Embracing Sacred Moments

Lake Cortez at dawn

Have you ever wanted to hold on to a moment in time and savor the amazing experience a little longer?

The radiant fog bank settled just above Lake Cortez at dawn, a stark contrast to the winter landscape surrounding my home. I tried to focus on my writing deadline, but I halted my work to observe the breath-taking view.

The glowing mist at sunrise brought a familiar Bible verse to mind, encouraging me to embrace the moment. “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone” (James 4:14 NLT).

Such memorable experiences happen when I least expect them, and they vanish without warning. But I always want to hold on to those special moments longer than possible.

The first time I heard my child’s heartbeat, I tuned out everything else, as I wondered about the new life inside me. Etched on the tablet of my heart, I recall those firsts—feeling him move, seeing his face, and holding him in my arms.

Those rare occurrences happen in my writing life, too. When I received my first contract to write an article for a well-respected publication, I held the envelope close to my heart a long time before opening it. Then, I unfolded the letter with great care and examined every word to be sure I didn’t skip any details.

Another momentous occasion occurred in December, as I shopped for Christmas gifts with my grandson Miles. “Wait, wait,” I drew a deep breath and raised my right hand to stop our conversation, so I could read the e-mail on my iPhone.

Confused by the interruption, Miles offered me a wrinkled brow.

“Seriously—wait,” I exhaled. “I’ve got to hold on to this moment.”

I read the message again, basking in the power of the encouraging words. “They like my proposal! And she wants to discuss signing me as a client!” I couldn’t restrain myself from expressing my thanksgiving and praise. “What a great Christmas gift!”

Later that week, my heart raced again when the agent called to confirm her offer. I found it hard to suppress my enthusiasm and joy, so I could listen to her instructions and tell her about my writing goals and dreams.

When my husband, Dan, asked about the details of my phone call, I still couldn’t gather my thoughts because of my excitement. “Maybe I should have taken notes,” I admitted.

So how can we embrace our sacred moments? We know such blessings vanish as fast as they appear, just as morning fog dissipates when exposed to the first rays of sunlight.

We can capture the essence of our experiences with descriptive words and well-chosen phrases in our narratives. And through this writing process, others will also be encouraged to tell the stories that matter most to them.

Photo/KarenJordan

Did my story remind you of a sacred moment in your life? Write that story!

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17 thoughts on “Embracing Sacred Moments

  1. Sacred moments too often pass without a way to capture them. Being a writer helps me do so, for myself and others. What a gift and privilege to offer glimpses into the breathtaking. Thank you Karen, for reminding me why I’m passionate about getting the words just right. Sacred moments deserve to be captured, nothing stirs the heart like words painted in pictures.

    • And you capture those thoughts so well, Anita! If I was an artist, I would paint as many of those moments as I could. If I was a singer, I would sing about them. As an amateur photographer, I do try to capture a few of the shots. But since I’m a writer, I choose to record as many of those moments as possible. Thanks for your comment, Anita!

  2. Some point to head-rush adrenalin producing moments as they describe what makes them feel “alive.” For me it’s been what I call “Kingdom Moments” that remind me I’m Alive. When I know I’m doing or thinking about something that seemed to come right from Jesus, or something I’m doing that I realize might make him smile. This is a timely post as I’m trying to focus my days on these moments when God shows up in a circumstance (like what you described), in a meeting with a friend, an hour with one of my sons or grandsons…even at church! Thanks, Karen.

    • Greg, I love that term “Kingdom Moments”! Those are the stories that I absolutely LOVE and feel called to write, and I love to encourage others to write them, too. I believe they can be the written legacy that we can leave to the next generation! Okay, I’m on a roll … don’t meet to preach (oops, I mean share, lol)! Thanks for your comment! Blessed to be part of this awesome group of writers!

  3. Each moment is born, lives and dies into the next. As writers we record our fleeting impressions and acknowledge time as a vapor we can’t hold in our hands. Thanks for this beautiful reminder.

  4. I loved hearing about your sacred moments, Karen. You asked if your post reminded us about our own sacred moments… Yes, it reminded me of a time in Bible College when my roommates were all sleeping, and the Lord met me in a special way, splashing me with a deep awareness of his love. As I pondered that memory it occurred to me…. Sometimes sacred moments just happen (as in my college experience); other times, we seek them and find them. Makes me think of the scripture, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” We’re privileged to choose the sacred moments of his presence, the moments he opens us to the awareness of his embrace. And we embrace him back. Sacred. Thanks…

    • Cheryl, I love your description of your sacred moment, “… the Lord met me in a special way, splashing me with a deep awareness of his love.” Thanks so much for sharing your story here, and for that powerful scripture from James 4:8. I love The Message version of that scripture in context.

      “So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet” (James. 4:7-10 MSG)

  5. Beth Moore calls these moments – God Stops. For me God loves to drape clouds on the mountains in my area and I see that as a gift from Him. He surprises me often and I am grateful. When we remember these moments, it helps us to build our faith in tough times – when God seems distant. By recalling previous touches of God, we can hold on in the dry spaces.

    My most recent moment involved a passage I wrote in my memoir (working of first draft). I grew up in a home filled with abuse and one way I escaped was to go to an imaginary world with a loving mom and dad who helped me deal with my abusive ones. I lived in my fantasy world. For years I believed that, while God was active in my present, He was remarkably absent when I was a child and abused. After I wrote a fantasy scene for my memoir, God dropped into my spirit, “Who do you think your imaginary mother and father was?” I was blown away by my Father/Mother God. Then He showed me He was also in the nots – what did not happen. I did not get pregnant by my father. I did not go insane. I did not swallow that Draino. There was a lot of nots. God is so good and faithful. And he is an expert draper of clouds. 🙂

    • Yes, I remember the term “God Stopes” from Beth Moore–love it! I’m so glad that you are writing your memoir. I’m a firm believer in the healing power of our narratives.

      In fact, that’s why I love to encourage others to write their stories. As a writing instructor, I’ve notice that a lot of writers choose topics that deal with painful times in their lives–like death, abuse, traumatic experiences, or simply major life changes. And as they write their stories and others respond to their stories, healing takes place. That’s why I LOVE to encourage others to tell their stories, because it’s a blessing to be part of that writing/healing process.

      Thanks so much for sharing your story, Heather! I can’t wait to read your memoir!

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