I received the email several months ago, asking me to lead the Bible Study during the ladies class meeting. I marked it on my calendar for Tuesday, October 11 and began the task of preparing but also wanting it to be Spirit led. My husband knew he would need to leave work early to get the kids for me to attend the class meeting that was to begin at 5:30. Everything was set.

The week prior to my appointed time I spent in Tallahassee with my dad, returned over the weekend and watched my sister’s five children so she could make a quick trip to visit with him as well. Knowing I had plenty of time for God to wrap up what He usually starts I told her she could run errands before picking the kids up that Monday later in the day.

I was covered in paint. Wearing dirty clothes and had not showered in two days (don’t judge . . . who showers with seven kids under one roof! lol!) And trying to find out where a horrible smell was coming from in my house when a message appears on my fb post that states, “Stacey, this is Lanara. We are waiting on you in the Blue room.”

Yes. My heart dropped. Panic set in as my husband had LITERALLY just walked in as I am reading aloud to him what was posted. I slam shut the laptop, run to get in the shower and in the shower start talking to God, “Now Lord, why did you let this happen? Why? What good can come from this Lord? You knew all along I wrote the wrong date down. Why did you have me prepare and not finish what you were leading me to because Lord, YOU DIDN’T FINISH WHAT YOU WERE SHOWING ME!” Then I just started chanting, “Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit.” Panic continued to rise because I had nothing typed out, no notes, nothing to walk in there and present to a group of ladies that were . . . . WAITING. ON. ME.

I threw my pants in the dryer, grabbed a dark colored tank to wear under a thin long sleeved tunic that would cover the paint that covered my arms, blow dried the scalp of my head, put lotion on my face and hands, pulled up my hair  . . . . pants . . . gotta get the pants.

My husband starts the van for me so the air will be blowing cold, I grab one of my Bibles but was it the Bible I use with lots of notes in it  . . . of course not. In my rush, the only thing that kept coming to my mind was a blog post I wrote from July 7, 1998 entitled, I Remember. I don’t have a smart phone so my husband pulled the blog post up on his work phone for me and off I went.

To the class meeting.

That was supposed to be the next day.

The one I wasn’t prepared for.

And yet . . .  God moved.

As I backed out of my driveway like I was going on a Sunday drive a mad-woman, I looked up to see the clouds . . . . “Wait . . . Is that a cross in the clouds?” I couldn’t stop looking up as I drove down my street . . . but then as I turned left on to Hwy 90 the Lord showed me His glory. The sky was radiant in pinks and oranges. In that moment He reminded me of the scripture He gave me the morning I was crossing the three mile bridge in to Gulf Breeze at 5:15 a.m. trying to reach my Granny before she took her final breath on earth . . . “I will praise you from the rising to the setting of the sun.” (Psalm 113:3).

As God continued to shine on me driving to a place called Olive, my prayer began to be one of selfishness. I needed to hear the special music. I began praying, “Lord, I don’t care if we run late, I don’t care if they do announcements first, I don’t care what it takes, I need to hear that special music. I need to know the song You chose. Please let me get there before the music.” The reason the music was so important to me is because weeks ago the Lord quickened my spirit that I had only been praying for me for this particular night, and not once for the person that would be bringing the music. When He revealed the need for me to pray for her, and not knowing her name, I began praying for her and the special music that God would lead her exactly where He wanted . . . . as I write this I am covered in goosebumps and tears fill my eyes because all that time . . . . all those prayers . . . I thought I was praying for the the music for the ladies, that could would use it to minister and prepare them for what God was showing me through Scriptures. And while there is no doubt that I knew God would used the special music to prepare the ladies hearts . . . . little did I know what God had in store for me . . . . a woman who left her windows rolled down while the A/C was blowing on high in hopes her hair would get dry before walking in the doors . . . . a woman with paint under her fingernails and the top of her feet. a woman with a light shade of foundation and chap-stick on with no eye make up . . . no jewelry . . . . just me . . . . exposed for who I am day to day . . .  a woman who blows it daily  . . . .  a woman who worries about what others think and just wants to honor her Lord and not disappoint Him . . . that God was moving on my behalf . . . .so I am sure you can imagine the aweness I experienced as I walked down the hallway to the Blue Room, opened the door . . .  as the special guest begins to sing, ““There is power in the name of Jesus, there is power in the name of Jesus, there is power in the name of Jesus . . . to break every chain to break every chain . . . to break every chain . . “

Yes . . . . take that in for a moment. Pick your jaw up off the floor because yes, He did that for me. In that instant He took my “why’s” and answered them . . . .”Because I Can.”  . . . .And in that moment I knew the power of God in a new realm and what it took for Him to answer that simple prayer . . . . that He truly wanted me to have that hearts desire . . .  that He truly wanted me to not only KNOW the love He has for me, but to FEEL it . . . and in that moment  . . . He embraced me like a loving, living father . . . .

But God wasn’t done yet . . . He did something else too . . . He took that simple prayer, “Lord, let me hear the song.”and the prayers for the special music and took it a step further. He chose a song that He gave to me to help me through some tough times . . . . and then He was used it as a segue for me to share my personal testimony . . . the testimony He had given me . . . . about breaking chains of addiction . . . about Hope.

The rest of the evening was just as God had planned. He moved in my heart while I shared, we laughed . . . I cried . . . we laughed some more. On my way home I was so excited of what God did I had to call my mom.

How God turned a moment of panic in to freedom is still beyond my comprehension.

How God gave me humor to share the frenzy is wow.

And how God took what I had planned and threw it out the window while I was using the wind to dry my hair . . . leaves me in awe. . .

But I’m so glad He did.

As I shared last night, and if this is the only thing you get from this post, in this moment . . . and as long as their is breath, there is hope. The only time there is no hope is when one has taken their last their breath.

Let your breath’s count.