St Luke Methodist church sat on a corner with only about hundred people in attendance every week. It was the church my husband grew up in and we attended on an irregular basis. Everyone knew each other and they all had been praying for me. I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and I was in the healing stages from one of my five surgeries that year. I believe it was the prayers of the people in that little church on the corner who had a huge impact on my cancer being healed.
Growing up, I had been in church on and off, but never really understood the true meaning of being a Christian. As a child, my parents took us to church mostly on Easter and Christmas. I guess you could call us “Oncer’s,” we would go to church once in a blue moon, on special holidays, probably to mostly show off our new outfits and to feel like we were doing the right thing. After all, we all know Christians are supposed to go to church. So, as I grew older it was normal to only attend on special occasions or whenever we felt like it. I knew of Jesus and knew He was born at Christmas and died at Easter. I knew He died on a cross and was raised from the dead three days later according to what I had heard. I would make an appearance at church to make me feel good. I would hear a happy message (no conviction), throw a five dollar bill in the offering plate and I had done my good deed for the week.
On this beautiful Sunday morning in the spring of 1986, our church had planned a balloon lift off. I had never been a part of such a thing, although I had heard of them. I was excited to get to be involved. We were instructed to write our name and our address on the card. There was a little encouraging message on the card to cheer whoever found it, that is if indeed someone did find it. There is always a good chance with a balloon lift off that the balloons will never be discovered. We attached the card to the balloon and everyone went out to the parking lot. I remember the pastor saying a short prayer, although I really don’t remember exactly what he said. At precisely the same time we all let go of our balloons and watched them go “up, up and away” until we could no longer see them.
That was it. Or so I thought. About a week later, I received an envelope in the mail and it had my card from our balloon lift off and a letter in it from a nursing home in North Carolina. The letter proceeded to tell me that on Sunday, the same day of our lift off, this nursing home in Cherryville, NC also had a balloon lift off. The maintenance man had been cleaning the grounds of the Nursing Home when he looked up in a tree and saw a balloon. He assumed that it had gotten stuck from their previous lift off and got it out of the tree to discover that it was from South Carolina. I was astonished to know that my balloon traveled all the way to another state. It went approximately 42 miles over into a different state and landed remarkably at the same place another lift off had been held the same day. Do you think it might be a God-thing?
My balloon was the first balloon mailed back to the church and this was the first time I ever remember God speaking to me and telling me, “You are going to be alright.”
It has been twenty-eight years since the day I watched my balloon lift off and twenty eight years now that I am cancer free. Looking back, remembering the small whisper of God assuring me that I was going to be alright has been significant in my life, revealing to me God is real and He wants to assure us all that He is with us. His plans are for good. God at times will surprise us with a small whisper in our ear and confirmation in our heart that everything is going to be alright!
Can you remember and share the first time God spoke to you?
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