Two Words from a Stranger Brings Confirmation.
(This is a transcript of Jeremy’s story.)
My family was meeting with another to have lunch. We arrived a little late and my buddy Johnny was already talking with a guy wearing a youth ministry t-shirt. Johnny, who is on staff at a church, saw the t-shirt as an opportunity to engage in conversation, and he ended up sitting with us for lunch. The discussion centered around church topics and this guy was talking about becoming a deacon.
When he heard I went to seminary, he was asking about my experience there. He brought up the story of his friend that believed in the gifts. This friend of his was out doing healing prayers and things like it, but he wanted to go to seminary so he could learn how to correct and help him from the scriptures. He believed that supernatural stuff like that had ended. I’m listening. I understand what he means. However, I’m at that point in my journey where I’m now open to the supernatural. I’ve seen God move in ways (that before I thought had ceased) that had been challenging my beliefs.
And so anyway, Johnny and him were doing a lot of the talking and I was wanting to go deeper, but the conversation wasn’t at that level. So, I just asked the Lord, :Do you have anything for anyone in the restaurant?” I wanted to see if there was someone else that I might be able to minister to, and felt like the Lord said, “He’s right in front of you.” When He said that, I said, “Okay what? What do you want him to know?” And I heard the name Monica. It was one of those moments where I’m kind of battling with myself internally, analyzing Is that from you, God? or is that my thought? I said, “What about Monica?” and I heard “forgiveness” and so I’m trying to piece together what that has to do with anything and I’m wrestling with, is it really from the Lord or not?
I know this guy is already closed to the idea of God moving in the supernatural because of what he had shared early in the conversation. Now I’m really trying to figure out how I should bring this up. How can I do it without coming off really weird, and I almost decided not to share it. But then there was an opportunity where I heard him talking about marriage ministry. And I was like, “Oh, are you in a relationship?” and he’s like, “Oh no, no I’m not.” And I said, “Oh, has that always been the case?” And he said, “Actually no, I was in a relationship before and it didn’t go so well. I believe I’m called to celibacy.” I said, “Okay, well, does, the name Monica mean anything to you?” And when I said that he like froze, his eyes got really big and you could see them starting to water a bit, and then I said, “And forgiveness?” He just started to cry. And I look at my buddy Johnny. We look at each other like, what just happened?
He just started to cry and I look at my buddy Johnny, we look at each other like, ‘what just happened?’
He’s clearly having an emotional moment; those things mean something to him, but we don’t yet know what it is. Now we’re just kind of waiting for him and he begins to open up. He got really real about some really tough stuff that it seemed like he hadn’t shared with many people before. He shared that he used to be in a relationship, many years prior, where he was essentially abusive and not Christ-honoring with a girl named Monica. She had since wanted nothing to do with God or Christians and definitely wanted nothing to do with him.
I can’t remember all the details, but long story short, he knew what he needed to do from those two words. It was really just confirmation in something that the Lord had already been impressing upon his heart because he had mentioned that there were several other things where she was being brought to his mind a lot. He was feeling convicted, and then this really just kind of affirmed what he needed to do. We ended up talking with him for over two hours.
After we prayed for him, and as we were about to leave, He was like, “What was that?” I got to share with them a little bit of my journey [and how] I didn’t always believe in the gifts of the Spirit, and that God spoke specifically to us and that we could have this living, active dynamic relationship. I got to explain my journey with the Lord and just some of the things that I’ve seen the Lord do, and I explained to him that it wasn’t like this audible voice. For me it was a thought; one that I could have easily chalked up as just being my own thing. I was close to just not saying anything and having missed this opportunity to be a part of what God wanted to communicate to him, but I stepped into it. Anyway, I just showed him how, you know, it wasn’t a spooky thing or weird thing even, but that God’s real like that.