I originally started this particular post to inspire others, and to share some of my personal faith stories. Soon, I realized that there was too much to share in one sitting, and I worried that my writing was becoming too long, and that the length took away from some of my special experiences. My amazing husband had the brilliant idea that I could split these stories up. This is the result. A collection of a dozen of my favorite faith memories, that I plan to share over the next twelve days, November 6th through November 17th (11-17 is a special day for me). I hope you enjoy them as much as I truly enjoyed opening up to you and sharing. Here goes.
I believe in signs. I believe in miracles. I believe in God. I believe that God talks to me. Not aloud, but within the world around me, with whispers and seemingly random events that are really not so random, with butterflies and flowers, with scripture and strangers. I believe. With all my heart and soul, I believe.
What do you believe? Do you see God in the world around you, or are you blinded by preoccupation? Are you aware of His words that are just for you?
I invite you to open your mind for a bit, to sit and read, to listen to a few of my experiences, to form your own conclusions. I ask that you set aside any skepticism that you may harbor, and that you open your eyes, your ears and your heart. God talks to all of us, it’s just up to us if we decide to listen.
I’m not exactly sure when I started believing in signs and miracles. As a small child I prayed, but at what age I began, I could not tell you.
I do, however, recall an incident, in the first grade, about a tree that did not have any leaves. This tree, I was told, was dead. It had no foliage, it had no greenery at all. Withered and dry, lifeless, I was told that this tree needed to be cut down, and that very soon it would be.
Now, I want you to imagine a six year old girl. Picture her with blonde, crooked pigtails, missing a front tooth, green eyes, and perpetually scabbed knees. A child who loved being outside, and who always somehow, someway, seemed to be in trouble for something. This child was me.
At six years old, the news of this tree being chopped down made me unbearably sad. I didn’t yet fully comprehend death, or why it happened, but even so, my childish mind somehow grasped the finality of death, and it really upset me. So I formed a plan.
I had just recently gone to a Sunday school service, my grandparents had taken me when they visited our home a few weeks prior. That was my first memory of ever attending church, and would be one of the very few times that I went as a child, because my parents did not go to church.
At Sunday school, they had taught a lesson about Jesus, about miracles, and about believing in Jesus rising from the dead. I absolutely loved hearing about Jesus, especially as a little girl who was terrified of monsters and the dark. Thinking about Jesus when I lay in my bed at night, afraid of what I couldn’t see in my room, or under my bed, brought me such comfort, that to this day I can not describe it to you in words, other than it was a complete sense of peace. Jesus would always protect me, this I just knew.
So hearing about Jesus, and His miracles, I had an idea of an adventure stirring around in my little head. It involved prayers and faith, and I was excited to get started.
I gathered friends from my neighborhood. I explained to them about the tree being chopped down, and that meant it was dead. Just like me, my friends were saddened by death, but were just as excited as I was to try and save this tree.
After an animated discussion in a sweltering shed that served as our makeshift clubhouse, this is what we agreed upon: every day after school, we were all to bring a cup of water, and water the tree. There were only five of us, and remembering the innocence of it makes me smile, because we sincerely thought that five small cups of water was enough for a full grown tree.
The next day, we began the watering, and then we would gather around this tree, holding hands, and praying. We prayed to Jesus to bring this tree back to life so that it didn’t have to be cut down. We prayed, and we believed. We trusted Jesus with all of our hearts, and we were way too young to have any doubts about what we were praying for. We just prayed and we believed.
I can’t even tell you how long this went on, a couple of weeks or so, until life distracted us with the beginning of summer vacation, swimming pools, sunshine galore, bike riding and all the amazing whims of childhood. The tree was slowly forgotten, tucked away somewhere behind thoughts of fireflies, the adventures of playing tag, and the sweet melody of ice cream trucks driving down our street. The tree stood alone, unnoticed, until one day, I just noticed. I walked by it, on the way to a friend’s home, and looked, and then I remembered.
It was beautiful. Magnificent. Stunning. Our tree no longer stood dry and lifeless, but had filled up with the greenest leaves you have ever seen, and the most gorgeous white blossoms you can possibly imagine. It had bloomed, and I stood still, simply in awe of it. I had prayed that this tree wouldn’t be cut down, that it wouldn’t be dead, and I had believed wholeheartedly in my prayers, but I had never expected, nor imagined that it would bloom with flowers. It was breathtaking.
That entire summer, I walked by that tree every day, admiring it, loving it, and loving Jesus even more. Just looking at it made me feel happy inside.
I was unaware at six, that this was my first real experience with miracles and the power of prayer. I just spent that entire summer loving Jesus, sunshine, and popsicles. I continued playing outside, and I continued to visit my tree. Soon after that, we moved away, out of the state, away from my friends, away from my tree.
I have thought about that tree a lot over the years, and I still wonder if the other kids remember it, and I wonder if it still blooms.
Somehow, I know that it does.
Follow me on Instagram @humblegirl1111 or Facebook at Nay Towell.
“ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.