One April Sunday in 2004, my Mom and I decided to take an easy hike to enjoy the beautiful weather. Pilot Mountain was close by and we had gone many times in the previous years. The spring air still had a slight chill to it, my basketball-like 7 month belly was hiding under an old dance team t-shirt and a light jacket kept me warm. I’m sure I was wearing yoga pants since that’s all I could find to fit my new growing size, no maternity pants fit quite right. They are made for adults, after all, and I was only 16 years old with barely any curves to hold adult pants up.
We had a picnic lunch to fill up my always hungry stomach before we started our walk. I don’t remember our conversations, but I remember it being a good day and enjoying time with my Mom. We reached the look out point, my hands sitting in my jacket pockets as I admired the view. I had seen this same view multiple times before, it wasn’t one that was as breathtaking as the NC mountains are, but it was still fascinating to see the world below in a different view. Most of it was flat all around but you could see for miles to near by cities and other mountains the peaked out of no where. I had seen it all before, but today something was different. Today it was more beautiful and breathtaking as the seed of grace blossomed in my soul. Today the view from the mountain top was where God met me. Right there, in the same spot I had been before, He unveiled my eyes to see the reality of my life. I saw how Anna’s life would look, filled with babysitters and a single mom constantly working towards an education or working to pay the bills. I saw a little girl wondering why her father didn’t want to be around. I saw me desperately wishing I could provide for her nicer things than I could. I saw us struggling. It hurt to look at myself, into our future, and the life I had to offer Anna. Before the veil was lifted, I saw myself as super teen mom, able to do it all with naive child-like certainty. I had met many other teen moms that had done it, I could too, right? When the veil lifted and I saw the view from the mountain top, I knew that I was to be different. I was to take the path less chosen.
The ugliness I saw when God unveiled my heart hurt deeply and I remember sobbing the rest of the day. The weight of my sin and choices were so heavy, I think I cried mostly to cleanse myself of it all. I cried for the choices I had made in the past, I cried for the choice I had to make for our future. I grieved with an ugly, blotchy face, snot filled cry. And then, I took a breath hours later, now alone in my room, and surrendered. I surrendered my heart to God. I surrendered my desires to parent my Anna, kicking happily in my belly unknowing about the turmoil around her outside my womb. I yielded my everything, laid it down at His feet finally realizing He knew what was best for me much like a child giving up her stubborn tantrum and yielding to her wise parent. What followed my grieving and tears was peace. It was a supernatural hug from my Heavenly Father, saying that He had plans to prosper me, not to harm me. It was a gentle reminder that He loves me and forgives me. It was a loving embrace that I felt Him there with me in the most real way than ever before. I now knew I was a child of God.
The day I chose to be a Christ follower, was the day I chose adoption for Anna. While the bond between God and I had been loosely tied many years prior, this was the moment that knot became a tight knot of strength. It was the beginning of truly surrendering my life to His plans. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make, knowing that meant placing my daughter into another mother’s arms. However when I yielded my own desires, the peace that flowed to my soul confirmed that it was the right thing to do. With that peace, I realized He was my strength for what He called me to do.
The view on the mountain top was a defining moment in my life. It changed my path. It changed my heart. What was yours?