Marilyn Turk has been published in Guideposts magazine, Guideposts books – A Joyful Heart and A Cup of Christmas Cheer, The Upper Room, Clubhouse Jr. magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Lighthouse Digest magazine. The first book in her Coastal Lights Legacy series, Rebel Light, as well as her Lighthouse Devotions book, will be published in September 2014. Fascinated by lighthouses, she writes a weekly lighthouse blog @ http://marilynturk.com. She lives in Florida with husband Chuck and enjoys boating, fishing, tennis, and gardening when she’s not climbing lighthouses or playing with her grandsons.
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Sing! by Marilyn Turk
God has saved me several times that I know about. I’m sure that when I get to heaven, I’ll find out there were many more times. If we do indeed have guardian angels, mine has been very busy.
I’m really not such a daredevil. As a child, I was saved from drowning twice, just because I wanted to swim before I knew how. I won’t go into the other incidents now. I’m here to tell you about one of the many God-moments I’ve had – the time I heard His voice.
When I was young and single, I lived in a huge apartment complex in Atlanta. Times were exciting as I experienced life in the big city for the first time ever. I had recently graduated from college, had a new job and a new apartment. There were thousands of young singles like me there, and I was excited to be one of them.
One night a friend of mine and I decided to go to a party in the sprawling complex. We always jumped at the chance to go to a party and meet new people, in particular, guys. Add to that the expectation that we might meet one of the professional football players who lived in the complex, and we were there! The party was in a building quite a ways from our building, so we drove over in her car.
After a while at the party, I was bored. I hadn’t met the man of my dreams, was tired of smiling and being sociable and wanted to go home. But my friend wasn’t, so I told her I’d walk home. It was between eleven o’clock and midnight, but I had no fear. To begin with, I was naïve to any dangers. Secondly, the complex was fairly well lighted.
I wove around buildings, staying on the sidewalks along the parking areas as I tried to navigate my way back. About halfway back, I felt a strange sensation that I wasn’t alone. I suppose it’s that hair standing up on your neck kind of feeling. A heavy, evil presence lurked nearby as if the shadows were moving closer. I quickened my step, a sense of urgency to get home pulling me.
What? Where did that come from? Then I heard the word in my head again. “Sing!”
Sing what? Even though the popular music at the time was disco, all I could think to sing was hymns. So I sang–softly at first, then louder. I sang hymns I learned at church from my childhood. “Just a Closer Walk,” “Every day with Jesus is Sweeter Than the Day Before,” “Jesus Loves Me,” “How Great Thou Art” and others came to my mind, and I sang every one of them. I never saw another person on my way home, but the oppressive feeling disappeared and I hurried inside and locked the door.
The next day, news spread through the complex that a young woman had been abducted and raped at knifepoint. She survived, thank God. But I know that woman could have been me. The culprit who violated her was watching me, I have no doubt.
I felt bad for the other girl, and I have no idea why God rescues some people and doesn’t do the same for others. I just know that He spoke to me that night and told me to sing. Not long afterwards, I adopted Psalm 40:1-3 as my life verses.
“I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
and put their trust in him.”