It’s moments like these.

Me and my “nephew-in-Christ”

I was on the road Sunday night, driving home in the dark, listening to pensive music as city lights off the highway shone like the stars above, but closer to earth.

A new year and new decade has just begun, and I realized that my birthday was coming this week as well.

It’s a situation where you can’t help but think and reflect. My little car zipping home, unseen, became a private observatory of space and time.

My sweet “nephew”, made so through Christ and the ministry I operate, snoozed in the back seat. This child that allowed me to experience the motherhood I feared I was missing at this age. I pondered the special bond we had. How my voice was one that represented to him happiness and security. When I enter a room, he turns his head to find my face. He has come to trust that I will meet his cries and that he doesn’t have to wail in fear that I’ve abandoned him. He readily smiles for me in the morning after waking up.

I love him so much.

This picture was taken last week. Never in my life have I felt such love for another human being. I delight to lose sleep for him, to cry for him, to set aside my own goals for him, because nothing else matters. There’s this little human whose reality is being formed moment by moment, and I want to make sure that every one of those moments where he’s in my care, he is being told over and over again through my words and my actions, you are loved, you are loved, you are loved.

This picture was taken last week, and had the last 26 years gone according to my plans, had God removed His hand from me for one second, this picture would not have happened, and neither would so many other moments.

Had I gotten my plan when I was 17, I would not be who I am today. I would probably have stunted in my maturing, been deeply in debt, and relatively unhelpful to the kingdom. My insecurities would be repeatedly affirmed. It required Christ tearing down my idols and laying me bare, inflicting deep pain and exposing my wretched ways, to heal me.

But more soberly, and then by the same token, more beautifully, I realized that it’s moments like these that make me glad I didn’t end my life before now.

If I had ended my life at 13 when I first pondered ending it, or at 15 or 16 when I visualized it, or at 19 when I researched and planned it, or even this last September, when Jarrid Wilson took his life and I, being depressed already, despaired that I was doomed to the same end so I might as well do it now – if any of these times had come to fruition according to my desires, I never would have met this precious human and never had the opportunity to see his life saved.

It’s moments like these, where my broken heart is healed a little more, where I am privileged to feed him a bottle at 3am, where I hold his wriggling, giggling body, so excited for the day at 6am, where I feel him fall asleep on my chest at 10am and again a few more times in the day, that I am glad I lived.

(I’m looking at the picture on my desk as I write this of me holding him mere minutes after he was born. Yes, I was privileged to be there. Auntie Em was the title I was quickly awarded and have deeply cherished ever since.)

It’s moments like these, where I get to befriend his amazing mama and disciple her, and see God resurrect her heart, mature her, grow her, counsel her through the ministry I have wept over and almost given up when I feel I can’t go on any more – it’s moments like these, where I see God so vividly and miraculously fulfill His promises in His children to restore and sanctify that I’m glad I lived.

It’s moments like these, where I hear a young woman realize she wants to seek counseling after a conversation with me about her traumatic life, where strangers send messages of encouragement online for me to press on, where Jesus proves Himself victorious over divisions and losses and the entire world in ordinary occurrences that won’t make history books, but make for milestones in my fleeting biography that is being written by the most loving Author – it’s in moments like these that I’m glad I lived.

It’s moments like these that make me believe God all the more when He says,

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

And again when He says,

…God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:10b-11

It’s moments like these when, in reflecting on the deep sufferings that still afflict my soul, where I have yet to see the reasons why and plead with God to restore what I lost, I am quieted to a place where I know I can trust my Heavenly Father to do all things well (Mark 7:37), in His perfect, perfect timing.

Life is worth living because the giver of Life does all things well.


Thank you for such a blessed, humbling, and exciting year at emilyurban.com. Our subscriber count grew and the podcast was started – and there’s more to come.

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Emily

Twenty-something-year-old vagabond making my way home. I write from the midwest on the coast of Lake Michigan about life lessons, my failures, and what God reveals to me through His word and the wise people He’s placed in my life.

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