There is a verse in the Bible that talks about GOD coming to one of the disciples three times. I often use that story to explain my relationship I have with GOD now. I believe the first time I ever experienced GODs presence in my life was at a very young age before I could truly understand what and who HE was I resented everything about HIM. I could remember my mom forcing me to read the Bible on weekends before I could go outside and on Saturday and telling me no TV on Sunday before church, really it was cartoons but I would rather not watch TV than have to the gospel channels on. But back to my first experience with GOD I believe it was a very juvenile way to think of HIS existence but I was a kid who that wanted to see it to believe it but it was praying my mom and dad would stay together but it never happened the way I prayed it to be it was almost harder to understand why GOD would bring them together only to push them farther apart. But truthfully I knew it was GOD showing me they weren’t ever meant for each other that was my first encounter with GOD telling me HE would be a husband for my mom and a father to me sad thing is I never would know that was the case had I not been asked to tell this story.
My second time real time allowing GOD into my life came at a time when I was a lot more mature in age but even more immature in mind and spirit. This was the moment I understood all the teachings about GOD as a youth wanting to be every where but in HIS presence I couldn’t stand to want to listen to a thing about GOD these were my puberty days and on this encounter was in my high school years these were the days I thought “I am god”. I can remember being asked many times to be saved give my life to the LORD and out of arrogance and frustration I declined as if I had this personal vendetta against GOD but it was really the pain I carried from a boy and never seeing my dad in my life or my mom with a strong and solid husband I began to believe I was the solution to my mothers happiness. I began to feel like I was going to be her key to a great and glamorous life and I bet you wanna guess how was I gonna make this happen well there was a time I was believed to be an all star football player and make it to the NFL. Well this was definitely a dream vs reality situation a prayer here and there sprinkled for my success on the field and that D1 scholarship I worked my way up to but the road blocks were beyond my control as this message from GOD was pretty clear my entire senior season of football shattered along with my ankle that lovely D1 offer and the dreams of being the way out all to me playing the hand dealt and losing my love for the sport after realizing the political battles played there were far beyond my understanding if I couldn’t be seen for my talents. That encounter with GOD was HIM saying my ways are not your ways... that was understood in that moment there wasn’t any need for me to understand that later that’s when I went dark on GOD.
As for my third life altering encounter I would say this was the most impactful experience with GOD and it was through a lens I had never wore before until I slowly crept out of college and into the real world the moment I tasted love, the moment I gave myself to GOD and was baptized. Just for the record non of my antics were real I got baptized to impress a girl I was dating at the time oh and the experience of it all was great it was love for sure at least I thought it was. You know that college sweetheart that no one could ever take away from you not even GOD well yeah that’s where I met HIM again but this was a different time for me with believing in HIM I was surly doing this to impress the girl so I definitely went all out to seek understanding and to learn even more about being the best Christian ever but I was only that way for the girl I would never lose... Boy did I have it all wrong I believe a lot of people do when it comes to love but that’s another conversation and another testimony but in this time after being baptized I watched my world crash job loss after job loss academic probation after academic probation oh by the way I made it to college ball and professional but you can already guess didn’t work our GOD tested me heavily. Let me confirm your thoughts I lost the girl too but the lesson HE taught me during this encounter drew me closer to him even more I became more and more patient to HIS ways more understanding to HIS callings I started to see that with all that I am HE is too ensure that what we ask of HIM may not be in the same result of our request but HIS will guide is to the right direction our wants will be answered with our needs and our desires will one day be fed far more than what we could imagine. I say all that to say of my three encounters with GOD it was HIM digger deeper into me through my misfortunes he was protecting me from pushing me into better directions and opening my eyes to a more filling life and I believe that it was always the perfect way for me to build into who I am in GOD and who HE is in me. I would like to leave with a quote that has now become my life’s motto in all situations.
“Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then when this day is done I will place my head on my pillow and rest.”