I was reading the heartbreaking story yesterday about the bus accident involving the seniors from Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville and was amazed to see that even in the midst of such a horrible tragedy, people still managed to be ugly and hateful. A few "men" had posted in the comment section very cold remarks about how the victims' faith got them nowhere... that their imaginary man in the sky was nowhere to be seen and that the imaginary skyman failed them. Of course, my immediate reaction was anger. Anger for the victims and their families, anger at his ignorance and complete lack of respect but also anger for our God who continues to be so misunderstood/ignored/mistreated/denied. On several occasions, with completely different people, I have been told that I have a very strong intuition. I do and usually I make a snide remark about how I hate it or I wish this "power" would go away. Now I'm not saying I'm going to have my own show on TBS called Lake Norman Medium and I'm not saying I can predict the future. But I have always had this VERY strong sense that guides me every now and again. It's not all the time and it wasn't just with my mother. But two of the most clear times were with her.
Back in 2003, my mom and I had spent the evening Christmas shopping together at an outlet mall that was about 10 minutes from my apartment. We left around closing time so it was dark and very cold since it was November. I can't explain it but I had a VERY uneasy feeling about saying goodbye to her. I just felt VERY anxious about it and I kept telling myself I was being ridiculous. I didn't say anything about it to my mom. So we both left in our separate cars, me in front of her, and I watched her headlights turn out of the mall behind me. I continued up the long hill on the road and kept trying to talk myself out of feeling weird and when I got up to the top of the hill, I glanced in my rearview mirror. I didn't see her headlights anymore (or anyone's) which I thought was weird because I didn't think there were any more turn-off's between the mall exit and the top of the hill. But again, I thought I was just being ridiculous. Then my cell phone rang on my passenger seat. I looked down and it said "Mom" and I even though to myself, "See! You're being crazy. She's calling already, she probably stopped somewhere. So talk to her and that'll make your nerves go away." So I answered the phone and I realized that she indeed had NOT called me but somehow her phone had "accidentally" called my number. I could overhear her talking to what I assumed was a policeman and I heard her say "I hit the patch of ice and it just turned over." Needless to say, my heart dropped! And I immediately turned my car around and started heading back to the mall. I kept trying to say hello but she didn't know I was on the line and eventually we were disconnected. I called back a minute later and she answered and I told her that her phone had "accidentally" called me, I heard everything and I was on my way back. She said she didn't want me coming there because of how icy it was and I said too bad, I'm almost there. Of course, she was right and when I got there and tried to stop my car, I also started sliding and stopped my car just a few feet short of the policeman. Oops. Luckily, she was okay (her truck wasn't) and we went home to my warm apartment after everything was settled. But there was NO DOUBT that her accident was why I had that weird feeling. Before it ever even happened.
Cut to February of this year. I sometimes do projects for a freelance client where I review her client's new websites and I make recommendations. I hadn't done any work for her in quite awhile when she appeared and asked me to review a site for her new client, The Farrah Fawcett Foundation. For those of you that don't know, Farrah passed away from anal cancer. It is a very rare cancer and one that is also not talked about much. I guess because it has some kind of stigma. So I went about doing my regular thing reviewing the site, filling out my checklists, etc. Except as I'm doing it, I was OVERWHELMED by the feeling that I needed to bug my mother about going to the doctor. Not because I thought the symptoms they talked about sounded like her or anything (if anything, I was afraid they sounded like me since I had been having a lot of mysterious GI symptoms for a year), but just a STRONG urge to tell her to go to the doctor. This was not something new either. My mother had not gone to the doctor since I was born. Seriously. My sister and I begged her all the time to go. We used my dad and his illness as a motivator, she tried using my niece, I tried using my sometime-in-the-future wedding. Nothing worked. She was stubborn as a mule. She was too afraid and had to work up her courage. So even though I didn't think it'd make a difference, I called and begged her again. I told her about the FF Foundation and everything it said and how I didn't want to end up being a family member writing about their lost loved one like the people on this site. That was in February. In March, my mother was diagnosed with anal cancer.
These are not the only two times and again, it wasn't always about my mother. The two times that I caught my abusive ex lying to me about cheating on me, I had the same OVERWHELMING feeling and both times he was. I've always referred to this weird sense as my intuition. But you know what intuition is? The imaginary skyman. Making Himself known to you in a very clear and real way.
When I was just in VA and my mom was still with us, but was sick in the hospital, my sister and I took to wearing grooves in the hallway floors by pacing them in circles over and over. While we were making a lap, I suddenly was struck again with the same kind of overwhelming feeling, but this time I just knew how everything was going to play out. I told my sister... I don't think I'm even going to end up moving here (unknown to most of my NC friends, I had put notice in to my landlord one week before, right when we got back from the beach, so I could be up north with my mom), I think this whole thing is going to go very quickly and I'm going to be back in NC, but my house will have already rented so I'm going to end up moving in with a certain friend that I had thought about moving in with before but the timing wasn't right. I even said I bet I'm going to end up working at that kennel eventually too. Mind you, this is a kennel that I had interviewed for a PT job at months ago. I didn't consider working there FT because I needed a flexible job (like my current one) that allowed me to go back and forth to VA. It was like I saw everything all at once, clear as day. Even though my mom was still alive, I hadn't talked to the friend anymore about rooming together and hadn't spoken to the people at the kennel either.
Yet, one week later, my mom passed away. After a flurry of activity taking care of her memorial, her things at her house, her things at my sister's house, etc, I found myself right back in NC like the whole thing had been a bad dream. I contacted my landlord and let him know what happened and surprise, they rented it already. I needed to be out by Oct 30. Miraculously, all the issues that had held up me and my friend from rooming together, were now all resolved. And the woman at the kennel (who had apparently been thinking about me) offered me a FT job. Every single piece fell in place like a giant puzzle. One that I got to see the solution to ahead of time.
I don't know why the people on that church bus had to die. I don't know why my own mother had to die. But that's not for me to know. It's all in God's plan and He's got more important things to do then to explain His every move to me. But just because bad things happen doesn't mean He's not there. Just because you can't see Him, doesn't mean you can't hear Him.
I don't know why He has blessed me so many times in my life by speaking to me so clearly and strongly. It is painful sometimes but for as much as I may joke about it, I do appreciate it. I do feel loved and protected that He takes the time to show me these things to make sure I stay on the right path.
Whatever you want to call it, intution... instinct... coincidence or Godwink. It all comes from the same place. The "imaginary" Man in the sky.