Do you ever have those moments when life hits you all at once and you wonder where time went and how you became the person that you are today? Or how about you are standing at the front of a church and asking yourself, "Is this real? Has this day really come? Am I really old enough to be getting married? He loves me? He excepts me? He chooses me?" Or maybe you are holding your child and musing, "Wow, I really carried you all this time and now I see your face! I can hear your voice. Time has brought you to me." Those moments when life literally stands still and steals your breath. You feel like you literally are the only thing existing in your world, and you become trapped in your wonderment, fear, trepidation, hesitation, excitement, bewilderment, joy, exhaustion, relief, peace. Seconds become minutes and your thoughts run through your head at lightning speed or at an excrutiating drudge. It hurts too much to take or it is too good to let go of. You want to freeze or your want to run. You want to shout or you want to hide. You want to live for that moment or you want no moment more to come because you can't stand the idea of what those moments will look like without the promises of before that moment. These moments change you and make you appreciate life. They define you and shape you or they simply affirm you.
When I married my husband, I literally felt like I was watching it all from someone else's eyes. "I cannot believe this day is here..." was very much my thoughts that day. In a good way of course. I just couldn't believe that all of my life at this very moment as culminated in the union of my life with his. I will find all the human company I've ever sought and I will find the earthly love and affection I have always deeply desired and I will have it truly and faithfully until death. All of him and all of me, given fully to each other with acceptance of all our flaws. We both saw each other for who we were and still loved each other enough to say, "Forever." I still have moments when I pause in sheer joy that I married THE Cody Papinchock. The cute Asian guy at Ozark. The guy with the biggest heart. The guy everyone knew as being a fully invested and fully loving serving, man of God. He really chose me. He is mine. And I am his. He will sing to me and to my children all our lives and he will love me and care for me in all circumstances. This is my life after all I have done with it. I am being blessed with such a great reward in being loved my such an incredible man and I feel I have done so little to deserve it but this joy is mine and God has blessed it fullly. This is God's great love for me and another picture of his mercy towards me. Those are moments that I can't help but laugh and cry because life as I had lived it apart from God should not have led me down this road and yet as it was I did except Christ and the path change has been a winding one but a blessed one. This is a moment I feel affirmed in. I feel solidly whole in the life I have and grateful and at peace and content.
Then there are moments that steal the air from my lungs and turn my stomach. When I remember losing my babies and the hospital, the pain and the reality of it feels like a bad dream. Moments of joy, you feel stuck in. You want to be caught up forever in them. Moments of pain, you draw away from. You immediately want your soul and body to seperate for a moment so maybe you can find solace in another world apart from the one that only offers you pain at that moment. I certainly don't mean I wished myself dead. I just mean that I wished myself to be another person, one far from this experience. The one before that was without knowledge of this loss. I wanted that life again. I wanted to function as that me. Not this me, not this deadened and empty breathed body. In that moment my future could only be thought of in seconds of time. I was walking and moving and talking but these moments didn't really feel like they were happening. I would have to be told soon that I could wake up and it would be ok again. So now I am here and everything that happened happened and those images and sounds and that pain are all still so familiar to me. And when it hits me that that was really me that happened to it feels like pain grabs me as hard and quick as if it were the first time I were hearing it again.
I wanted to talk about moments because my life astounds me. The things I have seen, felt, experienced all having a part in the ultimate creation and shaping of who I am. Many of those things I sometimes wish could have been avoided or that something slightly less impacting could have taken their place but I am learning not to feel that way. Every moment has not only built me but built my testimony. They've built my witness; built my area of ministry. There are so many more people I can find a way to relate and connect to because of who I am today. God is in the business of bringing beauty out of brokenness. He is perfect in His ways especially in moments of our greatest imperfections or of this worlds. Pain happens but when we are in the grace of God it never happens to our detriment but rather to our ultimate joy. It may be years before we see the blessing in moments of pain but it comes. God does not let us hurt to simply leave us hurt. He will bring grace from our hurt. And in our joy and blessing God uses us to spread that joy and passion to others to give them joy and relief and peace too. There is no one thing ever happening to us that won't or can't be used to touch another life. How and when those times come are rarely planned and they become moments of grace. You are you and your life is uniquely yours. I am me and my life is uniquely mine. Don't be afraid to see the beauty in your life even if you are wondering if there is any, I promise you there is. I am now going to be completely overwhelmed by the thought that I am loved by a God who has completely transformed me and is leading me to places where my life and all it's complexities and imperfections is being used to further his kingdom and bring his people back to him. I am so perfectly qualified in my far from perfect state. And so are you :)
Boldy and Brashly,