There was this woman at my job that I would like to describe as…well interesting. She would always make passive aggressive jokes and so you never knew if she was serious about the comments she made or not. Others have said she was not trustworthy, cliquish, and mean spirited. She was only really liked by a few but everyone else just tolerated her at best. However, she never treated me that way. I mean I did see her in action and people told me things. But to me, she always gave me a hug and said nice things to me. We weren’t buddies or anything but more like friendly acquaintances passing by in the hallway on our way to do our daily tasks for the job. And maybe she was nice to me because I had nothing of value to her as far as the job was concerned and so she didn’t have to worry about competing with me. I don’t really know.
A week before Christmas she and I were chatting it up after hours at the office along with two other people. It was late in the evening and everyone had mostly gone home or went Christmas shopping. I stayed behind because traffic was horrible and I wanted to wait it out at the office.
We were all talking about what we were going to do for Christmas and what we were going to buy for our friends and family. But then the subject changed. I don’t remember how but we began talking about my struggle to get a promotion. No matter what I did, no matter how many times I tried, I couldn’t get to the next level at this job. I was frustrated because it seemed so simple to everyone else to get a promotion but not me. Then completely out of nowhere the woman says, “God’s got something big for you Tiana.” Everyone in the room was in agreement because they probably thought she was talking about my future success at this job. I knew in that moment that she meant something different.
Now, I’ve known this woman on the job for several years. She can be condescending, rude, aggressive, sneaky, and if she didn’t like you she’d let you know it. I don’t ever remember her complimenting my hair or clothes or saying that I did a good job on a task on any given day. Just a hi, a hug, and we kept it moving. I was taken aback by what she said that day, my spirit recognized the power in the words that she spoke.
This is how I know it was an encounter with God:
- God words are aligned with the holy spirit, the spirit that lives within us. Many people say things because its obligatory or it feels like the right thing to say after you’ve discussed your worries and troubles with them. But when someone says something that aligns with your spirit you feel it. Its like a ping in your heart or a warm swelling inside of you. If none of that is going on then it’s just words. They can still be encouraging but they’re just words.
- God uses all kinds of people to speak to you. Whoever he can get in your surroundings he will use for his purpose. Even the gossipy, passive aggressive woman at work.
- The following day I’m all smiling at her and giving her an extra big hug because of what she said and she act like she never even said it. She looking at me all crazy and wondering what the hell was wrong with me. I mean not a trace of anything that she said the previous day. She went right back to our same passerby relationship and right back to treating other people however she wanted. In fact, on the day she said it, the moment she said it, it was like a flash, a brilliant moment and then it was gone and she had moved on to the next subject.
That is how I know it was an encounter from God.