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A 9/11 Birthday

We all remember so many details and images of 9/11/01.

As I drove up the beautiful Colonial Parkway toward home that day, I wondered how it would forevermore feel to be one with a birthday on 9/11. How would those born on this day celebrate life in the midst of such death? I wasn’t born on this day so I don’t know why I had that thought. But I do know that God knows every thought or maybe He planted that thought in my mind, knowing I would revisit it many times in the coming years.

On 9/11/2006 at around 10:15am, the 5th anniversary of this Patriot Day, with the roll call of those that died playing in the distance, the supernatural power of God met the natural in my life. I found myself that morning alone. We had since moved from Virginia to NC and I was battling severe depression. This was not new, it had been going on for years but on this day I was tired of fighting each and every day to stay alive. Satan had me in a stronghold and I was almost convinced of my unworthiness. I almost wanted to die to relieve the pain I felt. Almost, because for reasons that even I do not know, I said a desperate and sincere prayer to Jesus. One word was all I screamed – “HELP!”

And then….as in the days of the Apostle Paul, I encountered the Living God.

His magnificent and radiant Glory filled my dining room/office. I had never seen such a light and never felt such a presence. His presence filled every crevice of that room including every part of me. I felt both incredible peace and holy fear. I fell onto the floor and for what seemed hours,  I lay there…prostrate under the weight of His Glory. I was as one of the dead in my physical body though more alive than ever before within. On that day, the Almighty God allowed me to see just a glimpse of Himself, He held me in His arms and allowed me to see the “Missy” that He created me to be and showed me how satan had worked to destroy me even as he had destroyed my own dad. My Father spoke to me words that will forever be engraved in my heart…Words no one can ever take away or dismiss. Heavenly words! I spoke to Him words that I will forever live by. On that day, He healed me, delivered me and changed this life for all eternity. On that day, I repented of my sins, forgave all who I had been so unwilling to forgive and then He forgave me and I accepted His salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.  On that day, I made Him Lord and King. After years of hiding the truth about myself and pretending to be saved because I had walked the aisle one time as a child, I was truly born again. Washed as white as snow. That was the greatest of miracles in my life.

My Father then baptized me with His Holy Spirit and I began to speak a language I didn’t know! A heavenly language that until that very moment I had never believed in. He promised to restore my life and that of my family. His promises are always true! It was a suddenly, parting of the red sea experience. I was changed in every way…physically, emotionally and spiritually. For me, much of it was instant and yet the changes continue even today. I came away with a burning love for Him and His Word. I gave up many things of this world that occupied my mind and time and I started seeking Him through prayer and fasting and His Word and I so saturated my life with Him that before I knew it my old self was unrecognizable to me in many ways. 9/11/2006 Jesus gave me my LIFE and 9/11/2006 I turned around and gave it right back to Him.

So tomorrow is my real, true birthday. There will be no cake, no worldly gifts. I know no way to celebrate than this – to remain filled with a heart of gratitude and devotion and indescribable love for my beautiful Savior and those He created. To do His will as best as I can through His strength. To never forget…remind myself daily of Jesus’ sacrifice and His love for me that brought me out of the place of impending eternal death and into this eternal life. Think about it…at a time when the pain and grief of an entire country was so much in the world’s focus…My Shepherd “left the ninety-nine” to come and rescue this sinner. The beautiful Lamb of God carried this lamb home…what a special gift to me! Thank you so much Jesus!!!!

And herein lies another truth….If He did this for me, He will do it for you too. All of it. He will heal, deliver, save, baptize. He will reveal Himself to you. He will meet you or come after you. He will draw you to Himself or draw you closer. If you feel you are in a place that you can do nothing else, just say the only prayer I did – “HELP!”

On this the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, I pray for the peace and comfort for all but most especially those still in so much grief. I remember and I honor the lost….and yet, as one born on this day it is a special day of HOPE for me. How does it feel to be born on 9/11? It feels humbling, yet also incredibly hopeful. I pray today that you too know my Jesus as your Savior and your Lord! He is the reason for my HOPE!

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Throw Back Thursday

TBT – one of my FB memories from a few years ago said, “For 4-5 hours every Tuesday my life makes perfect sense.” That status referred to my work at the food pantry where I was allowed to minister to the people by praying with them and sharing the love of Jesus through the Word and mostly by just talking with them and getting to know their stories. That food pantry was my promised land for a time. Truly a special time in my life.

For about 6 months this year my life made perfect sense as I worked toward and was on the mission to Tanzania. I never felt closer to the Lord and never so dependent but also never so confident and confident in the Lord as I was there. I learned much through my walk with Jesus in TZ. I declare often that Africa is indeed still a promised land for me and I want to return with all of my heart.

After I left the food pantry (and I was called to leave as sure as I was called to go) even as I pressed on and waited on the Lord for direction and the next step, my heart grieved…for His people, His place, His purpose, His promise. I feel right back there today so truly is TBT.

Still pressing on…In Jesus Name!