It was 1977, I was married and living in St. Petersburg FL. I had 2 son's who were 4 years old and 2. We were all out on a Sunday afternoon drive to see some friends in Largo, Florida. It's just a few cities north of St. Petersburg.
We were heading north up 66th Street, my husband and the two boys. We were just passing the light at the corner of 38th Avenue North and 66th Street when all of a sudden I heard the powerful voice of a man The voice was very comforting but extremely strong somehow, unlike other men's voices. He said to me very matter of fact like, "Teri, have your husband stop in the donut shop up ahead and you go in and stand at the counter". I said out loud, O.K.!
Then I said out loud immediately to my husband, Please pull the car over to that donut shop, there on the right up ahead, My husband said why? Are we getting donuts at this time in the afternoon? I said, I don't really know why, just please, pull in! He said O.K. and turned the wheel into the parking lot.
Then he said to me, Teri, why are we here?, I don't want a donut!
I said to him, neither do I, but a voice, I believe the voice of the LORD has instructed me to pull in here and go stand at the counter.
So having said that, I got out of the car and asked my husband to please just be patient and let me see what the next instruction I would get would lead to. I just wanted to do as I was asked by the LORD.
I pulled my shirt down tight swallowed hard and headed into the Coffee shop. I was thinking the whole time as I walked toward the door, What do I do now?
I walked inside. There weren't that many people in the shop.
Maybe 9 or so. I just Stood there, waiting.
There was a man and women in front of me. I continued to wait. They ordered. The as I heard the man giving his order to the waitress, I heard the voice of the LORD again clearly say to me, "Do you see the woman and the three children at the end of the counter", I said yes. He said again to me, "Go to the woman and ask her if there is anything you can do for her", I said O.K.
Now the waitress was starting to speak to me, she said excuse ma'am, What can I get you? I said, well, I'm not sure yet, just a moment please. She replied, sure, just let me know when you're ready. I then smiled at her and started to head down towards the woman with the long black hair seated at the end of the counter with the three sweet little girls.
As I was walking toward them I said to the Lord, "what will I say"?
He replied "say exactly as I have spoken to you". I said again, O.K.
So I extended my hand to a young pretty woman with long brown hair and big brown eyes, and introduced myself to her. She said her name was Denise, She looked at me rather oddly, I said to her, I'm sure you will find this pretty strange Denise, but is there anything I can do for you, I was asked to ask you this?
She replied with, "excuse me, what"? Do I know you? I said no actually you don't know me, but I was driving up to Largo to see some friends with my family and as I got near this donut shop I heard the voice of the LORD say to me to pull in here and then to come speak to you.
As I was saying this to her a very odd thing happened to me. I had amazing compassion for this stranger and her three children.
I pointed out the window to my car and my husband and children who were just sitting there waiting patiently on me.
Her face went as white as a sheet. She said, What? Really? Are you kidding me here? Oh my God! That's hard to believe.
I said, perhaps it is Denise, but I am to ask you a question. So I'm wondering what it is you need? I was asked to ask you that specifically!
She said sit down please. She was shaking visibly. Her hands were just shaking so hard she was holding them to try to stop them from shaking. I put my hand on her shoulder and said, whatever it is you're going through the LORD has heard your prayer, and HE has sent me to help you. What can I do for you?
Her big brown eye's were full of tears. She sat there for a moment with her head in her hands and sobbing she said I want to show you something, I said O.K. She then pulled a piece of paper from her purse and handed it to me. She said, this is just so crazy,
I can't believe what you're saying!
I smiled but did not respond.
I unfolded the paper and said, do you want me to read this? She said promise me you will not tell anybody what you are about to read! I said, O.K., no I won't tell anybody. She said then go ahead and read it.
To my absolute shock and amazement, what I read, contained in this note was Denise's suicide letter.
She had planned on taking her life that very day!
She had stopped to get coffee at the donut shop with the girls so she could figure out her details! She wanted to spend her moments alive with her children.
She just couldn't figure out what to do with her daughters at the moment she would commit her crime!
She explained to me she was recently disfellowshipped from a local church and was being divorced. Her husband was awarded the children in the decree. She now was going to be all alone after 10 years of marriage. She said it was because her husband had fallen in love with a young girl at the church and had gotten the young girl pregnant.
Her husband, an elder in the church, was to marry the young lady in his congregation to replace his wife and they were going to raise their family now as the new girlfriend and soon to be wife was having their first baby.
Denise was distraught to say the least. Her husband had accused her of being an unfit mother to justify their divorce and move on with his new plans. There was nothing she could do.
This young woman at the donut counter was so distraught she could hardly speak as she told me her sad and hurtful story. I just listened. My heart just broke for her.
After about 10 minutes, I walked outside and let my husband know what was happening. He asked me what I thought we were to do? I said I'm going to leave it up to her. I'm going to let her direct the outcome of this happening, as I hadn't heard anything else from the LORD since I started talking with her!
It was decided by Denise then, that I would take her children and keep them safe and she would call me in a day or two after she thought things through. I agreed to do this only if she agreed to do nothing foolish. She agreed, she said she was so overwhelmed with what I had told her from GOD that she wasn't going through with her plans. Even though I knew I couldn't really depend on that promise she made to me, I just had to trust GOD!
We prayed with her in the parking lot. Gave her my phone and address. Introduced her to my husband, who verified to her what GOD had told me.
We invited her to come home with us. She said hesitated and said no, she just had to sort things out. She convinced me she would be in touch.
She just needed time to understand how all this had come to be.
I assured her I would care for her sweet young girls as if they were my own.
I drove off with her three precious daughters, safe, now in the back seat of our car. They were so happy to be with us. I think they were emotionally drained from the stress of their mother. They jumped in our car and immediately started chatting with my boy's.
It would be three weeks before I saw Denise again.
She came to the front door alone one afternoon and the girls and I were elated to see her. Such joy was in my heart, she was safe!
I was so grateful she was still alive! She said she was converting from her religion to mine. She was so impressed with how GOD had come through for her in her absolute deepest darkest hour, literally.
This began a 6 year friendship with Denise and our family. She did convert to become a Christian. She lived with us her and the girls, for over a year until we could help her get into her own home.
But the story would continue to have it's twists and turns.
Miracles are all around us. Waiting for us to tap into them. We have to listen for them, recognize them, and obey the signs to see what can come of them.
It never ceases to amaze me what can happen when we don't question and just obey!