Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” reverberated through the car speakers, and I found myself singing and clapping along on my way to work a few years ago. The Nashville traffic, with its usual morning delays, threatened to steal my joy. The fear of being late for an event that depended on my punctuality loomed, but then, I cranked up the volume and surrendered to the surge of energy that the song provided. I made it on time, stepping out with a smile, the infectious rhythm of “Happy” still resonating in my heart.

Simple songs, silent prayers, and verses from the Bible can be portals to the extraordinary. They elevate the ordinary to the sublime, and their threads intertwine with the heart and mind.

“This is the day which the LORD hath made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24)

By speaking God’s Word out loud, we invite the Holy Spirit to be with us, and God’s beauty surrounds us, whispering, “God’s got this, now go and face the day!”

Countless moments of happiness fill my life, but if I had to pick one that stands out as the happiest, it would be the day I walked down the church aisle to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior. The overwhelming feeling is etched in my memory forever – tears streamed down my face, and an uncontrollable smile stretched across my face.

Nervous about stepping out in front of the entire congregation, I reflected on my upbringing attending church with my mother and sisters in a grand building. Sunday school, morning service, Krispy Kreme donuts, and family dinners were routine. Wednesday nights, there I was at church again. Daddy’s irregular work hours didn’t stop us. Mother would urge me to finish my Sunday school lessons early on Saturday night. I would wake up to Mother saying, “Let’s be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, with bright shiny faces.”

Raised by a Christian mother, my love for Jesus started early. I can’t recall how old I was the first time I truly thought about who Jesus was to me. Passing a storefront window in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, with a poster-sized picture of Jesus, I read the message: “Jesus is your friend, have you talked with your friend today?”

The scripture below the picture said;

“I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20, KJV).

From that moment on, I understood that Jesus was more than my Savior, He was my friend.

Sitting in church on Sunday mornings at Fifth Avenue Baptist, I’d often burst into laughter. Mother’s disapproving looks were enough to silence me, but one morning, as I explained to her in a loud whisper, “I tried not to laugh but couldn’t stop because the preacher’s face turns as red as a beet!” Some people behind us were giggling, and one lady leaned forward and said, “She’s right; his face is beet red.”

Every Sunday service started with “Holy, Holy, Holy“ sung by the choir and congregation, and at the end of each service, the invitation was given to confess your faith in Jesus. For years, I watched people walk down the aisle and never thought about doing it myself. It wasn’t until a week-long revival that I realized I might be missing something.

During the revival, many friends declared their faith. Even my sister rededicated her life. I wanted to go down the aisle too, but the fear of embarrassment kept me in my seat. When the revival ended, I made up my mind to go forward the next Sunday, though I kept my plan to myself.

Finally, the invitation was given, and on the second stanza of “Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling,” I decided to go. Seated high up in the balcony, once I summoned the courage to stand up, I practically flew down the stairs and ran down the aisle!

It was customary for the preacher to question you, and then the congregation voted to welcome you into the church membership once you professed your faith. Everyone said “aye,” and I said “yes,” indicating I was ready to be baptized. Then everyone formed a line to greet me with hugs or handshakes. All the embarrassment I had feared was gone. I found myself hugging the people who lined up to congratulate me, sobbing like a baby, yet smiling ear to ear with tears of joy and relief that I had finally publicly professed my faith.

My sister informed our parents of my decision, and Mother and Daddy hugged me tight. They were there as I was baptized, saying how proud and happy they were that their prayers had been answered. That was over sixty years ago, and I have never regretted my decision.

“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.” (Luke 15:10)

Wish I could say I followed the Holy Spirit’s leading easily after that, but alas, I’m still a work in progress! Aren’t we all?

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"Southern Grace & Gratitude"- Passionately Pursuing Purpose in Every Chapter of Life. Welcome to my world, where faith, family, and the written word converge into an inspiring tapestry. Originally hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee, I now call Christiana, Tennessee, near Nashville, home. I share this space with my husband and our adorable Chihuahua, Katie. I wear many hats: wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. I have a deep appreciation for nature, savoring the flavors of Southern cuisine, immersing myself in music, indulging in a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, and savoring the joy of laughter. But above all, it is my unwavering passion for Jesus Christ that fuels my life and writing with depth and purpose. Recently retired after years of experience in the corporate world, I've held various management roles, including marketing, fundraising, event management, and public speaking. I take pride in striving to be a servant-leader and have received recognition for my unwavering dedication. My hope is to touch your heart and kindle your soul. Join me on my journey as I share stories inspired by faith, family, laughter, and love. Through my writings, you'll discover enchanting stories of a life well-lived, and perhaps, you'll even find a piece of your own story woven within.

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