I was in my car.
The music was loud, but slow, spiritual and soulful. Just the way I like it.
The sunset stayed right alongside me as I drove. It was gorgeous, breathtaking in fact.
I couldn’t help but think that God was gracing me with a taste of heaven in those moments.
All I wanted to do was pull over and photograph the sunset, forever etch this memory in pixels. But the time was never right. One car or another followed me the whole way.
And then, I passed a cemetery. What a lovely place to stop and view the sunset in peace, I thought. So I pulled over, drove in and parked.
I got out of my car, but stayed near to get my bearings. The sunset was my guide. For some reason, I felt compelled to determine where the sun was shining most clearly down on a grave site. I moved my body to the left, then again to the right. A clearing opened between some trees across the way. Light shone on a site right in front of me.
I moved forward and sat down next to the grave site, all the while intending to take a photograph of the sun peering through onto the site. That never did happen the way I imagined. It was much, much better than that.
I kneeled before the grave. I looked down.
Teresa Marie Hennen Moksnes was the first thing I saw.
The next thing I noticed was her birth year, 1974. And her death year, 2009.
Then Loving Wife And Mother.
This woman was nearly my same age. And she was a mother. I was honored to have been led to this site.
I saw the bouquet of flowers and thought how lovely, someone’s been here to visit just recently.
I looked up at the sun.
Then looked back down at the site.
I sat quietly, pensively.
Then, as I sat reflecting, I looked again at the stone and saw the thing I hadn’t seen before.
Today was her birthday.
Today would have been her 40th birthday.
And I immediately began crying. And praying.
365 days in a year, and I found myself sitting at the grave site of a woman who was born on July 24th and today was July 24th. Not only that, out of all the years I could’ve been led to that site, I found myself there in 2014, the year that would’ve marked her 40th birthday.
Only God himself could arrange a divine encounter like that. There was no way I could’ve ever known.
The Spirit had led me to this place, on this particular day, for a reason.
So I prayed for Teresa. And I prayed for her family even more. Tears streamed as I sat in disbelief that God performed this crazy, ever so gentle 40th birthday sunset miracle.
This was holy ground. For me, for Teresa, and for her family who had visited, likely today.
They visited. They left flowers. They love and miss Teresa dearly. Even to this day.
And I thought about God. What an amazing, loving and gentle God. How He presses on, how He continues to care for our loved ones, even when we’ve passed to our heavenly home. He cared enough to send little old me, a random woman passing on the way, to pray for Teresa and her family, to mark the special day that would’ve been her 40th birthday.
Teresa, I pray God gives you eyes to see that your family is being cared for, even when you’re gone.
And for you. I’m compelled to share this message. It was clear, so very clear as I stared down at Teresa’s grave site.
God wants to lead you. But he needs you to listen.
Where might God lead you if you simply listen? And obey?
He needs you, He’s calling you, He wants to reveal His sovereignty and lavish grace upon you.
Where oh where will He lead if you listen?
Today, he led me to Teresa.
Happy Birthday, Teresa.
May you rest forever in peace.