When God Spoke to Me through a Stranger in the Ladies’ Room

She was waiting by the sink in the Ladies Room as I began washing my hands.

“Excuse me,” she interrupted, “But the Lord has given me a word for you.”

What? Twenty years ago, I was in Colorado Springs for a meeting with my literary agent and publishers. Honestly, it wasn’t going very well and I had escaped our dinner table at the restaurant to have a moment alone. And now this.

The stranger continued as I stood there, too startled to speak. “God told me to tell you this: You will not be forgotten.”

Remembering my southern manners, I gulped, “Okay. Thanks.”

And then she interjected, “And, oh yeah, something about your stomach. Is there a medical problem? Well, God says that’s going to be okay too.” (Now I was really spooked; and it wasn’t until 3 years later that I finally understood that part of her word from God.)

But as she left the tiny room, she turned back with a smile, “Remember, you will not be forgotten!”

I never saw her again.

I also rarely share this story. It seems too far-fetched. Too ‘out there.’ Prophecies in bathrooms simply are not part of my normal life – even my deep spiritual life.

But I did write it all down in my journal.

And I did pray, asking God to show me what, if anything, this was to mean in my life. And that’s when He led me to this verse. “I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. (Isaiah 49:16)

In Scripture, when that promise is made, there are two rather interesting reinforcements, one before and one after. Leading into those words is an illustration that hits close to home. “Can a woman forget her nursing child, fail to pity the child of her womb? Even these may forget, but I won’t forget you.” (Isaiah 49.15) As a mother who raised four children, I cannot even imagine a world where I would forget my nursing baby.

Though I don’t have any tattoos, I have certainly written reminders on my hand in ink, so I wouldn’t forget. Sort of like the second reinforcement in our verse today, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” In biblical times a slave would often bear the brand of his master, but here we have the Master inscribing his servant’s name on his hand. As though it is a tangible reminder of the covenant between God and His people.

Do you sometimes feel forgotten?

Like 7 months into a pandemic that took your job, your social life, your church fellowship, your family reunions, your professional connections, and — if truth be told — almost took your hope… Perhaps you even wonder if the world will remember who you are/were when “normality” returns.

James I. Packer once affirmed this wonderful truth: “I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him because He first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend. One Who loves me; and there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when His care falters.”

I don’t even need the gift of prophecy to exclaim today, “God says you will not be forgotten!”

under the mercy, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength”

©2020 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouragement at LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com

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11 Comments

  1. Cindy Bolshaw on September 30, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Thank you so much for this word in good season. God even reaches into the Ladies Room! Awesome!

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on October 1, 2020 at 1:55 pm

      Yes, God is So Big! Thank you for reading.

  2. Cathy Baker on September 30, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    The power of a willing spirit and a spoken word! I love this story, but even more, I appreciate how you asked the Lord to show you if/how it related to your life. Thank you for this post, Lucinda.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on October 1, 2020 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you, Cathy. Well, I must say, the Lord got my attention and kept His promise!

  3. Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds on September 30, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing as I needed this today.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on October 1, 2020 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you for reading, Lucy. I think we all need this reminder of God’s love. Every day.

  4. Mary Ward on September 30, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    I want to hear the rest of the story…so good Lucinda! Thanks for this reminder.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on October 1, 2020 at 1:58 pm

      Well, in a nutshell, I lived into the promise that I was not forgotten and that God had His hand on my life as well as my writing (which was what I was struggling with at that particular moment in time.) And many years ago I did have something with my stomach but healed just fine as well. This experience is still quite remarkable to me…

  5. Gail Hollingsworth on September 30, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    Have you wondered that perhaps that was an actual angel sent by God? I’ve heard similar stories and they excite me and give me chills!

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on October 1, 2020 at 2:00 pm

      Well, she was a real person (she even told me the church she attended, but of course, I forgot that.) But I do believe God used her obedience to the Spirit’s prompting. I can’t explain it but I believe in angels. I also believe in God using regular folks like you and me if we will only listen to that “still small voice” and be willing to act beyond our comfort zone. Thanks for reading.

  6. Maureen on October 4, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    So thankful that God doesn’t stop speaking, even in the ladies’ room! Thank you for this!!! Thankful for YOU!

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