I am HEARING again! By Denise Wikoff

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Before I went through The Journey Training I thought I had my life pretty “together”, not perfect by any means but better than a lot of people. I was, of course, in complete denial! I was broken, bruised, scarred, and hurting. I could write pages of all I received from the training but I’ll save that for another time. What I will address is the fact that The Journey Training is not over at the end of Threshold or Crossroads, or even Launch – which I just completed.

After the training weekends, I continued to realize things that God was speaking to my heart long after I got home. I think God was always trying to speak to me but I had stopped hearing Him and had given up on the dreams He had placed in my heart long ago!  I knew, even as a young child, He wanted to use me. But over the years, I had let the weeds of my life choke out those dreams. My heart had been broken too many times and I had stopped going to the Father for comfort. When I returned home from Journey, I felt hopeful that I would possibly hear Him again and I told Him I was open to listen!

Yesterday, I was doing my grocery shopping at Walmart with my husband Beau. We both dislike shopping, especially Walmart shopping, so we are usually rushing to get our list knocked out and get out of there. We were getting bread when I saw a young black man, in his late teens or early twenties, looking down at a list that appeared to be typed out.  As I looked away to select my bread, I heard that still small voice say, “Give him 40 dollars!” My husband started off to the next aisle and I quickly followed.

I thought – oh that’s just me… how awkward would that be… he would probably think I was trying to look down on him because I am an older white woman and he is a young black man…  Isn’t that just like our stupid minds to get in the way? I then thought, do I even have $40 in cash? I looked in my wallet; and of course, the only cash I had was 2 crisp twenty dollar bills!

Well, I told my husband, “I just wanted you to know, because I told that still small voice: God if that’s you, that young man will need to cross my path again before we leave this store!” Beau just looked at me funny and continued on his mission to get out of the store!!  We got all the way through Walmart and were headed up to the checkout line and I said to my husband, “Well I never saw him again, it must have just been me!” I was partially relieved and partly disappointed that I had missed it!

We arrive at our well selected line; the shortest one we could find that had the most competent looking cashier. We were putting our items on the belt when I looked up; and guess who was in the line checking out at the lane in front of us? YUP, the guy! I was surprised, then excited, then terrified! I looked over at Beau and he looked at me like, what up bro?! He had no idea that was the guy and I sure wasn’t going to say it; he might hear me!

I retrieved the $40 out of my purse and had it tightly gripped in my hand. My mind was racing as I was trying to decide how I would do this without it appearing that I thought he looked like a homeless person; because he didn’t! While the young man was checking out, I paced back and forth between the 2 lanes as I was putting my own bagged groceries into my cart. The cashier gave him his total of $3.43. The young man looked surprised and said, “Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t know it would cost anything, I’ll put one of the gallons of milk back.”  He was using a WIC payment, which is assistance given to families with young children.  As he was reaching for one of the gallons of milk, I stepped over, handed him the $40, and said, “Sir, here. I’m supposed to give this to you.”  He said, “For real?” I said, “Yes!” He paid the man and as he was leaving said, “Thank you so much!” I just smiled and waved!

This seems like such a small thing but I’m crying as I’m typing this because it was a huge thing for me! It wasn’t about the money; God has blessed us.  It was about being able to hear God’s voice again and walking it out! It was about Him showing me that He is still there and still wants to use me!

I am so thankful that someone saw something in me that I couldn’t see in myself and invited me to The Journey Training!  I’m also glad they didn’t let it rest until I finally agreed to go! I have my peace back; I have my hope back; I have my joy back; and I am HEARING again!

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