When I’m nervous, anxious, and or afraid, I write. This morning, I’m still feeling some nerves from one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me in the, two weeks short of, 22 years I’ve been on this earth. Therefore, I’m going to write about it and share about it on my blog, because my God is awesome and like Kari Jobe sings in “Keeper of My Heart,” “From the first to the last breath I breathe, the Lord watches over me.”
According to Merriam-Webster, discernment is the ability to perceive (feel, sense, or become aware of) and understand people, things, or situations clearly and intelligently. Generally speaking, I have very strong discernment, and unfortunately, my discernment was spot on this morning on December 10, 2015 at approximately 12:15am at Walmart.
My coworker, Anna, and I are friends and we like to have dinner together on Wednesdays. When we’re not busy and working the same shift, we like to go to Walmart together. This morning, a light-skinned man with thick facial hair, who was dressed in all black walked into the store while we were walking out. He had a very series look on his face that troubled me, but he also wasn’t bad looking, so I made a passing comment to Anna, once he was out of earshot, that he was attractive in a dark and brooding kind of way, but also kind of mysterious and creepy. She laughed, I laughed, and we walked out to our cars where we stopped and had a nice a heart to heart conversation that was long overdue.
About fifteen minutes after we passed each other, the man we passed on our way out came running out of the store with a couple of employees chasing after him yelling. Anna and I recognized him and noticed that he had at least two guns on him—rifles, possibly assault rifles, idk if those are even sold at Walmart though? Anyway, scared beyond belief, Anna and I stopped in the middle of our heart to heart conversation, and I told her we needed to go home. Before we got in our cars, I told her to text me when she got home.
When we pulled out of the parking lot, Anna went first and turned right out of the parking lot, which was in the same general direction that the man ran toward. Already scared, I almost began to freak out, but my heart knew better and started to cry out to the Lord, so instead of listening to Justin Bieber like I had been planning to before the incident, I turned the radio on to the Christian radio station and listened to like-minded people praise the same God who saved me and Anna from potential danger.
When Anna and I were both safely home, we text messaged each other a few times and realized it might have been a good idea for us to have stayed and talked to the employees in case they needed us since we were eye-witnesses, but as young 20-somethings, we also realized we were too terrified to think clearly enough to have thought about doing that. I did however try to call them to see if we should have stayed, but since it was 1am, they didn’t answer.
I normally work until 1:15am, so I typically do my shopping at 2am after work, because it’s easier to do it then than to wake myself up to do it before work, so Anna and I had talked earlier that night about how I was going to go to the Walmart closer to my house after we separated, because I needed to buy a couple things that I didn’t find at the Walmart closer to work. So she asked me, “You are home already, right,” too which I answered, “Absolutely! I’m not gonna watch a guy run out of a store with at least two guns and not go straight home! I’m crazy, but not that crazy!” A couple of text messages later she said, “That’s crazy because you noticed him out of everyone at the store and said he looked creepy… you noticed something wrong before it happened.” This gift of discernment sometimes means that I feel like something is going to happen before it actually happens, not in like a supernatural, “I can see the future” kind of way, but in a very strong sense of “what if” kind of way.
More importantly than my gift of discernment though is the protection I have from God who according to Psalms 121:7-8, “keeps me from all harm, watches over my life, and keeps watch over me as I come and go, both now and forever.” For a passage that was written thousands of years ago, those words “keeps watch over me as I come and go,” seem to be strikingly specific for the situation Anna and I faced this morning.
If you’ve ever watched an action flick or show, then you’ve seen at least one scene in which the bad guy runs out of a building with guns, notices someone who could be a witness to his crime, and shoots them to avoid being caught. I can’t help thinking of those kinds of scenes tonight as I think of just how blessed Anna and I were to have been so close to this man not just as he walked into the building, but also as he ran out with at least guns, and are now safely in our beds physically unscathed by what could have potentially been a deadly situation had this man been like the thieves in movies and crime shows.
Now, I don’t know why God saved Anna and me from the potential danger of a man crazy enough to steal large guns, but we are safe and sound and to me that says God isn’t done with us yet. It says, God wants to use us and our lives for at least another day. Maybe He’ll even use this post for His glory and to be something positive in someone else’s life. Idk, but I do know, I’m here because God kept me and Anna from harm and He has a plan for our lives just like He has a plan for everyone else’s life.
I just wanted to share this crazy story with the world before going to bed, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep without writing about it, and also because the world needs to know about how awesome and protective my God is! Like for real! I can’t think of any other reason why I would feel such a strange feeling about a man I’d never met, only to have him run past me with at least two stolen guns fifteen minutes later without caring that the two girls who looked him straight in the face were standing in front of him yet again, unless it were to praise God for His love and protection in a situation that could have been very dangerous, especially considering the society that we live in!