Holy Spirit Story: The Power of a N.U.D.G.E. (w/ Misti Coker)

Acts 1:8 (NIV)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


Today’s Holy Spirit Story comes from Misti Coker, a longtime friend I have told you about before. Misti lives in Stuttgart, Arkansas, which is about forty miles from me in Gillett (a.k.a. my closest Walmart). Misti founded and leads a ministry called Personal Pep Rally, which comes alongside cancer patients and their families. If you have a friend or family member going through cancer treatments, you must check it out here. I also just learned Misti has a short book called N.U.D.G.E. in the spirit of today’s story. Check it out here. Here’s Misti in her own words and, if you listen, you will hear it in her own voice. 

In 2009, I stood in the parking lot of Stuttgart High School. I was the literacy director for the school district, and most of my time was spent in that building. A sweet lady named Ms. Avery was a permanent substitute next door to my office. I didn’t know Ms. Avery except for dealing and interacting with a few students, but little did I know she was watching me.

Ms. Avery met me in the parking lot that day fifteen years ago; she shared with me what God had laid on her heart. She told me she had put me on their prayer list at church. I don’t know about you, but when you hear you have been put on a prayer list, you wonder what is getting ready to happen. She continued by telling me that she had watched me during the school year and that I was a motivator and encourager. She then said that I was wasted in the school district and a world out there needed me.

Ms. Avery received a prompting from the Holy Spirit to share with me. Wow! She told me to get up and walk, and do what God’s purpose was for my life. Leave Egypt because this isn’t where you are supposed to be.

That year, I began to walk. I walked where the Holy Spirit sent me and followed His promptings. There were times I was uncomfortable, times I felt strange, and times I thought others would think I was crazy, but I did it anyway. One of those times was a few months after Ms. Avery had placed me on the prayer list and given me some parking lot preaching.

While shopping at Target, I watched as the lady in front of me kept contemplating whether to purchase some patio lights.

The Holy Spirit kept speaking to me, saying, “Buy her those lights.”

“No, I don’t want to; YES, buy those for her,” said that small voice.

During my inner-voice discussion, the sweet lady looked at me and said, “Oh, you are buying these lights also.”

I said, “Yes, ma’am. I am buying them for prom.”

As the checker continued to scan all her items, she grabbed the lights and said, “I can’t get these; just a little much for me now.”

At that time, the Lord gave me a sharp NUDGE. One that couldn’t be ignored. I was still hesitant at first, but then I listened and obeyed. I purchased the lights and ran into the parking lot to find her. I handed her the lights and ran back to finish checking out. I gathered all my sacks and headed out the door, only to be met by her. With tears filling her eyes, she told me her story. She had received a cancer diagnosis, and today was her first chemo. She wanted to have the patio lights for her back porch to bring her joy but then decided with the extra cost of cancer; she just couldn’t. We both stood in the parking lot in tears.

That day in the Target parking lot was when the NUDGE was created. Never Underestimate Decisions God Encourages. Since that day, I have never ignored a nudge God has given me, and I am so thankful for it. At that moment, I was a verb, and from that day on, I have always tried to be intentional, living every day acting and not regretting later that I didn’t.

Many times, over the past fifteen years, when I have doubted the Holy Spirit’s nudging, I return to these two moments. These parking lot preaching events have encouraged me to follow God’s plan. Ms. Avery started a spark, and then what happened in the Target parking lot lit the flame. These two events happened seven years before I began the nonprofit Personal Pep Rally that encourages, motivates, and educates cancer patients and their families. God started planting seeds of spreading joy to cancer patients long before cancer invaded our family. He knew what seeds were going to begin sprouting long before I did. Isn’t that amazing?

All it takes is a few passionate people led by the Holy Spirit to change the world.


Father, thank you for this powerful story of Holy Spirit nudges. Thank you for Ms. Avery and the way the Spirit nudged her to reach out to Misti and for her obedience to follow through, and for the way your Spirit nudged Misti at Target that day and how both of these extraordinary stories unfolded in ordinary parking lots. Help us to “never underestimate decisions God encourages” (N.U.D.G.E). Thank you for showing us how simple obedience leads to powerful blessing. Lead us. Lead me into a Holy Spirit Story in the coming days. Prepare me to be ready for the Spirit’s nudge. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen. 


How is the Holy Spirit nudging you these days? Will you open yourself up to being led by the Spirit in your everyday life? Are you willing to go to the next level of obedience in being a witness?


Today we will sing our Saturday song: “Sanctuary.” We will sing it through twice. 

For the Awakening,
J. D. Walt

P.S. Help Me Solve the Sunday Dilemma

We are exploring a new approach to Sunday readings with the Wake-Up Call. Please take thirty seconds and respond to this one-question survey linked here!

P.P.S.  Holy Spirit Stories Welcome

I would love it if you would send a story of faith from your life we might use on a Saturday in the future. We will be glad to attach your name or a pseudonym or anonymity—it’s up to you. It can be a story of coming to faith, a story of transformation, a story of healing, deliverance, suffering and sufficient grace, family reconciliation, prodigal returns, answered prayer, and so forth. A word count of 500–800 words works well. We can’t guarantee publication, but we assure you of our prayerful discernment. You can reply to this email with your story and it will come to me.

Subscribe to get this in your inbox daily

Share today's Wake-Up Call!


WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

3 Responses

  1. God’s Spirit speaks.
    God’s Spirit nudges
    God’s Spirit can free us
    From all our grudges.

    God’s Spirit leads.
    God’s Spirit flows.
    God’s Spirit shows
    That Jesus rose!

    God’s Spirit prompts
    God’s Spirit guides
    God’s Spirit wants
    To align our strides.

    To receive the power
    Of God’s Spirit
    Obey His prompting
    When you hear it.

    Then you’ll be His witness
    Demonstrating His love,
    The miracle of His presence,
    And His power from above.

  2. On the survey, all options are fine with me-mix and match! Unfortunately, you did not give the option of “all of the above.”

    One day when I have a little more time to write it, I’ll send you a HS story!

  3. Thank you for the NUDGE. Powerful and short are my favorite books. This book was the NUDGE I needed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *