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  • Writer's pictureEve M. Harrell

The Goodness of God

Updated: Mar 2, 2019

Life is a compilation of moments. Good, bad, beautiful, tragic and memorable. And then there are those we would rather forget.

It’s easy for me to live life wishing away the moments that are challenging, but as I grow, I recognize these moments are so important.

May is serving to be a busy month for us. We are so thankful for the graduations, weddings and birthdays that we have the honor to celebrate with our loved ones!

This weekend, we had the honor to celebrate two of our students who God is uniting in marriage. Andrew and Madison were both students that we served in High School. Two beautiful hearts brought together as one with God at the center. We were honored to serve them then and honored to celebrate them now.

We decided since we were going to be on the south side of town that we would go and see our son in the same weekend. Lee is about 4 hours south of Atlanta near Savannah, so the trek is great. It made sense.

A little transparency, I’m not big on coincidence. I believe every moment serves a purpose. A purpose to bring joy, touch your heart, teach a lesson, and sometimes to remind that you serve a good God.

We prepared well for the beginning of the weekend. We each took a ½ day off from work and packed the night before. I picked out the perfect dress for the outdoor wedding and Tony asked “do I have to wear pants?” for the thousandth time. (An inside joke.) 

We got on the road and enjoyed the drive down. Tony loves to make me laugh telling little jokes along the way. It serves to ease the tension from a hard day at work.

When we got to Newnan, we dropped by my Aunt’s house to chill for an hour or so before we had to leave for the wedding. It was in this moment that I knew something was wrong. I had forgotten something, but what?

Then I realized, I left my dress at home. And we had an hour and a half before the wedding.

No worries, my husband said. We can go to Kohl’s and get you another dress.

Breathing a sigh of relief, we hurried to Kohl’s and walked in to the store. The hubs, in squirrel mode tried to get me to look at this and that, but I was on mission with 10 minutes to spare so I bee-lined for the women’s department. Thankfully, it is spring and being the week after Mother’s Day, there were quite a few dresses in stock. 

I found it, a perfect dress that I believe God had waiting for me. It fit perfectly. 

We walked to customer service and they graciously allowed us to pay so I could change into the dress. Then we made our way out of the store.

I set off the alarm. Let me tell you, there are not many things worse than setting off an alarm. My anxiety through the roof, we went back to customer service to have the offending tag scanned.

Perfect timing, 30 minutes to spare before we had to be at the wedding.

We hit a little traffic, but not too badly. I just knew we would make it just on time.

Until we didn’t.

I love my truck, I’ve had it for 15 years and even though we’ve had a couple of expensive repairs, it’s been my favorite vehicle. At 165k, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s about time to replace my girl. We’ve had some minor repairs recently that seem to be increasing in frequency. I have a real problem with getting stranded on the side of the road. 

As we were sitting in traffic, the air went out. Then all of the gauges went blank. Uh-oh. 

The anxiety crept in and my stomach started to hurt. I said a prayer, “Father, you know how much we want to go to this wedding and see Lee, please God let this be minor.”

As we neared the venue, she started to chug. Oh no, please. We are going uphill, in a country town far away from home. De ja vu set in as I remembered our trip to NIH when we lost the fuel filter.  My poor Ava.

Chug-Chug-Chug, I think I can, I think I can.  We never should have made it up that hill. I believe we were truly being pushed by the power of God. You may call it luck, I call it blessed grace! (And perhaps an angel or two.)

We passed the venue as the engine stopped and coasted into someone’s driveway.

Oh and did I say that it was Go time? The enemy at that moment consumed me with so many emotions. 

Anger- We drove all the way down here only to have my car to break down?

Fear- We’ll never make it to the wedding!

Worry- How much will this cost?

Guilt- Being late, we are going to ruin the bride’s entrance.

Despair- What if I can’t see Lee?

Beautiful, please hear my heart in this moment. THIS IS THE ENEMY’S MO! Remember those life moments? The enemy wants nothing more than to destroy every moment of your life. If he can distract you with anger, fear, worry, guilt and despair then you will miss the beauty in the moment- yes even in the challenging ones.

So where was the beauty in this moment? Stuck in the middle of nowhere, late for a very important date and uncertain what the next couple of hours would look like? Can God show up in this moment when the enemy seems to have the upper hand?

Yes, He can and yes He did.

In my journey, God is teaching me how to react in these moments. I have a choice to either 

  1. allow the emotions to consume me or 

  2. find God. 

He is always there and often times we only have to look up. So, what did I do? 

I looked up.

The sky was blue, there was a beautiful creek before us and birds singing their song all around me. In these moments, God uses specific things to get my attention. He knows how much I love a blue sky and a sweet songbird. He knows that the sound of a brook is soothing to my anxious heart. These things take my mind off of the emotion and remind me of His goodness.

After I looked up, it was time to take action. What to do? Our truck was stuck in a stranger’s driveway. So, we went to the door and knocked. No answer, okey dokey a note on the windshield will have to do. Time to walk to the wedding.

Yes, we were late, but we had the honor to watch the bride as she floated in among her guests. As we snuck in the back, we were serenaded by beautiful Megan singing “Reckless Love.” I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect song for that very moment.

I don’t think anyone really noticed our tardiness. We were able to arrange a tow truck to carry my faithful steed 78 miles to her home base. And one of my wonderful former students offered to carry me home. It was a beautiful wedding that we could’ve missed if I would have allowed the enemy his way.

Oh and guess what? We rented a car and are now on the way to see Lee!

Beautiful, remember that: 

God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 

Yes, even the challenges.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Genesis 50:20

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

Isaiah 55:8

Thank You Father for teaching me to live in the moment. Thank You for Your goodness! 

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