God’s presence in my life over the years
Of course there are so many other things God has brought me through but I just felt like these were important today.
The first time I ever remember feeling God’s presence as he answered my prayer was at a Braves baseball game when I was 5. I had the chicken pox, and yet my dad still took me to my yearly game. I was so excited but all I wanted was to catch a ball all day long. My dad would always talk about the homerun ball he caught when he was just a kid, and back in those days I wanted to be just like m dad. Well it was the last inning of the game and still no ball. I remember closing my eyes holding my glove in the air and just praying and praying to catch a ball, and guess what I did! I felt the ball hit my glove and there it was, everyone sitting around us was congratulating me, and it was even on the big screen. I was the happiest kid that day.
During spring break last year, I planned on going on a World Changers trip with my youth group. The trip was only three hours away in Vero Beach, and I was very excited to go. However, two days prior to going my father was still not okay with me going, and made his opinion known. I was presented with the choice to go, and loose my car, my prom dress, and any privilege of going out for a long time, Or I could keep my car, prom dress, privileges, and not go on the trip. I was so angry that I was being forced to make this decision. After packing my bag and handing my car keys over to my dad, he made it clear he would not speak, or have anything to do with me if I left to go on the trip. The whole way driving to church I cried not knowing what I should do. My dad is not saved and does not share my beliefs, but there is nothing more that I want then for him to come to know God’s love and grace. I was torn do I listen to him and not do what I feel I should do, and maybe illustrate Gods love to him by staying, or do I disrespect his order, and go and do Gods work for a stranger. It just so happened that in service that morning my pastor said “someone can take your happiness away, but no one can take away your joy” It was one of those rare moments when I felt God was speaking directly to me. After service I got my bag out of the car and loaded it into the van, not sure if I was still doing the right thing.
When I arrived at the World Changers and unpacked my bag, I called my mom to let her know I arrived safely and she told me that my dad left really angry with my car and took both sets of keys along with the prom dress he bought for me the week before. I told myself that they were just material possessions and the work I would do that week, was so much more, and I was right. I came out of my shell that week; I opened my eyes and left my fear of praying out loud, and shyness right there in the middle of our circle as we prayed at the end of the first day. For the rest of the trip I begged God, to be with me when I returned home, and make all of my troubles go away, and well God answered my prayers to the fullest desire of my heart. When I came home, my car was in the driveway, my dress in my room, and most important my dad said hello to me, something he rarely did when he was not angry with me. Most people said “oh he just had time to calm down” but I knew that it was God blessing me for keeping my faith in him, my heavenly father, over my earthly one.
Now today 8 months later, I had to help my dad move into a new place, carry box, after box out of our house, and into his car. I had to help pick out carpet, and paint colors for his new place, all while my heart was breaking on the inside. Once again I poured out my heart to God as I sat at home watching him drive away to his new place, his new home without me. And I don’t necessarily see the blessings now but I know God has something planed for me, and will use me in my dad’s life to open his eyes to his God’s gift to the world.