KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fl, April 3, 2012 — Today marked the first event of In His Wakes’ “A Day to Remember” 2012 Tour. Although I heard the event was incredible, I wasn’t actually able to be there.
I spent my morning sitting in waiting rooms and running back and forth from my doctor’s office to the hospital. As I headed to the doctor’s for the final time, I breathed a sigh of relief as I calculated that I would be at the lake by 11:30, right in time to give a message of hope to the cadets.
As I got out of the car, my phone began to ring. It was a young lady who I have been mentoring over the last few years, someone that I truly love, but someone I knew would require a good portion of my time as I had already heard from her a couple of times this week. With my agenda on my mind, I pressed the “end call” button, justifying it with the thought, “I’ll call her later.”
As I clicked the button and started walking to the doctor’s office, I heard, “Kristi! Kristi!” I looked over my shoulder and lo and behold, the girl I had just “clicked off” was standing in the middle of the parking lot. I couldn’t believe my eyes or the timing.
She came over to me, gave me a big hug, and started to cry. To be honest, I wanted to cry with her. Not one day in my last week had gone as planned.
I told her to give me a moment so that I could give the doctor the needed results. As I walked into the building I started to complain to God, “Lord, I just want to get out to our event and be a part of what you are doing in In His Wakes. I want to be used by you in a powerful way to change the course of these kid’s lives.”
As I grumbled to myself, I suddenly realized my selfishness and pride. I didn’t want my schedule to be interrupted, nor did I want to hang out in a parking lot and talk. I wanted to be where I wanted to be … on a lake and in a boat! Surely God needed me there? Surely He wanted to use me to touch the lives of the cadets.
I made a quick call to my staff to tell them I would not make it to the lake before lunch. Their response? “Take your time. We got more than enough volunteers and everything is running smoothly.”
Can you imagine? Without me?
God began to pierce my heart with the truth that He had an appointment for me. I just shook my head as I realized the incredible odds of this girl being here. She didn’t live in this part of town, she didn’t have a car, nor did she know I was in town. She just “happened” to be standing in the middle of the parking lot where I was parked.
As I thought about her presence, I realized how hypocritical it would be for me to head out to the lake to “help” the cadets when there was someone in need standing right before me, someone I loved. How could I possibly leave? Now I understood why all the striving in the world hadn’t gotten me to the lake.
God didn’t want me in the middle of a lake ministering to kids at Camp Blanding, He had that covered. Rather, He wanted me in the middle of this particular parking lot ministering to a broken and overwhelmed heart. God was at work right where I was standing and He was extending an invitation to me to lay aside my agenda, my selfishness, my pride, and simply join Him.
When I surrendered my agenda to Him and accepted His invitation to love on His child, it was like a weight was lifted off my heart. Peace like a river began to flood my soul as I rested in the fact that I was right in the middle of God’s plan for me. I didn’t need to go anywhere else, in fact, nothing else mattered. This was God’s assignment for me today. And to think, I almost missed it.
How thankful I am that God placed this young girl right at my car door. I ended up having an incredible day, as did she, as we sat at Starbucks sipping some Joe and encouraging our hearts with God’s Word. In the end, this young lady walked away with her head lifted high knowing that God loved her, I loved her, and that there is hope for what seems to be a hopeless situation.
I too was encouraged by God’s provision for her, my ministry, my family, and for His giving to me a much needed day of physical rest. God is good.
Kristi Overton Johnson is a wife, mother, and the world record holder in water-skiing from 1992-2010. Having retired from professional sports, Kristi now helps others fulfill their God-given destiny.
With a passion to share the life lessons she learned on the water and a desire to encourage the hearts of people through her faith, Kristi founded her non-profit ministry Champion’s Heart.
Champion’s Heart provides life resources, addiction recovery, quarterly magazine publications, leadership training, and sports outreaches. In His Wakes, the water-sports outreach of Champion’s Heart, has helped over 10,000 at-risk youth from across the nation and world have hope, experience victory and discover their purpose through the sport that brought Kristi fame.
Kristi currently resides in Florida with her husband, Tim, and their three children.
To learn about her mission and work visit Kristi Overton Johnson Ministries.
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