Moments and Monuments

Written by Julie Hayden

July 3, 2018

Moments and Monuments

“Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel.  But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel.  And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car.  Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the LORD has helped us.’”  1 Samuel 7: 10-12

“Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; and Joshua said to them:  ‘Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’  Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.  And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.” And  children of Israel did so……” Joshua 4:4-8a

stones2

July 3, 2012 is a defining moment in my life.  Probably other than accepting Christ as my Savior – today is the most defining moment in my family.  In a moment, my world changed forever.  I couldn’t have planned for it.  I didn’t know it when I got up that day.  But it is a moment I will never forget.

Do you have defining moments in your life?  Situations or days when something shifted – good or bad- that defined your life?  Moments that made you stand in awe?  Times that left you thinking what in the world just happened?

In those radically defining moments, we are given choices.  Will we go through them or grow through them?  Will there be collateral damage or kingdom advancement?

In my defining moment, I remember just being SHOCKED! It was unbelievable to me.  I didn’t have any words for what had happened.  My family & my friends were in the same boat – no one could believe what had just transpired.

That first day the shock wore off and I began to feel these waves of emotion:  anger, fear, sadness, doubt, panic, tears, nausea, unbelief.  But God……

God sent people.  My dad, my sisters, my friends were all praying.   Multiple pastors came that day to surround our family in the first hours of our loss.  They prayed.  They spoke truth.  They offered prayers and help.

Even more, God spoke to my heart.  Within 24 hours, He gave me understanding of the path I was about to walk.  He told me where to focus my attention and where to let go.  I knew the painful path I was about to walk, but I KNEW HE was with me.

Every day was a struggle.  Every day was a choice.  Every day was a challenge.  Every day was a new normal.

God gave grace EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!!

After 365 days, God asked us to celebrate and make a memorial to Him.  I gathered all those who had walked the journey the closest with us.  As we were preparing to start, I went around the room and introduced each person and celebrated the way God used them in our journey.  We celebrated together the faithfulness of God.  “The goodness of God in the land of the living….” Psalm 27:13-14

As the night drew to a close, my dad said to me, “Julie, you have seen miracle, after miracle, after miracle.”  And it was so true!  Had I not walked that season, had that moment, I would not have seen the overwhelming goodness and miracle working power of God.  Had I not lived through that moment and season I wouldn’t be who I am today or where I am today.  God brings messages out of our messes; He brings monuments out of our moments.

July 3, 2012 was a defining moment.  But the choices I made to surrender it to God made it a Monument to His goodness and faithfulness.

You each have a choice to make every day.  Will you give your moments to God allowing Him to make monuments of grace out each situation?  Or will you keep your moments and allow the enemy to make monuments of your destruction?

In the words of one of the verses of the old hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing:

Here I raise mine Ebenezer hither by Thy help I come

And I know by Thy good pleasure safely to arrive at home

Jesus sought me when a stranger wondering from the fold of God

He, to rescue me from danger interposed His precious blood.

Go build some Ebenezers today – THUS FAR THE LORD HAS HELPED ME!!!!  And He’s not stopping now.

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