Last week my wonderful loving husband sent me away to a cabin in the woods so I could get alone with God and just write. I’m currently working on my 2nd book, and I really needed a place to go where I could just focus on writing. I wanted to find a cabin somewhere that had all the amenities of home, but also had a beautiful view and privacy. I found the perfect place in Rising Fawn, Georgia.
I was mesmerized by its beauty from the moment I drove onto the property. I couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect setting. Situated on the most stunning, placid lake with a deck that extended over the water and a view of the most majestic mountains just beyond the lake, I was almost certain I was in heaven! I quickly unpacked and went outside to sit on the deck to just unwind and enjoy the view.
The next morning, I went downstairs and started a pot of coffee and prepared to spend some quality time with God before I began to write. I was hoping to get so much done in the seven days I would be here, but I ended up writing only three chapters. Little did I know that this trip was not meant to be solely spent in the cabin writing chapters. God had more in store for me than that. Oh, how I cherished the conversations I had with Jesus out there in His beautiful creation, but even that was not the sole purpose for this trip.
One afternoon, I received a text message from the cabin owner and she said she would be coming over to clean another cabin in the area. She asked if I needed anything while she was there? I told her that I was fine, but I would love to see her other properties she had available to rent. She came over, and that is how I met my friend Sheila. We instantly hit it off, and talked for most of the afternoon.
Before we parted ways, she asked me if I had heard of “Miracle Pottery?” I hadn’t heard of it but I was intrigued as she told me the incredible story of the lady who ran the shop. She suggested I make a trip into Alabama to visit this shop and talk with the owner whose last name just happened to be “Miracle.”
I got up early the next morning and arrived just as the little pottery shop opened. I was amazed to see all the beautiful pottery, most of it engraved with Scripture verses. But, when I met the store’s owner I was completely blown away. She invited me to have a seat with her in the back of her shop, and we began to talk about Jesus. As she began to share with me all the things she had been rescued from in her life by the healing power of Jesus it was all I could do to fight back the tears. This lady was a living miracle!
I ended up spending the entire day with this lady, and what an experience it was! When I returned to the cabin that afternoon, Sheila texted and asked how it went. I told her, and she replied with, “I have someone else I want you to meet.” At this point I was well behind schedule for what I wanted to accomplish as far as the book was concerned. But something wouldn’t let me say, “No.”
Sheila met me at the cabin at 6:00 p.m. the following day, and we went to a very interesting place called “Uncle Lar’s Outpost.” Sheila wanted me to meet the lady who owns and manages the store. When I met Shannon, I could sense there was just something special about her. We sat out on the front porch of the adorable outpost and began to talk about Jesus! I was amazed by her testimony as well. I could not believe all the things she had survived in her life. Seeing this strong, beautiful lady in front of me I would never have dreamed that she had been through so much and I was amazed by how she had come out of the trenches victorious and glowing with the light and love of Christ.
After talking for a little while, she invited me to come back to do a book signing at the outpost. There was no way I could refuse. After all, it would be like coming home to visit family when I returned. Sheila and I left and went to eat at a Mexican restaurant where she shared more of her own story with me. There was no doubt in my mind that God had brought these two ladies into my life for a reason.
In my mind I had envisioned a week of silence with no social interaction; just time alone to write and focus on my upcoming book. God had other plans. This little adventure had all the trappings of a Christmas Hallmark movie, without snow, Christmas or a romantic love interest of course; I left him at home! I thought the solitude and beauty would provide inspiration for my book, but actually it was the experiences and the people God introduced me to that inspired me to write.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to return in November to see what God has in store for the two day book signing. Who knows how many other people God has ordained for me to meet while I’m there? I can sincerely say I know He is up to something. I’m believing He is providing for the greatest chapter yet. I’m so thankful for my new found sisters, and I’m thrilled to spend more time with them as together we witness the sovereign plans of God unfold.
We often plan our steps and have ideas about how things are going to go. But, if we allow God to step in and lead us wherever He sends us, I believe we will have the adventure of our lives. Nothing is more exciting than divine appointments, and nothing is coincidental with God! Follow His leading and direction. You will never be disappointed.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
Proverbs 16:9 NIV
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Donna Sparks is an International Speaker and Evangelist. She is the Author of Beauty From Ashes: My Story of Grace, and, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous.