Times Rated: 2

Timing is Everything... Right?

The incredible moment when dozens of mistakes add up to... perfection

When I was in my first few years of marriage, a friend announced that she was going to have a baby, and since she was approaching the age of forty, we were all a little surprised.  Her husband had played his guitar at my wedding, so this family held a dear place in my heart.  She already had two children approaching their teen years, and although a little shocked, she was very happy to add child number three to her family..

Around the eighth month of her pregnancy, a friend of mine asked me to pray for this mom.  Within a few days I found out that grief had replaced joy as the family announced that the baby had been stillborn.  Grief and sorrow flooded my own heart because I had experienced a stillbirth of my first child.  My heart broke for her as my  emotions welled up inside my spirit, aching to reach out, so I decided to send her a note.

I wrote a long letter filled with love and encouragement and ended it with a prayer, but unfortunately, I had lost her address.  This happened in the late 1990’s when the internet was still tethered to land lines and there was no easy way to find out her address.  In the meantime, I put the letter in my desk and forgot about it until I paid bills a month later.  I thought, “Oh my gosh! I never mailed the letter!”  This cycle went on for 6 more months.  Each time I found the letter I kicked myself for not mailing it.  It was becoming a feature, accumulating guilt alongside dust, both growing heavier with time. 

A few months after that, a friend finally said that she tracked down the address.  It took another few weeks for the info to jump from the note in my purse onto the actual envelope.  For lack of a stamp, the letter got pushed back into hibernation.  Some time later, all the angels and stars must have shined on me, because as I was paying bills, I found the letter. I even had an extra stamp and I was determined to mail it that day.  I blew off the dust and guilt and dropped the envelope in the mailbox.  Finally, the long overdue letter was on its way to this dear woman.  Although I felt regret for my slow response, I also felt peace knowing that the letter was finally in motion. 

A week later, I received a reply.  I was nervous about the contents because I had been so careless in how I handled the situation.  Imagine my delight when I read this:

“I can’t thank you enough for your letter.  It arrived on the exact anniversary of our baby’s death.  I am hurting and the grief is still so sharp.  No one else from church even remembered.  I was feeling sad and alone on this painful anniversary and your words of encouragement and love couldn’t have been more perfectly timed.  Thank you, from the deepest place of my heart.” 

Shock and awe.  That was what I felt.  Seriously?  How on earth did my dusty, delayed letter reach this woman on the exact day she needed encouragement the most?  I did not plan the delivery date - my ineptitude and carelessness were the only reasons I mailed it when I did.  In spite of my faults, delays and lameness, the most perfect outcome happened.  We were both refreshed and encouraged, my guilt swept away by grace, her sadness embraced with love.

Some of you might call it coincidence or maybe fate.  I believe it was God’s divine intervention and mercy.  My flaws and perceived failures allowed a letter to arrive at the right, beautiful, perfect moment with much needed encouragement and love.

This is a reminder to never underestimate how the Lord will use you to encourage someone.  No matter how late,  poorly timed or how inept you feel about your forgetfulness or lack of action – these things might be the exact vehicle needed.  Your note will arrive at the perfect moment to bring hope and healing to someone who desperately needs it.  Forgive yourself and stop letting guilt hold you back.  I encourage you to dust off any note that’s been sitting on your desk for months.  Write the overdue 'thank you' that’s been lingering in your mind or send an email.  If it takes you a while to mail it, then trust that the delays are part of the perfect timing needed for your letter to arrive when it is needed most.  I’m laughing at myself because I want to say, “Don’t wait to do this!” - but I know that maybe, a delay will work best.  You will know the moment when you should take action. 


Here is another article highlighting perfect timing that took place years after the original event.  Thankfulness, love and encouragement are universal no matter who you are or what you believe and everyone benefits when love and gratitude are shared.  It’s always good to brighten someone’s day.


1 Corinthians 1:25

"For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength."




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Suzanne Rahn is the Editor in Chief of InnerVoice magazine. Suzanne is a freelance writer, photographer and a single mother of 4 teenagers. Suzanne lives in Somerset County, NJ and is a member of Liquid Church.
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