God Made Himself Real to Me in Walmart 16 Years Ago — Do You Believe?

Do you believe in God? I do. I realize that many people do not. Some of them will judge me for sharing God’s stories. Others extend empathy and grace by allowing me to have my human experience without protesting my belief despite not sharing it. Thank you. Nonetheless, for those ready to embrace some truth, I’m here to share it with you today.

Thou Shall Not Judge

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Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit nudge you to do something that felt uncomfortable? I have. And true to my untrusting nature, I have challenged the feeling the entire way. For example, I once stood in the return line at Walmart the day after Christmas. I was returning a $100 comforter with a tear on the seam in an exhaustingly long holiday line. 

The mother and adult daughter behind me loudly drew attention to themselves by cursing and carrying on. Or maybe I was just a judgy judgerson. Nevertheless, they represented the epitome of what’s on the People of Walmart social media feed, and sadly, some contemptuous thoughts crossed my mind.

Well, I caught myself. Either that or God was like, not today. Howbeit, I felt a tinge of shame. Additionally, I was spiritually moved to hand them the comforter and receipt for the return. But of course, I questioned it every literal step we took to the front of the line. 

I wondered, “Did I hear that right?” That clear, concise thought buzzed through my core, reminding me to be a decent human being. I heard it in my voice but still questioned, “God, is that you?”

Again, I felt compelled to hand it over but questioned why I was feeling this way. Why is trusting such a difficult process? Oh, ye of little faith.

Don’t Worry, God. I Got This.

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Well, I decided I knew better than God and would do the return and give them the money. Right. How embarrassing to say, “Hey, I know I don’t know you, but here’s a ripped bed-in-a-bag and receipt for its return. Merry Christmas!” 

I couldn’t help but hear their loud conversation. Eventually, however, the daughter quieted when expressing grief over returning the coffee maker in her arms. It was her only Christmas present; she was excited because it was what she had asked for, and she didn’t want to part with it. 

So I asked her, “Why must you return it?” While I was actively returning the bedding. She explained that her baby needed diapers. At that moment, I realized it had been a Holy Spirit nudge all along. But, unfortunately, I was a doubting Thomas. Like so many other things in life, I questioned it and needed proof. 

Jesus, Take the Wheel

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My heart was racing, and my ears felt flush as I mumbled, “Here. God wants you to have this. BUT you can’t return your Christmas present,” as I hurriedly dumped the money into her hands. 

She attempted to say she couldn’t take it. Coins fell to the ground as my nervously shaking hands let go before turning quickly and speed-walking toward the door and my vehicle. She cried out, “Wait.” But I kept walking. I heard her exclaim, “I can’t believe this just happened. Oh, my God.” Others gasped, and there was a bustling commotion. But I never looked back.

Do you ever feel that doubt? Why do I doubt, especially when I was being prompted to be and do something good? And why was I embarrassed? Why is being charitable to a stranger awkward or uncomfortable? I’m unsure what would have happened had I obeyed the first time and handed her the blanket to return. 

But I guess I was learning a lesson. Still, I am grateful that God uses me in these ways, despite my protesting the process by withholding trust every single step of the way. In times like these, the expression, “Let go and let God,” is a humbling reminder of how to live. 

One of the greatest parts of following God’s financial guidance is being immediately blessed. I went to work that night as a server, and I made almost double the money I handed her that day. God is good.

This happened sixteen years ago, and I’ve rarely shared the story despite it being one of the most remarkable experiences. I wish I could take the credit, but that was all God. My father knew and always celebrated these moments with me.

I never know how people will respond to hearing things like this, and it leaves me vulnerable and open to judgment. But I decided to share it, let go, and let God do whatever he may to give hope, install faith, or inspire those who need it. Was that someone you? God bless you for reading and spreading the word today.

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This post was originally published and syndicated on Sober Healing.


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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.