What are some of the defining moments in my life and how do I mark and celebrate them? I was reminded of a charm bracelet I used to wear. It contained charms denoting significant moments in my life like my engagement, wedding, and becoming a mother.
Only some major milestones are depicted on this incomplete record of my life’s defining moments. I could add other charms to represent being a grandmother, completing my B.Ed., being a writer and speaker or my love of reading. But what about my spiritual journey? What will mark these defining moments of faith in my life?
As I read through Scripture, God often asked his people to do something to mark the defining moment in their history. In Joshua 3 & 4 we read God stopped up the waters of the flooded Jordan river once the priests obeyed and stepped into it by faith. Once the people crossed safely, on dry ground, God commanded they mark this defining moment by placing twelve stones gathered from the river bed as a memorial for future generations to ask why and hear the story of God’s miracle. Do I share something about the defining moments of my faith journey so others can hear of the ways God works today?
One very significant faith journey moment happened as I stood beside Amee’s incubator, watching her in a coma, fighting for her life, I didn’t know what else to pray. Tears punctuated the brief, “Help me God. Help my baby.” I uttered silently and constantly. God met me that second day of Amee’s life in the middle of NICU and brought distinct images to my mind and spoke with a voice that seemed audible.
God posed three questions, one after the other, pausing for my answer in between.
“Do you trust me to heal her completely? Do you trust me to heal her a little at a time, giving the doctors wisdom in how to treat her? Would you still trust me if I healed her perfectly and took her home to heaven?”
My ‘yes’ answer to the first two took no time to proclaim. The third proved a struggle. I finally told God I would trust him no matter what.
Then came a picture of an open Bible with Philippians 4: 6 &7 highlighted.
Do not be anxious – oh how worry and anxiety had punctuated the last two days.
Present your requests by prayer and petition – I’d been doing that constantly and knew others prayed too.
With thanksgiving. My heart stopped. I hadn’t thanked God for anything during this nightmare. I begged God to forgive me and thanked him for this beautiful baby girl. I had an ‘ah ha’ moment. Each child is a gift from God whether they are here for a short time or long and God loved her more than I ever could. My prayer changed. I gave myself and Amee to God; completely trusting him for whatever he chose to do and for strength to walk the journey he had planned.
And the peace of God descended and wrapped around me like a warm fuzzy blanket so real I expected to see one around my shoulders when I opened my eyes.
Nothing in Amee’s circumstance changed when I opened my eyes. She still lay in a coma. But I knew this moment with God had changed me.
I kept this spiritual defining moment guarded in my heart for years, maybe decades. Why was I silent? At first it felt too deeply personal to share with anyone else. I’d examine it in my quiet moments and remember what I learned. This turning point coloured so many aspects of my life and faith.
Later I wondered what people might think if I shared about seeing images from God and hearing his voice so distinctly. It was nothing like I had experienced before. When I didn’t share, others never had the chance to know that the God of the Bible is still God today.
God keeps pointing me to verses like Psalm 78:1-3 or Psalm 105:1-5 where he commands his people to share his goodness and his judgements too with the next generation. How can I not obey and share the stories of what God has and is doing in my life, even if they happened in ways, I was unfamiliar with?
Now I know I can commemorate those defining moments in my faith journey through my writing and speaking instead of keeping silent. I wonder if there are charms that could be a visual representation of my faith or these ‘ah ha’ moments of my life?