Tiffany Smiley: God is Watching

Several years ago as I was walking out of a Panera bread trying to wrangle a crazy 4-year-old and keep a 2-year-old on one arm and Scotty on the other arm. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt completely alone and slightly crazy. It was our first move with two kids, and not just two kids, but two toddlers. Scotty was starting a new endeavor in the military and we had just launched Hope Unseen. I was trying to manage it all, settle in, find friends, raise my two boys and keep myself sane. It was simple things like not being able to get my haircut because Scotty was gone so often and I did not know anyone yet, or because I could have really used some help getting out of Panera Bread!

I did not learn until several years later that there was someone watching us that day at the Panera Bread. This gentleman recently told us this as he was introducing Scotty and I at a speaking engagement.

He said he was there that day at some Panera in Georgia and he saw us walk in and watched me chase my 4-year-old out the door and carry my 2-year-old toddler while guiding Scotty. He mostly watched in awe and was amazed at the way we moved, coordinated and eventually made it to the car safe. Then he said, Scotty was great but that he couldn’t believe how I was able to navigate this whole scene.

This got me thinking, I know I felt completely inadequate and abandoned rushing out of the Panera Bread, I felt that no one cared….but there really was someone watching and somehow what seemed like chaos and loneliness to me blessed someone else, looking back now it amazes me how God works. This nice gentleman could have asked to help me, he could have made us feel not so alone, but when he was introducing us, he said he thought about it, but didn’t know what to say, he said all he could do was watch in curiosity and awe, it must have impacted him because 5 years later he still remember the scene.

This man could have come to my rescue, he could have guided Scotty, or said let me help you to the car, but he didn’t, why? Because he said he could tell I knew how to do it. Isn’t that what God asks of us sometimes? Just go child, I will be with you.

He knows we can do it, and while we may feel abandoned or lost sometimes, he is always watching and you never know who you are impacting by being strong and just doing what’s in front of you.

This is what it looks like to have God use us. In a world full of selfies, likes and shares, I firmly believe God can use us most when we’re in that valley, in the spot where maybe we feel we are reaching no one.  

Could he intervene and change everything for us in an instant? Yes, but sometimes he just wants us to step out in faith and go.  Maybe the times you feel so alone and lost are really the times he is whispering keep going, I know you can do this, I created you for this, keep going. God is always watching and He is always using you even in our lack of faith, lack of trust, and lack of joy. He can use us in it all, and that, my friend, is refreshing!

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Tiffany Smiley