She wanted to die

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When I drove into the parking lot at the Shops of Wailea with our dog, Kobi, I noticed a group of about 25 young people sitting in a circle on the grass outside the shops. I wondered what they were doing there?

Kobi and I did our daily walk around the shops, waving to many of the shopkeepers as we passed.  After our walk, we sat in a comfortable chair under the palm trees right in the middle of Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Tiffany stores to relax and people watch. I love to just sit and BE, smile, and send out love to the people walking by me.

I’m not sure why or how, but I feel incredible peace and the presence of God strongly when I’m there. There is so much wealth and opulence surrounding me with the people shopping in the high-end shops. Instead of comparing and feeling jealous that I didn’t have an expensive Gucci pocketbook, I felt this “wealth” of love bubbling up inside of me that is always available and doesn’t cost a penny. Things may satisfy us for the moment, but cannot give us the love that we all seek.

As we were sitting there and enjoying the peace, a young man about 16 approached us and asked if he could pet Kobi. I said, “No, Kobi gets nervous with strangers.” He was respectful and kept his distance. He asked me my name and I said, “I’m Pat with the hat.” His name was Gabe. He shared that he was from Colorado and here on Maui with a group of people for ministry.  I asked, “What kind of ministry?” He politely said, “We are here to share the ministry of Jesus.”

I smiled and said, “Jesus has been my best friend for over 45 years.” We chatted for a while and then he asked if he could give me a word. I said, “Yes.” He said, “The lord is proud of you and so is your family and children for the heritage you are leaving them.” The words touched my heart as I teared up and thanked him for his message. I wonder if he was disappointed or relieved that I was so easy and he didn’t get to “evangelize” me?

In my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith” I share a message that I was led to give a woman many years ago that saved her life. Here is what happened:

What a thrill it was to walk across the stage and receive my bachelor’s degree at the age of 44. I felt grateful for God’s love and presence in my life. I wanted to celebrate my graduation and planned a weekend getaway to the ocean for the weekend. I asked Spirit to lead me to someone who needed to hear that they were loved.

As the weekend was coming to an end, I felt disappointed that I hadn’t meant anyone to share God’s love with.  I drove out to the ocean one more time hoping God would lead me to someone. As I drove my car along the ocean road, I clearly and loudly heard, “PULL OVER HERE.”

I quickly turned off the road and parked in the parking lot. I eagerly walked to the ocean; sensing God was at work. There were many people and children sitting on the rocks, playing ball and enjoying the sunshine and warm summer breeze.

I said, “Okay God, now what? Is there someone here who needs to know your love?”

YES! I heard quietly in my spirit. As I scanned the area, I noticed a woman sitting by herself on the rocks at the edge of the ocean. She looked immersed in her own thoughts. Deep in my heart, I knew she was the one that Spirit was leading me to.

 I thought, “What do I say? What will she think of me? Am I nuts? Maybe this is all in my head and I should just go back to my car.” I couldn’t; I felt compelled, propelled to follow through even though I felt afraid and didn’t trust myself or God. My heart pounded. I nervously walked over, stuck out my hand, and introduced myself. I didn’t waste any time, because I knew if I did, I may have chickened out.

Her name was Susan. I said, “Susan, God wants you to know that He loves you very much.” Her jaw dropped. I could see that my words had taken her off guard. Yet, nothing came out of her mouth. The color drained from her face, as she stared at me in shock and disbelief. Tears rolled slowly down her cheeks. Then the flood gates opened as she sobbed uncontrollably and her body shook. I wasn’t expecting this kind of raw emotion and didn’t know what to do to comfort her.

I prayed, “God I need help. What do I do now?”  

I gently put my hand on her shoulder and silently prayed. I realized I didn’t have to do anything but just be present with her. It seemed like an eternity before she got herself together and calmed down. As she looked into my eyes, the words came tumbling out, as if we knew each other for years.

She said, “I want to die. I wanted to kill myself at the very moment you arrived.” I gasped, trying to keep my cool, and nervously asked her. “Why? What happened?” She said, “My husband cheated on me and left me for another woman. I don’t know how I can go on without him. I was so distraught that I missed a couple of weeks of work. My boss called me into the office yesterday and fired me. I’m better off dead.”

I said, “I’m sorry for your pain Susan. God sent me here today to tell you He loves you and wants to help you.” Her body relaxed and her face lightened as she intently listened to my words. She said, “I thought God abandoned me too and that I was being punished for something. I desperately needed to hear that God loves me and I’m not alone. Thank you, Pat, for coming into my life today.”

We sat and talked for a long time about God’s love and how He had helped her in the past. We thanked God together, both knowing our meeting was divinely appointed. We kept in contact for a few years and Susan went back to school and became a kindergarten teacher, something she had always wanted to do.

We are all connected and ONE. We need one another to speak the truth, especially when we are suffering and feel alone. The still, small voice of God is in all of us. It takes courage and conviction to share God’s love with one another. I’m grateful that Gabe had the courage to come up to me to tell me that God and my family were proud of me. I’m grateful that I had the courage to speak to Susan and share God’s love.

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

Simply A Woman of Faith
621 Laniolu Place Kihei, HI 96753