It never ceases to amaze me how God can reveal himself in the most unexpected places and situations. How he can come to you through the most unexpected person and how he continues to show up when you least expect it.
I’ve found myself straying from God this past year or so, as I navigated a deeply personal journey of grief, loss, leaving behind my new family and babies and young ones who had become home to me, arriving back to New Zealand just for a pandemic to lock me down in my house alone (working as an essential worker but only part time).
As I’ve navigated lost friendships, visiting places for the first time after losing a loved one, more Covid restrictions, surgery, more grief and learning to be the authentic version of myself I found and came to love in my time abroad, it’s been a long season and journey. One thing that never changes though is God continues to be consistent and good and reveal himself in the times and places I least expect it.
Finding God at my local pharmacy…
I’m a fan of my local pharmacy and it’s no secret, when I started working for the company I currently work for in 2016, I got to see the amazing work this pharmacy do for the vulnerable in our community and I immediately started using them in my personal life too. The wealth of knowledge, kindness and wellness options they give to our community is an incredible blessing.
One thing I didn’t count on was finding God in the pharmacy, but over the years he’s paved that road for me to see him, and for him to be present in that space with me.
My incredible pharmacist who I consider a friend, mentor and ‘aunty’ like figure in my life continues to amaze me with how God just speaks through her and how faithful she is in those promptings.
Yesterday I sat in conversation with her, a conversation I wasn’t expecting but which I walked away grateful for. I tell you the minute she started speaking her questions of genuine interest in how my life is going was God speaking through her so much.
Every question she asked from the first one off her tongue to the last one was relevant to questions and thoughts I’ve been asking myself lately and I was in awe of how present and good God is even when I’m not drawing near, he draws himself to me in unexpected ways.
God has paved a way for our paths to cross, for me to find this little pharmacy, to find a better sense of health and my body, different treatment options and constantly smiling beautiful hearted people in my life who reveal God through them.
He’s allowed me to build relationships where I can be authentic and vulnerable, be asked the tough and awkward questions and where I feel safe enough to voice things I otherwise wouldn’t.
What other weird places have I found God?
As I lay reflecting on how God’s revealed himself to me in the pharmacy of all places, I wondered and looked back on all the other places I’ve found God mysteriously and unexpectedly.
In a closed check-in line at Albuquerque International Airport late one night where I had my 5 bags and heavy yet happy heart to be returning to Africa. I met some incredible and friendly ladies who shared about their trip they were taking to remote Nepal to share in woman’s health and give these woman products to help them.
We shared our stories with one another as we awaited our flights to JFK, and then after a brief nap in a corner in JFK I found them again and joined them for a little while where they even mentioned they’d be looking for me before we all boarded our next flight to Doha where we would wave goodbye as we boarded our flights in different directions. God was in that conversation and that journey for all of us.
God was in the tender of the cruise ship that I took ashore on my first day of my Greek Isles cruise where he united me with a group of Americans and a South African they had adopted the night before. For 6 days on our cruise they became like family. We celebrated, explored and did life together like we had known each other forever.
And three years later I got to have lunch with that amazing South African woman as I served in her city. And where I get to watch another from afar as she ministers in her life back in the USA.
God was in my car when I crashed unrestrained at 100km/h and was able to drive away from the scene unscathed yet shaken but not only that, he was there in that moment by providing me with a calm and kind gentleman who I had hit in a country known for its violence.
God was there as I couldn’t control my tears as I walked through OR Tambo in Joburg after saying goodbye to my new family, and my kiddos who I didn’t know if I’d ever see again.
He gave me a beautiful hearted woman with a soft Afrikaans accent who sat in front of me on my flight and as she boarded and saw me she crying hugged me and told me it would be okay; I still cried for another two hours, but that’s okay too!
I’ve seen him at the checkout of multiple South African supermarkets as strangers offered to pay for basic groceries and buy treats for the kids I had in tow. One woman buying the baby food, milk, toilet paper and more I had stopped to buy on the weekend with 6 kids in tow because our babies had run out of food.
Another buying the kiddos chocolate after engaging in a conversation about where we were from who I bumped into 6 months later at our local farmyard zoo where she told me she’s been delivering groceries monthly since that day our paths just hadn’t crossed on the farm when she had been there.
God’s shown up in the most unexpected places and people in my life and having reflected upon it after one simple yet meaningful conversation this week I’m left again in awe of his goodness and grace in my life and in our world!
Maybe this will get you thinking about what weird and wonderful places you’ve found God that you can share with others to give them hope.
I am a Young Salvationist who lives in Upper Hutt, Wellington. I am passionate about enhancing the life experiences of others and do this in my paid employment as a Support worker for those with Intellectual Disabilities and as a volunteer leader for GirlGuiding New Zealand. I love to create, write and travel the world and have a passion for submerging myself in the cultures of each place I travel. I left my heart in Africa a month before Covid sent the world into lockdown and I cannot wait to be able to return and serve in a continent that stole so much of my heart.