Saturday, April 11, 2009

When God Winks

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a coincidence as "A sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned or arranged". 

I believe that God is the one that plans and arranges those things in our lives - both in the past and in the day-to-day that we live in now. I recently read a little book entitled, "When God Winks" by SQuire Rushnell. He calls these times in our lives "God Winks". He defines these times as "a personal signal or message, directly from a higher power." He says, "they are clear signposts on the path of life, revealing that each of us is guided by a powerful force".

These "God Winks" happen for a reason and that is to let us know that we are not alone. Rushnell likens it to a time when we were kids and were sitting at a dinner table with the grownups. You looked up and saw a parent or maybe a grandparent smiling at you -- and they winked.  That was a reassuring message of love that said, "Hey, kid, I'm thinking about you. You're OK. Hang in there."

Simply put, "God Winks" are messages of reassurance that come to us when we most need it.

I love the idea of "God Winks" in my life. I can look back over my life and see many times that I have experienced them, some of which I did not even recognize at the time. Recently I have been experiencing a number of them in my life.

Let me tell you more......

For years, I have wanted to go on a mission trip and have looked into the possibility of going on a medical mission trip on a couple of different occasions, but it has just never seemed to work out. As I began to hear about an upcoming mission trip to Brazil, I felt that the Lord was impressing upon me that I needed to go on this trip - that it was time. My daughter, Faith, and son-in-law, Chad, are planning to go on this trip, but neither of them had said a word to me about it, other than the fact that they were planning to go.

As I was walking out of church a couple of Sundays ago, I was walking next to a sweet friend and I commented that I loved her necklace she was wearing. She said, "Oh, thank you. I got it in Brazil!" As she said that, I felt a little nudge in my heart. Wink # 1 (-;

Walt and I went out to lunch with Faith and Chad on this particular Sunday, and while we were in the restroom washing our hands, I asked if all the "spots" were already filled for the Brazil trip. Faith said, "I don't think so, why --DO YOU WANT TO GO???" I told her I had been thinking about it and that I felt the Lord might be leading me in that direction. She said, "Oh, that would be awesome!" Wink #2 (-;

As we walked to our seats in the restaurant, Faith saw some friends from Brazil seated in the booth right beside us and she introduced me to them. After talking to them for just a few minutes, I could just sense in my spirit that these were some of the sweetest people in the world. Wink # 3 (-;

We sat down at our table and we started talking about Brazil and the possibility of my going. Faith shared that they were having 1 (and maybe 2) dentists go on the trip -- and then she suddenly remembered that I AM A DENTAL HYGIENIST!!!   Wink # 4 (-;

As I began praying about whether I would go on this trip, of course the biggest obstacle (apart from the funding) would be the time off from work. I was unsure whether any of my employees were already planning to be off during the same time period. When I got back to my office on Monday, I checked the scheduling calendar and, not only was no one off during those dates, but it fell over a period of time that my office was already going to be closed for several of the days. I would only have to miss 3 days of work!  Wink # 5  (-;

When I mentioned to my boss that I was praying about going on a mission trip to Brazil, he volunteered cases of sample size toothpaste that he needed to get rid of because we d0 not use it in our office and do not have the space to store it. I now have a huge box of toothpaste samples in my possession that, Lord willing, will end up somewhere in a little village in Brazil! Wink #6 (-;

I began checking online to see what immunizations I would be required to have before making the trip.  After obtaining the information, my boss suggested that I call a local doctor that used to work next door to us.  I told him that I was pretty sure that you had to go to a special place to get the travel immunizations for missions.  I decided that I would check and  as I flipped to the doctor's business card in my Rolodex, across the bottom were written the words "Travel Immunizations and Vaccines"! I called and spoke with the Office Manager and he said that whatever immunizations that I needed they would not charge me anything to administer the vaccines -- and would only charge me for the "vaccine" itself!
Wink # 7 (-;

As many of you know, my husband has been out of work for over a year, so needless to say we do not have the extra money to fund my trip. My first thoughts were, there is no way that I can afford to do this. This past week, it was confirmed that our team would be able to work the concession booth in the Family Section of two of the major NASCAR races that we have locally here in May. Anyone that works the booth will be raising money toward their trip, so Walt and I both signed up to work those days. (He is working to help raise money for my expenses, too.) 
Wink # 8 (-;

My most immediate need was to secure a passport because you are looking at a girl that has never been out of the U.S! I went to the post office and got an application and discovered that the passport cost $75.00, plus $25.00 to execute it and $15.00 for the passport photos - for a grand total of $115.00. Right now, there is not $115.00 extra dollars in the budget, so I began praying that God would provide the money for my passport if I was supposed to go on this trip. (I went ahead and scheduled my appointment for yesterday.) This past Monday, I received a birthday card from a very special family member and when I opened it up, inside the card was---you guessed it --a check for $115.00!!! I called her the next morning to tell her how God had used her to answer a prayer in my life. She said that she had no idea why she made the check for $115.00, that she fully intended to make it for $100.00, but that somehow she had written it for $115.00 before she knew it! She didn't know WHY she did that! I know why she did, because God took hold of her hand and had her write the exact amount that I needed!! Isn't God awesome!!  Wink # 9 (-;

I know many in this world would call these things coincidences, but I much prefer to think of them as "God Winks" in my life. 

I believe they are direct and personal messages from God reassuring me that He is thinking about me.

I like to think of them as clear messages of reassurance that no matter how uncertain my life may seem right now, He is moving me toward certainty. They are reminders that I am never alone. A signpost from heaven that I am on the right track.

A reassuring message of love that says, "Hey, kid, I'm thinking about you. You're OK. Hang in there."

How about you?  Can you look back and see any "coincidences" in your own life?

Is it possible that they weren't coincidences at all and maybe "God Winks"??

How has God "winked" at you recently?

As you look back over your life, I believe that you will see many times, at various turning points in your life, when God has clearly "winked" at you!

I would love for you to share some of your stories about the "God Winks" in your life.

The next time a coincidence pops up in your life, I hope you'll start to wonder ----Was that a "God Wink"?


Betsy said...

That is such a great story, Emily! I totally believe that God "winks"! We just have to be sensitive to what he is trying to tell you are!! I loved hearing all the ways He has already provided for your trip. I know you will be such a blessing to the people of Brazil and, in turn, you will be blessed, too!

Alex and Jill said...

I really enjoyed this post! It was neat to read of all of the "God Winks" that have lead you towards a mission trip to Brazil! I'm so excited for you!!

I'll be praying for your fundraising for this trip.

Thanks for sharing.


JenB said...

I love this!!! I'm so excited for you to go!
I had a sweet God Wink this week too. :)

Heather said...

Oh I just love this and almost get chills reading about all the God winks!!! I love how He is so interested and so involved in all the little details of EVERYTHING!
Can't wait to hear about more and more as you prepare and go on the trip!

Denise said...

Such a wonderful story.

Kendra said...

I LOVED this. Loved it. One of my favorite things David does is wink at me. We will be sitting in a large group, and I catch his eye, and he winks at makes me feel singled out, recognized, and loved.

I adore the thought of God winking at me.

Thank you for giving me this new way of looking at "God-incidences".

I am SO excited you are going to Brazil with Faith!!!! Oh what a blessing your family will be to so many in Brazil!!!!
Can't wait to see more of how God provides as you follow His leading =)

Rebecca Jo said...

I get excited when I get a one "wink" in a situation...

sounds like God is BLINKING crazily at you on this!! hehe!!!

Faith said...

Mom, this is awesome! I am so excited about all that ways that He is showing Himself to confirm this trip. The passport thing is just the coolest! I can't wait!! Love you dearly, Faith

monarte said...

Of course God winks, what a beautiful observation to the way God cares for us.
NOW when He BLINKS, you need to be ready, its the best. (I to am a Dental Hygienist-retired my license many years ago, just another thing we have in common, maybe a wink?) God is Good,

Denise K. said...

WOW, God has definitely "winked" at you and has clearly brought just the people and events in your life that you needed to confirm His calling! What an awesome story that calls us all to look at life's circumstances not as circumstances or coincidence at all, but His will at work in our lives! May many blessings be yours as you pursue this incredible mission trip!
With love from Colorado,
Denise :-)

Jenna said...

Oh this post just makes me SO happy! I had the biggest smile on my face with each WINK. I am so excited for you and can't wait to see how God uses your through this experience!! Praying for you!!

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

Thanks for visiting and wishing me Happy Easter! I had been a follower of your cooking/recipe blog, but had not seen your personal blog. I am a follower there now! I loved your post about the God Winks. That was an awesome story. I would love to read that book! I call those times "God Moments", but I love the phrase, "God Winks". Thanks so much for sharing. I also want to go on a mission trip some day. My daughter does too. I hope I can go some time. Brazil sounds incredible. It is so amazing how God worked out the details of your trip. That is so wonderful. I work with the sweetest lady who is from Brazil. Take care to my new NC blogger friend. Love & blessings from NC!

Jacquie said...

I LOVED THIS, Emilie. You've made me think a little more about those moments in my life.

What a blesssing that God is confirming His hand in your Brazil trip. I can't wait to hear what else He's got planned for you as you prepare to go!

#9 made me cry!!

Amy E. said...

What an awesome, AWESOME story!! I love to see Him work like that!! :)

Stacy said...

AMAZING! I know that it will all work out for you! I am very excited for you!

Anonymous said...

I LOVED the story of how God "winks" at you. He wants you to be able to travel to Brazil and provide care for the less fortunate. This is such an inspirational story!! I will have to be more tuned in from now on, to see if God winks at me.

petrii said...

How in the world did I miss this post?!! I am so happy for you!! Definitely God Winks and NOT coincidences!!!!!

I will be praying about this my friend. Please let me know specifics I can be praying for you. When is the trip planned for?

Love you sweet friend,

SQ said...

What a delightful series of godwinks, Mimi! I know I'm catching up with this blog several months later...but I'd love to hear what godwinks unfolded on your trip to Brazil. Good wishes and godwinks! SQuire "The Godwink Guy"

SQ said...

What a delightful series of godwinks, Mimi! I know I'm catching up with this blog several months later...but I'd love to hear what godwinks unfolded on your trip to Brazil. Good wishes and godwinks! SQuire "The Godwink Guy"