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Monday, October 12, 2015

I Knew It

Pocket Full of Quarters Journey 2015
I Knew It

Written In Amarillo, Texas
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

It had been a tough couple of days. Even though my heart wasn't in it, I'd tried to have encounters. They didn't go anywhere. One person even got aggravated, which is rare. I went to bed last night not understanding what was wrong with me. This morning, after another encounter that didn't go smoothly, I asked for prayer.

In hind sight, I realize I was dreading going through Amarillo, Texas. Amarillo has always been a fun place. I stopped there on my first journey in 2002 and fell in love with it. I know it is a tourist town and that some would call it a tourist trap but I love places designed to be fun. Whenever I'm nearby, I stop again. I always do the same thing. I stay at a campground I enjoy. I go to the dog park and play. I walk around the campground waiting for Divine Encounters. At 5:30, a free limousine from the Big Texan restaurant picks me up. The Big Texan is an experience. They have shooting galleries, fun things on the wall, toys everywhere, and a delicious restaurant where musicians move from table to table taking requests. Every year, I've had them play my favorite hymn, In a Garden. I've had salvations every time I visited. Several times, I've run in to people I led to Jesus on previous years and have been blessed.

Two years ago, after my usual fun day in the campground and The Big Texan, my memories of Amarillo changed. The next morning was Sunday. I pulled out of my campsite and headed to church. As I pulled in the church parking lot, my phone rang and my brother told me that Daddy was being rushed to the hospital after having a stroke at church. The next 2 hours were horrible as I waited for news and tried to decide what to do. People prayed for me. I had many phone calls with my husband, mentor Pastor Fuller, best friend Nancy, and brother Vaughan. I spent the next 20 hours making a mad and sad dash for Jacksonville and my Daddy died a few days later. I hadn't been back to Amarillo since. I couldn't stand that Amarillo was ruined for me and wanted to make peace with the city so I could continue to play and evangelize there.

When I let my FaceBook friends know I was in Amarillo and why that was hard, my friend Wanda Brigman posted, "Now I know the reason for the block you experienced. This will be healing for you."

I knew she was right. I relaxed, mostly (but not entirely) stopped evangelizing, and just spent time with God. I didn't even talk to anyone in the limousine on the way to the restaurant. I just let myself get lost in the memories.

I ordered my food and let the bitter sweet memories of how much I'd enjoyed the night before the call about Daddy. I'd led 3 people to Jesus. When the musicians finally got to my table, I requested my hymn, In a Garden, and sang along with them. In between verses, the guitar and fiddle player did an instrumental verse and I felt God comfort me and minister to my soul. By the last verse, I was smiling and in love with Amarillo again.

When they finished playing, I confirmed that they knew the meaning of the hymn. I didn't really need to do that because they were the same singers who had sung to me since 2002 and I knew they were already saved. I just wanted to give them the opportunity to speak their faith.

My server was darting from table to table and thankfully, I felt led to talk with her. When she ran my credit card, I asked if I could give her a bracelet. She was delighted and as I spoke scriptures, tears swelled in her eyes. I invited her to pray.

"I need to give them the take home boxes and take care of their check," she said, pointing to the table next to me. "Don't go anywhere!"

She rushed over to take care of them. She passed me quickly saying, "I need to clean up the table behind you and give them their check. Don't go anywhere!"

"I'm staying right here!"

Finally, she came back and sat calmly at my table. She was on a break and we took our time. She tearfully invited Jesus to be her Lord and Savior.

When she finished, she took a deep breath and leaned back in her chair in relief. She looked amazed.

"You're feeling the Holy Spirit," I said. "Memorize this feeling and walk towards it all of your life."

"It feels good," she nodded and said. "I knew this was going to happen. It was time."

"How did you know this was going to happen?" I asked.

"Because I said a prayer asking God to send me a sign if He was really there. Here you are."

Thank God, I'd decided it was time to face my pain about Amarillo. I'd almost driven Interstate 10 just to avoid dealing with it. Thank God my Christian friend Wanda pays attention to what I'm doing, prays for me, and pointed out what was wrong with me. Thank God it all happened just in time to answer my server's prayer. There is a time for everything.

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