Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A view from a window

For those of us who know Jesus, probably life’s most defining moment is coming to faith in Christ-that moment that we first begin to understand that Jesus has forgiven us.  We are newly born into the Kingdom of God.  I heard a sermon this morning about baptism.  I thought how much is wrapped up in that act of baptism.

I don’t have a story of I was lost and then found Jesus and all was changed.  Oh, I have been lost and have found Jesus and my life has been changed.  However, my journey is just that, a journey of growing understanding of faith and relationship with Jesus.  I got “saved” many times as a child and youth.  Each time it was part of the saying yes to Jesus in increasing ways.  For me, a defining “moment” is hard if I think of the most important thing in my life, my salvation and relationship to Jesus. 

There was an event, a “moment” that truly changed my life forever.  It all happened because of Jesus.  But it wasn’t when I came to faith.  It was when the spirit of God caused something to rise up within me.  It was that moment that I realized that God could give me the strength and grace to change my life through education.

For those of you who have read this blog for a while, you know at one time I was high school drop-out.  You know I was deserted and abused by the husband of my youth.  If you haven’t read these stories you can go over to Sounds of Hope and read some if it by starting here.  The shorter version is that I had a husband who beat me, abandoned me, while pregnant with our third child.  In everyone’s eyes including mine, I had not hope, not future.  A single mom on welfare doesn’t have much going for them.

It was May 10, 1975.  I had a premature labor and delivered a baby girl whose future was uncertain.  Not just because of my circumstances but because she wasn’t expected to live.  Alone in the hospital room I walked to the window and saw a sea of caps and gowns as my peers came from receiving their degrees.  At first it was a cruel joke.  The loses I’d had.  The lack of hope I had contrasted to graduates clasping their diplomas ready for a bright future.  I cried. 

But that’s where the spirit of God rose up.  That’s where something I can’t explain stirred inside of me.  Somehow, someway, I would be one of those graduates.  Somehow, someway, I would find a way to get that education.   Three and half years later, remarried, pregnant with child number four, I clutched my Bachelor of Science degree from the same university. 

I can imagine what my life would have been like if that defining moment in that hospital room so many years ago had not occurred.  If I had never gone to school.  If I had never worked hard to make something of myself.  Most importantly, if God hadn’t given me the grace, strength, and fortitude to persevere, I couldn’t have done it.  Some people never understood my push.  Others came beside me and helped with love and comfort and tangible help.

Finding Jesus made all the other defining moments of my life possible.  Education gave me the chance to feed my family and to be equipped to work for the Kingdom.


Tony C said...

Wow...very moving. Powerful stuff. The hurt you must have felt looking out that window, well, thnk we've all been there at some point in life. But I know God dwells within me today because I would never wish that hurt on another human soul. No matter how repulsive or heinous their actions may be.

Thanks for sharing Joyce.

Tracy said...

I adore this account. Only the Holy Spirit, the all loving God, rises up Hope like that inside. When it looks impossible on the outside, and then that impulse of the Spirit comes so strong inside us......it reminds me of a line from a children's song: Our God is so big, so strong, and so mighty - there's nothing that He can not do!

David-FireAndGrace said...

You are doing a great job!

Andrea York said...

I wasn't aware of your testimony - very powerful.

What strikes me most is knowing that you are completing another degree - know wonder it is so discouraging for you. The enemy wanted to take it from you as a teenager, I'm sure none of your education was easy to obtain but that's the very place you can have great victory.

Your story is so moving and inspiring and I love the Father all the more because His heart is always with his children to see them come into their destiny.

Joyce Lighari said...

thanks for your kind and encouraging words... As far as testimony? you don't even know the half of it... mine is quite filled with despair and victory... and yes, education is a place of great victory and the enemy still works relentlessly to keep me from my destiny - I haven't found it yet... but I'm still looking and moving.
A close friend told me last week - sooner or later the devil is going to realize he can't stop you and just give up - I don't know about that... but... It would be nice