My Defining Moment 

Define It | Devotion #3: My Defining Moment
Debbie Gabbara | Assistant to the Gathering Pastor

I had been running from God for a long time. Although it was 28 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a long slow drive home from work on a snowy night in February. I worked in an office during the week and then worked at our business on the weekend. I was newly married, and our blended family gave us five kids. The kids were always fighting, and we were always fighting about the kids. The “happily ever after” was not all that happy for any of us.

It was on my mind to go to church that Sunday. Maybe that would help. But I was already tired, so like I had been doing for way too long, I reminded myself how busy my life was and told myself that I deserved at least one day to sleep in for as long as the kids would allow. The radio was on in the car, and I was wandering through the stations. “Jesus rose from the grave, and you, you can’t even get out of bed.” All of a sudden, my thoughts were jolted by the words coming from the radio.

It had been a very long time since I had knelt at the altar in a little church and asked Jesus to come into my heart. I know without a doubt that Jesus came into my life that day. His love flooded my heart and soul. But somehow I had spent ten years living my life without giving Jesus much thought, and I was a wreck.
The slow-moving traffic kept me crawling along for what seemed like forever. I could not get the words to that song to stop running through my head. “Jesus rose from the grave, and you, you can’t even get out of bed.”

The song was called, “Asleep in the Light.” As a girl, I had invited the Light of the World to come into my heart, yet I had been “asleep” and ignored God for years. Suddenly, I could not live without Him another minute. I pulled my car into a parking lot and begged the Lord to forgive me and let me come back to Him. I made a mess of my life on my own, and I needed Him desperately. I found Jesus again that night.  It was real, personal, and the most powerful overwhelming presence of God I have ever known. I had given my heart to Jesus when I was a little girl; I gave Him my life that snowy night in February. 

My life was forever changed that night. I was rescued by a Savior that had never stopped loving me. My family was still a broken mess, but I was determined to walk with Jesus. With Him, we had a chance to make it.

We went to church that Sunday, I took my children and began to pray for my husband. My family needed to learn about Jesus. He is the only one who can save us from our sins and redeem our lives. I wanted them to experience God’s forgiveness, steadfast love, and faithfulness. God was there; He had always been there, waiting for me to let Him be a part of my life.

“For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all
who call upon you.” Psalm 86:5

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