Sarah and I got back from New York City this last week. Part of Sarah's job at Belmont University is to coordinate an extension program in New York and Los Angeles. A Belmont student was receiving an award from the ASCAP Foundation in NYC and we were there to support her and Belmont. It was our first time to be in the city during Christmas. We loved it! The lights, the window displays, the decorations, and the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center all gave such a different experience to our trip. We had a day off and we went to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and had a great time.
We usually fly home in the late afternoon so we can spend a good part of the last day shopping and taking in the city. Sarah and I slept in a bit on the day we were leaving. We were staying at the Roosevelt Hotel on East 45th Street. We were in the process of getting ready and packing so we could check out the when I decided to call ASCAP about an upcoming check amount. I left a voicemail with a lady at ASCAP and within 5 minutes she had called me back. This bulk of this check was going to represent a song that I had on the radio this last year called My Deliverer by Mandisa. I typically try not to get my hopes up for a check amount to guard myself from disappointment. I had a really conservative amount in my head and was setting myself up for it to be even less. When my friend from ASCAP called me back and told me the amount, it was substantially higher than I anticipated. I got off the phone and played the game with Sarah, "Guess how much?". She started with my conservative amount and I kept saying "higher...higher...higher". When I told her the amount she started jumping on the bed. She started hugging me and said, "The Lord is using your gift to provide for us." As if this moment wasn't holy enough, this is where story takes off. Sarah and I are still hugging when we hear a voice in the hallway(the walls of the Roosevelt are not the most sound proof) say, "The Bible says that the Lord will prosper you." You've got to remember that this is New York and you don't hear people talking like this. Sarah and I went to the door immediately to see who had said this. There in the hallway was one of the housekeeping staff on the phone. She looked a little startled because we were looking surprised at her. She held the phone away from her ear and Sarah asked her if she had said what we had heard and she smiled and nodded. Because she was on the phone, we didn't say anything else but I put my fist in the air and she smiled a little bigger. We went back into the hotel room and a minute later she was knocking on our door. Her name was Monica. We invited her into the hotel room and I told her the story of My Deliverer and about my phone call and that the Lord is providing for us to get out of debt. I played her a bit of the song on my iphone. She started smiling and praising the Lord and said, "You know...people are so busy these days that they don't take time to read...but they WILL listen to songs...bless you." I asked her how we could pray for her and you could all of the sudden see the yearning on her face. She said, "My husband is not a believer and I desperately want him to be." She told us his name is Eric. They are both from Ghana in Africa. We prayed together there in room 385 of the Roosevelt Hotel for Eric's salvation. Monica seemed SO blessed by our exchange when she said goodbye. When the door closed, Sarah and I just praised the Lord for making a moment of blessing for us into a moment of blessing for someone else. The Lord is SO good!
This past fall, there have been moments during football games where I had given up on the team I was pulling for because it looked like there was no way to for them to come back. There have been moments where I didn't know if my song was going to be cut by an artist or whether it was going to be singled. Sometimes I give up easily. Sarah never stopped BELIEVING. She started saying, "I believe. That's who I am!" We walked by Macy's in New York and "Believe" was on the side of the building. Sarah said, "I believe. That's who I am!" and we snapped the picture. I am so grateful for her.
I hope you see the Lord's blessing this year at Christmas as we worship Jesus. Please take a moment to pray for Eric!