As I had mentioned before, I had shared a small part of my testimony with the youth at our church about a month ago. [I only had 7-8 minutes, while I'm sure I could talk for over an hour without a time constraint just sharing personal stories ;)]
While I have "shared my testimony" many times over the past 13 years, this was the very first time it clicked.
As I was praying (incessantly it seemed for days) about what stories He wanted me to share and wanting clear direction, the Holy Spirit spoke a few words*. And, I suddenly saw.
All the events of my life, how He has orchestrated every story, how He has intervened, how He has interacted with me in the past and is currently interacting with me... I mean I saw how all of my spiritual timeline came together. It all made sense, and I could understand my life story, thus far, as a whole.
Before, it seemed like I had a bunch of random experiences in my life that didn't really have anything to do with any other experience. Instead of a lot of smaller isolated stories, I finally saw them together tell one larger story. [I don't want to say it came together like an enclosed circle because the LORD is still adding more to it.]
Basically, now I understand my life so far. I feel enlightened by the Holy Spirit. I cried; I felt giddy. And grateful. This was the first time I have ever felt like I was asked to share my testimony FOR ME. This invitation was for my personal benefit; He had something to show me while I prepared.
*I will try to write another post later this month about what it is the Holy Spirit spoke to me.
Note: I want to highly recommend that every person make their own spiritual timeline. I started making one in college (for an evangelism class), and I still add to it all the time. Basically, I record on it events in my life where the hand of God is evident. This way I can look at it and see God's faithfulness to me in my life. Whether it is a scary or happy or tragic event, it is added because He uses all things for my good and His glory. It helps me not to forget what He has done and how He has worked in my life. [I don't have a great memory, so this is really helpful for me.]
Yes, thank You, Lord, for this revelatory understanding!