Maggie Mae was not my first nickname but I’m glad it was the first one that stuck. In 1979-80, the Rod Steward song Maggie Mae was being played quite frequently on the radio and I guess the young man I was dating figured Maggie Mae would work better for me than Marjorie because this was his Mother’s name as well. I liked it from the first time he said it.
When naming my hair business in 1984, I was told that naming it with a different name than Marj would be more difficult and cost more, so I went with Marj’s Hairstyling. The people in our area got used to calling me Marj again, except for those closest to me who continued to call me Maggie.
In 2001 my children were eight, twelve, and fifteen and in need of a summer program. Events were happening around me and I could see a plan for a summer youth group unfolding. It included weekly get togethers with a group of lively kids, games, swimming parties, bonfires, singing, and two big events, one including a motorcycle gang (group really, I don’t think they call themselves a gang)
I could see the plan but I wasn’t sure I was supposed to lead it, so I asked God if he wanted me to. The next day I went to church and on the front of the weekly church paper, that was handed to me at the door, sat a motorcycle. I took that as my answer, “Yes.” We got the summer program into full swing.
There is more to this story, it will be called Letting in the Light. Today I want to focus on the name Maggie Mae. So, to continue, in July I was on the phone with the wife of one of the bikers. I was concerned about how many people would show up for the motorcycle event. The lady on the other end of the phone said “Don’t worry. The people God wants to be there will be there.”
After I hung up, I went to church and as I entered the building I was handed one of our weekly church papers. On the front of the paper sat a man and a woman on a motorcycle and above it was written “Maggie’s Love Story” I will add the cover here when I get approval. I knew then, that the lady on the phone was right. God was in charge of who came out to the event. I read the story, Maggie’s Love Story, when I got home, and her life was very similar to mine. Over one hundred and twenty people turned up for our motorcycle event.
A couple of weeks later we went to our sister church in Carnduff, SK to hear a missionary speak. The pastor took me aside after the meeting and told me they had planned to pray for Neil, if he had come, but they wanted to pray for us anyway. Neil had just been diagnosed with leukemia. A group of people gathered, and they went around the circle praying. “I want to pray for strength for Marj and her children and healing for Neil,” and the next would be, “I want to pray for Marj and her family.” When they got to the missionary, he read a bible verse and I felt my faith being lifted and then He said, “I want to pray for strength for Maggie.” I looked up at him. He said, “That is your name isn’t it?” I said, “Yes.” No one had called me that but him. Ladies named Margaret are often called Maggie, but I hadn’t heard anyone other than me with the name Marj being called Maggie. I asked him after, and he didn’t know why he had called me that.
Nearing the middle of August, Neil and I took the girls to Dauphin to the Jesus Manitoba Fest. It was a great weekend, but it was really hot. I was concerned about Neil. I could tell the leukemia, and the heat were wearing him out. Driving home, I began to feel very tired. I looked over at Neil he had finally fallen asleep and I didn’t want to wake him up. I was about to turn the corner to drive the last nine miles when I started feeling really tired. I said this prayer in my head, God please do something to wake me up, and especially that last mile and a half or two when you know your home and you can fall asleep even easier. I added but please don’t make it a deer because I had hit one recently and almost totaled my car.
I rode along trying to concentrate on the road and the radio, my eyes feeling very heavy. (Don’t worry I’m committed to never driving like this now) About two miles from home a song came on the radio. The song had the name Maggie in it multiple times and she lived in a small town and wore a gold cross around her neck. It was uncanny how much the song was about me. I wanted to wake everyone up in the car. But I didn’t. (I will add the lyrics here when I get permission)
When we got home, I told my oldest daughter about the song and in the morning we talked about it again. Her words were “Yeah... but eww... mom.” She took the name of the song and looked it up on the internet for me and printed out the lyrics. (My daughters reaction would be totally the opposite today, it would be more like, well didn’t you expect something like that?)
So I say “God calls me Maggie” and I believe this is part of the reason why he does, there is another Marjorie Holmes, she is a well published Christian author and I can’t use that name as a writer. People will mention her when I go around the country speaking, she is very well known. So my writing name is Maggie Mae Holmes.
Some people would say that I’m very specific about telling God what I want. Yes, I am. The Bible tells us in Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.(There are stipulations of course but Jesus sounds like He wants us to be specific, whatever things you ask.)
It’s pretty hard to believe you receive them if you are not specific about what them is.(I know that is bad grammar.)
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super-abundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.
God is not stingy with His love and His help.
Hebrews 11:6 (AMP) But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
One more verse that fits here and then I’m finished I promise. Oops and a bit of commentary.
John 10:3(AMP) The doorkeeper opens [the gate] for this man, and the sheep hear his voice and pay attention to it. And [knowing that they listen] he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out [to pasture].
Yes, it is fine with me that I am His sheep and He is my good shepherd, so to speak. Learning how to be led by God has been a journey in itself but I love the mystery that goes along with it. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want......