Yes, yes, I know what you are thinking, "What do kissing, fainting and trusting God have in common?"
Let me enlighten you. The answer is: Monday night. PLEASE read the whole post!!!
It was a joyous evening. I was at the home of a dear friend surrounded by eight of my best friends. We had eaten, played games, laughed, talked, reminisced and were now digging into the ice cream. Darrah had been in a wedding the past weekend and was sharing details.
(You need one piece of critital information before reading further. All nine of us believe in courstship. Our age range is 16-21. None of us have dated. None of us have ever kissed before. All of us are committed to our first kiss being at the altar on our wedding day.) Now, you may continue...
Eric, the group jokester, but deep thinker spoke up, "You know, I have been thinking. None of us here have kissed before. Personally, I'm a little nervous. When the pastor says, 'You may now kiss the bride.' I am going to stand there and think, 'I don't know what to do!' "
We all burst into hysterical laughter.
I was in the middle of a bite of yummy chocolate ice cream covered in Heath shell topping. I was lauging uncontrollably. The ice cream did not make it down correctly, so I started coughing. I moved away to clear my throat and felt a sharp pain in my chest.
The next thing I know... I am laying on the floor surrounded by my brother and friends. I blink and try to focus. I lick my lips and try swallowing. My head is throbbing with excruciating pain and my elbow hurts. My friends sigh with relief and begin praising God. My brother is lifting my head into his lap, hugging my neck and praying praises. My bowl of ice cream is spilled on the floor. Bethany starts drilling me with questions from the 911 operator.
"What is your name?" (I was so scared, not sure of what had happened, and afraid I would answer the questions wrong.) I answered, "Jaclyn." Bethany relayed that I had answered correctly. "Jaclyn, what year is it?" I had to think a moment, "Two thousand five." Alright, I passed two. "Who is the president." Before I tell you what I answered, let me say this: It is not a good time to crack a joke. I responded, "John Kerry." Everyone started laughing and saying, "She's fine!" Bethany, though, wanted the right answer, "JACLYN, WHO is president?" I smiled, "George W. Bush."
"What happened?" I asked. "Am I okay?"
People started chattering and telling me what had happened. No one had seen me pass out, but they all heard a loud thump. I was out cold, turning white, eyes open and making a raspy breathing sound for 30 seconds to a minute.
After checking my pulse and calling 911, my brother had laid his hand on my forehead. He begun to earnestly pray for me. Eric said, "Your eyes were so hard, so lifeless. Ben was praying and as soon as he said, 'Lord Jesus, protect her.' your eyelashes began to flutter. Life returned to your eyes and you began to move. Then you blinked and said, 'What happened?' "
Although I will not bore you with details of the police, firemen and the rest of the evening, I must testify. I must testify to God's mercy. I must tell you of His gace. I have to tell you of His protection. I have to tell you of my burning faith. I suffered a head injury and slight concusion, as well as a bruised elbow. Yet, I did not bleed, nor did I die. I was surronded by Godly, calm and loving friends.
AND... I pray that I will never, ever, EVER take for granted OR minimize the power of the name of Jesus.
My friends also promised to warn my future husband of my fainting at the thought of our first kiss. They are also threatening to rush up to me when the pastor says, "You may now kiss the bride." to hold me up. Hahaha, guys!
A test of faith. A test of trust. This was not trusting God with money. This was not faith in God with circumstances. This was not trusting God with people. This was my own body. So fragile. In one moment everything changed. Life is short.
More than that, I know exactly why it happened to me. I have been on a journey with God in learning to trust Him completely and growing in my faith of Him. When I was told that at the name of Jesus life had been restored to my bones, I was overwhellmed with faith- TRUE faith in Jesus Christ. God and I have been having these conversations lately.
"God, I want to believe You. I want to trust You completely."
"Do you REALLY, child?"
"Yes, God, I do."
"Do you know what that means?"
"I want to know You, God!"
"Ok, Jaclyn. Hold on for the ride of your life. Watch this! Jaclyn, did you see THAT? That was MY grace. That was MY power! You thought you knew me? Baby, we are just getting started!"
Monday night was a time when I said back to God, "I saw, God. I understand. You are all-powerful. You are gracious. You are loving. You heal at the name of Jesus. You build my faith when I ask you to."
Now, did I think God would cause me to faint in order to increase my faith? No. Do I have more faith than I did at 6PM on Monday? Yes. Is the journey of faith over? No way!
I truly believe that faith is not something we receive by going to church. We do not get faith from a simple Bible study. Faith is not easily attained. That is why we must work at it with all our hearts. We must see every trial and pain as another key to faith. With each key that God hands us, if we accept and open the new door, it leads to more and more access to the character of God Himself. Granted, each key may become a greater challenge, but God has been there all along! He has walked right beside me! He has never given me reason to doubt. Because of what I saw with the last key, I can rest assured of the door I am opening now.
Salvation is secure. Hope is constant. Faith is gained. Faith is being SURE of what you hope for and confident of things not seen. Faith parts Red Seas. Faith shuts the mouths of lions. Faith walks into the firey furnace. Faith hides spies. Faith talks to Pharoah. Faith is stoned. Faith makes sense of scars and tears. Faith assures and calms fears.
God, increase my faith and teach me to love You with every fiber in my being.