Have you ever had a Divine experience? Have you experienced a moment when you were sure that God showed up or was nudging you? Have you witnessed the hand of Divine intervention?
Let me paint you a picture. It’s the end of April 2019. I had just hosted my first art gallery at a local park in Chattanooga. I’d spent my whole freshman year of college working towards this event. The weather was perfect. Local musicians were playing alternative rock. One of them caught my eye in particular. Little did I know that they were going to play a big role in my life. It was a magical afternoon to say the least. One of my favorite nights in Chattanooga. Surrounded by my best friends, I was days away from leaving for my summer job in Yellowstone National Park, I felt ecstatic. It was the perfect end to a magnificent year, and a beautiful send off for my next adventure. It all felt so right.
On the walk back to my dorm, the sun was setting behind Lookout Mountain. All of a sudden a wave of powerful emotions swept over me. I stopped midstep. There was the mountain. Even though a chain link fence obscured the view, a clear and distinct thought seemed to float above me. “This is the best view in the city.” I snapped a picture of the moment--both in my mind and on my phone. The feeling of being loved began to subside, but the space it filled was still there. It was like throwing a rock into a pond. The ripples of its impact still lingered. I had no way of knowing at the time, but the building I was standing in front of would be my very first apartment where I would move one year later.
The moment I stepped into the apartment on a tour the following year that same powerful emotion flowed through me. The fourth floor balcony off the bedroom faced that same breathtaking view, without obstruction. I realized God had planned for me to move to this space where I could grow, thrive, entertain friends, and paint. I knew, with certainty, that God plans good things for his children and that sometimes he gives us hints before he brings them to pass.
I hesitate to share that story because it is personal and deeply meaningful to me. I hesitate because I know that not all people will find it so. Some will resonate with it. Some will recognize their own moments where God broke through and let them know, unmistakably, that God is actively involved in their lives. But some will dismiss, ridicule, and reject it; and so I share it reluctantly.
How do we share our faith?
In my walk thus far through life, I have noticed that people don’t really talk about their faith that much--or at least in my circles they don’t. I grew up as a pastor's daughter where faith was a part of everyday conversation. Now, faith isn’t a topic that I share so fervently.
For me, faith is a very personal and delicate thing. My spiritual life is rich and abundant, but I am not one to wave my Bible around for all to see. I prefer to share the significant parts of my spiritual walk with those I love and trust. However, I will discuss my beliefs with casual friends if the subject is broached by others. I won’t argue. I only engage if all parties are willing to really listen to each other.
In my experience with Christianity, I have found that people with genuine faith come to the church not because someone quoted Bible verses to them, but because they saw how people of faith acted differently. And it is those faithful actions that speak louder than words. For me, I want people to see my actions as a reflection of my faith. Christ is an example of unconditional love. Christ is humble. Christ cares about the wellbeing of each individual. Christ is seen as an influence of hope and peace. If I can be a reflection of his light then I am living the best version of my life and I hope it will point people to Christ.
I have almost spent a whole year in my lovely apartment, in this lovely part of the city. So many memories have already filled up this space, and I am excited for many more. I love sharing my space with my friends. I love having people over. I love getting to share my little corner of the world with my friends, and I love getting to share my God-moment with the people I invite into my space. My space holds that energy, that energy of love and peace. That energy is a reflection of God. It’s a great way to start a conversation about God and how God works in our lives.
How do you share your faith with others? Is it through Bible verses or songs? An answered prayer? A miracle? I know I have a lot to learn about sharing my faith. One thing I do know is that it is most effective when it is personal and genuine.
Madison Myers is a student at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, majoring in marketing. She has traveled to a majority of America's National Parks and is eager to see them all.