Today I returned home from 8 days road tripping through South Dakota with my kids. I have been waiting days to post this message because I was away from my laptop and from a good internet connection. For days I have been wondering how I will word this or how I will describe it but here it goes.
God left me a message in South Dakota. Was it a message in a bottle? No. It was a message inside a person.
In July I suddenly had this idea to take my kids on a huge road trip through South Dakota. I don't know where that thought came from or how I chose South Dakota. Why South Dakota? I have wanted to go to Yosemite for years. Why not Yosemite? Because my message wasn't waiting for me at Yosemite. It was waiting for me halfway through South Dakota at a rest stop at a specific picnic table just past lunch time on a beautiful sunny day. That was where I was meant to be to receive my message so my soul made sure I would be there waiting. Why did He make me travel all the way to South Dakota to receive this message? Because South Dakota is what my heart needed. I needed to bust through a hundred fears of traveling that far alone with little kids. I had to get to know myself again and remember that I still have adventure in my soul. I had to renew my heart after almost 2 years of pain and suffering. I needed a fresh start to the next chapter of my life and this next chapter is starting off with a great adventure in my scrapbook.
My children and I stopped at a huge rest stop in South Dakota last week after spending two days in Sioux Falls. We were on our way to the badlands. We got out of the car to stretch our legs, bought some cold drinks from the machine, and my little guy chose a picnic table to sit down at. We sat there quite awhile just chatting, people watching, and enjoying the scenery. Suddenly a man in his 80's appeared practically out of nowhere. He had a friendly face and a warm smile and he walked right up to me at our picnic table and asked, "Where's your husband?" That's what he asked. I said, "He died. He died just about two years ago." "Where are you from?", He said. "Minnesota." And he came and he sat down right close next to me and hugged me. I hugged him tight back. This is not something I usually do. I have never hugged a complete stranger but I am highly intuitive and can read people's energy and I could tell he was a nice man that I should chat with. I just knew. He started to tell me about being in the war and asked how my husband died. "He died by suicide. He shot himself in the heart." He didn't flinch. He didn't make a weird face. He just said, "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry that happened to you." He looked across the table at my children who were beaming big smiles at him and laughing and playing a game together. "How are they?", he said. "Oh well they don't really remember much anymore about it or about him so I guess they are doing ok. They are happy kids." He smiled. He told me that once he married a woman with two small children and he longed to give them and her a beautiful life but five years into their marriage she wanted a divorce. I could feel the pain while holding his hand, hear the pain in his voice, and see the tears in his eyes. He told me of his pain even though it isn't the same as mine. He told me because he knew that we both knew what it was like to have a broken heart...that we both knew what it felt like to love someone and have them suddenly leave. He continued to ask me about why we were in South Dakota. I told him something pulled me to come here on a big road trip to heal our hearts. He said I was very brave and hugged me again. He looked at my children and asked their names and ages and shook their hands. And then he looked right at me and said, "I don't want to have to say this but I have to say this,.....Everything happens for a reason." He stared at me. I stared into his old man blue eyes and I shook my head. "Yes. I know. It does.", I told him. Two strangers. Two strangers sitting at a picnic table at a rest stop in the middle of South Dakota.....40 plus years between the two of them but they understood each other. That was my message.
"Everything happens for a reason"
We continued to chat some more. He gave me a card with his email on it. His name was, Wenton. He hugged me once more and he asked me if I work in the field of helping people......"Why?, I said. "Because you're so kind.", he said........and then patted my hand, smiled, and walked away.
"Who was that guy?", my children asked.
Oh that was just a man who was sent by God to give me a message.
I watched Wenton fade into the crowd and we packed up our things and eventually made our way to our car to get back on the road. As we drove away from the rest stop I burst into tears. Tears of joy, relief, happiness, and knowing. I just knew. My kids said, "Mama!? What's wrong?"
Nothing is wrong my little loves. I'm so glad we got to meet, Wenton. Mama believes he was sent to us to tell us a message from God. God wanted us to know that it's ok to let go.......that it's ok to move forward....that it's ok to be happy and have adventures and go on with life. That message was to let us know that we may never know the "reason" that Papa died in this lifetime but when we get to the other side when we die........It will all make sense. The reason will make sense then and until then we gotta get out there and smash through our fears, love again, and just live.
I know that it hurts to hear that everything happens for a reason. Wenton knew that too and that's why he braced me for what he was going to say. Do you have to agree with my message? Of course not. It's my message. We each have our own truths. We each have things we believe in and we don't have to believe the same things. Does hearing that everything happens for a reason make it all ok? No. Does it make my grief hurt less? Yes and No. It's just a knowing that life is greater than us. That death is greater than us. That everything that happens to us that is happy or painful.....it's connected to something else and that's connected to something else and so on and so on. And we won't know for sure the real answers to all of this until we are souls on the other side out there finding our own Wenton's to send a message for us.
Why do I share this very personal thing with you? Because I want you to know that God is talking to you. He doesn't send email or call you on the phone. It isn't always super obvious and if you aren't tuned in....and if you don't believe.....and if you close your mind and heart off to the possibility of these messages? Then you won't notice them. Then they will happen to you and you will be oblivious to it.
I'm going to tuck my message away in my heart. I'm going to email Wenton a big thank you and a beautiful letter all about my South Dakota trip. Maybe I will go visit him again someday way out West.
Listen for your messages. Sometimes they come sent on the voice of a stranger who doesn't even realize why they are giving you the message. I don't believe that Wenton even knew why he spoke with me that day. He just felt pulled to do it and something put the words into his heart to tell me.
Thank you, Wenton. Just.....thank you.
This is a picture of Wenton walking away. He's the dark figure on the sidewalk. Stay well, Wenton. See you soon.
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Dear friends....thank you for being here in this community that I built from my tears. I give all my extra prayers to you. I adore you. I care about you deeply. I love you!!
Never stop looking up! You are loved dearly.
Love always..your friend, Nik