A year ago today, my family celebrated the life of my Great Grandmother as we prepared to lay her body to rest alongside Great Granddaddy’s body in the Panhandle of Florida. When we were sorting through her belongings, I stumbled across a tract that informed us that Great Grandmother had become a Christian on October 14, 1948. Exactly 60 years later, we celebrated her day of Rebirth by celebrating her Home-Going.
Great Grandmother’s decision to place her faith in Jesus Christ fundamentally changed the course of my mom’s branch of our family tree. Through her, the Lord reached into our family and spread His Gospel down through the generations so that nearly every one of us is a Follower of Christ. I pray that someday I will be able to rejoice in knowing that my entire family is a part of the Body of Christ.
I decided last October that my family would celebrate Great Grandmother’s Rebirthday as a personal family holiday that I named Ebenezer Day. In Scripture, the prophet Samuel set up a stone that he named Ebenezer after the Israelite’s successful battle against the Philistines. Ebenezer means “stone of help,” and as Samuel set up the memorial, he said, “Thus far the LORD has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12, NASB).
On Ebenezer Day, we set aside time to share with one another how the Lord has helped us reach our current place over the last year of our walk with Him. This is my Ebenezer Stone…
The last year of my life has been filled with many struggles and difficult months. Late last January, everything I was dealing with was coming to a head. I felt my world crashing down all around me, and I struggled to function much less participate in life. I started seeing a wonderful Christian counselor who listened to me ramble on tearfully about my long list of issues, and she spoke Truth over me week after week, assuring me that I was not crazy and that I do indeed have good discernment. For the first time in my life, I heard someone say to me, “You are one of the least judgmental people I’ve ever met. Don’t let people tell you otherwise. You are full of mercy and compassion.”
God, that anyone could say that about me is truly a miracle wrought by Your hands!
Over the following months, the Lord continued to refine me. A friendship suffered through a terribly difficult season, yet through it all He remained faithful to speaking His will into my soul that I would know it and walk in it. He taught me day after day, “Don’t be hasty. Don’t be hasty. Don’t be hasty…” I had to wait on Him for His timing over and over, again and again to the point to where it became so easy to wait that I started struggling with remembering to listen during all of that waiting!
During the summer months, I struggled with knowing that I would have to return to work at Mother’s Day Out when that was the last possible job I wanted. I had applied for a job at a Christian private school that seemed so perfectly ideal it couldn’t possibly be real, and I hadn’t heard a word from them. I started to come up with other jobs I could do and even attempted to secure one for myself. Nothing came to fruition, though, and I resigned myself to knowing that I would spend another school year cutting out crafts and telling preschoolers to use their inside voices. Somewhere in the back of my mind, though, I had this sneaking suspicion that Abba was up to something more. And He was. Two weeks before school started, the Christian school hired me. Abba provided me with a great job in His timing.
The beginning of the school year was a practice in dependence on Abba. I did not show my best colors. I over planned, I over worked, and I over stressed. Instead of spending time in the Word on a daily basis, I fixated my attention on work, work, and more work. In September, the Lord whacked me over the head with the frying pan of conviction, and I recommitted myself to spending time in the Word daily. I’ve had my relapses, but by and large have spent time in the Word on a much more consistent basis. Somehow, in His Abba Greatness, He has lessened my work load, lessened my stress, and made my life so much better ever since. It’s amazing what He will do when you actually pay attention to Him.
Then we found out about Kid2010 taking up residence in my womb. A beautiful little sesame-seed sized baby on the ultrasound machine started reeking havoc on my body, and for the last month I have endured enough misery to make me beg for things of Jesus I’ve never begged for before in my life. “Please, just let me throw up. If I could throw up, I know I would feel better…” Some, He has granted. Others (like the throwing up), He has not. He seems to think I don’t need to vomit anymore than my stomach does. It’s a lesson in contentment, I’m sure…
For the first couple of weeks after we found out that we’re pregnant, I dealt with an almost paralyzing fear that we would suffer through another miscarriage. I shared my fears with y’all, and I believe with every fiber of my being that He heard your prayers and honored them by calming my spirit and reassuring me countless times that He knows what He’s doing. The fear of another miscarriage dissipated, and I am now confident that even if Kid2010 does go Home, we’ll be fine. Abba does know what He’s doing, and I trust Him to take care of us no matter what occurs. He always has, and He always will.
Today, I look over the last year of my life, and I shake my head in disbelief at some of the crap I’ve done. I would say that I’m ashamed of myself, but I’d rather say that I am so blessed to have a Savior who washed me clean 22 1/2 years ago and that I’m still as clean today as I was the day He saved me. I’d rather say that I’m glad that I recognize the bad decisions, the selfish, stupid sins, and the heartless actions, because that means He’s still at work in me. He shows me these ugly parts of myself, because He wants the same thing I want: complete sanctification.
We’ll get there someday. And when we do, I’ll raise my Ebenezer in gratitude.