God Isn’t About Coincidence

By Theresa Calderini on May 7th, 2013 »

child abuse4

I had just a little time available and decided to spend it at the local coffee shop indulging on a guilty pleasure and catching up on some casual reading. This simple cup of coffee would become part of a life experience I would choose to never forget.

Others filled the shop making it difficult to find a seat. Glancing around, I saw young and old engaged in conversations and laughter, no empty seats were to be had.

“Would you like to sit here?” a soft voice asked. I turned to see a young girl occupying a table, computer on, textbooks opened and cell phone making the occasional chirp. She was alone….until I came along.

“Thanks, yes I would” I said. “I won’t be long, I just came to enjoy some coffee, and thanks for letting me invade your space.”

“I knew you would be here” she says to me, I look around, thinking she was talking to someone else. She points at the seat and tells me its ok, I can sit down. So I do.

“Do I know you?” I ask. She doesn’t look familiar; she’s young but a bit older than my own children. I don’t recall her.

She laughs a bit and then says “I prayed this morning that God would bring someone into my life that would understand my situation and I believe He answered my prayer because you’re here.”

At this point I’m thinking that maybe she is confusing me with someone but she interrupts my thoughts and says “My dad use to say that to me” and she points to my shirt.

I looked down and saw the quote on my red t-shirt. I had the shirt made a few years ago to wear to a family function as a kind of humorous thing. I never thought the shirt would have meaning to another person other than my family.

The shirt says “Dad likes me best”

dad likes me best shirt

She places her cup on the table, curls her small legs up underneath her and rests her chin in the palm of her hands. There is a sad distance in her eyes, a look of ending in her other features. Although a part of me wanted to get up and leave, I remained quiet, looking back at her, silently telling her that I wanted to understand. I think she understands this as a weakened smile appears as she begins to tell me why she believes I’m there.

“My dad use to say that to me…. you know…. dad likes me best. He said it a lot, for lots of years, but now he says it to someone else.” A small well of moisture builds in her eyes as her face becomes tight. Deep scars in the form of tension lines begin to appear on her face.

“I hate him you know” she boldly states. “He ruined my life, took away everything in my mind and my body that was not his to take and yet he always said dad likes you best.”

“You are hurting deeply from this aren’t you?” I ask. Her posture, voice inflection and facial expressions tell me this. She is still living her nightmare to some degree. She said so herself when she told me that she prayed for God to put someone in her life that would understand.

“Every day feels like the day after.” she says. “I’ve tried to move on but every day, something happens to remind me and yesterday, I walked back into the nightmare.”

“What do you mean?”

“I saw my little sister yesterday; she’s six years old and lives with my mom and dad. I know that look she had in her eyes; I use to have that look. I asked her if daddy was hurting her and she said no, cause daddy likes me best.”

The room began to swim as I took in the enormity of her words. This young girl was telling me that she was abused by her father and now she believes her little sister is suffering through the same abuse.  This man took away her innocence and was now taking it from her little sister.

How does one process this? How do you respond? Why was I there? I began to silently pray for God to wrap His protective arms around her and her little sister. “Dear God, her little sister needs you, please just keep herchild abuse2 safe, don’t let him hurt her anymore, please distract him or cause something to happen that will keep him from going to her Lord.  Please Father; let her know you’re present and that you’ll protect her.”

A still small voice deep inside me seems to whisper “This isn’t about you; it’s about these two little girls. Just be still and listen, that’s why you’re here. I’ll take care of the rest.”

We spent several hours sitting in the coffee shop; I listened to her intently as she provided bits of information. At times she seemed to ramble and not make a lot of sense but I remained silent, knowing my purpose was to just be present for her.  She shared her story, so raw and real all these years later. She smiled when she told me that she recently began to learn about God and had started praying to Him.

As we neared the end of our talk, a question burned inside of me that I felt compelled to ask her. “What did you say to your sister when she said daddy likes her best?”

She paused, a tear slips down her cheek, “If I call the police, they may put her into foster care. If they don’t, I’m afraid he’ll hurt her more and it will be my fault.”

“I can understand why you would feel that way” I nervously say to her. “But, if you don’t do anything, how will you feel?”

“I know I should do something because I wish someone had done something for me” she says. “What do you think I should do?”

Pause….panic…..remember Theresa…..what did you learn in school about this….my mind wouldn’t let me remember……but then I understood why I was there…..

“Can I pray for you and your sister” I asked her.

I chuckled when she said “I was waiting for you to ask me that.” She grinned; I instantly knew she was someone pretty special.

child abuse3Right there, in the coffee shop, with life going on all around us, we held hands and prayed. Nothing fancy, just simple petitions being lifted to a Heavenly Father who I believed was present. I wasn’t the one to “fix” her situation or to provide the answers, only God could do this. He’s just that Mighty.

I looked at her, still feeling a deep desire to rescue her and her little sister and before I could say anything, she said “Do you come here often?” “No” I said but immediately let her know I could come back anytime if she’d like to meet again.

“That would be cool” she said. “How about next week?”  I nodded and let her know that if she needed to talk before then I would be there for her. I gave her my number.

“One more thing” I said, as we stood up.

“What’s your name?”

She told me (Let’s call her “Precious” as this seems to fit how special she is).

“Well Precious, I’m so glad that we met and you were right….God does answer our prayers.”

We walked outside; I hugged Precious deeply and told her I would be praying for her and her little sister. There wasn’t much else to say so we both went on our way.

It’s now several days later and I’m still trying to process all of this.

God’s not about coincidence is He? God places us right where He needs us to be, not necessarily where we’re most comfortable. In order for Him to do His important work, we need to trust, to be faithful and obedient which sometimes means stepping outside of our comfort zones.

For each person that reads this, could you lift up “Precious” and her little sister in your prayers? I hope to see her again next week at the coffee shop if that’s what God has planned.

In the meantime, we can pray…..

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9 Responses

  1. Terry says:

    This gave me goosebumps. I can’t imagine a better sent person than you Theresa.

  2. Jana says:

    Please keep us update on Precious and her sister the next you see her.

    Jana :0)

  3. Patty Brooks says:

    Theresa, God Bless you for sharing this, and yes, God does put us exactly where He wants us, when He wants. I believe that is why I am reading this now! I so relate to “Precious” and her situation, something I thought I put to rest many years ago, but have lately been struggling with. Indeed, “it shouldn’t hurt to be a child”!

  4. Glad you were there to listen I hope she finds the courage to do something about the situation and about dealing with how it affects her life too. Sometimes all it takes is having someone around who is willing to listen.

  5. Dad Blake says:

    Theresa, A wonderful story. The true one’s are always better than fiction. I read a story to the church the other day called” The Sparrow at Starbucks”. Your sister, Tina, sent it to me. It was like your story because it was filled with what most people call ‘co-incidence”. It was pointed out that a better word would be “God-incidence”. I feel that God is giving me another chance to mention the story because He is the author of all that takes place. He takes what we do and weaves it together to make what we call life. Many times we miss out on a blessing because we don’t see the whole story. We just see the parts as unrelated when what God is trying to tell us is what’s important. We need to see that nothing happens by accident. Keep up the good work. God is using you. Love you,Dad

  6. pam hardy says:

    just wondering if you have seen this girl at the coffee shop anymore. would like update if there has been other contact with her. I sure will keep them in my prayers.
    God is so great and awesome. I just would like everyone in the world just to feel just a tiny bit for what my God does for me. Then everyone would have Him in their heart.
    God bless

    • Hello Pam!! I have gone back on numerous occasions to the coffee shop but have not seen the young lady again that I wrote about. When I go there, I get a cup of coffee, find a quiet place to sit for a few minutes and pray for Precious and her little sister. Only God knows His plans and as they are perfect, He will provide the opportunity for us to meet again. I would love to sit and talk with her again, to catch up on what is happening in her situation and to let her know that there are wonderful people surrounding her in prayer!

      Your words are so true, how wonderful to have opportunities to share with others the love of our Heavenly Father!

      If I see her again, I will be sure to post about it!

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