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A Guide to Love, God, Prayer, Meditation, & Peace Within You—Right Now

A Stranger I Came to Call Friend


A Stranger I Came to Call FriendEvery few months, I share a story with you that somebody submitted with the hope that it would be included in When God Spoke to Me: The Inspiring Stories Of Ordinary People Who Have Received Divine Guidance and Wisdom. I received over 300 submissions for the book. Only the top 70 stories made it, but out of those 300 submissions, we received many wonderful stories that just didn’t make the final cut. This story is one of them. I think it will touch your heart and inspire you. It’s called, A Stranger I Came to Call Friend, by Chelsea Kowal.


I looked outside and saw a man standing at the door to my house. He said he was looking for my neighbor. I pointed out where my neighbor lived, but realized she wasn’t home. When the stranger asked if he could borrow my phone to call her, I gave him my phone with no questions. I heard him tell her it was Matt calling, and he sat outside for a while talking to her. When the call ended, Matt handed my phone back to me with tears in his eyes.

I knew something was wrong. When I asked him if he was alright, Matt started to break down, telling me that he had lost everything he had worked so hard for, including his son and his home. I started to cry and told him I knew what it was like to lose something. I had recently lost my 25-year-old brother, Michael, to suicide. I looked at this man and asked him if he had ever heard of Job, the man in the Old Testament who lost everything but his faith in God. Matt nodded and his frown quickly turned into a smile.

“Job lost everything—his home, his family, his wealth—but he never lost faith in God. Since Job kept his faith in God, he got everything back,” I said. I walked outside and sat beside him and began to talk to him about having faith in God through struggles and obstacles. His eyes were full of amazement as we discussed God for over two hours.

I had been in the same situation as he was now, with no hope in God. I’d had moments of being so angry at God, I didn’t even know if I believed in Him anymore. I would often question why God had put me through such hard situations if he really loved me. I told him that even though I’d been in seemingly hopeless situations before, I had survived. When I had no strength left, God had taken over and showed me that I couldn’t do it all alone. If I hadn’t gone through those hard situations, I wouldn’t be the strong person he saw before him this day, and I wouldn’t have seen the miraculous ways in which God works.

As I shared my story with Matt, he opened up to me about how he had been raised in a family of believers but had turned away. He started to sing hymns he used to know, and to recite his favorite Bible verses. I told him my favorite Bible verse was Isaiah 40:31: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not grow faint.”

When the sun dipped behind the tree line and it started to grow dark I asked this stranger who had become a friend where he was staying. Matt kept talking about lying in the grass at a nearby park, but when I lent him my phone, he called his father.

After Matt hung up, he said “You are the most beautiful woman in the world tonight because you saved my life. A few moments ago I was hysterical, but now I’m just … calm. It’s funny that you mentioned suicide earlier, because I had been thinking about it a lot today … until I came here and talked to you. There is a reason I met you tonight.”

I didn’t know what to say. He told me, a 19 year old, that I had changed his life! The excitement of being used by God to save this stranger ran though my veins. My amazement brought tears of joy to my eyes. There was no doubt in my mind that God had brought us together. This total stranger had become like a brother to me within 2 hours. Just a small question about Job turned into a life-changing conversation and the most amazing experience of my life. It was the one conversation I had never had a chance to have with my oldest brother, Michael, before he committed suicide.

As my new friend walked away from my house, he yelled, “Chelsea, I’m smiling! I shouldn’t be smiling!”

I smiled too, and walked back into my house thinking about all the struggles I had found my way through and survived. If I’d had to go through it all just so I would know what Matt needed to hear, it was worth it.


Chelsea Kowal is currently attending Syracuse University, where she is majoring in biomedical engineering and minoring in neuroscience and mathematics. She plans to help people with special needs and illnesses. Chelsea loves to write stories and poems in her free time.