"When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. […]"
Psalm 142: 3
We all have them. We all have those indescribable moments. The times we just could not imagine ahead of time, fathom in the moment, or describe in recollection.
I've had many of them.
When I was eleven years old, I came home one spring day to find my mother hanging from a noose made of pantyhose. She wasn't dead. She was hanging from the closet rod and the pantyhose were too stretchy. I took the scissors from her sewing machine and cut her down. She didn't look at me. She looked beyond me. I stood in that moment and finally said, "It won't work if they are stretchy." I was eleven. I didn't know what else to say. We never spoke of it again.
When I was twenty-two, I had another moment. I sat on a toilet and held the remains of what was my child born out of time. He was so very tiny. He was almost unrecognizable. But I knew who he was. I sat in stunned silence. My husband was at work and this was long before the age of cell phones. Without my husband, I said goodbye.
When I was thirty-eight, my brother burst into the church building after services on a Sunday night. When he caught sight of me, he began to wail, "Momma's dead! Momma's dead!" I thought he had suffered a nervous breakdown. My husband grabbed him and took him into a classroom. As I stood in the doorway and looked at my husband's face, time warped. An eternity took place in mere seconds. This time she was dead. I didn't know how to react.
There've been too many more moments.
I stood in the front yard while one daughter and her boyfriend told me she was pregnant.
A phone call informed me that another daughter had moved to Mexico and left no contact information.
Word came that one daughter had left college in the middle of the night with her boyfriend and no one knew where they were.
Yet another daughter cursed us and drove away. While I watched the car disappear down the street, I wondered if I would ever see her again.
One night, I lay on an operating table. The doctor handed me the phone and told me she had gotten ahold of my husband on the cell phone and I needed to talk to him before they put me under. The words weren't spoken but everyone in the room knew that it could very well be the last time he ever heard my voice or I his. When I handed the phone back to the nurse and lay back on the table waiting for the anesthesiologist to do his thing, so many moments crowded my thoughts only to give way to one... So is this it? Will I wake up in heaven?
Every one of those of moments remind me of one thing, my circumstances are just that... circumstances. They don't define me, make me, or even break me. Circumstances can reveal who I am, but they can not determine who I am.
I am a born-again child of God. In every one of those moments, I was not alone. My Father was with me upholding me with His strong right hand.
I'm forty-eight. I lived through those moments because He was with me. And He still Is.
"The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me; In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears."
II Samuel 22:2-7