Cristina Harty

Cristina In life there are plenty of unexpected moments. What do I mean by unexpected moments? They occur when you least expect them, when you are not ready for them and are caught by surprise. Your every day routine changes in a flash and interrupts the course of your life.

Some of those unexpected moments can be the most beautiful and precious moments that will add joy for days and years to come. For example, finding out you are having a baby or you are getting your dream job!

One of my most favorite unexpected moments is a story like Michelle’s. Michelle was a beautiful girl in college studying at a coffee shop. She had been extremely focused on getting her major, and had minimal time for a social life. She was staring at her laptop screen and was oblivious to anyone around her. Out of nowhere she heard a deep voice next to her asking, “What is it that you are working on?” She looked up and her stomach was full of butterflies because what she saw sitting next to her was the most handsome man she had ever seen!

That unexpected moment changed the rest of Michelle’s life because a year later he asked for her hand in marriage! Who would have thought the day she was going to get a coffee to study for an exam would be the day she would meet the man she was going to marry?

On a flip side there are unexpected moments that do not bring joy, but rather heartache, stress, frustration, anger, sadness and depression. Some of the unexpected moments that occur in a lot of our lives can be summed up in one word that we can put the rest of the story together: divorce, moving, death, sickness, medication, addiction, injury, accident, bankruptcy, cancer.

Let me take you back in time with me to one of my unexpected moments in my life that changed my life. I am 26 years old, pregnant with my third child waiting eight long hours for my husband to be done with surgery to get a tumor removed out of his lung. I will never forget the words of the surgeon, “What we thought when we went in for surgery was not so. Instead of taking a portion of the lung we had to take the entire lung and the cancer spread to some of the lymph nodes in the esophagus. We cannot guarantee that the cancer is not spreading elsewhere microscopically".

Tears are streaming down my face and I am touching my pregnant belly wondering if our baby is ever going meet his/her father. I began to hyperventilate and my parents help me get under control. How does one move forward with such news? I go into the chapel at the hospital, get on my knees and cry out to God from the depths of my soul, “Why? How can this be? God, I beg of you to give us a miracle.” When I walked out of the chapel way off in the distance I see someone on a stretcher being wheeled towards me. It is my husband connected to so many tubes and machines I cannot count. Little did I know as I was walking by his side, holding his hand, two years later he would take his last breath.

When I said, “In sickness and in health, until death do us part” at 21 years old I didn’t realize we would be walking down the difficult road of cancer just five years later. When the word cancer was introduced into our lives it was an unexpected moment. Goodbye to all of our dreams and growing old together. It is a heartache I cannot explain, but I can tell you this… God was with us every step of the way.

In this life we go through trials, difficulties, challenges, heartaches and troubles. I remember when I was in the beginning stages of Brian’s sickness and I heard these words in my spirit, “Will you still love me if I don’t deliver you from the fire, but rather through the fire?” I wept and said, “Yes Lord. I will still love you.”

What unexpected moment has recently occurred in your life? I believe God is asking you the same question today. Will you still love Him if He doesn’t deliver you from whatever it is you are going through, but rather He walks you through it?

One thing I know after all of the trials and difficulties I have gone through in this life is that God is faithful. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He may not give you what you ask when you want it, but rest assured He hears your prayers and sees your tears. He loves you and cares deeply for you. Rest in His love and know that God is with you every step of the way.

Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you."

Read Daniel 3 to encourage you in your faith in God. He is always with you in the fire.

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