It’s been three years since I experienced what I consider a “true God encounter.” I had always heard people use this term to describe the moment when their lives changed forever and they experienced a “great awakening.” But I never thought it would happen to me.
Although I had been a “Christian” my whole life, the thought of a “god” encounter seemed far fetched. I thought that those experiences were for those who were considered to be “lost,” those that hadn’t grown up in church, hadn’t been baptised by the ripe old age of 5 , and that lived drug-fueled lives that were out of control. I was wrong.
I had been the girl that had done “everything” right and had beat the odds. I had been raised by my grandparents, graduated from highschool with top honors, and was one of the first in the family to go on to finish college. I was a success! At least in my mind.
As I went on in my career I faced many challenges daily and the level of stress was astronomical. I was challenged on all fronts by coworkers, the public, and those that I was assigned to each year. And naturally I found myself looking for relief. I prayed. And I become bitter.
The bitterness came from something that was hidden deep within my heart from various experiences and the lack of recognition from my job. The whole time I attended church. I was the “typical” Christian who felt that I could “do me” , do what was half right by god, pray, and expect things to workout. And I was extremely wrong.
As time passed the pressure from job began to explode within in me and started to manifest in my attitude, my thoughts, and even into my physical body. The seeds of bitterness had began to poison me and was mounting to kill me, through intense chest pains.
I can remember having deep pains shooting throughout my body radiating from my chest outward. These pains would stop me in my tracks and were coupled with shortness of breath. I spent countless days in and out of hospital rooms hooked to machines and in tears. Along with that I felt like I had no one. My family was hours away and most of my “friends” deserted me during this time. But God.
In my moments of pain and my upbringing I knew to call on the name of Jesus. Many days and nights I would lay in tears praying for the pain to stop and for things to change. This was my “rock bottom” moment. All my adult life I had prided myself on being able to handle things. I could endure the racism on my job, the rowdy public, and anything else. I was an over comer, until had was faced with something “I” couldn’t over come. My body was giving out on me and I felt like my world was collapsing. But god!
One evening after going to the doctor I sat down on the couch sobbing. And that sobbing turned to prayer. In that moment there was a glow I saw and then I heard a voice within it. By this time I was kneeling on the floor and the voice said “everything will be alright, you’re not going to die, and from now on your life will never be the same.” In those moments tears were streaming down my face, but I felt comforted and confident.
I then realized that the whole time and mostly all of my life I had depended on me. I had always prayed but deep down I believed that god was distant and if things were to get done I would have to do them. Until, I was faced with something I couldn’t fix. After that day I made the decision to trust God. I wanted that feeling of security to never leave so I went after god.
I began to read more of the bible that I had often just had as a night stand piece and I started to pray more and with more fervor. My faith was developing into something real. As I went to more doctors appointments and more tests were ran doctors became more and more perplexed. Nothing wrong could be found!
This experience completely changed my life! In the moments when death seemed to be around the corner I had developed an intense love and thirst for life! Instead of focusing on the pain I began to focus on the moments I had “left”. I found myself laughing and smiling more, and intentionally choosing to be happy instead of focusing in on what was wrong with me, my life, my job, or others. I made peace with those that had wrong me, most of that I realized rested within my own thoughts as I had rehearsed the hurt. I let go!
From that time to this, I can say I truly enjoy my life. You can too!