Reason One: The Encounters

November 6, 2022 at 7:53 am | Posted in 25 Reasons, Change, God is Enough, God's Schedule, Holy Spirit, Prayer, Travel, Why I ... | 4 Comments

Reason One: I prayed He answered.

Our eyes locked from across the parking lot.  As we got closer, I realized I did not know her or her friend.  She appeared to be Asian and her friend who walked with on crutches appeared to be Caucasian.  Who were these two?  Why is it they look like they want to talk with me?

“Hi, I am Susan, and this is Adela.  We would like to invite you to church.”

Church?  I was looking for a church that was diverse.  This Asian and white girl were not what I was.  “I am just visiting my son here.  I don’t live down here; so, I am not able to come to church this far away.” I started to move around them.  I was at Kent State to visit my son.

“Oh, we meet at the Marriott in Beachwood on hotel row,” one of them piped in as they handed me a card. 

“Wow!  That is close to where I live.  This Sunday, however, I am taking a group of Girl Scouts to Savannah, Georgia.  So, I won’t be able to come.  But I will come the following Sunday after I come back.  Thanks for the invite, gotta go.”  I slipped away.

They told me later that they looked at each other and one of them said.  “We’ll never see her again.  That’s a new excuse I haven’t heard before.” 

It had been years since Dan, and I had attended church.  We were baptized and married for several years.  However, for some reason we both lost interest.  Something was missing; we stopped going.  After several years, something in me said I needed to be back in church, a church that was diverse.  Churches I had attended in the past were always predominately African American.  I was raised Baptist; so was Dan.  Something told me, “Heaven is not all black, so why should I go to an all-black church?”  The search for a diverse church began, preferably Baptist.

God, however, led me to a non-denominational church in Cleveland, The Greater Cleveland Church of Christ which is part of the International Churches of Christ. After this encounter with Adela and Susan He took me on am Amtrak ride to Savannah with a Girl Scout troop and another leader. Minutes before our station a low boy tractor trailer truck got stuck on the tracks. Our train hit that truck and we were derailed. As our cars swayed back and forth I prayed no one would get killed. No one died only injuries. I knew then I would be visiting this church in a hotel the following Sunday. There was no fear, just peace that God had answered my prayer. I knew my life would be forever changed.

Twenty-five years ago on November 30, 1997 I was baptized into God’s kingdom. This year to celebrate these years with my Savior I plan to write twenty-five reasons why I am in His Kingdom and why I stay for the next twenty-five days.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8.

The first seven paragraphs is an exert from Lives of a Gem! God’s Treasured Possession”.


Juel A. Fitzgerald has a degree in English and is a Toastmaster trained public speaker, loves to travel, walk long distances with friends, and is a driving instructor for teens. She writes in four blogs and is the author of “Lives of a Gem! God’s Treasured Possession”, “Bible Trek: Reading the Bible in Thirteen Weeks”, and “The Twelve: Fishers of Men”.

These are her four blogs:


©2022 Juel A. Fitzgerald.  You may send this entire devotional to whoever you chose with this copyright line.  Feel free to read any devotionals at, leave messages or subscribe to receive future postings in your e-mail.



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  1. Wow! This is good Juel! So inspiring! Your story and life journey with GOD reminds me to where I was 22 years ago when I was first invited to the church. Keep on writing and give inpsiration.. ☺👍

  2. […] book four, but I am not worried. His timing is best. Instead He has me writing travel articles and twenty-five reasons why I stay in God’s kingdom. On November 30, 2022 I celebrate twenty-five years as a baptized […]

  3. […] Reason One: The Encounters […]

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