It was 6:30 a.m., and already I felt exhausted. It had been long week, a long month, even a long year. With all three of my adult children making choices that concerned me, I had spent many hours in prayer, trying to give my worry, which seemed looming around every corner, over to God. And now one of my children had just done that “one more thing.” It felt like too much to bear. As I drove to work, tears streamed down my cheeks.
“I just can’t do it, God! It’s too much! I really need a hug. If you were like a mom, you’d give me a hug!” I cried.
My mother had passed away several years earlier, but I still missed her everyday, especially her hugs. Driving on to work, and still fighting feelings of anger, resentment, fear, and stress, I tried desperately to think faith and hope. Still, I kept wishing I could have a great big hug from someone who really cared.
About 30 minutes after arriving at work, I got a call from my husband. I was immediately concerned because we generally did not call each other during the workday. I answered the phone right away with worry in my voice.
“Hey, honey!” came his cheerful voice. “I just wanted you to know I’m praying for you. I know things are super stressful right now and I wanted you to know that I love you. In fact, I wish I could just reach through the phone right now and give you a great big hug!”
The tears started to flow as I heard those words. Surely, God had been listening to me that morning.
A little while later, as I was going about my business, one of my coworkers started asking how I was doing. I shared that things were a bit stressful with my children right then, but mostly I was fine. However, she immediately proceeded to give me a huge hug. It was so unexpected, and unusual for my colleagues. Yet, not an hour or so later, it happened again with another coworker. At last I turned to God, embarrassed that I had doubted His love.
“Lord, forgive me. I know You heard me, I know You care. You are like a mother, and a father, and everything and anything else I will ever need You to be. Thank You for showing me today in such a tangible and real way that You do love me. Thank You that You’re listening to my every word and will supply my every need. Thank you for hearing my prayer for a hug! I love you!”
Shelly Thomas lives in northwest Arkansas, where she works as an electric coordinator for Walmart’s home office. Thanks to Elizabeth Fresse for transcribing this testimony.
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