Do you ever have a flashback to a past memory and just know it was a defining moment in your life? I certainly have. For me, all of the individual defining moments wrap up into a larger picture I like to lovingly call my testimony. It is what makes me, me. There is one particular, vivid, memory that has popped up frequently within the past several weeks. I know God worked through this specific circumstance to bring me where I am today and I am grateful.
It was late 2010, driving north on the PCH from Newport Beach to Huntington Beach. A full blown beautiful SoCal sunset on my left, Josh Wilson’s Calm Before The Morning on the car radio, and tears pouring from my eyes. Even if I tried to plan it, that time and place could not have been a more divine appointment between only me and God.
See, I was on my way home from work, knowing that in a few short days I would be driving back to North Carolina to permanently put down my roots. The prior two and a half years, Southern California showed me what she had to offer. What a learning experience that time had been. It was filled with its ups and downs. The ups included being able to spread my wings on my own and live independently both financially and professionally, travel, eat delicious food, spend time with extended family, make new friends, and immerse myself in the best learning environment for my creative outlet at the Interior Design Institute in Newport Beach. During this particular car ride though, the downs weighed the heaviest and all I could think about was how another long term relationship failed, saying goodbye to the wonderful friends and office that welcomed me with open arms, and noticing that I had a very distant “relationship” with the Lord. During that small stretch on the PCH I felt sad, lonely, and defeated (all of which stemmed from choices I made), and yet He still spoke to me through the lyrics blasting from the radio. “Would you dare, would you dare, to believe, that you still have a reason to sing, ’cause the pain you’ve been feeling, it can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.”
I mean, WOW. Who do you have in your life who would constantly pursue you and still want to give you the desires of your heart even though you pushed aside anything they had to say for over two years?! The love the Father lavishes on me baffles me to the point of humility, reverence, and awe. I realize, the reason I keep looking back at this moment is it propelled me to where I am today. Once I was open to His correction, His forgiveness and healing, and to realigning my priorities and focus, God began to reveal how He was working through that time to show Himself strong. Growing up, my Pastor would say, “Growth without change is impossible!” I have learned over the years how right she actually is. Such a small span in time is such a big piece of my overall testimony, and boy, it is a profound one!
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Personally, I want to see myself constantly arriving while I still have time on earth. We all set goals, strive to attain dreams, and work towards aspirations. What happens when we attain it or need to make a course correction? We set different goals, dream different dreams, and create different aspirations. We learn so much about ourselves on the journey, that until we get to heaven, we are continuously trying to move towards the purpose we were created for here on earth. Love God, love people, and spread His word to all the nations.
As I began to move closer to God, He came closer to me. A deeper relationship and connection could not have happened, had I not asked the Holy Spirit to redirect my steps. He used my past as a platform for my future. Don’t let your past decisions define you today. Instead, ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and correction to create a jumping off point for a better tomorrow.