A Surprise at the Mall





I lost touch with a writer friend.  I missed her and her cheerful blog posts.  We met up in a most unusual way!  I’m still in awe of how it happened.

I finished my shopping at the mall and took a short cut to get to the parking lot.  The path led me through the food court.  The smell of Chicken Fajitas stopped me in my tracks.  I planned lunch elsewhere, but now I followed my nose.

I chewed my first bite of chicken taco salad when, out of nowhere, a loud redhead moved rapidly past the tables and into the booth with me.  “I know you!”  She shouted.  I pondered if I knew this crazy lady.  Did she mistake me for someone else?  She shouted louder and stuck her finger in my face:  “You’re Mary; you have a blog called Pile of Smiles and you live in the Verde Valley.”   It took me a second to compose myself.  I stopped chewing my food.  I know I stared too long at her face and then she said:  “I’m Jackie; I had a blog years ago – Fresh Anointing Oil.”

Wow, now I recognized her face just as she recognized mine from our blog websites!  We shared our lives through the written word.     Oh, we always said we’d meet up.  She lives in Prescott, just over the mountain from me.  Sadly, it never materialized.  She stopped writing.  Her website waned. We no longer emailed.  We lost touch. 


I couldn’t stop hugging Jackie.  I remember how our spirits meshed as we cried out to God in prayer.  I’m astonished how that woman prays with power and compassion.  She cried when I told her that.   I cherished the connection with her that day.  She’s a real person.  I’m a real person.  We’re not just “bloggers” talking to the air.





Forget Eating!  Let’s Have a Praise Party!
We caught up on each other’s lives.  We marveled at how God took care of us in each and every trial we shared.  We felt joy from head to toe.

I am changed somehow. The quiet drive home in the warm sun allowed me plenty of time to pause and think: 


People really do care!

We help each other through hard times.

Friendship is a gift.

I’m blessed to be part of God’s family
 where His blood flows through our veins.



I studied Luke, Chapter four, where the people in the town of Galilee wanted Jesus to stay and hang out with them.  He told them he couldn’t.  “That’s not why I’m sent,” He said.  “I must go to other towns and bring Good News to them.”


We’ve been sent.  Our blog messages influence, uplift and validate.  Let’s keep those words coming.  Confidently press “publish” because you just never know who you’re going to influence.  And you never know who you are going to meet…it just might be me!

Comments

  1. Mary, what a great story and such a lovely reunion among fellow bloggers! I love the photo, you both look radiant, and your header is captivating. Thank you so much for sharing this! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda! It was a joyful reunion and such a surprise!

      Delete
  2. What a delightful surprise that was for you! And how God orchestrated it for you to be there enjoying lunch to make the connection again with Jackie :) How he must have smiled when you guys reunited!!! Hopefully you guys will continue to stay in touch?

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surprise indeed and oh so much fun like sitting on a ferris wheel like two little girls! Yes, it was a surprise that dropped out of Heaven.

      Delete
  3. I love this story, Mary! Wow ... to pray with power and compassion is a mighty gift, indeed.

    Silly, but before discovering Blogland (and you!) I caught myself wishing social media would invent a site akin to match.com ... only platonic, where men and women could discover meaningful friendships. I worry that those without a church home or workplace are in danger of becoming adrift and lonely. Oh, I hope the two of you stay in touch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Social media is advantageous that way, where we can inspire and encourage one another like one big family of love. I can't think of anybody that doesn't need that touch of good news and yes, more than just on Sunday!

      Delete
  4. Hi Mary! What a gift!! How fun to randomly meet in a mall, God is so good! I love the photo you have here too. You both have such wide smiles :)
    Thank you for the encouragement to keep writing too. Sometimes you do feel like you're not impacting much, but your experience helps point to the fact that we really do have such lovely relationships.

    I include ours in that too!
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I cannot deny we were on a euphoric high, Ceil, because it was spontaneous and fun to catch up. I cherish our relationship as well!

      Delete
  5. so glad you were reunited with your friend dear

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neecie, do you remember her? You were part of the "old crowd" even though you are not old.

      Delete
  6. I enjoyed everything about this post. So happy you and Jackie finally met. Sounds as if it was a God thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought that too and although I enjoy planning and looking forward to it, this experience was delightful.

      Delete
  7. Love this story. I smile when I think of the friendships that began with just one comment. My blog friends around the world make the world a smaller and so much friendlier place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lovely thought; yes, friendships around the world do, indeed, make the big world smaller and friendly that way!

      Delete
  8. Oh Mary, I am in between laughter and tearful joy. I wish I could reach or meet them in person. This is so beautiful!

    I'm always excited and relieved.
    God Bless and Blessings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could meet you in person, lovely lady! Nigeria isn't all that far away when you visit me!

      Delete
  9. What a wonderful post! I remember when I stopped blogging for awhile, how much I missed the friends I had found here. What treasures we have in our friendships. You and I may never meet face to face this side of heaven, but we have our blogs to share and pray with. Have a blessed day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we do. I'm here for you, Melanie! And if that's not enough, drop me an email. Love and hugs.

      Delete
  10. Before coming over here...I knew already that I was going to thank you and start my comment with "I'm just truly grateful and thankful to the Lord to have even met you and many others through blogs and be able to encourage and life each other up..." You were thanking me but you must know, too how much you bless my faith all the time. Right back at you. Double dose of joy when I saw sister Jackie!!! Hey sister Jackie as I looked at her picture. I miss her a lot too and often wondered what happened to her. But I know no matter where she goes or what she does, she is in Good Hands, like you...It's good to see sister Jackie through your post and you both look amazing!!! I love it when God makes things happen. I don't believe in coincidences anyway. So I know, His Word does not return empty. It will accomplish its purpose. Just like that beautiful chance of seeing another wonderful sister. That's what I love about the Lord's love. It truly binds us all. In Spirit! Glory be to God!!! I pray sister Jackie goes back to writing...Even through words, our spirits' thirsts are quenched! Love you sister and it's only through His power we can accomplish anything, even writing in our blogs. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know if she will return to the blog world, but she has an amazing story to tell. Like you say, the Hand of God is definitely on her. Love your thoughts only through His power can we accomplish anything! Love you.

      Delete
  11. I mean "lift" not "life" but oh well...we have life because of Him... :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a wonderful surprise the Lord gave you two girls. I would like to meet all those whose blogs I comment on, nothing better then a face to face visit to cement a friendship. Thanks for letting us in our this great gift the Lord gave you two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It had to have been Him that planned it! He knows He can usually get me on track by using food! hahaha.

      Delete
  13. Oh, wow! This is SO neat! Can you imagine how many details God had to orchestrate in both of your days to allow you both to meet there in the same, exact spot, at the same, exact time???? This is just SO wonderful!!!!! I LOVED reading this and seeing afresh how God truly does deeply care about the smallest details of our lives. :) Thank you for sharing this, sweet friend. Love and appreciate you so much! And, you are right, who knows? We may meet up someday, and if not here, we will meet in Heaven! Won't that be wonderful?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You totally get, dear sister. God is in the details and to see Him put us together in such a busy place like the mall and for her to pick me out in the center of all those people truly humbles me how big our God is.

      Delete
  14. What a surprise blessing that meeting was. I am happy that whiff of chicken sent you to the food court. Who but God would have know how to "Make yours and Jackie's day." I get chills just reading your story today. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! I had to be scraped off the ceiling I was flying so high!

      Delete
  15. I love this story, Mary! It's such a blessing when we actually do get to meet our online friends in person. I've gotten to meet a few, but would love to meet more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We relate by our hearts and words and then get the biggest blessing of all when we can share the same space together. A real taste of Heaven.

      Delete
  16. That is a pleasant surprise! I enjoy it when God blesses me with an unexpected visit from a friend, and it usually happens in the moments I need it the most.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what makes this story so unique. I'm a planner and like to look forward to things. I had no control over this meeting and it turned out so good and at a good time!

      Delete
  17. Fajita festivities indeed when good friends are brought together. What a blessing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep! Good food, good friends...what a mix.

      Delete
  18. Oh Mary what a sweet sweet reunion...even though unplanned! Those are usually the best kinds to have! How precious that the Lord ordained this time for you two. The picture is so sweet. Made me smile today! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy I can make you smile, sis! And thank you for the nice comment.

      Delete
  19. Oh Mary, your post encouraged me so much! Recently, I met a lovely blogging friend and I was so moved by the once in a lifetime blessing that it was. We instantly connected and shared our lives beyond the screen. Reading this today reminded me that not only do we have heart connections with other bloggers, but we also have a message with which we can touch lives. It's such an honour that God has entrusted me with and your words reminded me why I should push past the rough patches. Thanks for reminding me that there's someone listening on the other side of my screen. :-)
    Oh, and what better place to find your post, than at #SittingAmongFriends!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh Mary, your post encouraged me so much! Recently, I met a lovely blogging friend and I was so moved by the once in a lifetime blessing that it was. We instantly connected and shared our lives beyond the screen. Reading this today reminded me that not only do we have heart connections with other bloggers, but we also have a message with which we can touch lives. It's such an honour that God has entrusted me with and your words reminded me why I should push past the rough patches. Thanks for reminding me that there's someone listening on the other side of my screen. :-)
    Oh, and what better place to find your post, than at #SittingAmongFriends!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by, Marva, and telling me that you were encouraged. Now I am! God bless!

      Delete
  21. What a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    We often, perhaps, forget that the people out there blogging are real people and not just names and icons on our monitors. And what we write can and does influence people who visit us and perhaps don't leave a comment.

    It's so good that you met up with one of those real people in Blogland. I shall look out for you next time I am at the mall.

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha...and will no doubt find me where the food is, Ha! Loved your encouraging comment, brother.

      Delete
  22. Hi Mary-
    What a treat to find your blog this evening.
    I loved this story.
    Bloggers know each other in so many ways.
    Meeting in person is the icing on the cake.
    Enjoyed visiting and I am a new follower.

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Laura, for stopping by and adding some joy to my story! Bless you!

      Delete
  23. Mary
    It's so great you finally got to meet your blog friend! Remember pen pals? That 's what blogging is to me. Sometimes pouring your heart out to someone you don't really know but yet you do really know them. It is good when kindred spirits come together!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do remember pen pals. I had them and met one from Ohio in person!!!! So much joy.

      Delete
  24. This is so awesome!!! We know there are no coincidences in this life and here is another example of God's divine will.

    To encourage and be encouraged is part of God's amazing grace in and through us.

    I'm moved in spirit and reminded of all the sisters and brothers I have in Christ that He uses to make my life so much more bountiful. And thanks for being one of them, sister.

    This is good!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm overjoyed to be in the family of the redeemed and have a brother like you. May God bless you bigly.

      Delete
  25. I love beautiful surprises. Divine meeting. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. How awesome is that! A chance meeting of a dearly loved heart you had never met... that happened to me not long ago as well, and such a joy it was! So happy that the two of you were able to reconnect! Many hugs and blessings to you :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A New Truck

Rescued!

Feeling the Love