My Ways are Not Your Ways

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January 23, 2013 by Beth Hess

Before the days of Skype and teleconferences, association committee meetings were held in person, which put me on a plane twice a year for a day or two around a conference room table. One particular meeting was held in Dallas, and somewhere between the Rocky Mountains and Texas — at 30,000 feet — God invited me to a special appointment during the trip.

Though my entire childhood was spent in Illinois, I was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Harris County Hospital. And God nudged me to return. To the city. To the hospital. To the gift shop. To buy something. “You’ll know it when you see it.” Yes, He was that specific.

So I went. I sat in the lobby and journaled a bit. I smiled at the new parents on the elevator taking their baby home and choked back the envy. I asked God if he brought me to my birth place just to rub it in that I might never get to be a mom on a maternity ward. I did not understand why I was there.

For such a large hospital, the gift shop was small and filled with the expected cards, flowers, and balloons. On my first trip around I spotted a baseball figurine tic-tac-toe board and picked it up for my Dad. Just a little something for Father’s Day. Then I continued my search for the “something” God had told me to buy. “You’ll know it when you see it.” What message did God have for me? What great awakening was in store? What secrets to my universe were hiding between the stuffed toys and the magazines?

But the spotlight fell on nothing. Not. One. Thing. I must have spent an hour up and down the three tiny rows. God told me to come here. He promised to meet me. But whatever I was supposed to find … IT’S NOT HERE!

I eventually left. Confused, but grateful for my obedience and hopeful I had heard enough.

When Father’s Day rolled around, my Dad smiled when he saw the baseball game. Then I told him the story of where I found it. “You mean you got me a Father’s Day gift from the very place I became a Father?!”

He was touched — and moved. And I finally got it.

I had gone to the city. To the hospital. To the gift shop. To buy something. And I HAD known it when I saw it. It just wasn’t about me.

His ways are not my ways.

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