I grew up in the church. I grew up going to church camp, retreats, bible quizzing and classes. These things were normal to me. I learned who God was and what Christ did. So I can't share that one moment with you when I became a Christian. I have had many moments though where I encountered God in a way that changed my life. In fact calling out to God (in panic, defeat, surrender) is sometimes a daily activity around here.
I was a good kid. Didn't do much wrong. Until my senior year in high school where I did start to party some. But even at that time, when it may have seemed to others that I was questioning God, I still knew without a doubt that God was real. I just knew. I didn't let Him direct my life, but I always knew He was there, waiting on me.
I can distinctly remember a time in college when I was feeling alone and overwhelmed. I sat outside in the dark and just cried and prayed. I asked God for me to feel His presence, and it blew me away--what I felt and experienced. He was there. I couldn't deny it. I still remember it as the day God hugged me. It may sound silly, but I just felt surrounded by His love.
Those type of encounters happened throughout college. I lived the typical life. I got in trouble some. I messed up often. I tried. I failed. I cried. I prayed. I had good Christian friends. I married a Christian guy. I kinda think of my college as a typical experience at a Christian college. Not too much trouble, but there was definitely trouble.
After college, life grew more serious. We made sure we found a church for us to raise our own family in. I was walking more of a daily life with God. I did my best to pray daily, do Bible studies, tithe and be a good Christian. I started leading Bible studies at my church and I grew more than ever from that. I felt close to God. Of course, I was not perfect. I made a ton of mistakes. There were times when I was better at "being a Christian" and there were times when I didn't include God in my life as much as I should have.
A couple of years ago, my world was rocked with scandal, disappointment, fear, and failure. My life literally fell apart. It was the lowest time of my life. My one constant was God. Everything in my life kinda just fell away and seemed less important. All I could see was the dark world surrounding me. I know I am not sharing much detail with you about what happened. I hope to be able to share specifics sometime in the future. Not that I really want to put it all out there on the internet, but I do know that God can and will use the specifics of my story to reach others. But right now, I just can't do that. It is so hard for me to talk about it...to even think about it. I need to feel safer before I can do that. Anyways....my point is, that during the last few years, the only thing I could do to survive was to depend on God. I spent more time in prayer and the Bible, but it wasn't because I was trying to be a good Christian, or because I was marking it off a to-do list. It was because I NEEDED to. I am still in that place...of utter dependance on Him. But as awful as things have been...I feel so incredibly blessed to have this relationship with God. I feel blessed to have experienced His power and His love.
I am an emotional person and I connect to God in a way I can't do with people. Sometimes I feel He is all I really have. I don't want to go back to being a "normal" or "typical" Christian. I don't even know that I care what the world thinks...it's just me and Him. And I am taking my family along for the ride...especially my kids. I want them to know God like I know Him.