What we thought was just a fun beach trip adventure ended up being an even greater blessing. God led us to a small run down shack on the side of a private road where he spoke to us in a mighty way! If you listen he will direct your steps.
My dear friend, Jessica Oliver called me on a Monday and asked if I had a wild hair and if I would go to the beach with her and her two precious kids for the week. I responded with, “girl you know I have tons of wild hairs, lets do it, but I first have to run it by my husband! Matt wasn’t as keen with the whole idea of taking our two girls out of school for the week but we agreed that if the girls got their work done before they left then we could leave half day on Wednesday and come back on Saturday!
Let the beach adventure begin! Let me give you a picture of our trip with four young children and two dogs all crammed into a Chevy Tahoe! Let’s just say, if I heard “when are we going to get there” one more time I would have screamed! We stopped once to fill up on gas and the very next stop was when we were out in the middle of nowhere and all the kids & dogs had to use the restroom so badly! We decided to pull over onto a dead end side road with a no-state maintenance sign. Jessica pulled off into a place and almost went into a ditch, without cell service that would have been really bad but we all got out of the car to stretch our legs. There was a small shack on the opposite side of the road with a no trespassing sign on the side of the house. We saw what looked like 100 cats coming out of the house from the porch, under the porch and just all over! My daughter Natalie and Jessica’s son, Grayson didn’t want us to go over and see the cats because they don’t like to do anything that seems wrong. She said there are signs that say No trespassing so we decided to just get back on the road! We drove about 5 minutes down the road to find a huge Walmart that we could have gone to the restroom at however we continued to Myrtle Beach, SC.
Jessica & I were talking about God, and all of a sudden we looked over to see what looked like God shining through the clouds and a comfort came over me as well as chill bumps! I took this picture and I am so glad we captured this of the heavens opening up! This was just the start of him speaking to us.
We made it in record time and the weather was just perfect! All the kids were so ready to get out of the car and have some fun! We went out to a fun dinner at a Japanese restaurant were they prepare your food in front of you and then ended the night at Dave and Busters! Such a fun first night to our beach trip. We woke up the next day and started things off with a dozen Dunkin Donuts and coffee of course, then hit the beach! I mean who gets to go on a beach vacation in February and wear just your bathing suits on the beach? The weather was so perfect and the sun felt so nice. We didn’t even think to put sunscreen on the kids and they got a little bit of sunburn from the first day. We then spent another day on the beach and the whole time was filled with laughter and sunshine! I felt so blessed to spend quality time with my two girls and we bonded like never before. The whole time we were at the beach the kids would talk about the 100 cats and that house that we stopped to go to the bathroom and so we told the kids we would try to find the road and go back to feed the cats on our way home!
The beach fun was over and we enjoyed huge bagel egg sandwiches, Starbucks coffee and went shopping at the outlet malls till we couldn’t carry anymore bags! Jessica & I were both tired and decided to take naps before our long journey home that day. We left the beach at 4PM on Saturday and felt like the cats were calling our name! We were driving down the road and Jessica reads aloud a sign that stood out to her with the scripture John 14:18 on it!
We continued to talk about what that meant to one another and didn’t think anything about it after that conversation. As we drove on down the road it started to get darker and it was almost 6:30PM and we found the road were the Cats and the abandoned house was. We turned on the road and pulled up to the house with the lights shining on the porch so the kids could see all the cats. We were going to just stop in and feed them really quickly, but a man came out to the porch and instead of yelling at us for being on his property he just smiled this huge smile and said it was no problem whatsoever that we stopped by! It kind of took us both back a second because the house didn’t look like anyone lived there and it also didn’t seem like it had any electricity either! We pulled away feeling like God was telling us we had to go get the man in the house some basic food needs and toiletries but didn’t want him to feel bad either. We were driving towards home talking about it and Jessica & I both had the strongest desire to turn the car around and drive back to the store and buy him some food. The kids were so excited and we had the best time letting them put whatever they wanted in the cart that would bless him. We also knew it was a God thing even though it was late and could have made the guy worried with us pulling back up onto the property a second time! We put all the groceries in the car and could barely all fit ourselves with bags piled on top of me and in the back middle row. The crazy part was we got lost and almost didn’t find the road again so had to back track and then start our GPS again. I knew that was the devil trying to stop us from blessing this man so we prayed and immediately got back on track. We pulled into the house again and Jessica honked the horn to give him a heads up we were there so we took all the groceries and waters to the porch while the kids stayed in the car. We even got him a Valentine’s Day card and the kids wrote the sweetest love notes inside for him. The man came out on the porch and then, with tears in his eyes he shared with us his story and how he knew this was God telling him he is heading in the right direction! He hugged us both and I asked him if he would come share a little bit with our kids about what God was doing in his heart! He came over and told our children, who were so attentive, his story of how you can run from God but he will always be there and it is best to stay close to him in your life! He also told our kids that they could have a cat the next time we came to visit! Thanks a lot.. The nice man’s name was Jimmy and he was the kindest man with the sweetest smile. While we thought Jimmy was in need of groceries it turns out that what he really needed was a message and sign from God for his future. He is building a home on this property which has been in the family for decades. We were able to give him hope for the future by our radical obedience.
Let me tell you when we left there it was like the blessing gave us the giggles and joy filled our hearts in a huge way! We had confirmation in our hearts that this calling was from the Lord and Jimmy also told us that this act of kindness was an answer from the Lord straight to him as well! We are going to stay in touch with this man as he builds his home on the property. This is just the beginning! The five hour trip ended up taking us eight hours instead. It was worth it!
Jessica & her family woke up and went to Thomas Road Baptist church the next morning and I am not even kidding you the very first scripture that popped up on the screen was John 14:18! Jessica said, she felt like jumping up and sharing the whole story but instead knew for a fact God was speaking to her. The whole sermon was on this scripture and how God doesn’t leave the broken hearted or the orphans. He comes to comfort them. I am not sharing this story because I want the world to know we are good people but because God told me to share it and to ask others to open their eyes and ears to what God is trying to say and then to follow his promptings no matter what! It may seem crazy sometimes but obedience is better than the outcome of disobedience! I am positive that my favorite memory of our beach trip will be this one for sure!