“None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.” – Paulo Coelho
Shortly after I turned 28 years old, one day I opened up Microsoft Word on my computer and started writing a journal. I’m not sure exactly why, but I’m extremely grateful I did. It has been an amazing outlet for expressing my thoughts and emotions without any judgement. That journal is approaching 200 pages now – I’ve written there and other journals consistently over the years. Sometimes I think I’m writing it for Jen and my girls to read one day (Jen has read a few parts from time to time), but at this point, that’s really up to them if they are interested.
The first entry followed a very inspiring visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts to see the Vincent Van Gogh exhibit. The second entry I wrote after capturing an even more inspiring Easter celebration experience two days later. Here is what I wrote, almost 20 years ago:
Sunday, April 30, 2000
Easter Sunday was last weekend, but I cannot forget the experience at Church. It was deeply moving and one of those days that I almost cried several times. Haven’t had a good cry in a while as a matter of fact.
Mom, Aunt Deb, Uncle David and Job drove in from Howell to go with Jennifer and I to our new church, First Presbyterian of Royal Oak. After meeting at our house and making fun of the front door we tried to paint on Saturday, we piled in the Lumina (Aunt Deb’s favorite – “the Lllllluuuuumina”) and made our way down 11 mile road (very slowly – Job wasn’t enjoying the 30 mile per hour residential area).
During the service, I noticed Mom playing with something – her hands kept moving. The charm bracelet. It was making noise. I looked down and she had one of the charms open, the one with the pictures of Beth. She was rubbing one of the pictures between her thumb and index finger, staring straight ahead and listening to Dr. Russell introduce the lay liturgist for the day. It’s been almost eight years now since Beth passed away.
Near the end of the service, as we sang Hymn to Joy, Dr. Russell invited people from the congregation to come up and join the choir for the singing of “Hallelujah!” (from Messiah). Aunt Deb told mom to go up there. You could tell she really wanted to go. Finally, she gave in. “I’m going to go up and sing with the choir,” she said with excitement. I watched as she made her way up the left side of the church and into the large grouping of people on stage. It was one of the most powerful musical experiences I’ve ever been a part of. Way better than Phish at Red Rocks.
5 days later on May 5th, 2000, after delivering a life insurance policy to a pastor at a church in Royal Oak, he delivered me to Jesus Christ. It was on that day I asked Him to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. After several years of being angry with God for taking my sister from us, my heart changed to a deep desire to get to know him. That desire is even stronger today.
This year’s Easter celebration was very different for us, as I’m sure it was for everyone else dealing with Stay Home and Stay Safe. God was up to something then, and He is up to something even bigger now. How is your spiritual condition? Are you feeding your Faith or your fear lately? I would love to find out and have a conversation with you. The Time has come, the Kingdom of Heaven is near.