Monday, February 28, 2011
THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO ANYONE BUT ME
Have you ever had an experience where you had this feeling like you were the only person this has ever happened to?
When Tony, my first child, was born my husband Ken was overseas with the army. Back then, a military wife went to a military hospital to have a baby. It wasn’t like today when the military pays for her to use civilian doctors and give birth in a civilian hospital. So, I went to the nearest military hospital.
My husband couldn’t be with me and him thousands of miles away in Japan. So his grandmother was spending the week with me at the base guest house where I would be near the hospital for the delivery. But, after riding to the hospital with me in a taxi, she was sent back to the guest house to await a call about delivery.
This left me at the hospital without friend or family when my first child was born. And to top it off, I had never even seen the doctor before he walked in to deliver my baby. After the delivery, I had no one running into my room to hug me and tell me how beautiful my little boy was. No one to greet me and grin at me in the hallway as I was wheeled from the recovery room and into the “Maternity Ward.”
There were no private rooms, or even semi-private ones, but a long room full of beds occupied by new mothers, with curtains to pull between them for “privacy.”
However, none of this took away my joy and excitement.
When I was wheeled into the ward, the curtains were open and all eyes turned toward me. I recall seeing only a bunch of solemn faces in a sea of white bed linens. But I was grinning proudly from ear to ear as if to say: “Look at me. I’ve just given birth to a beautiful baby boy,” like I was the only one in the room -- in the whole world -- who had ever accomplished such a feat.
Ten years later, this “beautiful baby boy,” led me to a second such experience.
Tony had gone to kneel at the altar in our little church several times, where the pastor’s wife prayed with him. (I learned later that he was praying about God’s call to become a minister.) I had given my heart to Christ as a seven-year-old, and had tried to “be good” growing up. But many times through the years, I’d had doubts about my being a Christian because I didn’t always “feel saved,” and didn’t feel I was good enough to go to Heaven. Now, as I watched my child respond to prompting from God, the Holy Spirit began to deal with me, too.
Along about this time, I had read someplace that “Salvation is a fact, not a feeling.” Searching the Scriptures, I found the “fact” in Romans 10: 9 and 13: I’m saved when I call on God to save me, and confess Him as the Lord of my life.
After spending some special time alone with God, making sure I was truly a Christian, I got a little “nudging” one night to go up and kneel at the altar with Tony. I didn’t understand why, because I knew now that I was a Christian, and the pastor was praying with him. But I knew I needed to go.
When I slipped out of the pew Ken followed me. Together, we knelt beside our son. The pastor's wife knelt to pray with us. I don't know what she prayed, but I didn't need to know; I was having my own conversation with God.
All I could say was a silent,"Thank you, God, thank you," over and over again. I didn't even wonder why I was saying it, for I knew that something wonderful had happened within me when
I obeyed the Lord's prompting to walk up in front of the congregation to kneel before Him.
That was forty-five years ago. I know I’m still not “good enough“ to go to Heaven, but Jesus took care of that when He died on the cross. And his Holy Spirit has taken care of my doubts, for as Romans 8:16 says Christ’s Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am a child of God.
This is the "fact" that gave me the wonderful “I’m the only person this has ever happened to” feeling and made me grin that big, silly grin as I walked back to my pew that night -- as I did when wheeled into that maternity ward ten years earlier.
Both times, a new life had just begun.