I have written about full circle experiences and how I have come to value them and today I want to tell a story about another full circle experience that God brought into my life during the past 2 ½ years.
Almost 30 years ago, when I became a follower of Jesus, I started going to a church where there were a lot of very special people. The church was one like I had never been to before and because of the influence of that church my walk with Jesus was very quickly set on a true course. I met many new people at the church and learned how to worship in a way that I had never worshipped before. The name of the church was First Family Church in Dallas, TX and it was strongly influenced by a Bible College in Dallas called Christ for the Nations.
I met many wonderful people there and in particular, a family that I started becoming friends with (two adult, married sisters). I started becoming friends with them and even invited one sister and her family to my home, she and her husband and kids came for hamburgers one night. The mother of those 2 sisters also attended First Family Church and her name was Ms. Sally Horton. The sisters told me that she was the Dean of Women at Christ for the Nations and when I heard this, I quickly became very intimidated by that fact because I was young. I had a great fear of authority. I don’t even know if I ever had a conversation with Ms. Sally Horton during that part of my life.
At some point in time, I stopped going to church there and as the years rolled on many things in my life changed. Time flew by, my children became adults and I enrolled as a student at Christ for the Nations. It had been a 25 year dream of mine to go to school there and God made it possible for me to do it.
My husband (Mr. Joe) and I gave up our “small town” life in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite and moved onto the campus of the college. We became a part of the campus life. After I had completed my first 2 semesters of college, I began summer school. Mr. Joe left on a mission trip to Jamaica and I and my 3 year old grand daughter, who lived with us, were left behind for 1 week.
As things often happen when we are serving God with all of our hearts, that week began to fall apart for me. Minor things started to happen that would not seem like any problem if they happened individually, but they started happening one thing right after another. Things like my granddaughter dropping a brand new quart of sweetened iced tea on my freshly mopped floor, the air conditioning in the apartment going out and trunk lid on my car refusing to latch when closed to the point of my neighbor temporarily wiring the trunk closed for me.
Maintenance was called for the air conditioning in the apartment and a very strong, tall, friendly, red headed and air conditioning savvy young man (Ryan) knocked on my door. He was there to fix the air conditioning and he turned out to be very kind and loving toward my granddaughter. His story was that he lived on campus with his grandmother, Ms. Sally Horton, who had worked for Christ for the Nations for many years and was now retired and he was a student.
For the next few months, Mr. Joe and I became friends with Ryan and he quickly won my heart because no matter where we would see him on the campus he would stop and call my granddaughter by name and give her special attention. He very special to me and this was one of the reasons why.
Time continued to pass and I graduated. Contrary to what our initial plan had been we moved to alumni housing and Ms. Sally Horton was our next door neighbor. My mind had not connected her with the woman whom I had felt intimidated by so many years ago. She was very friendly and she also, very quickly, won my heart. I started inviting some ladies over to my apartment every 2 weeks for a time of sharing. She was a regular attendee and I believe that her first time there we started talking and she started talking about her daughters by name and First Family Church, it did not take me very long to figure out who she was and that her daughters had been friends to me and that the grandson who had recently endeared himself to my heart was one whom I had over to my home with his parents many years ago.
I very quickly realized that Ms. Sally was a God connection for me who He had tried to set up many years ago and that He was trying to do it again. I knew that I must pursue a relationship with her and receive from her and from God what He had fully intended to give many years ago.
As those of you who read my blog regularly, know, I am on the other side of the world from Dallas, TX right now with limited internet access. I was able to check my email a few days ago and found that I had received one from a friend and neighbor in Dallas. The email informed me that Sally had gone home to be with the Lord last weekend.
During the short time that God allowed me to know her, Ms. Sally became a great encourager to me and a confidant. God arranged for us to connect at a very crucial time in my life. She was the first follower of my blog. One of the only people who I knew, whom I confided in about the fact that I had started a blog. The words of encouragement that she would post were very special to me. She recognized the anointing on my life and was not afraid to call it what it was.
At the age of 86, she was a regular user of facebook with laptop in her lap every evening in order to keep up with all of her friends. She was in the process of writing a book about her life.
She loved her family and lived to spend time with them. She prayed for and believed God for all of them. She was independent until a few months ago when she started having a large amount of pain in her back. Drove herself around town in her big, long Mercury Marquis and insisted upon remaining as independent as she could. She knew where all of the stores were that had electric carts for the handicapped and which ones were the best.
She never stated it but I quickly picked up on the fact that she and I shared a common link in our belief system about who we are as women…we never left our home without our makeup on and our hair done. 🙂
Mr. Joe and I went to visit her right before we left and we both had a funny feeling that it would be the last time that we would see her. It was.
Personally, I will miss her so much! I don’t know what to say except that. She was special beyond words and her life was such an enrichment to all lives that she touched. I’m so glad that God made that special connection for her and I and her grandson, Ryan, to intersect. It was all a part of His plan and He knew who I needed in my life.
Thank you Ms. Sally for all that you were to me. I can’t wait to see you again!
I sincerely hope that everyone has a “Sally Horton” in their life at some point in time or another!
Love and Godspeed,