February 25, 2016

When God Shows Up

That's the phrase our pastor uses to describe moments in your life where you KNOW God is speaking to you.  I remember the first time I heard him say that, early on when we first joined our church, and I kept thinking {to myself} that I hadn't had God moment. I didn't know of any specific time in my life where I thought, "OK, I hear you!  I'm listening!".  I couldn't remember any defining moment where it felt like God was talking to me or using me.

It's been a few years since I heard that phrase for the first time but I've heard it numerous times since, sometimes on a weekly basis.  Since then I have realized so many "God moments" in my life and, in hindsight, it was all so obvious.

Meeting Jimmy and my in-laws was probably the very first moment where I knew God was with me.  I never grew up going to church and the only time I ever attended church was when I stayed the night with my BFF on a Sunday {her mom's rule}.  My family went occasionally, here and there,  but I could probably count on two hands the number of times we attended service {and most of them were for Christmas}.  Within a year of meeting Jimmy {and my in-laws} I had attended a couple services with them but the first one was the one I remember most.  It was Christmas time {2008} and I had never attended church service that wasn't Catholic.  This was a Christian church and it felt so right.  I understood the sermon.  I felt like I knew what was going on {God in my life}.  I remember being moved to tears and trying to hold them in because I didn't want my not yet in-laws to think I was off my rocker.  Now every year I always cry at Christmas service because it brings me back to that very moment, eight years ago.

I also know that God had his hands all over my pregnancy with James.  I didn't want to get pregnant that month.  In fact we avoided the month of November like the plague because I wanted to be in control.  I didn't want my kids' birthdays to be that close together.  And yet God had other plans and to my surprise I was pregnant and my kids' have two days between their birthdays. I truly feel like that was God's way of telling me to 'let go and let God'.  I was trying to control my life but ultimately I am not the one in control, He is and I needed to let Him be.

Most recently I know God showed up just in time for me to commit myself to Him and become baptized.  I've been saying for about a year that "I think I want to get baptized" but could never actually bring myself to follow through with it.  The last time our church did baptisms I said, "next time" and when I saw that "next time" just so happened to fall on my 33rd birthday I stopped right in my tracks and prayed.  I told God, "I hear you, loud and clear and I will obey".  I don't think it gets anymore clear than that.  This Sunday my mother-in-law will be baptizing me at our church.  When I found out we could have a mentor baptize us I knew exactly who I was going to ask.  I can't think of a more Godly woman; I say all the time that she is an angel sent from heaven to live on earth.  I look up to her and want to be like her in so many ways so I know she's perfect for the job ;-).

It's amazing how many moments, just like these, I can look back on and say, "yep, God showed up".  In the moment it's a little harder to recognize, in some situations.  Like when I got pregnant with James, I didn't initially think it was because this was God's plan.  Nope, I was actually mad about it, "how did this happen the very month we didn't want it when we had bee trying for three months leading to that one!?" was more like my reaction.  But looking back on the situation, I know why it happened the way it did and I can say the same for many other situations in life.

Do you have these types of moments?

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely! First, I am super excited to see how much your faith is growing and cannot wait to hear about your baptism! It is such a defining moment, and the profession your faith in front of a community of other followers is powerful. I am so excited for you and cannot wait to hear about it. Asking your MIL to be apart of the ceremony, I am sure, is just as special to her as it is to you. You are incredibly blessed to have that strong relationship with her as a mother, and N remembers her as being someone so strong in her faith. I absolutely adore the heck out of your MIL. As far as the "God showed up" moments, I am one who believes He was always there and never left. It is US who decide for whatever reason to move away or get closer to Him, but he is always there. To me, yes, he showed up but we finally gave recognition to His presence. My defining moments were with my miscarriage and what that experience taught me about Him. Although sad and heart broken for so long, I can now see His plan. Though I was broken, He taught me so much from that experience and will forever be grateful for the growth I experienced and continue to experience. N and I have been called to foster care and adopt, and it is ALL God working in our hearts to make those decisions. I have thought about being a foster care mom for years, and I have always wanted to adopt (long before D3 was born) and this is ALL God. He has seemed to open doors to the opportunities, have put people on my path to help me with those tough decisions, have connected me to the "right people", and most importantly, has changed N's views entirely. Those changes are God working in his heart to see things he was not able to see before. Finally, I think my husband and I are looking through the same lens. My friend lost her battle to breast cancer recently. I want to believe, "God showed up" in a huge way with the amount of love, kindness, and influence she had on thousands of people before, during, and even after her battle with breast cancer. He promised her eternal life as a dedicated and faithful servant to Him. She served Him in every way possible, even through her darkest moments, when most would have operated with so much anger and resentment. Through her face and her journey, God was there. She is now cancer free and restored in His arms, but I don't think God ever left to show up ... He was always and is always present. I am proud of you, Shannon, and I am looking forward to hearing about your baptism.