In one of my email updates before I left, I briefly made reference to the “11/11 story”, and many people who did not know it asked for an explanation – so I thought today (the one month anniversary of when I left for Ecuador) would be a fitting day to give that explanation.
In 2011, my friends Missy & Ian were preparing to be married. Missy honored me by asking me to be in her wedding. At some point, she told me she believed the Lord was trying to tell her that they were to marry on 11/11/11 because she was seeing the numbers everywhere (especially on clocks). She did not want to tell Ian, but wanted the Lord to reveal it to him directly, so she asked me to pray with her about it. As I began to pray along with her, I also began to see it myself. Well, long story short, Ian got the message too and they were married on 11/11/11. I thought once the wedding and date passed that would be the end of it – but instead I continued to see it with even more frequency. (An interesting side note to the story is that my mother’s fall that began all her health issues was on 7/11, my husband left on 10/11, and my mother subsequently died on 1/11). Sometime later I mentioned to them that I was continuing to see 11:11 and they said they still see it sometimes too – and I said, “No, I don’t mean sometimes, I mean all the time!”
I finally mentioned this to a very wise spiritual friend and she said, “Well you know, 11 is the Biblical number of transition” – OH! Well, that totally makes sense – based on everything that had recently happened in my life and the fact that I knew God was calling me to this journey, mine was definitely a life in transition! So over the next year plus, I continued to see 11:11 in many and various forms at what seemed multiple times a day (although I’m only awake for one of them!) It almost became a joke with God – I would see it at the most poignant times and laugh and say, “Yes, God, I get it – I’m in transition!”
Then, at the end of August, I was visiting my friend Gail. My preparations for leaving had taken longer than I’d hoped, the starting of my house in Ecuador was dragging out and I felt I was in a holding pattern. I had felt strongly I was supposed to be gone by the end of the year (and really wanted to be gone before the holidays), but also knew the Lord had told me the start of my house was to drive the timing of my departure. I was sharing all of this with her as well as “God’s joke” about 11:11 and she said, “No, Mary – don’t you see? You are supposed to leave on 11/11!” The minute she said it, it totally resonated with me – she had even gone so far as to say, “You are supposed to leave at 11:00 a.m. on 11/11.” However, I dismissed the time thinking, “That is too precise!” When I had previously checked my flight options earlier in the year, it required flying to Miami in the afternoon, overnighting and then flying out to Ecuador the next morning. Anyway, the very morning after she said this to me, I received an email from my builder weeks before I expected to that said, “Your building plans have been approved by the municipality and we are clearing your lot to begin pouring the foundation to start on your house”! So when I returned home from our visit and sat down to book my flight, I was happy to see the airlines had changed their schedules for both flights traveling on the same day. I just noticed it was a mid-morning departure and thought that was good – so it wasn’t until I pushed the button to confirm the schedule that I noticed it left at 11:00 a.m.! I called Gail screaming, “You won’t believe this!” – and of course she said, “I told you!” (And interestingly enough, the flight to Ecuador was scheduled to land at 11:05 p.m., but we landed at 11:11!)
So what does all this “11 stuff” mean? I’ve come to believe it ties into my leaving as a sign – it means we are in “the 11th hour” – the time of transition that will ultimately lead to the “The kingdom of the world (becoming) the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever.” (Rev. 11:15) Amen – come Lord Jesus!