The Night that Changed Everything...

Oct 13, 2023

It was a cold dark Sunday night in November. I had just tucked my sweet little girls, ages two and four into their warm, cozy beds upstairs. As I made my way downstairs, I thought about the busy week ahead, and the chaotic weekend just behind me. I found myself in the kitchen mindlessly pouring a glass of red wine and tiptoeing quietly to the living room to curl up under a blanket, and scroll through TV. My husband I had recently divorced and I was hoping to calm my mind to hopefully pursue a restful night of sleep. 

I’ve always been a huge fan of Jennifer Garner. Back in the year 2000, I remember watching the very first episode of alias, and I was hooked. I never missed an episode, and if we weren’t home, I set my DVR to record it, yep that’s how old I am. So when 13 going on 30 flashed on the TV screen that’s where I landed.  I intended to watch a few minutes while drinking my bedtime glass of wine to let my brain wander before heading to bed myself. I never expected what would happen next...

In the movie, Jennifer Garner's character, who is actually a 13-year-old girl makes a wish on a candle that instantly makes her 30. After living an adult life in the big city for a few weeks, it's all just too much for her and she realizes how hard it is to be an adult and she just wants to be 13 again and in her parents home. 

She takes the train to her small town home and walks into her parent's home who aren’t there, and hides in the closet crying. She hides in the closet and begins to cry. Her parents arrive home and hearing the sounds they open the closet door and see their sweet daughter, who instantly falls into both of their arms crying, needing to be comforted by her parents. As they comforted her, my eyes went from the TV screen to the picture of my daughters above the fireplace lying in the sunshine with big smiles on their face. And I began to feel a deep sense of sadness. All I ever wanted for my children was to be raised in a home, the complete opposite of mine. To have a loving, calm, happy home with two happy, loving parents that brought them peace and comfort, consistency, and confidence.

I began sobbing like a little child uncontrollably. The shoulder heaving uncontrollable kind. So much so I fell to the ground and in the midst of my sobs, I just began to pray. I prayed like I've never prayed before. Not because I was in trouble or desperate like I'd prayed so many times before, which was always more like wishing rather than actually praying to a Holy Father that is good and wants good things for His children. But I actually prayed and sought my Father through my tears. Like Jennifer returning home to her parents, I was seeking the same comfort and relationship from my Holy Father for the first time in my life. And He was there. He met me right there in the midst of my pain. My Father held me that night and has not let go of me since. 

Sure, when I was 9 I prayed a prayer that I recited from someone at church, but that was not salvation and that was not seeking a relationship with my Father and my Savior. 

As I looked at Jennifer in the arms of her parents, the devastating reality hit. That’s all I ever wanted for my children and family and it's not here. I did NOT want history to repeat itself. I wanted to give them a safe happy home with two loving parents that they could return home to at any time. I wanted them to feel safe and valued and loved. But that's not where we are. Our marriage had ended, and I was on the same path to repeat the generational cycle from my childhood. Luckily, God used this Hollywood moment to GRAB me. As I prayed through streaming tears, I asked the Lord to forgive me. To forgive me for my entire life. For the way that I had always lived and to save me. And HE did. 

The bible tells us that Jesus can change us instantly. And in the moment, on that cold Sunday night He did. This was my salvation. Jesus and the Holy Spirit immediately entered my heart and soul and nothing has been the same since. Everything has changed. He wants me and my family to thrive, not just survive and He wants the same for you my friend.

The Moral: Keep praying for that lost person you love. Jesus hears you and will never stop pursuing them. 

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