The Hour I First Believed

I remember it like it was yesterday.

I rode on the back of a bike driven by Sandy, my sister’s friend. My six-year-old legs dangled as we sped down the hill, my arms wrapped tightly  around Sandy’s waist. Jeanna, my nine-year-old sister, followed a few feet behind us. I turned over my shoulder to see her stand up on the pedals to coast all the way down.

But her front wheel wobbled back and forth, and then I heard the crash and a scream. Sandy hit the brakes. She threw her bike down and  we scrambled back to Jeanna. She lay face down in the middle of the street. A crowd of grownups already circled around her. Someone knelt down to roll  her over. Her arms and legs flopped around like a rag doll. Her face was covered in blood. Her eyes wouldn’t open. Sirens blasted in the distance, growing closer to us.

“Please don’t let her die!” I cried out to anyone who would listen.

“Please don’t let her die!” I cried out to God.

Much later, sitting alone in the waiting room at Vanderbilt Hospital, I waited for Mommy to come out and tell me if Jeanna would be okay.

But deep down, I already knew.

Maybe this was the hour I first believed.


A young 17-year-old, about a month before my senior year in high school,  the much-too-happy voice on the phone confirmed what I should have already known. “The test was positive. You’re pregnant.”

My life swirled before my eyes, spinning with the room around me. I fell hard to the ground, with just enough strength to whisper, “God, please help me.”

Over the next days and months, minute by minute, He answered my fervent prayers. “Show me how to be a mother. A wife. And maybe how to graduate from high school.”

He did. And we made it.

Maybe this was the hour I first believed.


Driving overnight from a vacation in Florida, my family slept in the van while I sang softly, an 8 hour conversation between my God and myself. I prayed for all of us by name, for our future, and especially for my son who was away for the summer and had not joined us on this trip. Our first vacation without him. “Surround him, O Lord.” I sang. Over and over again.

The next day, he called from the hospital after flipping the car and landing in a ditch. The ambulance driver couldn’t understand how he was not seriously injured. The roof caved in right above his head.

Maybe this was the hour I first believed.


“Call me ASAP. It’s urgent.” The text read.

I stepped outside from work to make the call. I almost wish I hadn’t.

“He’s gone.” My mother-in-law said through tears. “I couldn’t wake him up this morning, and the ambulance just left. The police are here now to make a report.”

I can’t describe the slow-motion scenes that followed. Sometimes I can’t remember them. But sometimes I can’t forget.

But I do know this. The next few days and weeks were the least lonely moments of our lives. When we weren’t strong enough to stand, others held us up. When we ran out of tears, others cried for us. When we ran out of words, our friends sat in silence with us. When we couldn’t sleep, our loved ones sacrificed sleep to pray for us.

And when we buried him, they knelt beside the grave with us. We were all out of tears. And all out of words. But sometimes, words aren’t needed.

And we had never felt so close to Heaven.

Maybe this was the hour I first believed.

I honestly can’t remember the hour I first believed. I’m sure I’ve always known God, but just need to be reminded that He’s here and not stuck up there in Heaven somewhere. I never doubt Him, but sometimes, He seems a little distant. At others, I can almost reach out and touch Him. I catch his eye and fall in love all over again.

The journey is filled with hills and valleys, and He shows up whenever and wherever we seek Him. It all points to Heaven, and a God who adores us.

And when it happens, take note. For this is an hour truly worth remembering.












Janet Morris Grimes

Janet is the author of the book, The Parent's Guide to Uncluttering Your Home, released in 2011 through Atlantic Publishing. A wife and mother of three, Janet currently writes from Vine Grove, Kentucky on such topics as faith, family, and forever. She writes for Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine among other publications, and is an aspiring novelist. For additional information on Janet, visit her website at

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  1. I was sexually, mentally, emotionally and verbally abused by my grandfather as far back as I can remember. He did many terrible things, some of which are too distasteful for me to talk about publicly…I want to share my testimony, because so many people have been hurt, and they need to realize that someone has made it through their struggles so they can have hope. More than anything, I want you to know and really understand that anyone who has been abused can fully recover if they will give their life completely to the Lord…It may seem impossible, but God’s truth has set me free from a life of pretense and lies and has restored my soul. I am living proof that nothing is too hard for God. No matter what you’ve been through or how bad you hurt, there is hope!

    1. Diane,

      It’s wonderful that you are a survivor and an overcomer in Christ. You may be interested in Mary DeMuth’s new release. She’s written a book entitled “Not Marked.” I’ll be blogging about it here in the next couple of months. Have you considered starting your own blog as a place to share your testimony with others?

      Alycia, Senior Editor of Inspire a Fire

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