As life defining moments go, it was one of those big ones.
I was fifteen. I was sitting up on the roof of our house. I’d been told earlier that I was sick, some type of hepatitis. My world had shattered, even then I didn’t know how much.
All I knew at that point was that the only kind of hepatitis I’d found in the medical handbook was deadly, and typically a result of an STD, and that didn’t make much sense since I was a virgin. All I knew was my Mom kept poking her head in the door wanting to know if I was ok, wanting to help.
So I went out, climbed up to my hiding place, on the roof.
I remember seeing people come out looking for me, but I didn’t want to engage, I wanted escape. I wanted to escape from this reality I was living.
Was I going to die?
I couldn’t handle facing life, so I hid from facing anyone and everyone.
My brother found me, chewed me out for worrying everyone. I remember wondering why he couldn’t understand that I just couldn’t take it, that I couldn’t look in their faces.
A friend of mine had rushed over to see me, she was the next person to invade my isolated place of escape.
You could tell that the news had rocked her world too, she was scrambling with her Bible, reading to me every scripture on healing she could find. Her words didn’t reach me.
But His words did.
Not the scriptures, but His voice, His voice that welled up inside me and demanded that I look, not at my disease, but at all the people around me who loved me.
And I climbed down, the moment past, a corner in my life turned.
I found out that my liver had been nearly destroyed by my own immune system. That the damage could not be undone.
Dreams fell flat, died.
The doctor didn’t know how long I would continue to be healthy, had no guarantees, it could be a few years, ten years. He didn’t think I’d be able to have children.
Tears washed down my face.
I sunk into depression. How could any of this ever be good?
Time unraveled, as time does, I cried and wept at my Masters feet, asking “why?” Crying for healing, wondering if I was flawed somehow for healing not to come.
And slowly, I learned.
Sometimes beauty comes through ugliness.
Sometimes strength comes with scars.
Faith is born out of the hard things.
And life can come from death.
Sometimes the greatest miracles happen when it seems like there has been no miracle at all.
I don’t know what my life would have been like without all of this happening to me, but I do know it wouldn’t be the life I have now.
I wouldn’t have met my husband. I wouldn’t have my daughter. (Yes, here is a miracle, a babe born where doctors said there would be none.)
I wouldn’t know, as sure as I know my daughters laugh, that trial is but opportunity to see God’s Glory, and for His Glory to be known.
Because since that defining moment, there have been hundreds of other defining moments. Moments where one choice is presented.
Will I surrender to defeat, or surrender at His feet?
Because here is the choice before us all:
God is able to use every trial in our lives to speak to those around us of His glory, if we let Him.
Will I let Him? Will I surrender my hopes, my dreams, and my agenda today? Understanding that His is so much greater?
Not always greater in how I would have interpreted greatness, but always, always, greater.
Because He exchanges Beauty for Ashes, because diamonds are made from coal and pressure and death, because gems must be cut for them to shine, and metal must be heated to be refined.
Joy Aletheia Stevens
This post is linked up as part of the One Defining Moment in #ffonething link up. You can find it at The Home Grown Heart.