A lot of people can remember that they felt a certain way on important days, but most of us forget what that feeling actually felt like. It's not an ongoing experience but a fleeting sort of excitement so once it's gone and the moment is over, it's over. Maybe I'm the only person on the planet that this happens to (although I doubt it), but from time to time I will smell an odor (lilacs = childhood in gma's backyard) or hear a song (Summer Breeze = playing in the pear tree as a kid), or notice the lighting in the winter sky and for just a second, or maybe even a split second, I'm sort of transported to a different place, a different time, and a different feeling.
That's the best way I know how to explain it. In any event, I was driving into town the other day and something about the way the sun was filtering through the clouds in the cold winter sky instantly transported me back to a most pivotal day in my life, in the late winter of 1997. This was during the most painful and difficult time in my life, but something happened that winter day that changed everything. Just like the other day, it happened when I was driving somewhere to run an errand of some sort. I had been widowed about 18 months prior to this, and during that 18 months made some of the worst mistakes and horrendous decisions I've ever made in my life. To this day I don't remember much of that time, and I don't want to remember. The parts I do remember I've often wished I could forget, only because it was such a painful time. In any event, on that day I was going somewhere and feeling (I'm sure) like I always felt. Hopeless, sad, discouraged and desperately invisible. Feeling like that had been a daily thing for a long time already, but suddenly without any kind of effort on my part to cheer myself up or anything like that, this feeling came over me that indeed must have come from the Lord Himself. The best way to describe it I suppose is to say that it was a feeling of genuine hope. Suddenly, I felt like there might truly be a light at the end of the dark, lonely tunnel, and I had never felt this way before. Suddenly, I felt like my desperate grieving was coming to an end, when I had never felt that before either. Suddenly, I felt eager about life and this sort of flash of anticipation to see where life would take me, when I had definitely never felt that before either. It all happened so fast, that it was probably less than a few seconds but in those few seconds my countenance completely changed and I felt a solid and a very real hope. I started to cry, but it wasn't tears of shame, or grief, or pain or sorrow that fell down my face. They were tears of gratitude and thankfulness that the hardest part of my life was about to be behind me. I have no idea how I knew that, but I did and sure enough, it turned out exactly like that.
While I was driving a few days ago, and suddenly re-lived this feeling, it almost made me cry again. I can't explain how this works, and I wont even speculate on why or how it happens, I just know that it does, often, and that when it does it makes me consider how fearfully and wonderfully we are made. The mind is a fascinating place, and even though we are a fallen people with corrupt emotions and all of that, there is certainly plenty of evidence in these kinds of unusual experiences that the human race is a most complex and amazing creation. I only wonder if some day in Glory, we'll understand just how complex we truly are, and what these kinds of experiences really are.