A few weeks ago, I wrote an article bringing up the beautiful concept of “signal fires of grace”, from the lyrics of this song, which you should take a moment to listen to if you haven’t already. Signal fires of grace are those moments when the Lord reaches out to us in big or small, but always unexpected, ways to let us know He sees us and remembers our struggle.
I encourage readers who have personal stories of this to send them to me at [email protected].
One Meridian reader, Chris Epson, shared the following story:
Without going into great detail, I suffered with addiction for some fifty years, and finally, at the age of sixty-two, broken and hopeless, literally ran away from home.
I drove to Las Vegas and the next morning woke up sicker than I had ever been.  Really, there was no reason for me to be sick, but my head felt like it was in a vice, my stomach was a mess, and I could not get out of bed.  I lay there all morning and into the afternoon, wondering what to do, when a voice spoke to me, telling me to call my wife.  My response was “no!” but the voice came again…”call Marilyn.”  Again I refused.  So a third time I heard it…”call Marilyn.”  And so I did, crying and desperate for help.
She was able to come rescue me, take me home, and then, with the help of our children,  find an amazing place for me to begin recovery.  That was almost seven years ago…
Why did I get so sick?  Grace.  God stopped me in my tracks.  He told me to call home.  More Grace.  He provided a place for me to heal..more Grace.  And as I have chosen to live in His Grace, every day, I have experienced miracles and blessings never before imagined!
My wife and I now serve as missionaries in the church’s Addiction Recovery program.
Sometimes we need God to stop us in our tracks. This was an incredible example of divine intervention.
Other times, we just need a heavenly nudge to know things will be ok.
I had just such a heavenly nudge not long after I gave birth to my first child. We had made the decision to move to Alaska for the summer (before we knew what having a new baby would be like, or the emotional rollercoaster that it would be for me). We had purchased an RV to have our own space and to hopefully have the flexibility to explore and travel and still have a consistent sleep situation for the baby and for us.
But, in reality, my husband was working a lot and we didn’t have as much time as we thought we would to explore, so we were almost always just parked in my in-laws’ driveway. I holed up in that 1993 Fleetwood Jamboree, keeping my baby fed and accomplishing little else. I was feeling those baby blues and feeling the loss of the person I used to be, wondering if I would ever have her back again. I was an actress before and I wondered if I could ever be an actress again.
I had brought my recording equipment so I could at least still send out voice over auditions. But though I was recording several every day, it was very hard to feel like any sort of professional. The RV walls were thin and I would have to stop recording to wait for the sounds of cows, of sandhill cranes, or the sounds of my baby waking up and ending the session abruptly.
Though I booked a job here and there, it mostly felt like I was speaking into the void and no one was listening. Maybe no one would listen again. I felt so far from the industry I hoped to be a part of, it seemed like an uncrossable gap between me and who I hoped to be as a performer.
Then who should show up at my mother-in-law’s AirBnB  in rural Alaska with a reservation to stay for 10 days? The voice of Disney’s Pocahontas.
It was a voice I’d heard a hundred times in my youth, and here she was in person. We got to have breakfast one morning and talk about the business and her totally random and unexpected presence there was such a lift to my bumpy, amateur voice over sessions in the RV. She wasn’t some far off unreachable, glowing thing that represented a world I’d never get to be a part of. She was grounded, she was kind, and she was as regular a person as anyone else, commenting on my baby’s cute smile and asking me to pass the salt.
Her appearance, smack dab in the middle of my difficult summer, felt like such an unmistakable nod from the Lord; such a signal fire of grace. He saw that I was sitting in front of that mic in my pajamas trying desperately to keep that artistic spark alive, and sent me someone whose voice work I had loved so long to show me that she was just a lady with pajamas too. And even just doing our best, we could do something great.
I encourage readers who have personal examples of the Lord’s “signal fires of grace” to send them to me at [email protected].