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A Missed Opportunity

My Friend Debbie     Have you ever heard The Lord speak to your heart about something very specific? Has He ever told you to do something for someone, or given you a dream to fulfill? And if so, did you do it, or did your good intentions just never produce a final outcome? For me, the answer to these questions is "Yes." There have been numerous times that I have heard The Father speak so clearly to me about helping someone or giving a word of encouragement. He has even given me visions of how I can best use my giftings to glorify Him. And although I would like to say that I have always followed through on the things I have heard Him say, the truth is, there have been several times that I just did not succeed in carrying out His plans.

     When I was in college, I specifically remember The Lord speaking to me about a young girl who was pregnant and was going to be in need of a crib. He told me that she was a teenager who was planning on keeping her baby, but had no family support and very little finances to care for her newborn. The Lord also showed me a vision of this baby sleeping in a pulled out clothing drawer amongst random t-shirts and apparel. I felt impressed that this was a dangerous situation for the baby and that God wanted me to buy this young woman a crib and baby mattress. Now, being a teenager myself, I did not have a lot of money, but knew that I wanted to please God through my obedience. So, I went to the store and bought a brand new crib and mattress, stored it in my mother's garage, and waited until The Lord brought this girl across my path.

My Friend Debbie     I am not sure how much time passed, but I prayed continuously that God would reveal this girl to me in a way that would be unmistakable. Then the day came. I was driving to school, which was a half an hour drive away, and as is typical with me, I was late. Speeding through my neighborhood, I turned the corner onto the main road and traveled full steam ahead to my college campus. I had not gone even a quarter of a mile when I saw a young girl pushing a stroller through the dirt path to the side of the road. She was crying as she walked, and I could see that the weight of the world was on her shoulders. I thought to myself, "Could this be the girl that God has told me about?" It was then that I noticed a red balloon attached to the stroller, flying just above the girls head. It was as if The Lord had placed a marker of sorts on the stroller to say, "Stop! This is the one I have been telling you about." I applied the brakes minimally and watched her as I passed. She was sobbing and appeared to be broken in spirit. In my lateness, I continued down the road and reasoned in my head that this was not the girl that God wanted me to help. If so, why would He have me meet her at a time when it would make me late for class? I got to the stop light at the end of the street, the girl was still visible in my rear view mirror, but when the light changed, I sped away and drove to school.

     I missed it! I missed the opportunity to do God's work and bless this young woman. Who knows what impact I may have had on her life or on the life of her baby. As an act of hoping to redeem myself, or possibly run across another woman who needed this crib, I held onto it for many years. When I got married and moved across country, we packed up the crib (still in its box) and moved it with us. In fact I believe the crib had been stored in 4 different houses over the years. My husband always wanted to get rid of it or use it as a bed for our own children, but I could never bring myself to open the box. I knew that the crib did not belong to me, but to an unknown woman that I was meant to bless.

     Finally last year during a family yard sale, I dragged the crib and mattress out of the garage and leaned it up against the house. I did not put a price on it, nor did I display it in a way to grab anyone's attention. During the last few minutes of the sale, a woman came up and asked me what price I wanted for the mattress. I told her that I could not sell it for money but had to give it away to someone in need. She said, "Will you give it to me? I have a friend who is transferring her baby from a crib to a child's bed and she needs a mattress for it." I thought for a second and agreed to let her have the mattress. As for the crib, I ended up giving it away to one of the local pick-up donation services. Although the crib is gone, the sadness I feel for not carrying out the mission that God gave me still lingers in my spirit.

My Friend Debbie     I have heard God speak numerous times since then. There was a time though when I could not hear His voice and desperately cried out to Him for guidance and direction. After many months of pleading to Him to speak to my heart, I heard Him respond, "If I tell you what to do, will you do it? "I was stunned. His answer was so clear and true. Would I really do whatever He asked of me?

     God has recently given me a new vision. He has shown me in vivid detail, the "job" or "mission" He has planned for my life. Right now, it seems too big for me to accomplish. I question the reality of this vision even coming true. But I do know that it came from the heart of God and I hope to be obedient to His call this time. I would hate to miss out on the blessings that He has for me or the opportunity to bless others through this new vision. Who knows, He may even give this assignment to someone else if I do not step up and do the work He has called me to do.

     I was inspired to write this story because of a specific incident. A woman walked into a chocolate shop in Virginia Beach, VA. She immediately got very loud and emotional as she walked into the store. She looked around and shouted, "This is MY store. This was MY dream. God showed me this place and this exact location a few years ago, and I was supposed to be the one running this shop." The owners of the store, responded to her, saying, "No ma'am, this is our shop." The lady continued, "No. No. No. This is supposed to be mine." She told the owners of the store that she and her sister had a vision of this place for many years, but never took any steps to make it happen. She said that it even looked exactly the way they had seen it in their minds. Perhaps, if they would have trusted God to do what He said, they would actually own the chocolate shop. But, sometimes seeing the big picture can seem too scary or out of our reach so we give up on even trying to make it happen.

     I hope that this story inspires you not only to listen to God, but to do all that is within your power to follow through on the ideas and dreams that He plants in your heart. After all, if God is with you, who can be against you? He wants to see your obedience. He desires to see you fulfilled and doing the work that He has purposed you to do. The next time you hear The Lord speak to you, say, "Yes Lord!" with all of your heart and be the blessing you were meant to be!


Copyright © 2008-2015 Carrie Neely

Reader Comments...
2009-01-18 20:25:12
"Dear Carrie,
Thanks for an inspiring article. Your open heart will help many women and somehow I just know you will not miss your dream.
One of your Power Prayer Team Warriors.
Linda U."

        - Linda

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