This post contains personal opinions, I completely understand that is all they are, opinions, not facts or reality, just my viewpoint.
I went to McDonalds with the kids today.
I feel like that is a confession in it's self.
That is the first time in Sister's 3 years of existence, that I have taken her there. Papa and Gigi have taken her twice, but I have not stepped foot on the premise. It might be the fact that I watched "Super Size Me" 6 times in a row while teaching high school nutrition, or that I never recall my parents taking me there myself. I am not judging anyone who takes their children there, I just have some filter in me that doesn't allow it. Make sure you hear that non-judgmental tone, I don't want any ticked off mom's thinking I am judging because I know I have friends who frequent the joint.
So today I felt sick, almost like I was getting the flu. Achy body, fatigue and upset stomach. Thankfully I never threw up, but I felt off the whole day. We were supposed to have community group at our house tonight and with Steve still gone I cancelled group because I knew I would be pushing myself too much to have it. Long story short, I decided to take the kids to the park after naps. They both napped long and I wanted a chai on the way. Well Starbucks is right across the street from McDonalds and we were already pushing dinner time (sonic was my only other close option). I was trying to search for the Kids menu online, as I hated to pull up and decide that nothing looked healthy enough, then pull away. To no avail could not find the menu.
We pulled in the parking lot and Sister started talking all about the playground and the blue ball where she sat and could see Papa, Gigi and Uncle Benny (they took her there in January when I was really sick). It was so so so windy today here in good ole' Kansas, so I let her choose to go inside and play or take our food to the park. She choose to go inside. I asked her a few times, and unfortunately she never changed her mind.
Now I am sure that Chick-fil-a has just as many germs as McDonalds. I do really believe their chicken nuggets contain real chicken, not nastiness like McDonalds. But my own stereotype, I felt like I needed to wear a sanitation suit inside. I know this is completely in my head, but it felt real to me.
So the main reason for the post is not to express my dislike for McDonalds (that was a side benefit). And since sister had a meltdown because she didn't get ice cream (somehow "treat" sounds like "normal" to her) unfortunately we will not be able to go back to McYuck for a very long time.
So the real point of the story (for those who are still reading) is God showed up in McDonalds. I really believe that it wasn't an accident that today I decided to take the kids there. As I sat down, I heard 2 ladies next to me discussing God, Religions, and all the world's problems. Actually it was 1 lady (who I think did say she was an atheist) doing most of the talking and the other lady (obviously a Christian) listening and speaking some. The atheist is so searching. She was searching for answers to everything (suffering, wars, politics, signs, miracles, our beginning, etc). She was all over the map. She said that most Christians are just brainwashed as children and only believe what their parents believe and taught them (or brainwashed as she kept saying). I am not sure if she really knew what she was saying, she really was all over the place.
Those are the conversations I really don't like getting in to. Someone who doesn't believe God and wants to talk about all the reasons He can't exist. The other lady (a grandma) really was doing a great job listening and speaking truth, so I was more just eavesdropping.
Then I heard God say, tell her your story (no not audible, I knew it in my spirit). I was really fighting it, I did not want to get in the conversation. But God wasn't letting down. So after awhile, I politely said I wasn't sure exactly what they were talking about, but I had heard pieces and wanted to know if she would mind if I told her my story really quickly.
She agreed and I gave her the condense version of what happened 7 weeks ago and how God's hand of protection saved my life. I don't have all her answers, I do not believe out human minds can even handle trying to comprehend him, but I do know that I am here today, because my God cares about me, He has a plan for me and He loves me so much. Yes there is pain in this world (I lost a baby in this process) but God is good, He is alive and active.
I am not sure what she heard and what resonated with her spirit. We did talk some more and she really has some very very interesting view points on things (something with rich people, mostly celebrities and signs - Madonna was mentioned in there). In her mind the power people of this world (the rich to her) all have something to do with this sign thing. She did have an opinion about one company here in Olathe that I personally know the back-story to and I believe she was surprised when I spoke factual truth to her that disproved her "signs theory."
Like I said, I don't debate with those people (I really don't get in those conversations often) but I calmly share my story and what God has done for me (not just recently but my life in general).
Somehow she asked which church I attended and I told her ICCC and invited her. She said she would like to try a church for her kids sake. She doesn't want to brainwash them, they can decide on their own, but she would like to expose them. She just wants to know the truth.
So if you have read all this and go to ICCC and meet Tabitha, her husband who works for Garmin and their 4 kids at church, make sure you let her know Erin said she was coming. I told her to find me on Sunday. I said I would look for her. I also told her that I believe it was a God thing that I came to McDonalds today. I did share that was my first time ever coming there (I didn't tell her it would probably be my last). Who knows what will come of Tabitha's story, she is searching and wants a lot of answers. Christ is her answer, his death on a cross and the power of his resurrection allows us to have a personal relationship with the maker of the universe, I am biased, but it doesn't get any better than that.
If you think about it, say a prayer for Tabitha, that she experiences God in an undeniable way.