The Shirt

by Rhonda, July 24, 2022

All of the prayers were answered for Alex last week.  The scan came back with no new cancer.  There's very slight growth on an old tumor, but nothing to worry us in the immediate future.  What a relief.  

With good news in our pockets, we excitedly boarded flights to Florida last week.  A vacation has been on the agenda for a while, and some ocean time was just what I needed.  We spent the first three days in an oceanfront condo, and I slept so hard I awoke each morning not fully certain where I was.  That's a special kind of sleep, and I can safely say I haven't slept that well in years.

The last three days, we decided to brave the insanity of the theme parks in Orlando.  I enjoyed going to Universal Studios much more than I anticipated.  I walked around, looking at the park, with almost a childlike wonder.  It is truly amazing what man can create (even though it pales in comparison to God's creation).  I enjoyed the rides tremendously, and I even tolerated the crowds, allowing myself to slow down and enjoy the day.

Towards the end of the second day, the kids decided to ride a roller coaster with an exceptionally long line.  I declined to go on the ride, since my feet already hurt from a day of walking around.  They left their phones and other loose items with me, and I gave them instructions where to meet me.  The app showed an hourlong wait, so I waited an hour for them to return.

Then I waited another fifteen minutes.

Then, I waited another twenty minutes.

I started to panic, pacing near the ride, knowing there was no way I could find them in the crowds.  Since my daughter is visually impaired, and my son doesn't think clearly when he's tired, my mind began to rehearse a difficult scene.  What if they were disoriented after they got off the ride and went the wrong way?  What if they forgot where I told them to meet me?  

I asked the attendant if he'd seen them.  No, was the reply.

My heart was pounding.  I started to truly wonder how I was going to find them.  I berated myself for stupidly taking their phones.  I didn't want them to fall out on the ride, but now they had no way to contact me.  I prayed.  Lord, please let us find each other.  

Soon, a man walked by me and I looked at his shirt.  It had a large cross on the front.  The cross was a capital "T" and the remaining letters filled to the right of the cross.  r-u-s-t.  Trust.  I looked at him, and he nodded at me.  "Enjoy your day," he said.  "I like your shirt," I responded back.

He disappeared into the crowd.

I decided to check the souvenir store one last time.  If they weren't there, I was headed to guest services to see if I could have them paged.  I worried about that, too, because they might have found that confusing as well.  So, this Mom was incredibly relieved to see two familiar faces walk through the door of the gift shop as I was exiting to guest services.  

"The line was forever!" Alex said.

"We also stopped to buy a picture," Leeza showed me.

I picked it up with shaky hands.  "Mom, are you okay?"

"Well, I've been freaking out for the last thirty minutes."

They had no idea how long they'd been gone and they felt terrible for standing in line to purchase a photo while their mother was increasing the count of gray hairs on her head.  

But, when it was over, I was reminded of God's presence.  In the moment when I was sure I was going to have a heart attack, I was not alone.  God took the time to use a random stranger's t-shirt to remind me that He is always with me, and He had all of my circumstances under his control.  All I need to do was, well, trust.  Just like the shirt said.

He is so faithful.

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