We were as different as night and day. She dressed to the nines, I was comfortable in jeans. She was black, I was white. She was 89, I was 58. She called me, “Mrs. Martin.” I called her “Mrs. Smith.” But we had a bond like no other. We were prayer partners.
We had comforted each other. First, when her husband passed from this earth, and then tragically, her son. Then, she had offered prayers and love when I lost my mom and then in February 2017, my dad.
In the next season of our friendship, I knew Mrs. Smith’s days were numbered. I know all of ours are, but hers were numbered in terms of months, weeks, or perhaps days after the multiple myeloma was discovered. My own grandmother died from this same blood cancer when I was a young girl.
As I sat there in the days before her earthly departure, I have to admit I was a little jealous she would see Jesus before I would.
She would get to gaze into His beautiful face with tears streaming down, and all the love she had ever felt would be unashamedly unleashed on the One who had chosen her, who had comforted her, who had fought every battle alongside her.
When I realized her life was about to end on this earth, I was filled with sudden fear. Who would pray for my husband, our two kids, and me, every day like she did? My husband was quick to say she would still be praying, in heaven that is.
Our favorite answered prayer had come years earlier. Our family had moved from living across the street from her to living 45 minutes away in Lynchburg. This particular night I had a burden to jump in my car and go to her.
Halfway there, I stopped to get a soft drink and tried to dismiss the notion, but the Lord wouldn’t have it. I kept on going until I drove into her driveway. When she came to the door I could tell she was crying. She told me how she had a bill she couldn’t pay and the creditors were hounding her for $500. On bended knee, I looked her in the eye and told her that Jesus had never forsaken her and He wasn’t about to begin now. As we prayed, we felt Jesus’ presence as if He were sitting on the couch beside us.
I left encouraged, knowing somehow Jesus was going to meet that need and come through as always for my sweet friend.
The next morning was a busy one as our son Luke was about to start a new season with Dixie Youth Baseball. Every year we were given 20 raffle tickets to sell, and the drawing was held on opening day. My father-in-law, Jerry, usually bought them all but this particular year I had forgotten to tell him, so I quickly started filling them all out before we headed out the door.
As I was putting my name on them, I asked the Lord to let one of them be drawn. You see, the grand prize for the winning ticket was $500, the very amount Mrs. Smith needed.
We loaded up the car and headed to the baseball field where I turned over my tickets and money. When the drawings were finally held, I found myself unable to do anything but pray. The third-place drawing was announced, followed by the second. It was the moment for the grand prize winner to be announced. “Ok, God, here we go,” I said. “It is time for YOU to shine!”
The announcer said, “The grand prize winner of the $500 winning ticket is… Sandi Martin!” I stood up in front of everyone to accept a check that can only be described as a “God thing.”
My friend Tina, who was standing beside me, noted that I didn’t seem surprised. To be honest, I wasn’t. I totally trusted God to call my name and answer that prayer.
I could hardly wait to get out my phone and call Mrs. Smith as I made my way back to the crowd. When she answered, I told her to sit down and explained what her Jesus had just done for her. She wept, unable to contain her joy and relief.
I know without any doubt that my name was chosen because of that prayer the night before. God could have chosen many other ways to fulfill that need but he chose to reveal Himself through a raffle ticket.
My sweet friend has been with Jesus several months now. Life keeps going and I think of her often. I miss her dearly, but I hear her words repeated over and over to me through the years: “Mrs. Martin, we didn’t come here to stay.” She always told me she would save me a seat, and I take comfort knowing we will have a lot to talk about when I claim that seat beside her in heaven.
Article used with permission, The Breakthrough Intercessor Magazine, Summer 2018.
A Note from Sandi:
Moms in Prayer taught me how to be a good prayer partner. In breaking into groups of two or three during intercession time, I truly learned how to listen to another mom’s heartfelt requests for her child and could agree with her in a scripture verse we would pray over him/her. When it was time for my own child to be prayed for, my heart rejoiced at hearing my child’s name being called out loud to the Father.
Who is your prayer partner? If you don’t have one, reach out to us at Moms in Prayer where we pray together for our children & schools.
Sandi Martin lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains along with her husband, Jerry, and children. One of Sandi’s favorite things in life is the time she spends praying with and leading a Moms in Prayer college group in Lynchburg, Virginia. She also enjoys serving on the Moms in Prayer International Ministry Development Team and is a former Virginia State Coordinator.