God revealed Himself to me in a moment: from adamant disbelief to belief in an instant of His felt presence. That revelation left me repentant, begging forgiveness and longing to know this God I had been so wrong about – but I did not suddenly know God. A little over a year passed between the time I knew that God is and the time I knew something about who God is.
The friend who ministered to me told me there would come a point in my journey when God would ask me to make a commitment to Him – to choose Him over myself. The more I learned about God from reading my Bible, listening to sermons and talking with Christian friends, the more I fretted over my friend’s words.
What would it look like? How would He ask? Would I even recognize it? I pondered and imagined.
What if I missed it?!
November 11, 2019 marked the eighth anniversary of God’s request for my commitment: November 11, 2011. 11/11/11. The memory remains clear in my mind.
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. Psalm 73:28
My mom had slipped on her steps and badly bruised her leg early that November. The Friday after her fall I planned to drive the 200 miles to her house to help her for the weekend – just until she could get on her feet a bit.
It was already dark when I kissed my husband and son goodbye, climbed into my truck and pulled out of our driveway. The night was cold and stunningly clear. Several inches of recently fallen snow blanketed the ground. As I drove south on the interstate through the flat farmland of central Wisconsin, a huge golden harvest moon rose from the eastern horizon and dulled the stars. Burnished gold glinted off a pristine blanket of snow. I turned every now and then to look full into that glorious moon. I turned up the Christian radio station I had begun to listen to and sang my heart out to God – the God I was getting to know and wanted to trust with my life.
A memory from junior high gym class suddenly flashed in my mind. I was supposed to do a somersault on the balance beam. I watched as girl after girl mounted the beam and did the somersault as the teacher spotted or supported them as needed. My turn came. I mounted the beam and squatted into position – and froze. I don’t know why it scared me so badly, but no matter what the teacher said or did, I could not move. I took the “F” and slipped off the beam.
I drove and sang and thought on the memory a bit. Suddenly I saw myself standing on the three-foot concrete ledge of a building some five stories up. I felt the roughness of the red brick against my palms as I pressed my back and hands to the wall. Dim light shone from behind curtains in the windows of surrounding buildings. I looked up – and Jesus stood across from me in the air! He is almost close enough for me to reach Him. His arms open wide in an unspoken invitation to jump into them. My gaze is drawn to His eyes: eyes that hold the assurance He will catch me. I cannot tear my gaze from His eyes. His eyes are deep pools – bottomless pools that hold all of time and all of life in them. His eyes speak volumes of love and acceptance and invitation – and I want to jump into them and feel like I will fall into them, both at the same time.
The ledge is wide enough that I have no fear of falling off. I step forward and prepare to jump, but freeze. I move back against the wall and pray, “God, help me let this ‘self’ die so I can be completely Yours.” I try again and chicken out again. And pray again. After about the fourth time, I force myself off the ledge. I do not just step off the ledge, I fling myself into Jesus’ arms across what feels like a chasm. I feel His strong arms catch me and hold me tight, but with a gentleness I have never known. I hold on for dear life.
As suddenly as I was on that ledge, I was driving down the road again: moon shining, radio playing, tears streaming down my face, and my heart was so full I felt it might burst. As my tears flowed so did the weight of shame and guilt, so did the worry I had carried. I had fretted over God’s invitation, and Jesus made it abundantly clear: simple, yet extravagant. The God I had almost thrown away for eternity came for me. Jesus wanted me, and my leap into His arms sealed my commitment. I said “yes” to Jesus on 11/11/11, and though the journey has not always been easy, I have never looked back from my decision.