Not much on earth beats an ocean breeze, boutique shopping, riding bikes through charming narrow streets, or the overindulgence of great vacation food until you run right smack dab into the midst of THAT moment when the Holy Spirit blows your mind! Stay tuned for “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say!
My husband and I LOVE South Florida and I do mean south as in the tip! We are vacationing in Key West this week and we absolutely LOVE it!!! We think it’s the closest thing to a Caribbean feel on this side of the pond. The weather is always absolutely gorgeous and the ocean water sparkles with an amazing hue of turquoise that beckons you come!
Not to mention a pace that is clearly set to “beach time” all the time! It really is the capital of relaxation in our book.
Oh but let me share something nothing short of amazing from my little shopping excursion down Duvall Street one afternoon. The crowds had dissipated just off the heels of the Labor Day holiday. It was as though Key West experienced a mass exodus sometime Monday morning leaving Tuesday unusually peaceful and quiet! I spotted this little snazzy boutique with some really cute tops and dresses. Of course, the one I dearly loved was only available in size medium and I had my doubts as to whether it would fit.
I tried the medium and it fit!!! Yes, Lord! I asked the ladies working in the store to promise it did not look like two pigs fighting underneath in reference to one of my all time favorite lines in the movie Steel Magnolias. After we all had a good laugh, once again, they promised the dress looked adorable. As I walked toward the front of the store, still undecided about purchasing the dress, in walks a young lady wearing the very dress I had just tried on in the fitting room! Talk about strange!!! Well not really…here is where things get really good!
She looked so cute as she walked up to the register to chat with the lady running the store. It was obvious they knew each other. As I listened to their conversation, not because I was eavesdropping, but because it’s a boutique for goodness sake! They are so small you cannot help but hear everyone’s business!!! I quickly learned the girls name is Juanita and she had no place to live. Her roommates kicked her out because things just were not working out with their living arrangement. Juanita had suddenly found out about her mom’s failing health and going home to TN seemed to be the next right decision for her to make. Interestingly, the lady working in the boutique asked the girl, “Do you go to church?” She told her she needed to find a church as soon as she gets back home and seek God for direction in her life. The more I listened the more I recognized this little moment in time as a divine appointment from God.
Finally, I interjected into their conversation because I. Could. Not. Hold. It. Any. Longer!!! I told Juanita it was by no accident that she walked into the boutique wearing the very dress that I was trying to decide on buying. It was no shocker for the storeowner to encourage her to find a church and pray for direction in life. God used this to prompt me to speak up! I said to Juanita, “I am married to a Baptist pastor making me the pastor’s wife who just so happened to cross your path today!” I love Jesus and He saved me from myself on so many occasions. Again, I reiterated how this meeting up was no accident. As we stood in the boutique talking it was evident God had her attention for such a moment in time. The circumstances were so perfectly aligned with detail not one of us could deny His presence in our midst! We all talked for several minutes more about Jesus and how He has plans for each of us if we’ll just seek after Him and give our lives over to Him!
Near the end of our conversation, God nudged me to buy the dress. It was like my own little “Say Yes To The Dress” moment! I announced to everyone, I had just about decided to put the dress back, but after meeting Juanita while wearing “my dress” it was obvious I needed to get it as a reminder to pray for her every time I wear it! Let’s suffice it to say we all had a little moment of recognition that God was at work in this little boutique on Duvall Street in the Keys! I just love how God will take boutique owners, vacationing pastor’s wives to intersect with a young girl in need of a collision with Jesus!!! He will chase us down no matter what!
Lord, I lift Juanita to you. I pray that you lead her to a church home in TN to be connected with your people who will love her, study your word with her, pray with and for her. I pray you open her heart wide to receive you if she does not already know you personally. Father, I ask that you use the words of our meeting to remind her of how real you are and how interested you are in the details of our lives. Help Juanita always remember that cute ‘lil dress as the way you chose to speak to us on this day;) Amen.
There are many more Juanita’s out there!
Praying for Juanita,