Epiphany: a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
I have wanted to write about this since it happened, but it seems like it was never the “right” time. I struggle with the words to explain this moment, but with the help of my wonderful friend, Karen and my beautiful sister, Julie, I think I finally FOUND the words.
I wrote a post awhile back about living in the moment. God has been speaking something very strongly to my heart about living within the moments that I have, not trying to fix the past or change the future, not worrying about or even thinking about what is behind me, looking forward to the future, but not living there. Knowing that God is in control and nothing I do can change that!!
I had been trying to practice that, but with only spurts of success as I headed out on my trip to Idaho to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. I had decided to go visit my friend Karen and her mom, Winnie and my dad agreed to drive me from the airport to their house in Twin Falls. I knew I would have little time with them, but I felt strongly that it was important for me to go. It ended up that I had about 19 hours with them, but my life was changed in that time.
Karen is a personal trainer and had encouraged me in my weight loss and fitness goals. She is also a very kindred spirit as we are both rebels and a little crazy!! (She, much more crazy than I!!!) We stayed up late talking about God, changes, struggles in our life, then woke up after a few hours sleep and started talking about the same things again.
After a late breakfast, and a little workout time, we decided to take a walk down to this canyon that runs by her house with a beautiful river running through it. I wish I would’ve taken more pictures of this place, but it was not the PLACE that changed me.
As we walked and talked about the future, a moment came that was only what could be described as life-changing. That sounds so trite and cliché, but truly in one moment, my life changed. We stopped on the trail and it was as if a switch flipped on in my heart, as if a seed broke through the soil of my heart, revealing a beautiful new growth that I am still in the processing of realizing. Karen felt the change and experienced it within herself, also. Epiphany is possibly the word to explain but yet it is still revealing itself. I seem to have a new epiphany every day, a new unveiling of the change in my heart that is happening!
Great love broke through in my heart and with it came amazing peace. The peace that has continued to grow in my heart has changed my thought processes dramatically. The difference between my mind now compared to before that moment is monumental to me. I have always been one to worry and plan and try to make things work out. I have struggled with change for most of my life. I LIVED by to-do lists. Since I have been home, I think I have written 2 To-Do lists and then never looked at them again!! I found one the other day and without constantly consulting it, I had completed the important tasks on it. I have been able to roll with change much easier. AND living in the moment is becoming my first nature, rather than a forced exercise in focusing my mind into the present.
One of the most wonderful and exciting changes that this moment has brought for me is a lack of fear of what has been and what could be. I have tried to drum up these feelings of fear and they can be found, but then the peace returns as I focus on God and His faithfulness.
My sister, Julie spoke something to me while we had lunch together the day after this pivotal moment. She said that through all her life, she had struggled with trying to make everything right, thinking that IF she could just do this or that, make the correct choice, her life would turn out good. And the reverse, she believed and lived to be true-if she make the wrong choice, she would mess up her life!! She explained to me that she had discovered that no matter what she did, God was FAITHFUL! He was bigger than her mess, greater than her “perfection,” grander than any performance she could ever put on. He was in control and NOTHING she could do would change that!! This thought, this epiphany, exactly described my heart!! I realized in a moment, in some miraculous flash, that God’s love, grace and power was infinitely greater than I could ever imagine. Nothing I did could ever reduce, dim or in anyway CHANGE who God was!!
So some of you may be thinking, “Okay, duh!”
Yeah, I know it sounds elementary. Sounds maybe like something a pastor’s wife should already know! BUT KNOWING IN THE HEAD AND EXPERIENCING IN THE HEART IS TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!!!
And experiencing is what I am doing now. Since I have come back from my trip, my sense of peace has been tested and I have not always allowed myself to accept the comfort of knowing that God is in control… Today was one of those times, but still GOD IS FAITHFUL!! He impressed upon a friend to call me and just hearing Karen’s voice and being able to pour my heart out to her, lifted the gloom. My situation is still the same but my attitude is much more peaceful!! God is in control!! He is bigger than all my problems. Bigger than sickness, bigger than any disease, greater than sin, greater than all the world’s political and moral issues!! He is GOD!! HE IS MY CREATOR!!
What I walked into in that canyon, changed me!! Changed me deeply and irreversibly!! Yeah, I can fall back into worry but God is faithful to draw me back!! I am in His arms, even when I don’t acknowledge them!!
What a wonderful epiphany!! And it continues each day!!