Today as we take a break from our normal posts, I encourage you to be still for just a few minutes and take some time to meet with God. God is all around us; we just have to take the time to experience Him. Psalm 46:10 encourages us to, “Be still and know that I am God.”
This story is taken from Miracles by Karen Kingsbury.
Tami Bolton’s father needed just two words to turn her entire life upside down. “We’re moving!” he announced one day. Then he went on to explain that he’d found a job in Southern California where he could concentrate on his career in solar energy.
For a year Tami had known this day might come. But at sixteen she wasn’t ready to leave Missouri, especially to be two thousand miles away from her married sister and friends. “I can’t move.” Tears welled up in her eyes. “Everyone is here, Daddy. Can’t you wait another year? Until I’m ready to live on my own?”
This was the job her father had been waiting years to get, an there was no changing it. But that did not diminish the pain. Nothing would be the same in California. She’d miss all the milestones she and her friends had planned on – prom, graduation, college – as well as her relationship with her older sister, Mari.
When she finally got a grip on her emotions, Tami said to her mother, “At least I’ll have you and Misty.” Her mom’s body stiffened at the mention of Tami’s cat. “Honey, there’s no way we can bring her. We’ll be in a rented apartment without space to hunt. It’s not fair to her. Mari has offered to take her. Try to understand.”
Tami spent an hour crying in her room. She couldn’t understand any of it. But she had no choice but to give in, even as she felt her world crumbling around her.
When they arrived in California, the Boltons found a small two-bedroom apartment. Although Tami tried to have a positive attitude, as the weeks passed she grew more homesick. She couldn’t shake the feeling of isolation. Even after two months, when her parents bought a beautiful home with a swimming pool, that didn’t help. Worst of all, she felt far from God, as if he were unaware of her broken heart.
A month later, Tami apologized to her parents for her sadness. “I’m happy for you. Really. It’s just that I feel so lonely it’s almost like I’m suffocating.”
Two weeks later, on Tami’s birthday, her parents presented her with a tiny gray kitten. For the first time since the move, she looked genuinely happy. “Oh my goodness!” Tami squealed, taking the tiny kitten in her arms. “She’s perfect. Thank you so much!”
Tami named the kitten Chloe, and with a new friend to her company, her outlook changed overnight. She began meeting more kids at school and enjoying her classes, and over the next few months, she spent hours playing with Chloe and teaching her the house rules.
Because Chloe was primarily an indoor cat, the Boltons had her declawed. After that, they were careful to not let her jump the fence around their house, because without her claws she had no way to defend herself. If she tried the fence, the neighbors’ dogs chased her back.
Words could never express how thankful Tami was for Chloe. Many nights as Tami drifted off to sleep she would whisper a special thank-you to God for using the precious kitten to lift the dark clouds from her life.
Then one morning Tami lost track of Chloe, and the kitten disappeared. Frightened, Tami contacted the neighbors, but none had seen Chloe. Tami told herself the kitten would return within a few hours when she got hungry, but by evening she had not returned. Tami and her parents searched the neighborhood for hours. Two days passed, and Tami continued to search and call for her kitten after school.
By the third afternoon, Tami was losing hope as she walked home from the bus stop. A trickle of tears splashed the ground beneath her. How could this happen? Why? Lord, you let me find a friend and now you’ve let her disappear. Couldn’t you bring Chloe back to me? Please.
But the truth was clearer than Tami wanted to admit. The chances that Chloe would come back now were almost non-existent. Either something had happened to the kitty or she’d been taken by someone.
Stepping into her backyard, Tami yelled, “Chloe. Here, Chloe.” As she waited, she was finally overwhelmed with fear and loneliness. She turned toward the house and ran into her bedroom. There, she threw herself on her bed and began to yell. “God, I can’t handle this! I’m so lonely and Chloe was all I had. Now she’s gone, too. It’s too much.”
She continued until her anger and sobs were spent. Then she remembered that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. Suddenly, Tami felt God’s presence. The chasm that had developed between her and God disappeared in an instant. You’re my friend, too; right, God? Is that what you’re trying to tell me?
A surge of hope swelled up within her. Yes, that was it. God was her friend, now and always. A friend better than Chloe.
Tami looked up and whispered, “Please, Lord, hear me now. I only need you. But I really want my cat to come home. I’m going out into the backyard, and I’m asking you to bring Chloe to me, if it is your will.” She felt her request was childish, but she trusted with her heart that God could hear her. She walked back out of the house, and there, sitting by the pool, was Chloe. She glanced at Tami casually as if she’d been there the whole time. “Meow,” she squeaked, then scampered toward Tami.
Tami fell on her knees bowing her head in thanks. Not because her cat was back, but because she had rediscovered a different best friend. The sweetest friend of all.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.