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"How did you encounter God?" she asked.

I was recently asked how I encountered God. Specifically, what did I do to make it happen? How did I gain access to the God of the universe? The question made me think back over my life. Trying to come up with with one easy answer, well, I didn't think I could. I quickly gathered my thoughts back to the question that was left hanging in the air. How did the God visits start? I started telling her about how I was raised in church but religion miserably failed me. I believed in God but I didn't know Him. In fact, I didn't even know I could know Him. It wasn't easy to put into words and I began feeling them falling awkwardly short. I pressed on and told about a very broken time in my life when my heart had become so hard due to a series of very painful losses. I had spent over 3 years of my life staying numb and repeating, "I don't care" over and over again just to be able to function. Alcohol, drugs and all that goes with that life helped to dull the never ending pain. I had been living on my own in a big metropolitan city for over three years when I was in an car accident that totaled my car. I had no family around, no way to get to work. I didn't know what else to do but go over a thousand miles back home. My mom had remarried after my dad passed away, twice during those three plus years that I was away. Newley married to the second husband, she didn't want me there. I didn't want to be there, either. She was living on the grounds of the church her friend pastored. During the short time I was there, I would go to the church service on Sunday mornings because the pastor was a family friend that I respected. She was real and didn't have a phony bone in her body. One Sunday, I slipped in to sit on the back row planning to stay just long enough to show my respects and leave, but something happened that day. I don't remember anything that was said but I felt God like I never had before. I left and went out to the middle of the desert and sat down. I cried all day long as I felt the hand of God pulling out all the hurt and anger from my heart. I physically felt it and I can't explain it. All I know is that I encountered God that day in the most powerful way and my heart has never been the same. That was so many years ago and my life hasn't been perfect but I've never doubted God's power and His love. Ever. I don't know if I answered her question and it's not my part to convince her how amazing God is. I could only invite her to ask Jesus to show her that He is real. The rest is up to Him but I do know one thing. He sure loves her to put me into a situation to pray for her for months and months before she asked this question. I'll be there as long as my assignment at this job lasts and I'll continue to pray for her every day that she will find Jesus, the most beautiful one who is so much more than she could ever imagine.

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