From the time I left town I hit every road construction project known to man. Fast, then slow, then fast again. Traffic was nearly bumper to bumper. Where did all these people come from...and better yet, where were they all going on the same day I was! Yeesh!
Then, as I looked ahead the sky turned nearly black and I realized that I was about to head into a thunderstorm. At least that's what it looked like to me. Streak lightning, a little wind, and then ... wait for it... HARD RAIN. Rain so hard I had to slow down to forty miles per hour on a highway that the speed limit was seventy because I could not see the car in front of me. However, as fast as it hit, it quit. Because I was traveling east and the storm was going west. Weird? I don't think so.
|Hard rain! Where's the road?|
You see, even though this was my very first time traveling a long distance alone, in my brand new car (a Kia Sportage), I was perfectly calm. This is not like me...well, not like the me from the past. But I knew in my heart of hearts that God was directing my every turn on this path. And I also forgot to mention that I had printed out my directions from Mapquest, but also took a GPS. Well, poor little Garmin kept trying to redirect me onto every dirt and gravel country road between here and my destination, not to mention that he wanted me to go in the opposite direction! Good thing I had those Mapquest directions!
But probably the funniest thing that happened to me on the way to the retreat was when I stopped at a rest area. I had just got back into the Kia, called my husband to let him know that I was alright and making good time, all things considered, when I felt a presence to my left. As I turned to look, there was a disheveled, old lady at my window. She was pointing at the front of my car and her mouth was moving. I tell dear husband to hang on, and I rolled down the window.
|My "cah"...kinda cute, I think|
"I want ya cah!"
Confused, I say, "Excuse me?" So she repeats, "I want ya cah." That's when I realized she wanted my car. As instantly as I thought she was wanting to steal my "cah," I felt a peace come over me that she was just admiring it.
"Dis is one of doze Keeya Spoahtages, ryat? I love doze. I always wanted one. I heeya dere nyce."
"They are nice." My radio came back on, so I knew my husband had hung up on me. I was on my own!
"I want ya cah."
"Oh, well I'm sorry but you'll have to GET YOUR OWN CAR!"
She and her lady friend with her began to laugh, still admiring my "cah." So I pilfered in my purse, grabbed two of my ministry cards, then handed them out the window to the ladies and said, "I'm on my way to speak at a ladies retreat."
Confused, they took the cards. But the more outspoken of the two ladies says, "Oh? And what ah ya speakin' on?" It was at this point that I realized why I had stopped at the rest area. I had a Divine Appointment. So I told the ladies, "I'm speaking on healing, and how God can use you no matter what you've been through. Like He healed me of over forty years of mental and emotional abuse by women."
Instantly her head snapped up. "By WOMEN? What ah ya, a RAINBOW?!"
|Purple hair...but no rainbow|
At first, I was a little shocked, but in the two-point-four-seconds that it took me to realize what she just asked me (she thought I was a lesbian), I answered her. "NO, I'm not a "Rainbow."
Sarcastically she asked me, "Den how do ya get "abused" by women?"
In a calm voice I answered her, "By being bullied, intimidated, controlled, put down and made fun of. My abusers were mostly my mother and grandmother, but other women as well. Teachers, friends... But God healed me of that and I'm going to tell other women they can be healed, too."
In a very patronizing tone she says, "Well, if that's what it takes." By this time, she won't look at me and is backing away from me. I guess I made her nervous. But she wasn't going to let me off the hook, and I wasn't going to let her off the hook either. So I pointed my finger at her and her friend and said very loudly, with a big smile, "YES! That's EXACTLY what it takes!" As they were walking off, they thanked me, I told them to have a safe trip, and we were done.
It was as I was driving out of the parking lot of the rest area that I began laughing hysterically. How like God to give me a humorous situation in which to tell someone what He has done for me! And as I pulled back out on the highway, it hit me that something I should have said to the lady was, "Are YOU are Rainbow? Because GOD can heal you of THAT, TOO!!"
I told this story in the Friday night session of the retreat. As the ladies laughed about as hysterically as I did over this hilarious story, I soberly told them that there are many, many women out there who are being mentally and emotionally abused by others. Whether it's other women, or men, or whomever, these things should not be happening. It took me over forty years to get to the point where I realized that this is what was happening to me, and that I did not have to live like that.
The point is, God has such big plans for you and it is NO ONE ELSE'S BUSINESS but yours and God's! No one else has the right to tell you that you can't do something specific when you KNOW that God has called you to do it.
When that lady first asked me if I was a Rainbow, I thought she was referring to my purple hair. But then I realized that she actually was thinking in terms of being gay. Why would she think that? I gave her no other reason to think that about me. But I also realized that she was trying to intimidate me. Watching her friend who was with her, I could tell that she was the passive one, and the lady who was talking to me was the controller.
She got a big surprise though when I looked her in the eye and told her the Truth. Because when I did, she began to back up. The Bible says to "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4:7) When intimidating and controlling people come into your personal space, resist them. Stand your ground. Be prepared. It confuses them and even though they try to press in on you, YOU PRESS BACK with the Word of God. Your Sword of Truth. They will back down and you will not be oppressed.
The enemy tried all kinds of things over the weekend to prevent me from preaching to these ladies at this retreat. But he didn't win! The retreat went well, God got the glory, and He blessed beyond our wildest dreams! Purple hair and rainbows... knocked the enemy right out of the park with that one. Go God!