Many years ago I read a book about God Winks. A God Wink is when something happens in your life that is highly coincidental, hard to explain, and serves as a signpost from God that He is with you and everything is going to be ok. I remember enjoying the book and also recalled a handful of God Winks I had received throughout my life. I have forever been a person that looked for signs. I have always believed in that. Several years ago my friend Penny and I were trying to decide if we should take the National Board exams for teaching. We went to meetings to find out more information on this rigorous process. I told Penny I needed a sign to decide if I should do it. At the meeting, as we sat listening to the speaker I spied a dead bird outside the window. I whispered to Penny. There's my sign, I am not going to go through with this. But sweet Penny was determined, so she said that the bird wasn't the right sign. We should keep looking for the right sign. So we went ahead and signed up. Sure enough, I went through that entire process 2 years in a row, and did not pass the National Boards!!!! I should have paid attention to that signpost!! But I chose to ignore it. This past weekend was filled with God Winks for me. I had been feeling a bit down about our last oncology visit. The one where we heard for the umpteenth time that Greco will probably be gone by August. Even though I see no outwardly signs that Greco is getting worse and every MRI has shown his tumor is shrinking, I still let this constant prognosis bother me. I am human. It is hard to let go of this worry. Some days are worse than others. Particularly after going to the doctor.This weekend was a very, very busy weekend for us. We spent Thursday and Friday at a wrestling camp about 2 hours away. So I did lots of driving Thursday and Friday. Our Duals on Saturday morning was near Jacksonville, 3 hours away. But after so much driving on Friday, I just couldn't manage to get it all together to make the trip up on Friday night. So we decided to make an early start Saturday. So this is where the God Winks begin.....We were up at 2, packing our boxes for our team uniforms. We will be headed to Tennessee in a few weeks and wanted to give out the kids uniforms before the trip, no need to pay for extra luggage on the plane. By 4 we had all the kids in the car and were on our way. I specifically told Troy the route to take. He headed in another direction. After realizing the mistake we had a very "lively" conversation about whose fault it was now that we were 30 minutes off track. So I just said to Troy, that we were probably off track because God wanted us to avoid something on our way, perhaps an accident. Continuing along, we are finally in Green Cove Springs where I have mapped out the route to Clay High School. We end up in a residential neighborhood. I have done it again!! No lively conversation this time ( kids are awake ), Troy reroutes us, we were probably 5 miles off course. Finally we arrive. Some of the kids did not make weight and are running and working out. Troy asks me to run to the store to pick up something for the kids to drink before the tournament starts. So I hop in the car with Greco and Jaclyn to once again map out the nearest grocery store. 12 miles away!!! Tournament starting soon, I have to hurry!! I get to the store to realize I am almost out of gas, Troy has my debit card, I only have a $5 bill in my pocket, the drinks cost $5.99!!! I only had 88 cents in change. The cashier would not throw me a bone, so I had to charge it on a credit card!! Now I am frustrated. Shove the $5 bill back into my pocket and drive the 12 miles back to the school. Get there and there are no parking places. Poor Vince is standing in the parking lot waiting for his drink, still in his pajamas and only wearing socks. I have his shoes and clothes in the car with me. I roll down the window and tell him I would have to find a place to park. So I drive around 2 lots, no spot. My car starts dinging, my gas is LOW. Panic sets in. I drive to the other side of the school find a spot and start unloading, food bag, cooler, wrestling bag, toy bag, Greco and Jaclyn. ( by the way, Troy is in the gym warming up the team ). It starts to rain. Vince and Asher King come running to the car to help bring in the stuff. We are probably a half mile from the gym. Feels like ten with the bags and the rain. Finally inside, everything begins, now I can relax!!! After 2 duals, Greco starts crying for something in the concession stand. To keep him quiet, I take him in there only to realize the $5 bill I shoved into my pocket earlier is GONE. What??? How did that happen??! Sorry Greco no skittles for you my friend. The day goes on, I sit with friend Mary and we watch the duals, chat with friends and chase after Jaclyn and Greco. Moving from mat to mat we video taped our boys' matches. ( a side note, Nic, Vince and her boy Kai all went undefeated on Saturday ) Greco falls asleep, we take turns holding him until finally I put him in the t-shirt box. My arms were tired ! The duals are over, we take 3rd!!! Time to go home . It has been a long day, to say the least . Out we head. Troy says which way??? I say right. 2 miles down the road we realize that I was wrong again!! We back track the 2 miles, fuel is low!!!! Ok, now to find a gas station. I spot one on GPS, but after a few miles, realize it was on route that took us to the right!!! Lively conversation ensues!!!! Car is dinging we are running out of gas!!! I cannot believe this!!! So we stop arguing and I tell everybody, start praying we can find a gas station. We start praying. I find a gas station on the GPS, down an obscure road, way off our route. It is 3 miles down a deserted country road. We turn onto this road, still praying. The car starts to sputter! Oh, no!!' Troy slows down, trying not to give it too much gas. Now we are a mile and a half away !!! We can see the Kangaroo sign!! But, it is at the top of a hill!! ( there are No hills in Florida, where did this one come from ???!). Car continues to sputter, we continue to pray. As we start up the hill Troy guns it and we start up this hill, which seems like a mountain, only to have the car shut off!!!! We are out of gas!!!! Oh, no!! We keep praying and praying. The car continues rolling up hill. It continues rolling and the steering is tough . We keep praying, we have no gas and we are rolling up the only hill in the state if Florida!! As we get closer and closer to this gas station, the car starts to slow down. Will we make it??? Oh no , we have to make a left, can we get across before oncoming traffic slams into our car? We roll across the road up another smaller incline and slowly come to a stop in front of the gas tank!!! PRAISE GOD !!!
We are all celebrating and saying, Thank You Jesus!!!! We just cannot believe we have made it!!!!! We are almost in tears. Troy gets out of the car to pump the gas. I run around to him and say, "now Troy, if you don't believe in the power of prayer, here is your proof !!! ". He replies , "I will believe when my son us healed." I reply, " "Your son IS healed !!! You just have to believe!!!!!! "We smile and hug. I get back in the car. Troy calls out, to finish pumping the gas, he is taking some of the kids in to get a treat. My phone starts to ding. It's a text from my friend Mary. It is a picture of a $5 bill. Mary 's message was, " Toni I got this in some change today. This message is meant for you." The message written on the $5 bill is..... God Loves You , this too shall pass....I almost fainted . After what I had just witnessed I was so overwhelmed!! I had to share this happiness with Mary . I called and called, but she would not pick up!!! I was standing at this gas pump, in the middle of nowhere at the top of the only hill in Florida trying to call my friend to share with her this miracle we had just experienced and she wasn't picking up !!!
The next thing I know, Troy walks up to me with a $5 bill and shows me the exact message Mary just texted me!!!!! I begin to cry!! Mary is in the same gas station parking lot, way off the route either if us is supposed to be on, holding my lost $5 bill with a message to us from God written on it. It is so unbelievable!!! We are all crying and just so astounded at what we have just witnessed. The events that led up to this are not coincidental. They are God Winks!! How could our 30 minute "joy ride" at 4 AM plus the numerous times we got off track add up to us running out of gas and rolling into a gas station only to stop in front of a gas tank?? How could it be that my friend Mary would carry in her pocket all day long a message on a $5 bill, only to end up finding it as she is sitting at a gas station where we all had to detour to?? How is it that as soon as we get to this station by rolling up a hill and witnessing this miracle, that Mary sends this picture to me??? It is not by accident, it is not a coincidence it is a God Wink.
God is with us , we are so wrapped in his love right now. We believe!!! We believe!!! Our son is healed!!! Thank you God for the trials you have sent our way, thank you for drawing us closer to you!! Thank you for your many many blessings. God Loves Us and This Too Shall Pass!!!!