THE GOD OF SUDDENNESS: MY ATTITUDE HAT
By Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro
“Then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.”
Today God is reminding you that He will always give you back better than what you believe you had lost before. God will never ever leave you empty-handed. He replaces everything that you have lost with the very best that there is. Of course, this particular passage has to do with the Jewish nation and its people. As we know, this prophetic word was mainly fulfilled when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and caused their dispersion to this very present day. We are still waiting to see the entire prophecy come to pass for total restoration of the Jewish nation and of the people. No doubt that God will fulfill His promise. In my devotional today, I’m applying it to things we have lost. We sometimes think God does not care about our little things, but God is forever trying to show me that he cares about everything that has to do with me. This applies to you, too. Just like a good parent, he teaches using examples. This time it was my black hat. Last night the winds were howling pretty loudly out there. I wondered if we would lose power. Then this picture from last year (2019) came up as a memory. Immediately, God began to not only remind me, but also assure me that he never removes anything from my life without replacing it with something much better and greater. This is a promise for all of us. This black little hat of mine had a predecessor. I loved that hat. My colleagues and friends had a nickname for that hat. “The attitude hat.” Every time I wore it, “Ah, you’re wearing the attitude hat.” They were right, I admit it. Lol Ellianna was little. She was sitting in her car seat. I was in a supermarket parking lot. I was trying to unbuckle her seatbelt. Moms out there, why do they make those seatbelts so difficult to buckle and unbuckle? The wind was picking up, and as I pulled her out of her seat, the wind blew my hat away. I watched in horror as “my attitude hat“ was just being blown farther and farther away without stopping. I couldn’t leave her to go running after it. Besides the point, it was not stopping long enough on the ground to go get it. Ellianna was sucking her thumb. “Mommy your attttt. Trying to pronounce hat. “Oh no, Mommy attt gone, Mommy.” As she started pointing to my head and trying to see the hat just blowing away in the wind. “Forget the supermarket,” I said to Ellianna. “I’m going to go buy another hat.” I went back to the store where I purchased the hat. Nothing. From this moment on, I went on a journey trying to find another “attitude hat.” People, every single store up and down the East Coast from Maine to Florida I looked for another hat, even in Europe. France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, England, etc... I went shopping looking for this hat. I was obsessed. Not once, but every single time that I was out of the country or wherever I was. I tried on hundreds of hats literally. They looked like the one I had, but once on my head, they weren’t the right fit. Then last year, seven years later, mind you... I took Justin to the Giorgio Armani store to get his shirt and tie for his new suit. I got to the register to purchase his outfit and there at the back of the register was a hat that looked like the one I had. I got all excited. Could that be my hat? I had tried hundreds of hats all over the world that I thought were the one, but, this time, I could feel it. That’s the hat. Could it really be? I asked the salesclerk if it was for sale. She said that it was the last hat in the entire store. “It’s a beautiful hat. I think it matches your personality. Would you like to try it on?“ As I went to put it on, I didn’t need a mirror to look. It felt right on my head already. “Finally!” I heard my daughter say. As she continued, “Mommy, that’s the hat! You found the hat you’ve been searching for all these years!” I asked the salesclerk how much it cost. There was a guy behind me. I was so overtaken by the hat that I didn’t notice that there was a man behind me watching and hearing us talk. He said to the salesclerk, “Please go ahead and put it on my bill.” I was in total shock. The salesclerk never had a chance to tell me the price. I thanked the guy but told him that I can buy it myself. He was insisting. He motioned for the salesclerk to please ring it up. Back and forth the man and I went. He wasn’t backing down. The salesclerk finally went ahead and charged the man. Then handed me the hat and said, “Merry Christmas!” Then she said to the man, “$400 please.“
I thought, “Oh my God! That man just bought me a $400 hat.” I walked over to him and thanked the man. He had this great big smile on his face. He gave me a hug and said, “Merry Christmas. You look absolutely gorgeous wearing it. May you always be this radiant and beautiful. Enjoy it. Thanks for giving me the privilege to buy it for you. Please wear it with joy.” He had no idea that I was searching for this hat literally all over the world.
This hat story is very significant and meaningful to me. I really was sad about my hat. I searched everywhere for seven years. I couldn’t believe that I had finally found a similar one. What I can’t believe even more was that the guy behind me paid for it. That hat was strategically placed at the register, at the right time, and for that guy in line behind me. God needed to remind me of his goodness, mercy, and grace. He was reminding me “I’m in control, and no matter what happens to you, I am in everything that concerns you. I got it, understand?”
This incident was a God moment for me. Please hear me clearly. It is NOT about a guy in a store line buying a $400 hat for me. It was about what God was doing in my heart regarding this time of year. Christmas time is a very challenging time for me. I have a very bad memory of this holiday. The world as I knew it fell apart for me during the Christmas season eight years earlier. God was reminding me through the hat that He will restore everything I lost and that it will be much better than what I had in His time and in His way. Just like all of a sudden everything I knew and cherished blew away including my attitude hat. God was with me, and there was a real God-ordained sudden time for a restoration. My hat. He was reminding me that he never left me; and it’s the same with you.
Listen please, whatever blows away from you, do not go seeking it back. Let it go. God has a way of bringing you what you need at the right time, and always better than what you lost. This Christmas season, let go of the past. Let it fly away all the hurts, the disappointments, and the sorrows. Let go of anything that happened to you that was not in your control. God allowed it for a reason and a purpose. It’s always about bringing God glory and honor, and, to you, the blessings.
Look to our Savior who turns our past into stepping stones of incredible testimonies. He always gives much more and much better than what we think we lost. My original hat was $25. My new hat was $400. How do you like that? This is the restoration and mercy of our God.
Friends, remember my hat this season. Whatever you think you lost is an imitation of the real deal. Don’t ever settle for second best. I could have bought hats that were similar, but they didn’t feel right. Suddenly, God brought that hat to me. Suddenly, God will restore your fortunes; whatever God allowed to be taken shall be replaced better and greater. Trust HIM! Suddenly, He will appear and change your story.
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