Bumping Into God in Unexpected Places — 14 Comments

  1. Dear Karen,

    I have a testimony to your beautiful message today.

    On that Friday of April, 2014, the first day of Mt. Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference dinner time, I was feeling lonely and alone, not knowing a soul.

    Holding my plate of food, I found myself facing all solidly packed dinner tables. The only vacancy-available table was the one far in the corner of the vast dining hall, with only three seating occupied with three gentlemen, two of whom were chatting quietly in their own world, one was eating silently.

    It was one of the loneliest moments I’d ever had in this most crowded dining hall … wondering how I was going to be able to make it though the week-long conference … Oh, it was a mistake to come to this conference after all … I was telling myself inside …

    Then miracle happened …

    “Are you Jing Li?” Dave the host called out my name from the stage.

    “Yes, I … I .. am, …” I was dumbfounded. “But how … how did you know?” I couldn’t believe it!

    “Please come up here on stage,” the popular host boomed into the microphone.

    “… b… but, … why? You’re kidding me, right?” I couldn’t comprehend all this … my feet firmly planted on the floor.

    Not until the insistant urgen nudging encouragement for me to get up from my seat from the neighboring dinner tables that I started cautiously getting my body move toward the stage in disbelief …

    So, that was how it led to the most exciting on-stage interview of me by the popular host about my extraordinarily surviving life story …

    Then the rest of the weeklong conference zoomed by like an enlightening flash in Heaven with God Jesus right by my side …

    Then God worked another miracle when I least expected it … again … on the final night of the conference … I was shocked with joy, grateful tears, that I was nominated to receive the very special True Grit Reward with $1,000 …

    Which God-sent angel nominated me? None other than my teacher, Karen O’Connor, awesome best-seller author of more 75 books and publications (Wow!!), the key instructor of the Conference …

    I’m still overwhelmed with that special heart-warming feeling every time I think about it …

    Praise God for His love for me … I’m forever grateful to have met you, dear karen, my role model and friend.

    • Thank you, Jing. What a joyful spirit you are, and most deserving of the attention and award you received. I believe God showed up just for you in that most unexpected way and place. God bless you.

  2. Karen, your post is lovely as is your little garden spot. I love it. As I grow older, I seem to find Him in everything – and I’m thankful. I’d like to share this little ditty with you – a poem I wrote recently.


    Thank you, God, for another day
    Thank you for stars and the Milky Way
    For leaves that whisper and birds that sing
    Thank you, God, for everything.

    Thank you for carrots and peas and pain
    Thank you for love and a song’s refrain
    For tulips and roses and candy canes
    Thank you, God, for everything.

    Thank you, God, for friends who are true
    Thank you for colors: red, white and blue
    For freedom, for laughter, and birds on a wing
    Thank you, God, for everything. ***

    Incidentally, I even thank Him for parking spaces! Karen, I’m so proud to have been your student. You changed my life and I love you. Marie

    • Marie, what a dear little poem. I am so happy to have known you all these years and to have had a small part in helping you bring your writing dreams into reality.

  3. Dear Karen,
    I received a double blessing with this one~love Jing Li’s comment! What a wonderful blessing for her and a gift from you and God!
    I have a very small acorn that I picked up in the yard where one of nices lived back in the 1980’s. It is perfect and I keep it in a special little container on the table by my chair in my bedroom. I really don’t know why I picked it up as I walked to her door nor why I kept it but I just know that everytime I look at it I marvel at the way it is so beautifully made with such intricate designs and always think of God and his beautiful world, even in the smallest of his creations. It is amazing how often I hold it in my hand and feel God’s presence, and I thank Him !
    Thank you for sharing !! Margaret

    • What a delightful story, Margaret. We all know that from a little acorn springs the mighty oak tree–so I am not surprised that whenever you hold this little nugget in your hand you think of God and His amazing creation. I will remember this too.

  4. Great thought. I live that thought about God. He is ubiquitous, omnipresent. No matter where I go He is there. Palms 139:7-10 says it for me as well. I told some folks once that I was going to go to the coast to be alone with God, to which one person said, “You can be with God anywhere.” She was right but like your rose garden you have that special place to be alone with Him. I like to think that that is where we feel anointed. I know the beach is where I feel anointed with God. The ocean reminds me of Him maybe. The width and depth of God; the vastness, the power, the beauty. I seem to be very productive there. Maybe it’s because I dedicate that time to him. IDK. Moses was the same way on the mountain. He could have talked to God right there in camp or anywhere. Jesus at Gethsemane. Good blog Karen. Reminds me off the awesomeness of God and how He is never more than a prayer away, no matter where we are out when. Thanks. Good read.

    • Thank you, Jim. I like your reflection on my thoughts. Like you I know God is always with me in any place, but I feel especially close to Him when I am in nature. The ocean and the mountains are my refuge for prayer and contemplation.

  5. The word “undeserved” stood out as I read this. Often I feel that I don’t deserve all the grace and mercy He bestows on me. But that’s the core of His love for us. If I ever think I “deserve” something, I’m in need of an attitude adjustment. He gives because He loves. We don’t have to earn anything. Thank you for this beautiful reminder of His love.

    • Thank you, Michele. Yes, God loves us because he does. How blessed we are to receive His love without working for it!

  6. Sorry for the typos. Trying to get used to swype on my phone. I wrote the comment on my phone and can only see so many words. What the third sentence from the end should have finished as, “…no matter where we are OR when.” The first sentence was supposed to be LOVE the thought…, but hey, I guess LIVE the thought works as well. LOL. Nonetheless, good blog. Reminded me of my special times with Him.

    • No worries, Jim. I got your point. I’m not too swift at typing on my iPhone either.

  7. I just “happened” to read this today.. I just returned from a trip and on my way home driving over the Pachaco Pass I was just seconds behind 5 vehicle accident . Very close. Praise God that He is in all the “unexpected places. I am home safe in Mt. Hermon by His Grace.

    • Thanks for sharing, Etta Mae. Oh, what a scare that must have been. So happy to hear you are home safely.

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