Honoring Our Troops

In February 2005 I went to Washington to visit four very special aunts. Knowing that I wanted to take them out for a nice dinner I searched the internet and found a really nice restaurant called "The Falls." Although I knew this was going to be a very special weekend, I had no idea just how special it was going to be!

While waiting for our table at the restaurant, I saw this cute little bear in the lobby, and because I've always had a thing for soft cuddly bears, I had to go check him out. To my surprise, not only was he soft and cuddly, he also talked... Boy did he talk!

After listening and sharing the bear with my aunts, I thought "he's so precious" and felt so compelled to share him with someone in the service. Unfortunately, I personally didn't know anyone and neither did my aunts.

After contemplating for almost ten minutes, I finally gave in and bought the bear, or should I say two bears! Although they were more than what I thought I should be spending, especially since I had no idea what I was going to do with them, somehow I knew I was suppose to buy them. Well, the next morning while packing my suitcase I realized I didn't have enough room for my bears. No problem I thought, I'll just have to carry them on the plane.

Considering my plane wasn't due to depart for another hour or so, I stopped by a cosmetic store, bought a couple of items and conveniently put them all in a large bag, with my bears and bible. While standing in line to board the plane, I began opening the cosmetic packages and happen to notice a couple embracing each other as though it would be a long time before they would see each other again. The young lady saw me looking and smiled. I smiled back, said a silent prayer and never saw the couple again.

Shortly thereafter we began boarding the plane in which case I began getting myself situated; i.e. took my bible out, put my bag under the chair, got my glasses out out of my purse and buckled up. Not that I always carry my bible with me, but God had put it on my heart a couple of months before to read the "Book of Esther." Finding time however was another thing! Being self-employed, a wife and mother of six, it seemed like there just wasn't enough time in a day which was one of the reasons I went to Washington alone and took my bible.

Right about the fifth chapter, I began feeling very weak and had to put my bible down. All the sudden I felt that same compelling feeling I had felt in the restaurant, but this time, there was someone on that plane that was suppose to have one of those bears. I thought "you've got to be kidding, right?" Needless to say, I began questioning... God is that really you?

With 911 still fresh in everyone's minds, how in the world was I suppose to know who to give it too? Again, I only knew I was suppose to! So I took one of the bears out the bag, removed the price tag, looked up and down the aisle hoping that I could just give it to a steward or stewardess, but there was no one in sight! "Now what?" I thought. I grabbed one of the little brown bags (larger than a lunch bag) and began walking towards the front of the plane. Thank God I was only sitting seven rows from the front. To my surprise, there was no one sitting around the corner so I proceeded down the aisle, which at the time seemed like a mile long. There they were, all sitting in the very last row.

Still not knowing what to say, I went up to one of the stewards and asked if he could maybe help me. I told him I bought something very special for someone that I believed was on this plane. Looking at me strangely, he kind of leaned away from me at which time I began stuttering and finally said "please just listen to this and you'll know what I mean". Being that it was soooo loud in the back of the plane, I kept saying "can you hear it?", "can you hear it?" as though I were a little child? He eventually looked up and said "what can I do?" I asked him to take the bear and make an anonymous announcement, after I returned to my chair. He agreed. I thanked him and scurried back to my seat thinking "I'm so glad that's over."

About five minutes later, I heard this little meek voice over the loud speaker say "Is there anyone here going to Iraq, or maybe knows someone in Iraq, or has come home from Iraq?" All the sudden, a gentleman with his wife and new born baby, (sitting only two rows in front of me) raised his head as though he were asking himself "did I really just hear that?" No sooner did he raise his head, his hand went up! "Oh my God" I thought "It really was HIM!"

I got so excited that I quickly turned around to tell the steward and couldn't believe my eyes! The young lady I saw at the airport was on my plane and had raised her hand too! I couldn't believe it, there were only two hands and I only had two bears! I quickly took the other bear out, removed his tag and asked the steward if he would be so kind to give the other bear to the young lady on his way back. He said he would be delighted. As tears of joy ran down my face I began thanking the Lord for the privilege of serving HIM! To be a blessing to someone else truly is the most precious and rewarding gift one could ever receive or achieve in a life time!

As we journey through life, we often find ourselves in situations we just can't understand. Be it good or be it bad, one thing I've learned is our hearts must be right! What does that mean? Walking in faith and KNOWING there is a greater purpose, regardless of "what things may look like! " Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."

My prayer is for every soldier to know how much we (our country) truly appreciates them, their selflessness, bravery, courage and huge sacrifices! From our hearts to yours... there will never be enough words to thank you for who you are, what you do and your personal sacrifices in protecting my family and our country!

If this is your prayer too, tell a solider today and please forward to as many soldiers, veterans, families and friends" you know!

God wants them to know how much HE loves them, their families and friends and how HE longs to restore their hope and touch their hearts… If only they knew! "Will you trust HIM?"
1804 Queens Court, Roseville CA 95661
"Land of the Free Because of the Brave"
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