When You Need Divine Intervention


One foot in front of the other. I leap over the one remaining stump on the property. And my muscles scream out in reluctance with each step. It’s been a while, a while since I’ve jogged. But I’ve been thrust into middle age, and I want to be the best middle-ager I can be.

Every cell hollers, “What are you doing to me?” as they jostle around. “We need divine intervention,” they cry.

Trying to lead, the sheep bump into me. They haven’t quite figured out the follow thing, and I stumble to regain ground. This middle-ager thing has my joints crying out, too. In the last month, my pain-free legs have turned achy and don’t pound the ground with steadiness like they used to. 





The neighbor’s donkey and goats stare at me as I pass, wanting me to stop. Eeyore’s silky soft nose calls to me. Thank goodness for the trees, hiding me from plain view.



I turn the corner, pass the swing, and almost jump out of this middle-ager skin. I stop abruptly. 

My daughter is sitting there, huffing and puffing. “I tried to catch up with you,” she says, struggling to speak between breaths. Inhaling deeply, she continues, “I called your name, but you didn’t stop.”

She’d taken the short-cut to catch up to me.

Tears sprang to my eyes.

I wrap her in my arms.

“I never want to miss your call.” 

Never.

Arm in arm, this middle-ager and teen-ager walk side by side. We break loose, proceeding to finish this walk, one foot in front of the other.

“Do you want to jog?” I ask.

She’s still huffing and puffing. “No.”

We laugh.

My mind is still whirling with the fact that she had needed me. She’d been calling out to me. I’d missed her. 

But she’d caught me.



And I thought of the One who never misses my call. That very morning, only moments before the jog, God had answered my call. Not just my call. I’d been working on an article that was stumping me, knocking me down. I couldn’t get the path, the plan. I had the information. But how can I make this the best it can be? How can I present this to glorify God? To honor the person it’s about? 

Stumped. 

I slumped around the house all day yesterday. Sat at the computer and pieced together two stories, just a little different from the other. No good. “God, I need help.” This usually comes fairly easy to me. What am I doing wrong? What am I doing differently? Have I been trying to take the short-cut? But this? Ugh. “Help me, God.” 

I share the information with my family, in hopes to get pointed in the right direction. Nothing.

That’s it. Stop everything. 

I write for help. 

I’d covet your prayers for an article I’m working on. Sometimes it’s so easy, but sometimes, like now … it’s just hard. And I beg God to show me what He wants revealed from this precious person’s life.

Instantly, one person after another offers to pray. Prayed right on the spot. For me. For this article. 

Lord, give Shelli eyes to see what you see in this precious person, and words to let the rest of us in on the secret. Amen.Shirlee Abbott

I love your tender heart, dear Shelli.Wendy Macdonald

You need divine guidance. I’ll pray to that end.Norma Wieland

So many more. I went to bed, pulling the covers up under my chin, in perfect peace, knowing prayers were being lifted on my behalf. I thought of It’s a Wonderful Life, everyone praying for George Bailey. Peace. A smile broke out.

I woke up this morning with a plan. Didn’t do a single thing, but ran into my office and began typing away. The article came together, like always.

It is finished.



Tears sprang to my eyes. And my spirit clapped for God, clapped for His people for faith, His people of faith, for the chance at faith.

Where two or more are gathered. Yes.

He will be found.

We serve the One who answers the call.




Can you share a time when you needed intervention? 

Gentle Applause To A Generation Not Crippled By Acne


Daughters, I’m so impressed with you. I want to be just like you when I grow up.

Standing at the glass back door, I overlook the shimmering water in my swimming pool. Perfection. I can’t believe I have that in my backyard. I’m so pulled to open that door, step outside. Oh, how I’ve longed to take one of those pictures of my feet propped up at the pool on a hot summer day. But one has to be outside, in the sun, by the pool, to do that.

One day, Daughters, one day.


One has to slip on the bathing suit, the horrid reminder. Of all those years of pain, of fear, of embarrassment. The reminder of imperfection. Of being different. 

What happens when you wish your self away? The very skin you’re in.

Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution;<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-30167BK" data-link="(BK)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-30167BL" data-link="(BL)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> You suffered along with those in prison<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-30168BM" data-link="(BM)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-30168BN" data-link="(BN)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> So do not throw away your confidence;<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-30169BO" data-link="(BO)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; color: #783f04; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-30170BP" data-link="(BP)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-30170BQ" data-link="(BQ)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> For,
“In just a little while,
    he who is coming<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-30171BR" data-link="(BR)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> will come
    and will not delay.”<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-30171BS" data-link="(BS)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>
And,
“But my righteous one will live by faith.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-30172BT" data-link="(BT)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>
    And I take no pleasure
    in the one who shrinks back.”<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-30172BU" data-link="(BU)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>


But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. –Hebrews 10: 33-39


Do you hear that, Daughters?


















Years spent wishing away acne-prone skin, especially on my back, can cripple a person. My confidence, confiscated. The lack of confidence still follows me around today, like a shadow. Go away, shadow. 

Years thrown away.

I’ve shunned the outdoors for years, only able to bear it with joy alone. We have the most amazing swimming pool, with a hot tub and even a fireplace. The view is incredibly beautiful and serene. We’re so blessed. Who wouldn’t long for that?



Who wouldn’t long for freedom?

I slip into my memories of yesterday. But some reminders are not longed for in the heart.

Starting in high school, for years, I didn’t want my bare back revealed. Being in the drill team made that extremely difficult. Going to my changing area, I’d try to hide, hurry to change, cover myself. Cover my shame. 

Keep your back turned from everyone. Don’t let them see.

A visit to the dermatologist for slight facial breakouts led me to the threshold of help, but I was too embarrassed to tell them about my back. 

“Do you have any other problem areas?” 

“No, I don’t.” 

Fear and embarrassment, even youthful foolishness, lingered.

I’ll never be free.

In my very own prison. The prison that moves when you do. Secret miseries running deep through your pores into your very soul.

I hated to wear bathing suits, tank tops, bridesmaid gowns. No, don’t make me put my hair up. Torture. The beautiful topknot with ringlets hanging down only reveals my ugliness. Let my hair hang long, covering my back. Covering my embarrassment. Covering my shame.

Don’t see. Don’t look at me.

Shrinking back. Destroyed.

And who knows the pain of acne? Like needles sticking into my back. The slightest touch brings pain, to my back, to my heart. 

Years of on and off antibiotics, only to have it come back once off the medication. Persistence could define me.

Ushering out my appendix, along with an ovary, ushered away acne. Praise be. After all these years, praise be. After 30 years, I finally love the skin I’m in.

My daughter fights the same thing. How amazing that even though she’s adopted, God made her just like me. She comes to me. Her dress is gorgeous. Zipping up her dress, I notice the speckles of acne on her back, her shoulders. Acne that persists once off antibiotics. 

“Daughter, do you want to wear a light jacket? To cover the bumps?” My handicap trying desperately to cripple her. Generational bondage. Bondage that yearns to imprison others. I think I’m trying to help.



“Mama, I don’t care about it. All kids have it.” She smiles. She even beams. She doesn’t care. Well, okay then. Her confidence is like the dawn of a new day.

Daughter drags little sister to me. “Mama, look. She has her first bump on her face. Isn’t it the cutest thing?” Both girls are giggling, unencumbered, unembarrassed, unafraid. Beaming.

I’m amazed. 

Fearless. Flawless. Free.

Go therefore, beautiful girls. Love the skin you’re in. Don’t take 30 years to go out in the sunshine. Throw open wide that door, release your hands, and embrace life. Do not throw away your confidence, sweet girls. Remember the One you belong to, Beloved of the Living God. Go out into this world. Persevere, Daughters. Prop up your feet. Live and love. Bring pleasure to your King.