I feel like God has been teaching me many of the same lessons for most of my life- but one of the biggest lessons has been that I need to work on my listening skills. I am great at the talking part and I tend to keep the conversation going in my head even when my lips stop moving. constantly. as in all.the.time. just wanted to make sure I portrayed that accurately for you guys.
As you can imagine, this doesn’t leave a lot of room for God to get a word in edge-wise. As I’ve been learning about the phenomenon of listening and how to put it into practice, I have learned one big thing: listening gives you the opportunity to obey. Out of obedience comes really neat experiences. That’s what this series is going to be about- documenting those experiences.
Hopefully this will be ongoing forever and ever since it’s my goal to get better at that whole listening/obedience thing 🙂
This brings me to the experience I had a few months back. As you can probably infer by the title, it happened in my favorite place ever: Target.
I think I had stopped in to grab some paper towels or something necessary like that, but somehow found myself in the sections filled with things that I absolutely did not need (neon feather hair clips, what?!) As I was browsing and contemplating the thousands of things I could waste my money on, I felt God’s presence come over me. I don’t know what the experience is like for you guys, but for me I get tingly and warm and feel LOVED. I don’t know how else to explain it. I put down the feathers and started praying.
My eyes wandered to the floral section and I had this unshakable feeling that I needed to buy a bouquet of flowers. This particular store was a super target and there was a Starbucks all the way at the other end of the open area. My eyes drifted over in that direction and landed on a lady wearing a polka dot shirt. Suddenly I got a bit more information- I needed to buy a bouquet of flowers and I needed to buy them for her. Umm ok, God.. this is kind of strange, don’t you think? do I really have to do this? really? she is going to think I’m insane. Wait- am I insane? is this me just being insane? ok, fine.
I went over to the flowers and picked out one that I thought was pretty. I may have spent too much time contemplating because when I looked in the direction where I saw her, she was gone. I thought I at least had a few more minutes before she finished her latte- but she was no where to be found. Needless to say, I was disappointed (ok and also really relieved- not gonna lie) and left feeling like I had gotten my signals mixed. Unmistakably, I felt God’s presence come over me again: buy the flowers, Meryl. Come onnnnnn, God!
I decided to buy the flowers but also be stubborn and take my sweet time… so I went back for the hair clips (that I have never worn). Eventually I made my way to the front where the lines were so long I couldn’t even see the checkout person. I parked myself in the first one I found and called my parents to pass the time, pretty much forgetting about the flowers that sat in my basket.
About 15 minutes later, it was my turn and I hung up with my dad, looking up at the cashier for the first time. Guys, I am not even kidding you:
THE LADY IN THE POLKADOT SHIRT WAS MY CHECKOUT PERSON.
Yes!! I know!!! insane!!!!! she wasn’t even wearing a target shirt!
Seriously, Jesus?! I say this all the time, but I’m pretty sure God chuckled. I think I give Him comedic relief.
I made my purchases and she commented on how pretty the flowers were and that they must be for someone I loved. I handed them to her and explained that they were purchased for someone who was very loved and that I felt like God had told me to purchase them for her. At this point I fully expected for her to throw my things into the cart and start running. But she didn’t.
Instead, she started crying. I told her the story of seeing her across the room and how it all went down. I got to tell her how much God loved her- that he loved her so much that he wanted to show her through a stranger.
And that’s my story. I know some people are going to say it was a coincidence, but that’s ok! to each their own. As for me, I will always believe without a doubt that Jesus wanted to tell that lady how much he loved her and that he used a girl with a love for neon feather hair clips to convey it. For that, I will always be thankful 🙂 Jesus is so amazing, y’all!