There are many early mornings that I am led to Jesus by the light shining through those beautiful stained-glass windows at the South Church. Each time I could not be more in awe than the first. All seen through sleepy eyes, but an open heart. My early Monday morning meetings with Jesus are not by chance. They came from a simple, casual prayer in my head one summer day.
See, I’m a woman of faith, always have been – but not the woman of faith I needed to be. God had a plan for me and there were preparations that needed to be done.
Let’s quickly go back to that busy day in summer. It wasn’t much different than any other day during these uncertain times. However, this particular day the burden of owning a small business during a pandemic, unanswered questions, fear of what’s to come consumed me and I simply prayed, “God, grant me peace in my day. Help me to find answers in the world.” Life was noisy and I simply needed to find quiet and peace during the storm.
Not even an hour later is when I received a simple, but unexpected, text from a friend I hadn’t connected with in some time. She simply invited me to consider adoration. Honestly, I had never gone to adoration nor did I know exactly what it entailed. But without hesitation I answered “Sure!” There was no question – for I had just prayed for peace and more time with the Lord was definitely heading in the right direction. I started with an hour at the end of my week and by my second time I had to ask myself “How have I lived without adoration?” And that is not an exaggeration! I simply could not wait for my hour with Jesus each week to pray, show gratitude, be still, but mostly open my heart and mind to him.
Soon after I said yes to my Friday morning adoration slot, there was a request for a 4-5 a.m. Monday morning adorer. Once again, I did not hesitate! Yes, it’s early but that seemed like such a small sacrifice compared to the blessings I felt from starting adoration. I can honestly say, driving towards that shining light, in a sleepy, sweet town each Monday morning is by far the highlight of my week. There are simply no words.
All along God’s plan was aligning perfectly. He knew the storm was about to get worse. On Dec. 30, my 51st birthday, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. News that would rattle anyone, but God had prepared me in such a way that I knew without a doubt as soon as I heard those words that he had me. I had full confidence that no matter what lay ahead, he would carry me through the storm. I am very fortunate – my cancer was found extremely early and the outcome is positive. But there are still days that I ask myself, “Where does this strength come from?” The answer is simple: my strength comes from the Lord. I simply do not carry this cross alone.
I am reminded daily of this verse: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
~ Laura Kwiatkowski