Last Tuesday was a super exciting day for me. It was my first day to minister to the ladies in the Carroll County jail. I had planned all day for it. I had just met the ladies the previous Tuesday and told them a little bit about myself and explained that I would be coming on Tuesday’s at 5:00pm to minister to them. They were thrilled and couldn’t wait for the day to arrive.
Three ladies told me they were sad that they would only get to be in the service one time because they were getting out next Wednesday. Knowing this made me even more excited to get there and share Jesus with them before they were released. Celebrate Recovery—which is also an amazing ministry—comes in on Tuesday nights at 6:30pm. But for some odd reason, I got it all mixed up and started thinking my time was 6:00pm. I knew it would take almost an hour to get there, so I left at 5:00pm thinking I had plenty of time.
I was halfway to the jail when I looked at my clock and saw that it was 5:35pm. All of a sudden it hit me! I was supposed to be at the jail at 5:00pm! I could not believe I had messed this up. What would the ladies think? They were sure to think I just decided I didn’t want to come. And, what about those ladies who were getting out this Wednesday? I wouldn’t get even one chance to share Jesus with them now!
I literally felt sick! How could I have made such a mistake? I was in tears at this point. I was so disappointed. I had been looking forward to this for a whole week, and I had blown it! I thought, “I might as well turn around and go home. I’ll call the jail and tell them to apologize to the ladies and tell them I will be there next Tuesday.”
As I was looking for a place to turn around, I heard the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit. He simply whispered to me, “Do not turn the car around. Keep going! Celebrate Recovery is going to cancel.” I admit, I was taken by surprise. I also found it very unlikely that Celebrate Recovery would cancel. They are very structured, and very faithful. Still, I could not make myself turn my car around and go home.
As I continued driving, I reasoned the very least I could do was show up and personally tell the ladies I was sorry for mixing up the time. I walked into the jail at 6:00pm, apologized to the man at the desk for being late, only to find out that just minutes ago, Celebrate Recovery cancelled! I asked if I could have their spot just this once, and they agreed. I was totally amazed that God would amend my mistake and keep the door of opportunity open, until…
About forty ladies were saved in our service. All three ladies that were getting out on Wednesday were saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues! The service lasted 2 and a half hours, and no one wanted to leave! I realized then, that God had this day planned from the beginning of time. Each of those ladies were and are precious to Him.
I am so thankful that when we make goofy mistakes, God’s will still prevails. He knew long before I did, that I would get the time wrong. He knew those three ladies needed a special touch from Him, and He made a way where there seemed to be no way. That’s the God we serve. Even when it looks impossible, we must keep going!
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.