me, blood running down her face. "Yes, please. Please," she said. I laid my hands on her and began to pray out loud. Before I knew it, other people were laying their hands on her and praying. One woman agreed with me aloud. The whole scene-- the smell, the sounds, the voices-- all melted away as I felt the presence of God in that place. It was truly one of the most amazing moments of my life. After I finished praying, I knew that it was time for me to head home to my family. A policeman arrived, and I could hear the wail of the approaching sirens. Though I wanted to stay with her all the way to the hospital, I sensed that was not why I was there and I had accomplished my specific purpose at that scene.

As I walked away, God reminded me of the shirt I was wearing-- a tee shirt commemorating the retreat I had just been to. In large white letters on the back, it stated the theme of our weekend, "He knows your name." I was reminded of an earlier moment as I looked from the back of the conference at all those shirts and wondered what person out in the world would be comforted by this truth as these ladies traveled home. In that moment, I felt God whisper: That will be important for you later today. I had no idea in what way God would use that shirt, but I hope that as I walked past the witnesses who were marveling over this woman surviving the accident that they would realize that God indeed did know her name and save her life. Only God could orchestrate the events of the day the way He did. Though I still don't know that woman's name, He does. And I know without a doubt that He had His hand upon her, just as He does all of us.
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28 comments:

Amy Carroll said...

I have chills all over. God is simply amazing, and once again I can't wrap my mind around His work but my heart is full. Thanks for sharing, Marybeth.

Amy

Karen Ehman-The Keep it Simple Woman said...

Blessings of your obedience, dear Marybeth. Is it not awesome to see God work and to see Him use You to do it? Love you!!!!!! Karen

Thumperkin's musings said...

What an amazing story. I have seen one interstate accident occur and it is so frightening. I also have experienced God's delays and truly believe it saved my life one time. Thank you for being open to hearing God's gentle voice and for sharing this situation with us all. I truly enjoy reading your blog. Have a blessed week.

redsoxmom said...

Wow! What proof and inspiration that when we heed the Holy Spirit's nudging, God can do amazing things through us. Thank you for being obedient--it's a great lesson for us all.

Linda

Sitesx6 said...

What an amazing story....what a blessing to have so many people "just happen" to be there..nurses, paramedics, and God's servants. I hope she is okay....you must have thought of her all night long!

How scary!
Kelly S. Michigan

rural momma said...

Wow!! That story was amazing and inspiring. How many times do those "little things" happen and we are late to an event, God has a purpose for everything. What we see as inconviences God uses for opportunities. :0) What a blessing you were. :0)

Sherri said...

Powerful stuff Marybeth. Thank you for sharing this story and reminding me that God does has his hand on every detail of our lives.

Bonita said...

Wow...

Jill said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing - further proof of the awesome God we serve and the amazing plans he has. Thank you!

Rachel Olsen said...

What a privilege to be used as God's hands and feet in this world - I'm a little teary-eyed just reading this.

Praising God w/you today.

Anonymous said...

It is AMAZING how God is ALWAYS present in the good and bad. Just one week ago yesterday there was a tragic accident in our church nursery. Even though the 15 month old boy did not survive, God has has been amazingly present not only for his family but for the many others that have been forever touched by this accident. Thanks Marybeth for being obedient to God's voice and for sharing your story.

Deb said...

What a meaningful post. It too gave me chills. Our God is an awesome God and you are a good and faithful servant. I'm glad that your weekend was such a success! I hope that the lady you helped has found physical as well as spiritual healing.

Becky said...

I cried reading your blog and knowing what we had just experienced at the conference! Our Lord is truly amazing!!! I'm so happy to have gotten to know you, if only for a few brief minutes yesterday. I will be following the blog, for sure! Thanks again for being REAL with us this past weekend.

Holly Furtick said...

Wow Mary Beth. Thats crazy. I am inspired by your quick obedience.

Carol said...

Marybeth! I have tears. This was an incredible story of God covering every detail. Thank you for listening to His voice and blessing that sweet woman. This was very inspirational. Thank you for sharing.

Mom Can I? said...

oh wow. what peace to know you were with this woman.

Flamingo Mama said...

i have huge crocodile tears.

it is wonderful that you were obedient to that silent nudging.

i think i am going to link this to my blog. too many lessons here not to be shared!

Shari Braendel said...

As tears fall, I stand in awe at your quick obedience, just as someone above said. I can picture the whole scene in my head as you describe...love that you listened. Can't wait to spend the day with you tomorrow. love, Shari

Angela - Life w/ Two Busy Boys said...

What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing!!

KelliGirl said...

Marybeth,
That was the most beautiful post. I'm covered in goose bumps. God is amazing. Thank you for being obedient and brave.

Wow!

aswewalk said...

Oh, I have the chills and tears welling. God is so faithful to tend to our every need, using His people. I know that woman was overjoyed that you were faithful.

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Thank you for sharing the way you were the hands and feet of Jesus!

Victoria said...

God is so amazing! Praise God for His guidance and for your obedience. God bless.

Jill Brown said...

This was an amazing story. It just goes to show you that God's itinerary is not always in alignment of ours and he used you in a very powerful way. You are an amazing woman and thank you for sharing your story.

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

~tears~
He knows our name.
Do we get over that?
That He writes our stories?
God so close.
I kneel with you, Marybeth...
Wonder...Worship...

God uses you, friend...
And in my life, deeply...
All's grace,
Ann

Renee Swope said...

Tears streamed down my face reading this. I felt like I was there as you described the miraculous scene of scattered pieces from her life - cds, papers and a Bible and the peace of God that you ushered to the scene through prayer. WOW, Marybeth, I am so thankful for your listening and obedient heart. I love that He knows our name and makes His name known through us in big and small ways each day if we'll just listen like you did.

Celebrating His great love with you!!

Renee

Amy Jo said...

I'm sitting here stunned and crying. Not sure what to say, but thank you for sharing. Your faithful obedience to the Lord really blesses my spirit.

Amaris said...

i just saw this post, and i was moved to tears - and chills. The Lord really used you to speak - not only to that injured woman - but to others at the scene, and others online, like me. thank you for delivering such a powerful message from our Lord. :))