My one request is that you please read it until the end. I believe part of the reason this crazy thing has happened to me is so I can share it.
And the last thing: this story involves talk of Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. Whether or not those three beings fill you with overwhelming joy, fuming anger, or complete apathy, please read. Regardless of what you believe, you will find truth in my story because, well, it really did happen to me.
So, here's the first installment.
Leading up to this point in my life, I'd say my understanding of God was a bit off. Growing up in church and becoming a Christian at the age of 6, I knew what I believed. But lately, I'd only believed it at a surface level. I hadn't felt extremely in tune with God. I didn't feel like a lot of my prayers were going anywhere. I didn't feel like someone was on the other side of those prayers listening and caring. It wasn't that I questioned the existence of God. I knew he existed and I knew he cared for people. But when it came to me, maybe he was just too busy. I began to believe that God was just too big for me. Or maybe I was just too small for Him. Either way, it wasn't working out the way I thought it should. And it certainly wasn't feeling the way I thought it should. I was stuck.
Last summer, a friend of mine told me about a book called "A Praying Life." I knew this was what I needed. My prayer life was nonexistant and when I did pray, it seemed like nothing was happening. It was almost as if I had forgotten what prayer was. What was the purpose? How do you do it? Why do you do it? I bought the book and it sat on a shelf in my room for several months.
I finally started reading it in June. I told myself I'd read a chapter a day. I was soaking it up like crazy! These were the words, explanations, and encouragements I needed to hear. It was like this book was written for me. I underlined it like a mad woman and wrote out my prayers in my journal.
A month or two before I started reading this book, I had a dream. (And I believe dreams can mean something.) I had a dream that in July 2012 something was going to change for us - something big. And July 20th was the exact date I had in my head. At the time I had the dream, I told Colt about it. We let our minds wander, thinking of all the fun and extravagant things it could mean. It was kind of exciting. What would July 2012 hold for us?
Well, July 20th came. Of course, at the time, I had completely forgotten about the dream and had certainly forgotten about the specific day.
We were out on a triple date with two of our favorite couples. Since our band baby boom, this was the first time we'd all hung out without children. I was literally counting down the days until this date. We all put it on our calendars, got babysitters, and made plans. Little did I know that a terrifying journey was in store for me that evening.
(More to come ...)