1. Jackson, Fredda
  2. Fitzsimons, Virginia

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My colleague was taking her turn to drive to and from our doctoral classes together. While we were driving, I shared how my relationship with my man wasn't on the best of terms. My colleague and good friend delicately said, "Maybe you guys need to go to church."

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Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

I responded, "He only goes to church on special occasions. I have asked, and he said no, but my son and I will probably go."


Just then my beautician sent me the address and the service time at her church. On Sunday morning, my mister went bowling, only to return a short time later-the bowling alley was closed. He returned just as my college buddies were texting to confirm Sunday brunch.


My previous conversation during the drive resonated with my spirit. I decided that my son and I would attend a church service and declined the brunch invitation. My mister asked, "What are your plans this morning?"


I responded, "The baby and I are going to church." He replied, "I'm coming, too." I was shocked. A short time later, there was a text from my beautician: "Good morning. I hope to see you guys in church this morning."


The pastor acknowledged us upon arrival. The small congregation was friendly, with a mix of age groups. As I listened intently to this dynamic minister, it felt as if she knew of my troubled spirit. Her message addressed God's timing and his purpose.


She reflected on wearing her minister's robe for the first time. Were her troubles and sadness a prelude to what was in store in her ministry? The sadness was later changed to a feeling of being full of God's love. I heard her message to me-God's timing is special, and although it might not make sense at the time, in retrospect, things are in his plan and at his pace.


After church, we headed to our favorite restaurant. While sharing dinner and discussing how I enjoyed the service and how proud I was of my 2-year-old for how nicely he behaved in church, a woman shrieked, "Help, my daughter is choking!"


I scanned the room of about 70 diners. One woman's face reflected terror. There was silence in the room; no one moved.


Quickly running from my chair in high heels to the woman in distress, it was obvious the situation was critical. A quick assessment of the 8- or 9-year-old girl showed her to be beet red initially, but her coloring was quickly changing.


The girl panicked and started jumping up and down. Her color was approaching a pale blue and her lips were gray. I instructed her to calm down, that I was a nurse and would help her. While adjusting my 5'8" frame to meet her 4'8" frame, I began the Heimlich maneuver. Out flew a piece of chicken. I was grateful the food had dislodged. The young girl's face returned to its pinkish hue. Her mom tearfully screamed, "Thank you," and embraced her daughter tightly.


I was shaking as I walked away from the girl and her mother, my nerves responding to the powerful push of adrenaline, What if that was my son? What if we had not gone to church? What if we'd eaten elsewhere? All patrons' eyes were on me. A family looked at me and said, "Thank God you were here." The manager, who knows us well, came to the table expressing the same sentiment. The little girl's family wanted to pay for our meals, but I responded, "No, thank you. I am a nurse, and that is what I was supposed to do."


I took a moment to thank God for directing my day. He had directed my steps through a colleague, my beautician, my mister, and the pastor's sermon about divine timing. Moments before, I had saved someone's life.


God had a plan that I didn't quite understand that Saturday during my frustrated conversation with my classmate. However, Sunday afternoon went according to his plan and purpose. I was right where I was supposed to be.