SINGLE BECAUSE

SINGLE BECAUSE

I have written about this rather annoying but constant question before: “WHY are you still single?!?” Whether one has never been married, or is single again, that is what everyone wants to know, as if we singles have nothing else in our brains about which to converse. You can almost visualize the little mental tallying process going on behind their foreheads, as they secretly work their gray matter, right in your presence, trying to ascertain what it is that is “wrong” with you. For there MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH ANYBODY over the age of 30 years old who does not have a mate.

Are they insane? Abusive? Sociopath? Addict? Cheater? Mentally ill? Secretly involved in an illicit affair? Gay, but afraid to come out? “WHAT is wrong with you”, their eyes seem to scream.

Becoming single again is a time when many of your married or coupled friends drop you off of their guest lists. I mean, what woman in her right mind wants a divorcee around their man, for all divorced women are desperate for a hook up, right? Or they do not want to mess up the seating arrangements at the dinner party, or try to find that “extra” to balance it out. For some, it is as simple as they no longer know how to relate to you.


There is even a local church that asks people to join hands during the offering if you are married, and who says they come into agreement with you if you are single. I’m sorry, but in my Bible it says there is no marriage in heaven. And that we are to be the bride of Christ. So by calling out the single people in the audience, to me is a discrimination that does not need to happen. It is awkward and uncomfortable for some of us. A Christian is a Christian, married or single. Period.


And the fact is, though, that singles need their friends even more than others, for we have no significant other off of which to bounce our ideas, soothe our souls, or with which to just enjoy mealtimes. SIngle​ ​people​ ​still​ ​have​ ​a​ ​plethora​ ​of​ ​topics​ ​about​ ​which​ ​to​ ​converse:​ ​we​ ​still​ ​care​ ​about​ ​the weather,​ ​politics,​ ​religion,​ ​health​ ​issues,​ ​the​ ​economy,​ ​our​ ​workplaces,​ ​etc.


Some singles, like myself, are lucky enough to have married friends that they see on a regular basis. Not so much the dinner parties, but brunches, lunches & such are always enjoyable. But many of the singles I know just give up trying to be with their coupled up friends, & find one or more other singles to hang out with from time to time. Some just become semi-reclusive instead, sadly.

All of this being said, it hit me after a recent conversation with a group of single friends about “WHY we are single” that they were, each of them in that group, some of the very BEST all around people that I know. Could it really be true, do nice people just finish last? Is the nice guy who chivalrously opens doors setting himself up to be relegated to the Friend Zone?

After much pondering, combined with reflection on my personal experiences over the past 4-½ years, I have arrived at my own conclusions: The answer is that yes, indeed, SOME people remain single because they are O.C.D. or addicted to drugs or have other characteristics that are off putting to potential mates. But as for most of the singles I know, they do not fit into that category. I know men & women alike who are the salt of the earth – caring individuals with a lot to offer the right person – yet they remain single. WHY??


That is what I am here to tell you!

SINGLE BECAUSE …

… too KIND to lead people on when there is no true connection.

… too SMART to be led on, cheated on, or lied to themselves.

… too LOVING to settle for less than their heart’s desire.

… too STRONG to need someone to carry their weight.

… too much FUN to sit around with couch potatoes all day.

… too ENERGETIC to waste their lives.

… too BEAUTIFUL to allow someone else’s ugly inside.

… too POSITIVE to settle for negativity.

… too ADVENTUROUS to stop seeking.

… too INDEPENDENT to be owned.
… too GENEROUS to take advantage of generosity.


The long list goes on. If you are single, I am here to tell you, there are some really good men & women out there, waiting on someone just like you! If you are not single, I ask that you not judge us for preferring to spend our time walking our dogs or snapping photographs than pretending to care about someone so we can get a free meal, have our bills paid, or a roof over our heads. Though there are indeed single people who do the latter, they are not amongst my close friends, for we are definitely not kindred spirits!!

But just because we are single or single again, that does not change the essence of who we are – one does not suddenly become promiscuous because they sign divorce papers. If we were upstanding, trustworthy citizens prior to divorce, chances are we still are the same. Do not get me wrong – divorce does change people, often in less than becoming ways. However, it does not negate character.

The single people I know are often the very first ones to step up & offer assistance to those in need, or lend a helping hand to their neighbors. They do not care whether that friend or neighbor is married or single. So why should you???


I’m single. By choice. Don’t think I couldn’t find a man to pay my bills or be my meal ticket, if that’s all I wanted? But like many of my single friends, I want that relationship that actually is about more than money or sex. I want a soul connection, & I won’t settle for less than a gentleman with a heart like mine, who values love & loyalty far above luxury & lust. Someone that loves God, family & country. A man’s man that is secure enough  in himself that he does not need to prove his masculinity  by sleeping with every woman  aged 19 to 90 that he can find. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a human being with human desires. Being a lady does not mean that one is a prude. But being single does not mean that one is less the lady.


Cheers to all my single friends who value themselves enough to wait for the right relationship. And kudos to my friends who are couples that are supportive of all of us.


We are single because there is something right with us, not because there is something wrong with us! And those nice guys? They sometimes get a bad rap because they don’t play games that happen to be the same games that people supposedly don’t want to play. But I will let you in on a little secret: While we women do like to be chased, I’m pretty sure it is the bad boy, not the good guy who will finish last. The good guy will stay focused on his prize, valuing her as such, whereas the other guy will be so scattered chasing every little squirrel tail that comes by that he may end up never crossing the finish line and receiving a real trophy.

As for me? Boys, you can open my doors anytime! While I’m a true southern belle, which means that while I am strong enough and perfectly capable of doing it for myself, I do so appreciate a true Southern gentleman who knows that manners do matter! And I am always grateful when my guy goes the extra mile for me, and I am willing to do the same for him. I am from pioneering stock, and as most everybody knows, prima donnas and pioneers don’t belong in the same sentence! Just call me an old fashioned Bama Belle who knows the difference between a gentle man who is in touch with his inner scoundrel, and a bad boy who cannot be reformed. 

I’m Single, Because …!

  • Lou Lehman Sams 

Four Leaf Clover Bible

Four Leaf Clover Bible

I became a Christian at the age of 11, & I love to read my Bible. Actually, I have several Bibles, because I was once involved in a Bible study program that delved into homiletics. In those days, we did not have access to online Bibles, so I purchased different versions of them for comparison purposes. Some of them even have built in study guides. However, my very favorite Bible is a small new King James version from 1988. It is the Bible that I have carried to church constantly for nearly 30 years. I have read and used it so many times that all of the tabs have fallen off of the edges of the pages. Once it even fell into a toilet. Fortunately, the water was clean! My children played with it when they were little. I have scribbled notes in it. But the thing that stands out the most is a little sticker that I placed on one of the pages a few years ago.


When I was growing up, we did not have Bible journaling sessions. People did not color in their Bibles. Most of the writing was an occasional note from the preacher here or there that especially touched a chord. In previous generations, Bibles were used to record family genealogies, & important information such as birth & death, before the era of government certifications regarding those major life events. So it was not until recent days that I began underlining parts & verses that had touched me in a particular manner. And prior to my divorce, I doubt that I would ever have placed a sticker inside of my Bible.


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To be clear, I did not say “I Do” to one day turn around & say “I Don’t.” But sometimes divorce is necessary. Besides that is story for another day. But here where I live, contested divorces can get very ugly, & worse than that, our backed up court system can mean that they take a very long time to accomplish the process, as in my case, which dragged on for nearly two interminable years.


Living in this same house with an unhappy spouse wears down even the most optimistic of souls. So I did any variety of things to keep myself busy. I did whatever I could to stay out of the volatile atmosphere of that house. I joined a gym. I went to activities with a Meet-Up group for women. I reconnected with girl friends, some of whom I had long since lost touch with prior to that time. I went out sometimes on Friday or Saturday nights to listen to live music with friends. And of course I went to Church, prayed, & read my Bible. And I discovered the joys & challenges of social media. I did a LOT of volunteer work, including being an Ambassador at the local Chamber of Commerce. Anything to keep me out of the tension in that house!


One night, I was meeting with a group of female friends at a restaurant for a “Girl’s Night Out” dinner that I had suggested. On the spur of the moment, I invited another girl from high school that I did not know well, but who I knew was going through a hard time. I arrived a few minutes late, frazzled from a difficult negotiation regarding repairs on the house that I had under contract, and looking very much the worse for wear from having been out showing houses all day in the rain. So when that girl arrived and told me that she had invited a male friend of hers that was also going through a divorce and whom she thought I might enjoy meeting, I was none too happy! I was refusing to date anyone until after my divorce was final. I was not in the mood to meet anyone new. And to top it all off, I looked dreadful! I told her to tell him not to come because it was only women, but she informed me that it was too late, & that he would be arriving momentarily. I ran to the ladies’ restroom, applied a little lipstick & tried to run a brush through my tangled hair. 


I cringed. I did not want to entertain a stranger, but I do that for a living when I show real estate, so I decided that I could suffer through. Sure enough, he walked in & sat beside me almost immediately after I got back to the table. But he was a handsome & charismatic man, filled with charm & personality. Something about his quick wit drew me in. Or perhaps it was the pain that was almost hidden beneath his sparkling blue eyes. I’m always a sucker for someone who is hurting. Nonetheless, we became engaged in a conversation to such an extent that a couple of the ladies at the table began texting me with little jokes, because he & I seemed to be enrapt in one another. As dinner drew to a close, I innocently handed him my business card, because he is in a real estate related industry, & that is what I do: I network. 


I was so surprised when he texted me upon my arrival home. I was flattered by the attention, as I had never texted with a man before. But I quickly let him know I was not interested in dating until my divorce was final. Somehow we developed a friendship over text. In the ensuing months, we would text off & on about all sorts of things, but mostly just about our divorces. We would encourage each other, & commiserate. Not often, but if things got especially trying, we would have an occasional chat on the phone. I decided that I really liked him, & hoped we would date one day. Some times we would go for weeks with no communication. 


Eventually he asked me if I would like to go to a movie, & I agreed, because his mother & kids were our chaperones! And I did break down & meet him for a movie once after that, & we had dinner a couple of times. But each of us had contested & highly contentious divorces, so no dating. Secretly, I hoped that we would date after our divorces were final. 


This was long before I had ever heard of SQuire Rushnell’s books “Divine Alignment” & “God Winks.” The concept of a series of unusual coincidences being signs from God was foreign to me & my religious upbringing. But in his writings, Rushnell cites numerous examples of repeated “coincidences” that turn out to be a part of Divine alignment, or God trying to get your attention. These things can be number sequences, things in Nature, phone calls, etc. and though I did not know then during that two year period of my divorce, a Bible verse that I encountered repeatedly in numerous places was just that: God winking at me.


It started one night when I was playing “Bible Roulette”, which is where you are praying about something & ask God to speak to you through a Bible verse. I was getting a divorce at the worst possible time – real estate was a not exactly booming in 2011, as we were still, as a nation, feeling the after effects of the Economic crisis of 2008-2009. And of course, my soon to be ex-husband’s attorney was adversarial, looking for anything at all against me to try to make me look bad in court. Though I had done nothing wrong & had never committed adultery, my own attorney had been successfully playing the game of trying to make me feel as if the other side was “our” mortal enemy. It is always “us” against “them” in contested divorce cases. As I prayed for comfort, I randomly opened my Bible to this verse:


 “The Lord is my rock & my fortress & my deliverer, the God of my strength, In whom I will trust. My shield & the horn of my salvation, My stronghold, & My refuge. My Savior, you save me from violence. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, So shall I be saved from my enemies.” – 2 Samuel 22:2-4.


The words leapt off of the page, for this was the exact same verse that I had claimed when I had been embroiled in another spiritual battle of a different nature back in 1997. Back then, I had purchased a paperweight with that verse on it, & put it on my desk as a reminder of impending victory, which indeed did come. Anyway, after that evening, I began seeing that Bible verse turn up frequently, & not just in my Bible, but on plaques in stores, on email devotionals, in sermons at Church, on Christian shows on TV, in houses I was showing, etc. so I knew immediately what to quote to this male friend of mine when he called me one night to chat. He was filled with desperation, because, as sometimes happens in nasty divorces where considerable resources are involved, he was being falsely accused of something. (No, it did not involve me.) I read this verse to him, & prayed with him on the phone.


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His battle was much worse than mine, & some days I would just text him that verse & tell him I was praying for him, & for a favorable outcome. One day, he told me he was worried that his luck was running out. Again, I prayed with him. Later that same day, I was standing in the back yard of a home I was showing, & I looked down to see that I was standing in a bed of clover. There was a four leaf clover! I stooped & plucked that little clover. Though I used to look for four leaf clovers in beds of clover when I was a child, that was the very first one I had ever found in my entire life! So I snapped a picture of it on my cell phone, & texted it to him as a sign that his luck was about to change for the better. Later, at home, I randomly opened my Bible to insert that clover to press it, & sure enough, it fell open to 2 Samuel 22, so I gently placed that four leaf clover there, & left it there for many months. 


Finally, my divorce was final, & I was looking forward to to the prospect of going on my first date since I had met my ex-husband so many years before. This man’s divorce was still not final, but I decided to invite him to stop by my new townhouse for a few minutes, so I could give him a birthday present. We were not dating, but I wanted to give him that clover. So I bought a tiny shadow box, printed out that verse, & glued the clover to it. I thought this might help him get through the final days of his divorce. But I bought myself a four leaf clover sticker, & placed it on that page in my Bible as a reminder that God is faithful to be our refuge & our strength, as He has been mine many times before.


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A few weeks later, I met another handsome, charming, & witty man, & fell in love with him. Two days after I agreed to date him exclusively, the first man’s divorce became final, & he called me to invite me out on a real dinner date. I explained that I was in a relationship with someone, but thanked him for the offer. As I hung up the phone, I wept. It was almost as if I was breaking up with a man with whom I had never even been in a relationship. But I loved the man I was dating, & I refused to be disloyal to him. Occasionally, the first guy would text me to see if I was still in that relationship, & each time I would tell him that I was, & wish him well. However, after nineteen months, I separated from my new love, & I found myself once again without a significant other. After many months of  being single yet again, I texted the first man, but this time he was in a relationship. But I knew that we had a bond from surviving those extraordinarily stressful divorces, & that we would always be friends. 


A couple of months ago, the first man & I reconnected, & had a lovely dinner date, where he came to my home & picked me up for a real date! During dinner, we caught up with all that had transpired since we had last spoken. He told me that he still has the little shadow box with the four leaf clover & that Bible verse in it on his kitchen window sill, where he can see it for encouragement every single morning. It was such a simple gesture on my part, but it goes to show you that the smallest things can sometimes have a lasting impact. 


After dinner, we went back to my place & rented a movie. We were both exhausted from work, so about half way through, he had to leave, as he lives quite some distance away. It was a very pleasant evening with a dear “old friend.” But the chemistry I thought I felt when we first met just was not there. If ever we go out again, I am sure it would just be as friends this time. Yet I know that God did bring us together for a reason. It just was not for the reason I originally thought.


Something may be happening in your life, & you do not understand the reason. Hold on. You may understand it – eventually. After reading this, I hope that you will think of some small gesture that you can make towards a friend who is going through a tough time. Whatever it is that your heart comes up with to do, I assure you that they need it! 


As for me? I got another God wink this morning. After seeing that verse & that clover sticker in my Bible yesterday, I decided to write this blog post. But I had to write an offer on a house instead. I awakened this morning thinking again about writing it. But I hesitated. Then I saw a sweet friend’s Facebook post. She is struggling with some things right now, & her son had picked her several four leaf clovers for good luck. I told her that is a sign that her luck is about to change. And it was a sign for me to write this – for whom, I do not know. But I hope you find a four leaf clover somewhere today. Or at least read 2 Samuel 22:2-4. God IS your rock, your FORTRESS, & YOUR deliverer! Good luck is on its way. 


P. S. Thanks, God, for winking at me, today! 


– Lou Lehman Sams


SOME TIMES I CRY

SOME TIMES I CRY

Ironic, how life is cyclical. I was cleaning out some old files on my computer, & ran across this unpublished post from 2012, when I was awaiting finalization of my divorce. WAITING being the operative word. That process did come to completion a few months after I wrote this, which was almost exactly 3 years ago. I fell into a whirlwind new relationship, & thought I had my life’s direction redefined, only to find that, 9 months ago, I entered another tailspin, & another time of WAITING. Ironic, how I found this old post completely accidentally, coincidentally the morning after a friend commented on how some people may think that someone like me who APPEARS to have it all together must surely have moments of feeling down just like everyone else. Or perhaps it was not a coincidence that I found this today? For we were speaking about how people do not like to admit when they are feeling depressed, & that there is no shame in feeling that way, nor in asking for help with it.

Me? If/when I feel that way, I pray. I pray a LOT. I read my Bible. I read inspirational books. I confide in a couple of Godly girl friends. I go out & entertain myself & others. I volunteer my time to help those that are less fortunate (for there is always someone less fortunate.) And I write. A lot. Some of it makes it online, & some of it, like this post, sits unread on my computer.

Both periods of waiting, the one I wrote about in the post below, & the one I am just now leaving behind, were filled with wondering about an uncertain future. Both left me puzzling & pondering life itself. Both inspired me to regurgitate some of my thoughts onto my computer screen, & reflect some of them back onto my friends via social media. And both of them taught me a little more about the act of WAITING on the Lord to guide me.

Please note that I am fine. There is no cause for alarm. I do not cry like I used to cry. Not saying that I no longer shed any tears – that would not be the truth at all. Just that the watershed moments are far fewer than they used to be. The grieving of loss is over, & I am putting my dancing shoes back on! I am ready to leave the former dance partners in the past, fill my dance card, &  live & love again! And I am finally going to share this post that I was hesitant to share back on my Facebook page way back then. Maybe it will help someone else pass the time while they are WAITING.

P.S. I DID rappel off of that building, & I have the video to prove it, LOL.

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SOMETIMES I CRY

(THE TRUTH ABOUT ME

)

There is not a week that goes by, but someone tells me, out of the blue, how much they enjoy reading my Facebook posts. Often, it is someone that I never even really see post anything themselves. Hearing those words is all that someone who thrives on communication like me needs in order to keep writing, so if it seems like I make a lot of posts, well, you have only yourselves to blame, tee hee. I do try to find inspiration in ordinary, everyday things, & when I see it, I think that perhaps someone’s day might be a little brighter if I share it, instead of keeping it to myself. So I post. And I post. And I post some more. When I am posting to try to cheer someone else up, though, it also cheers me up, because SOMETIMES I CRY!

I know that there are going to be people who read this that shake their heads & cluck their tongues thinking, “What on earth is she putting on Facebook now?” But that is all right with me. I know that there are those who believe that people should be reserved about what they post & that personal issues should all be private. That is all right, too – for them. But as for me, I believe that this is MY Facebook, & I should feel free to post whatever I feel like posting (as long as it does not hurt other people.)

So here goes: the other truth about me is that I HATE WAITING!!! The past few days I have really been thinking about this topic of waiting, & like Emerson, I always wondered about how much of life is spent waiting. Waiting for anything has always slightly annoyed me. But as I grew older, I began to realize that waiting, if used the right way, can be a very productive part of life. For instance, if one has to wait to resume normal activities after surgery, the waiting is a time of healing. If one has to wait for test results, the waiting can be a time of renewing one’s faith, & drawing closer to God. If the waiting entails getting through trials, then perhaps one can become stronger during that time. Still, I HATE WAITING.

Losing patience, & searching for inspiration, I recalled things I’ve heard about waiting. Ben Franklin said that “He that can have patience, can have what he will.” That sounds good! But then, Abraham Lincoln said, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left behind by those who hustle.” Ok, so I guess we are supposed to “hustle” while we are waiting. In his famous poem, “If”, Rudyard Kipling states, “… If you can wait, & not be tired by waiting… then you will be a man, my son.” So, we should hustle, but not to such an extent that we get tired. All right, then. The Bible says, in Isaiah, that those who “wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run & not be weary; they shall walk & not faint.” So there we have the key, I guess, in that we should wait for the Lord, & His timing. Still, I HATE WAITING!
I have learned, for the most part, to make constructive use of the waiting times in life. I would take a book to doctor’s offices (never fails, though – take a good book that you really want to read, & they will get you back immediately, ha ha), take a little walk while waiting on my son to finish practice, check email & return phone calls in between baseball games, file my nails if stuck in traffic, & strike up conversations with strangers while waiting in lines. Waiting times can turn into “Blessing Times”, if we will just let them. 

But still, I HATE WAITING!

I find myself in an extraordinary circumstance in life currently, where I am in limbo, awaiting actions by others before I may move forward. I’ve read, walked, emailed, talked, & filed my nails plenty, all the while waiting. I must confess, I have become tired by waiting, & sometimes I DO cry! (I do not find that to be a sign of weakness, but rather one of compassion – “Jesus wept.”) I cry because I am ready to move forward. I cry for my children. None of us ever asked for any of this present situation. It just “Is what it is.”

Meanwhile, I stay BUSY! I’ve always told the kids that “THE BEST way to forget your own troubles is to get out & do something for someone else.” So, as I have since I was about 13 years old, I volunteer my time. I try to keep challenged by trying new things. (For those that are wondering, like my former neighbor, who asked me, “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!?” when he heard that I am going to rappel off of The Times Building, no, I have not lost my sanity, & no, I am not going through a Mid-Life Crisis, either. I am trying to conquer some of my fears, though, & I think the only way to do that is to just do it!) I work a lot! I do things for self-improvement. Basically, I do all of the things in life that I have always done (well, all except the jumping off of a building part – YIKES!)

The way I see it, each day of life is a GIFT from God! I don’t know about you, but when I give someone a gift, I do so with the hope & expectation that perhaps it is something that they will really enjoy using. I refuse to let my daily gifts of life sit unused, collecting dust, but rather intend to fully experience & appreciate each & every one of them. I realize that God WANTS ME TO ENJOY & USE THE GIFTS HE GIVES ME, INCLUDING THE GIFT OF TIME & that includes the days that are contained in this time of waiting. It’s not that I do not take what is transpiring in my life seriously – believe me, I do take it very seriously. It’s just that I refuse to let it define me, & I am determined to spend each & every day doing a little something to make a difference. At the end of the day, I do not want to imagine God being disappointed that I let my gift sit unused, or that I did not appreciate it. I want Him to know that I relished it, that I cherished it, & that I enjoyed it, as it was intended.

The preacher T.D. Jakes has this take on waiting: “Timing is so important! If you are going to be successful in dance, you must be able to respond to rhythm and timing. It’s the same in the Spirit. People who don’t understand God’s timing can become spiritually spastic, trying to make the right things happen at the wrong time. They don’t get His rhythm – and everyone can tell they are out of step. They birth things prematurely, threatening the very lives of their God-given dreams. – T. D. Jakes”. 

The Lord knows I waited a very long time to take this “Leap of Faith”. I waited until the timing was right. It was difficult, & some times I cried. But now that I have done so, I am ready for the music to start! I AM READY TO DANCE! I am ready to go out & claim the dreams that God has given me. I hope that I have made the very best use of my waiting time, & I truly am thankful for the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Now you know the truth about me: SOME TIMES I CRY, I HATE WAITING, & I AM READY TO DANCE! 

Now, I pray that the wait will soon be over. If you are my friend, & have read this far please pray that for me & my kids – pray that the waiting time will end very soon, so we can get up & dance to the rhythm of the beat which He has orchestrated for us.

(Please remember, though, that if you find yourself in a “waiting time”, & need a friend to read with, talk to, email, volunteer with, or pray with, I am your girl – I’ve had plenty of practice!)

– Lou Lehman Sams
April 7, 2012

NOT WORRIED ABOUT WRITING

NOT WORRIED ABOUT WRITING

Do I worry about what people will think about me due to the fact that I write a blog & post things on Facebook pertaining to my divorce recovery & learning to live alone again? Do I fear that I won’t be able to get dates? Or that I will inadvertently drive away the man of my dreams? No.


 No, I do not worry about those things. Recovering from breaking up with the man who I thought hung the moon within 2 years of getting a divorce from the man I was married to for a quarter of a century was no easy task. It was hard. Very hard. Realizing that someone is not who you thought they were is a very disappointing thing all by itself, without all of the other transitions that accompany those events. But I did it. I’m a survivor.


 I write about these things, because I feel compelled to do so in order that my experiences may give someone else a small comfort so that they will know that they are not alone, that others have walked their path, & that there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel. And the right man for me? Well, it’s going to be hard to find a man that can hang with me: after all, I am a unique individual, LOL. 


But he will understand that I am a storyteller, & that to forbid a storyteller to tell their stories is akin  to sucking the very life out of them. And he will understand that not everything that I write is something that I am experiencing at the present moment. And he will feel the need to encourage other people as much as I do. And he will appreciate the fact that I do not need him to make me happy, but want him in my life so we can share each other’s joy. 


So no, I’m not worried about the things that I post. Clients, family, friends, & prospective dates take note: It is for you that I write, not myself. I understand that it’s not for everyone. But I hope that everyone understands that for me, it is something that I must do. #contentinGodslove. 

#readytoloveagain  


– Lou Lehman Sams

SITTING ON THE BENCH

SITTING ON THE BENCH

Sometimes when the coach calls an individual player off to the side to show them something, it’s not necessarily because the player is in trouble, but because he sees a lot of potential in that player & wants to teach him something so that player can play at a higher level. The best pitchers & hitters usually take private lessons, have one on one coaching time, or practice more than those who are not as proficient. 


It’s that way with God in our lives as well – sometimes He calls us off to the side, away from the rest of our teammates, where we may feel isolated, ostracized, or all alone. We may wonder what we have done to cause us to be separated & set apart in such a manner. We are anxious to get back into the mainstream, & be a part of the action again. 


But like the ace pitcher, we may be called to the bullpen prior to the start of the game, because we are going to be the one taking the mound & in the spotlight when the game begins. We need to warm up in order that we do not get hurt when we do what we are called to do. Or perhaps we are called aside to sit on the bench & rest a while, because we are going to be the relief pitcher who closes out the game & ensures the win. 


It is all right  if you are not feeling like you are part of the group at work, church, or the community from time to time. Perhaps you are sad because you are single or single again, & you long to be part of the married couples’ social scene. Maybe you are struggling with illness, & are too weak to go out & really participate in the activities that your friends enjoy. Whatever the case, relax in this learning time & enjoy what rest & respite may be found there. 


God has pulled you aside for a reason. Trust me: Ive been on the mound, & I’ve been on the bench. Spend your time on the bench preparing for the moment you will be called to re-enter the game. You never know when that is going to happen. And when you get put back in the game, you will be ready to make a difference!!!


However, I have prayed for you that your faith won’t fail. When you have returned, strengthen your brothers and sisters.” – Luke 22:32


– Lou Lehman Sams 

Waiting in the Presence of Saints

Back in the day when I was a Dental Hygienist & managed a dental office, people would sometimes schedule appointments for cosmetic dentistry. Perhaps they needed a crown or veneers on one or more teeth. They wanted these things in order to protect their teeth or to improve their appearance, & self-esteem. The dentist I worked for did a good job with cosmetic issues such as this, & the end results were usually very esthetically pleasing, with the patients being happier & more content. They were able to chew their food better, or smile more easily, or express themselves in a more confident manner, or sometimes, all of these. However, there was a PROCESS involved in getting to this place of satisfaction. That entailed getting a shot – ouch – did I say that word out loud?!? To re-phrase, they had an injection of anesthesia to numb the affected area, so that they could not feel the pain that was about to ensue as a result of drilling out tooth decay, removing bits of tooth, or filing & smoothing rough surfaces. They had to lie prone in an uncomfortable position, & be totally still for a time that was undetermined by them. They could not even get up to go to the restroom unless the dentist was at an appropriate stopping place, for fear of messing up the procedure. They had a bright light shining down onto their faces, so that, while the dental professionals could see everything going on with them very clearly, they could not see very well themselves. And since they could not turn their heads without being instructed to do so, they could not even see everything that was going on in the room around them. Sometimes they had to make 2 or 3 visits in order to get everything done. At those times, they were given temporary crowns, ones which were only a facsimile of what the real crown would look like. The patients would get tired of holding their mouths open in such an awkward, uncomfortable & unusual manner for such an extended time. Some of them were so very fearful of the entire process that they were given nitrous oxide, a.k.a. laughing gas to help ease their anxieties.

But the choice to have the procedures done was always theirs – they were not forced into the chairs, tied down, or held down by chains. They could have, if they really wanted to do so, gotten up & walked out at any time. But they made a choice, these adult patients, to be still, & let the doctor do his work. They trusted him to do a good job, in as short a time possible & that they would be pleased with the end result. And sometimes they had to wait for extended periods of time in the outer waiting room, just to get in & have the procedure begin in the first place. But they did wait. For they wanted what the doctor had to offer them. They wanted to look & feel better. Once in a great while, there would be a patient with an abscessed tooth or something who did not follow the doctor’s prescribed treatment. What right did that patient, who refused the antibiotics, who refused to have the decay removed, who refused to allow the doctor’s hand to work on him, what right did that patient have to complain when they eventually lost that tooth? In my eyes, they had no right to complain at all.

No patient in their right mind would have squirmed, wiggled, or otherwise wrestle while the doctor had his drill actively engaged inside their mouth, for they knew that to do so might cause him to slip & cause them further harm. And I had occasion to act as the doctor’s assistant on procedures ranging from cosmetic improvements to oral surgery. No one ever enjoyed any of these uncomfortable experiences. And I hated that for them, but I tried to be as reassuring as possible to them while they were being worked on. No one ever begged to get onto the calendar, wished for a cavity, or volunteered for surgery unnecessarily. Going to the dentist was, for most people, considered to be an unpleasant experience that they would just as soon avoid at all costs. Yet still they came.

They sat as still as possible & allowed the dentist to do his work. Most of them did not speak unless spoken to, for that meant further delay in getting through the procedure. They were never left unattended, as either the dentist or his assistant or both were in the room with them at all times. One of the jobs of the assistant was to reassure the patients, & for those who were really anxious, sometimes this meant literally holding their hand while they were being worked on. The patients could not see everything going on around them – the times the assistant turned her back on them to mix a bonding compound, or when the drill bits were being changed out, or when an x-ray was being developed. But they could hear sounds, were cognizant of activity, & knew things were being worked out on their behalf. They simply trusted that the doctor knew exactly what he was doing. They listen for his directions about what to do next – which way to turn, when to rinse, how wide to open, etc. And they followed his directives without question.

So why then is it that we have such a difficult time sitting still & letting the Great Physician perform His work in our lives? Perhaps there are times when He must make us lie still, be uncomfortable, or be temporarily blinded by something external in order that He can remove decay, transform something ugly into something beautiful, or smooth off rough spots within us? Perhaps we are made to feel numb about something that has transpired in our lives because otherwise the pain would be far too great for us to bear? Perhaps we are not supposed to see every little movement that is occurring around us on our behalf? Perhaps …

I have always been a very good patient – in the physical realm. I guess that is because not only was I a dental health professional, but so was my aunt & my mother, so I was trained at a very early age that things will go a lot more smoothly & quickly & comfortably if you will lie still when needed & just relax & trust the doctor. Why then, do I have such a problem with this in my spiritual life? Why do I have such a difficult time when I feel God working on me? I KNOW that the end result will be a new, improved, & better me. Yet I squirm. I wiggle. I protest. I get impatient with waiting. At times I even get up out of that chair & start to head out the door before the procedure is completed.

I hate that bright light shining down on me, exposing all of my flaws! I abhor being confined. I detest being still for extended periods. I dislike not knowing what is going on around me. I deny that I have decay that needs to be removed.

But I know that I will not be happy with the end results if I do not allow him to finish. I know that, if the decay is not removed, excessive pain will result that will eventually cause a part of me to die. So I endure that discomfort. I listen for directions.

Yes, sometimes I misunderstand those directions. Sometimes the anesthetic wears off enough that the pain brings tears. Sometimes I get really, really frustrated with having to lie there for so long, thinking about all of the other things that I want to be doing. At those times, a soothing voice calms my spirit, or a warm hand clasps mine, or I feel a gentle squeeze on my shoulder. Sometimes those things are from the Master Himself. But when He is busy preparing things on my behalf, sometimes it is His “assistants” that help me through.

I am so very thankful for all of the Godly men & women that God has sent to me to help me be still, keep calm, & be quiet when I was having a hard time doing so by myself. For the ones that dried my tears & reassured me that everything was going to be all right. For the ones who sat in that Waiting Room with me, until it was my time to be seen, & for the ones who were assigned the task of helping me through the procedure.

Yes, waiting is very hard, especially for someone as active & hyper as me! My best advice for waiting? Surround yourself with the presence of Godly people who will wait with you as you trust in God to make the restorations you need in your life. But wait on the Lord – He knows what He is doing. Trust Him. The end result is worth the wait.

And if you know someone that is being told to lie still while God is working? Perhaps you can be the one that waits with them. Pray with them. Talk to them. Listen to them. Pray for them. Reassure them. Soothe them. Distract them. Most of all, just be there to wait with them! Be present for them!!

“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the mercy of God forever & ever.
I will praise You forever,
because You have done it:
And in the presence of Your saints
I will wait on Your name, for it is good.”
-Psalm 52:8-9

~ Lou Lehman Sams

DEMON IN THE PARKING LOT

DEMON IN THE PARKING LOT

 It happened on an exceptionally warm & sunny day in May over 20 years ago. Two decades is a pretty long time, so one might expect that some details have been auto erased from my memory bank; however, this was a day like no other, & one that I have replayed & relived so many times that there is no way it can ever be deleted. It is etched into my memory alongside other events of significant proportion, such as the day I got baptized, the day I got married, & the days my children were born. The underlying difference is that each of those days were a cause for celebration & this day most definitely did not fall into that category – at least not at first.

I was on sabbatical from my real estate job, & working part-time retail, so I did not have to work that day. My son was only 11 months old, & my daughter was not yet 4 years old at the time, so I had my hands full during the day; therefore, I tried to be as productive & run as many errands as possible whenever my daughter was attending pre-school. That is exactly what I was doing on this beautiful, yet very warm, Spring day. My son was safely strapped in the back seat of my new teal colored Plymouth Voyager mini-van when I pulled into the parking space that was as close as possible (without being in a handicapped space) to the entrance of the Service Merchandise store, where I wanted to purchase a double stroller because we had a family trip planned in a few weeks. As I placed the van into Parking gear, I noticed a tall, unkept looking man approaching my driver’s door. It immediately struck me that something was amiss, because he had on a long-sleeved flannel shirt, & it was scorching hot outside, even though it was May. Additionally, his appearance was noteworthy because he had on those new baggy shorts that fell down below the waistline, exposing the upper portion of the men’s underwear, & at that time I had not seen many guys dressed in them. I think they were called “Jams” back then?  Instinctively, I waited to see why he was approaching my door prior to opening it, thinking that he was probably panhandling for money to go to the liquor store, as we were not too far in distance from both the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen & the Downtown Rescue Mission. I have always had a special heart for homeless people, & have been known to give them money, but I had no spare cash on me, & besides, I did not want to jeopardize my baby’s safety in any way. I was going to politely tell him through the window that I was unable to assist him, but what I saw next paralyzed me with fear, & filled me with a very sick sense of dread. This man, who had long, dark, stringy hair, got right up to my van window, & the expression on his face, & most importantly his eyes were something that I will never, ever forget.

I have told this story many times, but I have never written about it until now, because it always makes me very uneasy to recall specific moments in it, & this is one of those. Additionally, I have been concerned that some people will not “understand” what happened there that day. When I looked into that man’s eyes, & rather than the vacant look of a mentally challenged street person, or the desperate, pleading look of a hungry man, or the somewhat glazed look of an alcoholic needing a drink, I saw pure, unadulterated EVIL. I do not know HOW I knew this, except it was unlike anything I have ever seen in my entire life, & I though I have known some less than nice individuals both before & since that time, I have never encountered such a cold & menacing stare again. Our eyes met, locked, & for a few moments, I saw a man who wanted to extract from me everything that I could possibly give to him.

 I gasped aloud as a shiver ran both up & back down my spine, & the hairs on my neck, arms & legs stood at attention in a well –deserved warning to keep my distance. I did not even have to think about it, but my hand went immediately back to the gear shift, & I placed the vehicle into Reverse as I uttered aloud: “Dear Lord, PLEASE KEEP US SAFE from harm!!” The man’s gaze did not falter. It was a hard look, totally devoid of any personality, yet at the same time, full of malice. I was 100% certain that, though I knew this was a man comprised of human flesh & bones, I was looking straight into the eyes of the Devil himself. It is hard to describe the physical feelings that ran through my body simultaneously: nausea, light-headedness, paralysis, & chills all come to memory. Yet an adrenaline surge caused me to start backing out of the space, & so the man continued on his way.

I breathed an audible sigh of relief as I watched him walk out to the 18 wheeler truck that was parked out close to the Parkway on an undeveloped outparcel of this strip center. When you experience a stab of fear followed by intense relief, your brain does not necessarily think clearly. I remember thinking that he must be going out to the truck to check it in before it unloaded merchandise at the store. (Obviously, this makes no sense, & I, with my background in commercial real estate, should have realized that any truck wanting to unload merchandise would be behind the store at their loading dock, not sitting way out by the highway; however, this is what I thought at that time.) So, thinking that perhaps I had misunderstood what had just transpired, I eased back the rest of the way into the parking space, turned off the engine, & opened the door to get out of the van. I glanced toward the truck, to see that man walking very quickly back toward me, & his eyes & facial expression made me think of a Demon. I slammed the door, locked it, & quickly placed my keys back into the ignition & re-started the van. Seeing this, the man veered away from my van, & walked to the sidewalk in front of the store before disappearing into what was then a gap between Service Merchandise & the Army Surplus Store next door. “Thank you, God, for keeping us safe,” I prayed aloud again. While I was a Christian, at that point in time it was never my custom to pray aloud when I was alone but I felt prompted to do so. I sat there for nearly 10 minutes, to make sure that he was not going to re-appear. Finally, I decided that he must have gone back there to drink or do drugs, & it was obvious that he had now forgotten me. So I got out of the van, & went around to the middle passenger door to unstrap my baby son from his car seat. I had him in my arms, & was reaching for my diaper bag, which had my check book in it, when I looked up & saw this same man, with a crazed, unearthly expression contorting his face, headed back towards me, & this time, he was RUNNING!!! “Dear God, please keep us from harm!” I prayed aloud again as I literally threw my son into the floor of the van (no time to strap him into his seat) & jumped in behind him. I was in such a hurry that the diaper bag got caught, & as I slammed the door again a sharp metal prong made rough contact with my thigh, leaving a grapefruit sized bruise that lasted for a couple of months. I locked the door, got upright on my knees to see where he was, then grabbed my keys & my son & climbed into the driver’s seat. I was preparing to drive away, without placing my son back into his car seat. However, what I saw next froze me in my tracks.

My son was crying loudly, not from being hurt, but because of the abrupt way that I had tossed him into the van had scared him. I was trembling like I had never trembled before. Shaking uncontrollably, I finally jammed the keys once again into the ignition, only to look ahead & see him attacking a lady that was older than me. He was wrestling with her, trying to shove her back inside her shiny new silver Buick Regal sedan that was parked facing me, but across the main aisle into the parking lot, & one space over to my right. The woman was resisting him, & putting up quite a fight, but I had a very sick feeling in the pit of my stomach: there was no way that she could win that fight without some sort of assistance. Unfortunately, I had my baby in my arms, so there was no way that I could help her fight, & besides, this guy was not only very large, but he had the added adrenaline that only a mindless, crazy lunatic possesses when they are on a rampage. At one point, he had her nearly shoved back into the car, but she somehow broke her way out of it, & she was pushing, clawing, shoving & hitting him as he was trying to manhandle her back in there. All I knew to do was PRAY: “Dear God, please SAVE HER!! Please send help! Dear God, please SAVE HER! Please do not let her get hurt!” Over & over & over again until I saw him tear the shirt off of her shoulder. “Think, Lou! THINK!! What can you do??” My baby was still crying, & as I was still praying aloud, I turned on my headlights & sat on my horn. I mean I pushed down on that horn & did not let off of it, so it would not sound like a car alarm. And I kept praying out loud, over & over & over as I watched the drama continue to unfold in what seemed to be almost slow motion.

No other new vehicles had arrived in the parking lot since I had been there, trust me, I know because I had sat there listening to the radio & observing everything while waiting to make sure it was all right to get out of the van & go into the store. So I have no earthly idea where this man came from, only that he appeared suddenly, seemingly from out of the blue. He was a very small man, short in stature, with sandy brown hair, & was not very muscular. I thought that he was no match for the monster he was trying to fight. The demonic man was still attacking the lady, & the man who had come to her rescue was somehow able to keep him from shoving one or both of them back into that Buick. I just kept honking my horn & praying – back then Moms did not carry cell phones in their purses, & since I was only working part time, I did not own one of those devices, which were still relatively expensive for the general public to own.

I then saw another man running from the store to assist the lady & the gentleman who had stepped in to help her. An amazing struggle ensued, & the man was angrier than ever, so it took both of the men to pull him away from the woman. After they did that, the maniacal man jumped into her car, & the other 2 men tried their best to drag him back out of the car, but to no avail. He started driving that car straight towards my van. Not only was I witnessing one of my city’s first, if not THE first carjacking of that nature, but I was about to be run into by the man who was not driving straight in his attempt to flee. So I did the only thing I could do in that situation: I prayed yet again. As the car barely missed my van, I jumped out, crying babe still in my arms, & I was able to get the ladies’ car tag number. I still remember the first 4 letters & numbers: 47 SR … I started repeating that tag number aloud over & over, & my baby began to calm down. Astoundingly, woman talking on a cell phone pulled into the lot a couple of spaces from where I was standing. Her window was cracked so I ran over to her & just kept repeating that tag number. “WHAT?” She asked? “Call the POLICE now! Give them this tag number – 47 SR …”. Maybe it was because I was a female, or perhaps it was because she saw my flustered little boy, but she called the police without further question. There must have been one or more units at the gas station about a block away, because they gave immediate pursuit.

Within a couple more minutes, a patrol car came to the parking lot where we were all standing, checking on the lady who had been attacked. By Divine intervention, she was unharmed save for a few bruises & her torn shirt. The police officers took all of our statements, & the man who had come running out of the store revealed himself to be the Assistant Store Manager. He said at first he looked out & saw what was going on, & thought it was “just a domestic dispute”, but when he heard my persistent horn, he knew it must be something else, which prompted him to run out & help. (Sadly, back in those days, & even today, many people will not get involved in domestic disputes.)

The police officers said that they had apprehended the suspect, but asked us to all remain there for a few more minutes. I knew I needed to go & pick up my daughter soon from pre-school, so I used the phone in the store to call & let them know that I might be a little late, & then I went ahead & purchased the double stroller that I had come to buy. When I came back out of the store, the officer told me, “We got him, so it is safe for you to go home now.” I started questioning the officer, because I was afraid that the man might come after me if I had to testify against him in court. “Ma’am that is not going to happen.” I wondered how he could be so certain, but went to claim my daughter, then headed straight home, with a couple of my errands unfinished, because I was too shaken to go elsewhere.

I was dumbfounded & numb. After I got home I called my husband at that time, then I called a neighbor to tell her what had happened so she could be on the lookout for this man, in case he got out on bail. “Lou,” she said, “They just showed that on TV as Breaking News. He’s dead.” Apparently the man had crashed the lady’s brand new Buick Regal down an embankment during the high speed police chase, & he was killed immediately upon impact because he was not wearing a seatbelt. I called the police to confirm, & they said that they could not release that information to us while we were at the store, due to the fact that they had to await confirmation from the coroner. I broke down sobbing. A man was dead. And I had played a part in his death. I started playing the “WHAT IF” game in my mind: “What if I had left the store the 1st or 2nd times he approached me?” “What if I had not been so set on getting that stroller that day?” “What if I had not gotten that license plate number?” “What if I had not asked that woman to call the police on her cell phone?” “WHAT IF???”

When I read his obituary a couple of days later, I thought I was going to lose it, because I realized that he was survived by people, meaning that, though all I saw was a Demon, he had a mother, a father, & a sister. He was in his late 20’s. He was 6’2” tall, & weighed 225 pounds. He lived in Athens. All of these details I gleaned from newspaper accounts & his obituary. I still have those clippings somewhere, & if I could easily lay my hands on them, I would upload them, but it is probably best to let whatever Demon that possessed him stay dead & buried.

I followed up with the police department, & the detective told me that he had no public history of violence, & the only record he had was for a robbery that was not armed. (I did not recall seeing any weapon on him that day.) And I felt even worse that I had somehow been involved in his death. I broke down crying that Sunday in class, & my class mates assured me that the man was “Evil, & got what he deserved.” I was struggling to make sense of it all. I was the intended victim of, & the witness to a violent crime. I spoke to the lady that he attacked, & she recounted the vile profanity that he used to threaten her, & said that he wanted it ALL: her car, her money, & to rape her. Then it hit me: “WHAT IF he had attacked me, & not her – he would have carjacked my van with MY BABY inside it!!” I did not feel as sorry for him anymore, although I did feel sorry for his bereaved family. I had developed a post-traumatic stress issue: I was afraid to go out alone anymore. But my husband, who I seldom saw eye to eye with, insisted that I go alone, as scheduled, to J,C. Penney’s that Friday to look at baby picture proofs. I did not want to go, & knew I could get a friend to tag along, but I knew that he was right. I needed to face this fear. What were the odds of it happening again? Besides, the worst was over. But I was terrified to go out, so when Friday arrived my first stop was to buy some pepper guard spray. After I went to buy the photos, I went by Service Merchandise to thank the Assistant Manager for his bravery & help. I asked if he knew the name of the other man that had helped him fight off the attacker. “What other man?” he asked me quizzically.

When I got home I called the detective assigned to the case back & asked if he could please get me in touch with the 2nd man. He informed me that he had no record of a 2nd man who helped fight off the attacker. Thinking he did not want to breach privacy, I asked him if he would please call the man off of his statement, & see if that man would call me back instead. “Ma’am, I have no record of any man fighting off the suspect other than the store manager.”

I let this sink in for a bit, I KNOW what I SAW, & it was NOT my imagination!! Did the man flee the scene before the police arrived for some reason? I remembered how he had appeared instantaneously, & seemingly out of nowhere. He had no car. How could he have disappeared without anyone noticing? He was not in the newspaper account, either. (However I only appeared as the “woman he had been watching,” so the article was not a complete & detailed accounting.) Who that man was, how he came to be there, & why he does not appear in any records is a mystery to this day. You are free to draw your own conclusions. I know what I believe happened that day.

I was witness to a battle that was both real & spiritual. I started out praying for the welfare of me & my baby, but ended up interceding on behalf of a total stranger. I battled a demon in that parking lot. Whether he was insane, addicted to drugs, alcohol, or whatever, that man was definitely demon possessed. Though he was human, he was battling demons of his own. And because he was also human, he lost his life in the process. Because I am also only human, I was unable to battle that man or his demon(s) alone, so I called on the only One that I know who can do that. Thankfully, when battling God, the Devil never wins.

I still go to that parking lot on a regular basis: I shop for office supplies at the Office Depot next door. Though I knew that man was dead, for several years after this transpired, though I was armed with my pepper spray, I would always sit & wait until I saw another customer heading into that store before I would exit my vehicle, just in case there was another demon lurking there. For some reason I thought that maybe the Devil has certain areas, people, or places that he targets. And sure enough, the past few months I have found myself fighting yet another spiritual battle on that same spot, although this time it is inside the building, which is now a Church, rather than a store. Long before that Church ever came to be there, or was even in existence, I would pray, whenever I passed that spot, that God would make something GOOD happen on that spot which would eradicate the EVIL that I had witnessed there. I was not thinking about anything specific, let alone a Church, just that I hoped & prayed somehow that God would further claim that spot of ground where lives were forever changed by evil into something good. Never did I imagine that a Church, which has changed immeasurable lives for the better, would spring forth on that same spot.

Last year, I began attending that Church with a tall, large, confident & brave man that I knew would protect me should a demon or man possessed appear on the scene, so I was not concerned about what I might meet in that parking lot. Yet when circumstances changed & I began going there by myself, I felt a familiar twinge of fear tug on my heart. The space between the buildings where the man went to hide, watch & wait for his opportunity to strike? It is now inside the building. I have sat inside that sanctuary, paralyzed by fear, wondering exactly where inside that building is the same spot where Evil was lurking that day. The sanctuary is pretty dark during the service, which can be disconcerting for someone like myself that grew up in a more traditional Church, & at times it made me uncomfortable when I first started attending there, primarily because of the crime I once witnessed there. Not knowing not what to do, except to pray to God to please keep me safe, that is what I would do. Eventually I realized that God is still stronger than any demon, & that “wherever two or more are gathered in His name, He is there.”


I have also gone to task with the Devil there in that sanctuary, on behalf of others that I have witnessed battling demons of their own. Doing battles with demons is very scary business, let me tell you, because they have nothing to lose, & do not care who gets hurt in the process. But God has convinced me that I do not need to be afraid. The leaders of this Church actually have the guts to talk about how Jesus & His disciples cast out demons, healed the sick, & other things that are found in the New Testament. And they are not fearful, for they know that God has the power & authority to cast out demons. I continue to go to that place & pray for people I know who are plagued by the demons of Disease, Depression, Alcoholism, Infidelity, Drug-Addiction, the Past, etc., knowing that demons CAN BE defeated. I have witnessed it first hand. Now, whenever I find myself in that parking lot alone, on the few occasions when that incident crosses my mind, I smile to myself, & think, “Get behind me where you belong, Satan! God has my back!! We’ve beaten you before, & we can beat you again, so you might as well give up & go away.” I have even volunteered at the Food Distribution Center there for the homeless, knowing that some of them are battling some of these same demons. But it is like most anything else, once you have faced the fear, it no longer owns you, & I know that God still has my back! And something else I want to share from that incident – you can intercede in prayer for people when they cannot hear you, & do not even know that you are doing it, & those prayers can still be answered!! I saw it happen on that May Day on 1994, & I have seen it happen many times since then, as well. 

Please know that one day, you, too, may find yourself face to face with a demon in a parking lot, inside a building, or perhaps even inside yourself. I hope that what I experienced never happens to you, but there are all sorts of demons in this world. But guess what? I know Someone that will fight for you. He may even send you a mysterious helper to battle alongside you. And guess what else? If you have the right back up, the Devil NEVER wins!!!

“We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us; For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all of Creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:37-39

~ L.L.S.

Note: This is a TRUE story, & the events are all factual.