An Unexpected Connection

It’s Thanksgiving time, and my house is full of relatives. Naturally, the cable service started acting up. My daughter and SIL were all tucked in and ready to watch their favorite show. The TV picture looms into view: Good! No sound: Bad! Connection issues yet again.

We just had the cable tech out for service. He swapped out our box for a new one, new remote too. The cable wires were rerouted through a bright and shiny new metal coupler, indoors and out. And now this? I am definitely thinking bad thoughts in my head.

Well, couldn’t do much about it. Board games to the rescue! We abandoned the television set for a rousing game or two our family’s ‘go to’ game, Sorry.

The next morning, I called tech support. After successfully getting through to an agent, I described our issue.

“Oh!”, the agent said. “I’m so sorry that you’re having problems. Sometimes after you have a fix done, all we have to do is reset your box from here.”

Great news I guess. Except why didn’t the tech do that two days ago? I am not a happy person.

“And I see that you’ve been a subscriber for…wow! I hope you don’t mind me saying that…well…you don’t sound that old to me.”

Well, that was an awkward thing to say, right? I don’t know if it was the mood I was in, or her southern drawl, but either way, I burst out laughing. “Oh yes”, I replied. “I’m that old. I’m a grandmother.”

“You are?”, she answered in a surprised voice. “I am too! Hold on for a few minutes, I’m still resetting your box.”

“Congratulations!” I replied. This woman has completely disarmed me.

She was quiet for a time, waiting for the equipment to reset. Finally breaking the silence, she said, “Well, thank you…but it’s kind of a challenge really. My son is seventeen. I mean, it’s not like my grandchild isn’t a blessing. It’s just really hard.”

I sat there in my living room in front of that television set, silently willing my heart to stretch and push through the telephone to connect with the heart of a woman I’d never seen or met before, and yet felt so connected.

After we talked for a little while about her family, she said, “I’m all done from this end Mrs. Cecilia. Is the sound back on?”

It sure was. I gave her that happy news, and then told her that I’d be praying for her.

After we hung up, I needed a few minutes to think over what just happened. I began that connection irritated and exasperated, moved on to laughter, and then to prayer. That phone agent might not have been a person open to prayer, or even felt she needed it. But there was a reason we were so randomly paired that day.

She lifted me out of my rotten mood and made my situation more bearable. My hope is that, in my own way, I was there to do the same for her.

 

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52 thoughts on “An Unexpected Connection

  1. Ceil this really touched me. Isn’t it amazing how our feelings can change so quickly and that we never know what the person on the other side is going thru. Thanks for sharing I will keep her in my prayers as well.

    • Hi Leslie! It was the surprise response of my day, that’s for sure. I never expected that she would open up like that. Who knows what that day started like for her?

      Thank you for your prayers for her. Although I can’t say she was all that enthused about being prayed for, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t need them. You are so tenderhearted Leslie. I know your prayers will help her face each challenging day.
      Blessings to you,
      Ceil

  2. I have no doubt that your words encouraged and uplifted the woman on the other end. I often hear that there are no such things as coincidences, just God incidences. This sounds like a “God Incidence” to me!

    • Hi Pam! Of course I agree with your idea of a ‘God incidence’ (a term I’ve never heard before, by the way). It was just a surprising turn in the conversation. It never ceases to amaze me how God works in our everyday.

      I’m very grateful that I had her for a service person, I just hope she can say the same about our conversation!
      Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday,
      Ceil

  3. Beautiful Ceil! As you do so well – taking an ordinary moment, giving the Holy Spirit some room to be present, then touching and changing people in your path! God bless you for being exactly who you are for the world

    • Hi Diane! I think you might be giving me a bit too much credit. I was really bowled over by this woman’s response to the grandparenting thing. Imagine being that transparent on a work call? That’s God working for sure.

      Thank you for your kind words though, you are a natural encourager. I hope your Thanksgiving was a great one!
      Ceil

  4. Oh, Ceil, what an inspirational story! How many times do we feel frustrated and defeated only to find our hearts turned by God to laugh with and pray for the one whom we deem is the source of our discontent? He is so good, isn’t He?
    And I’m so glad to know you’re back on line. Who wants to stay disconnected, especially from God?
    Blessings to you!

    • Hi Martha! It was a really random thing, but I think that’s how God loves to work. Just a small part of a day, but it made such an impression.
      I know I don’t ever want to be disconnected from God, that’s for sure. Events like these makes me realize that he doesn’t want that either!

      Good to see you tonight πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  5. I love this! God took a situation and completely turned it around for you. What a blessing you both were to each other that day on the phone.

    God is so good at giving us exactly what we need when we least expect it. Thank you for sharing this God story. Blessings!

    • Hi Mary! It was a very unexpected gift to be connected with this woman. I’m sure she was as surprised as I was that we related to each other so well.

      I hope you had a great Thanksgiving Mary! Thanks for visiting today πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  6. I have found over the years that God often puts us in a place or a situation where we can, and should, not only connect with others but also to tell them, (remind them), about God. Often, just an offer to pray for them helps. Or just saying “God bless”.

    God is sure pleased with you and the way you acted.

    God bless.

    • Hi Victor! I know you’re right Victor, I was just so surprised by the encounter. I never expected her to open up like that, who gets that from a sales rep? God does indeed move in mysterious ways.

      Thank you for your kind words about the exchange. I sure hope God agrees with you!

      God’s blessings to you too my friend,
      Ceil

    • Hi Bill! I most certainly was disarmed, so I joyfully join your club. It was a completely unexpected encounter, it was just so surprising. And yet, isn’t that how God works?

      Can’t wait for the next meeting of the ‘disarmed’ club!
      Ceil

  7. Oh, my word, I just love it when God allows these kinds of intersections. Later, we look back and realize that what seemed like such an inconvenience to us was really God orchestrating our path to connect with someone who needs us. It really shows us that it is not all about us, and there truly is a bigger picture that we are a part of. I loved this story and am so thankful you shared it, my friend. God bless you and direct your steps always!

    • Hi Cheryl! You are so right about the inconvenience thing, I was really irritated. But like you said, all was knit together so this woman and I could meet. I truly hope I gave her some peace, because she surely gave back mine. It really is amazing how God continues to work in us and through us!

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  8. Absolutely, Ceil, your prayers for the phone tech are the greatest gift you can give. Both of you were blessed! It always amazes me when I interact with a cheerful servant during the holidays. I actually thanked the checker in the supermarket the day after Thanksgiving for caring and smiling at me!

    • Hi Mary! I think you were doing the same thing the rep was doing for me. I’m sure you made that sales person’s day. I would imagine in a job like that you meet all kinds of people, in all kinds of moods.

      Yes, we both were blessed by my irritated phone call. It’s so amazing how God works. Hopefully I’ll pass that joy and good cheer along…maybe to the next cashier I see!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

    • Hi Lulu! It was totally unexpected Lulu, who would think something like this would happen? God certainly had this in mind for me, his love endures forever!

      So good to see you πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  9. Hi Ceil! This is an amazing post. Calling customer service can be a stressful experience, however, it’s times like the one you shared that can restore our goodwill towards those who don’t exactly have an easy job. This was clearly a “divine appointment” or “God moment”. Thank you for sharing it with us!

    Have a blessed week,

    Kim

    • Hi Kim! I think you are so right. Such a random thing though, right? I never expected to hear about this woman’s family in such an intimate way. God bless her, she’s really struggling. I was very happy to offer to pray for her. I’m not sure she expected something like that!

      Have a blessed week too Kim,
      Ceil

  10. 17…wow…a wonderful thing but early! Whew.

    Reminds me of a girl I knew growing up. She was the big sister in her family and I was friends with the younger kids, so I did not realize all of this at the time. She had a baby at age 16, a wonderful thing early. But when she grew up and married and tried to have kids, realized she and her hubby could not have children of their own. If she hadn’t her baby at 16 she would not have been able to have one of her own. It changed her perspective…

    Off topic…

    But on topic with perceptions changing. πŸ™‚

    It’s good to pause. And then see.

    Hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving, Ceil.

    • Hi Sandi! I’m glad you shared that story. Who knows what is in store for this woman’s son?

      Wonderful thing, but early. I like that perspective. I hope that things get easier as the days and weeks move past. It’s so good that she is being supportive, and so willing to be a help in a tough situation.

      We did have a lovely Thanksgiving Sandi, thank you! I hope you did too,
      Ceil

  11. Wow. I guess that was one of those blessings disguised as a curse, huh? What you thought was a problem turned into an opportunity for prayer. And YOU may be the only person praying for this dear lady and her son. Good for you!

    • Hi Jeanette! I didn’t think of it that way, but you could be right. She didn’t reject my offer of prayer, but I don’t think she expected it either. Its my hope that she will appreciate that there are people out there who care. Sometimes going through a hard thing can make you feel so isolated…. Maybe that’s why she was so ready to talk.

      It was a ‘wow’ experience, that’s for sure.
      Blessings,
      Ceil

    • Hi Karen! It sure had it’s adventure side that morning! And to think that God had this all set up for me and for her. I sure hope I helped her in some way, because I’m not going to forget about her for a long, long time.

      Hope you had a great holiday!
      Ceil

  12. What a wonderful story arising from a problem needing to be solved! It certainly pays to be willing to be interruptible. We never know quite how or when these God-incidences will come our way, turning a problematic day into a divine appointment of grace. Thank you for inspiring us with your words!

    • Hi Joy! You are absolutely right about not knowing when God calls us, although I think he’s calling us more than we realize. I guess it takes this kind of situation to really make me sit up and take notice. Certainly unexpected!

      Thank you for your kind words Joy. Have a wonderful Tuesday,
      Ceil

  13. This is such an inspiring story, Ceil. A beautiful example of how God can turn trouble into good. God knew that woman needed you and vice versa. It’s amazing how God works, isn’t it? Love and hugs to you!

    • Hi Trudy! I agree with you 100%. I am still surprised by the whole encounter. Usually speaking to a customer service rep is a frustration in itself! But this time, that certainly wasn’t the case at all.

      Love and hugs to you too my friend,
      Ceil

  14. Electronic and technical issues really are so very frustrating, but maybe it was a blessing since you were able to break out the board games instead! And then to have this wonderful conversation with the lady on the phone too. Truly amazing how the Lord can work in mysterious ways! I know you brought comfort to her soul as you visited, just like your posts here are full of great wisdom. Many hugs to you today!

    • Hi MM! I did have the thought that the board games were a nice alternative to watching TV. It’s just that my daughter and SIL were really looking forward to watching their show. Oh well. It all ended up well.

      I do think that God loves to catch me off-guard, which happens more than I’d like to admit. He can bring up opportunities that I would never in a million years thought possible. He is a love-filled Father!

      Have a blessed Wednesday, and hugs to you too πŸ™‚
      Ceil

    • Hi Blogoratti! How nice to meet you today! Thank you for visiting and commenting too.

      Oh yes, I hope that telephone rep got something out of our call, because I know I sure did. It’s amazing how we are positioned to help each other. She made me laugh, which was no small thing considering how irked I was.

      Have a blessed Wednesday,
      Ceil

  15. I have found myself in similar situations but have to admit, never thought of ending them with a prayer. What a great lesson this is for anyone who is a believer to learn. You will probably never know the impact that you have made on her life. Bless you for that!

    • Hi Debby! I have to admit that I had a little tussle with myself, deciding whether to offer to pray or not. Actually, I think she was very surprised by my offer, but very gracious. It’s hard to know if she is a praying person or not, but she sure was an instrument of the Lord for me.

      Thank you for your kind words Debby. Have a wonderful Wednesday,
      Ceil

  16. Oh man Ceil, I would have been an UNhappy person too! ARG! As I was reading your story, picturing the mood and the phone call.. then reading through the transformation in such a beautiful connection between you two- my heart melted. And your photo brought it all home.

    Yes, these ‘random’ connections are not random at all. I LOVE when that happens. Hearts get changed for these reasons every single day. <3

    • Hi Chris! Thank you so much for your kind words about the post, that means a lot. It was an emotional ride for me for sure, and look what God had planned! She just touched me so much with her story, and she made me laugh too…what a phone call. And all to a service rep, who in the world would have thought that would happen?

      Blessings on you Wednesday my friend,
      Ceil

  17. Dear Ceil, sounds like the Lord had set you up with a divine appointment!! You may have been the only person that prayed for that lady that day. Oh I try so hard to remember that during those times I feel so aggravated with my circumstances or interruptions of life that the Lord may very well be the culprit of such. I am afraid I fail the test many times though. So glad you shared this story with us. And wouldn’t you know it….I needed to read this this morning. Hugs and blessings dear friend. Cindy

    • Hi Cindy! I think I always need a little shove to remember to pray for people. It’s a good thing that the Spirit prays for us when we forget or don’t know what to say, I know he fills in those blanks for me a lot!

      And you needed to read this today? Again, God puts us together for both of our encouragement. I just love the way God works.

      Have a wonderful day Cindy, hugs and blessing to you too πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  18. What a beautiful ministry of connection, presence, listening, prayer, Ceil. Thanks for reminding us that opportunities to encourage others are right around every corner. We just need to be sensitive to the needs that are so very much present.

    Bless you, girl …

    • Hi Linda! Well, I have to be honest and say that I certainly didn’t start out in a ‘ministry mood’. I was not a happy camper. God knew exactly who I needed to get me to lighten up, and then help out a person who felt burdened. Pretty amazing.

      Sensitive to needs. Yes, I think that’s right. You just never know who will need you at any given moment. It sure makes life interesting!
      Have a peaceful afternoon my friend,
      Ceil

  19. What a great story, Ceil! Talking on the phone to someone in a call centre has to be one of my least favourite things to do, but I love how God turned it into something so positive, that you were able to be an encouragement to her and that you were blessed too! It’s a great reminder to be open to those unexpected opportunities God provides for us.

    • Hi Lesley! It sure was a surprise, I can say that. I really don’t like making those calls to big companies either, it’s usually SO frustrating. Isn’t it something how God arranged for me to lose my attitude? She made me actually laugh!

      God does provide in the most unexpected ways sometimes.
      Have a restful night my friend,
      Ceil

  20. wow! what a story. I think you were just the right person at the right time to talk with her. I did laugh out loud tho when she called you old. So glad your compassionate heart opened and connected with her. Thank you for being you!!

    • Hi Jean! Oh I know, that was so awkward! I think she was trying to make small talk really. But look what it led to! We moved from being old to grandparenting. Really unexpected, and really lovely.

      You are so sweet Jean. Thank you for your most supportive comment. We are so blessed to have grace in our lives, what would I do without it?
      Blessings to you always,
      Ceil

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