"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
My journey through life has held so many bumps, mistakes, disappointment in my circumstances and myself. When I "found" the Bible verse above, I held it as my own. I had been in some bad circumstances; my life had derailed from the "happily ever after" I had imagined. But in that verse, I found hope. The promise of a future, living for God's purposes, excited and thrilled me! I. Had. A. Future! Thank you Father!
I have done those magazine quizzes which are designed to help the reader find his/her "passion" in life. Usually there is a question or thought-provoking exercise where the reader is asked to recall times or events in life when one felt fully alive, energized. I have a couple of memories which fall into that category which always make me wonder a bit about my life and how on earth I took the detours I took. The first event was a "zone" meeting at the home of an elderly couple from the church congregation where I grew up. I remember sitting on a side pillar/wall of their front steps talking with some friends. I know we had shared some food because we always did that when church family gathered. I don't remember eating; I don't remember a devotional time; I do remember sitting on that wall talking with friends; watching as children, teenagers, and adults mingled and moved about, I had a deep sense of contentment and joy. Looking back on that moment, I feel that I knew, in that moment, what life was about-- I was probably eight or nine years old when that happened. That moment in my life has been relived numerous times in my mind and stands out as a high point.
The second event was the summer after my first child was born. My husband and I were poorer than the proverbial church mouse. But our congregation teamed with an inner-city congregation to conduct a vacation Bible school for the children of the neighborhood around that church. I remember pushing my baby daughter in her stroller as we walked to and then back home from that small church building. Singing, with voices young and old, black and white, praises to our Lord and Father was so uplifting. What a blessed time that was. I don't have any other clear memories of that week of serving other than the vague feeling that those children loved to gobble the cookies at snack time.
Those events in my young life, separated by more than a decade of existence, are very clearly times in which I felt fully alive, as if I was doing what I was created to do. I can't say that I knew for sure at those times; but looking back, that is always the sensation that I feel while remembering those moments.