I first encountered Him when I was 10 years old. It was at my aunt’s funeral. We all stood and sang Amazing Grace and I looked up to my left and saw my dad shed a tear when the verse “my chains are gone” resonated through the wooden chapel.
The second encounter was when I was alone at church. I think I was 12. I was in the back pew waiting on my mom to walk up so that we could sit next to each other at “big church”. A strange lady sat next to me and wiped a tear from her eye and said “God is just so beautiful”.
I encountered God when my family switched churches in 8th grade. I went to a weekend retreat with a bunch of girls I barely knew and on one night I was upset that I didn’t understand God and our group leader said, “Lay down and don’t ask God of any favor but for Him just to hold you.” So I did. And He held me.
I encountered God the night my best friend’s dad committed suicide and I had to direct the band on the drum major ladder. As the song was playing and I was swinging my hands around, I looked to a flock of birds in the sky and God said “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
God revealed himself to me after 6 months of denying Him on the road home when I pulled an 80 year old lady out of an upside down, completely smashed car.
She was spotless.
I encountered God that summer when I visited a camp in Missouri and woke up at 4 in the morning and hiked up a hill and found a chapel. I walked up, the words above the door saying “come as you are” and opened the door. The chapel was empty and I walked to the pulpit, where a hymn book was open to “Come Thou Fount”.
God revealed himself my Sophomore year in high school when I was walking around “Walmart Lake” with my best guy friend. This was right after we washed each other’s feet. Nothing happened after that, God just revealed to me that he is incredibly real.
God revealed himself when a lady cried because of the beauty of a flower when I worked at the greenhouse.
God revealed himself when I found myself alone.
God revealed himself when I sat alone at the edge of a canyon and a friend came up and prayed over me.
God revealed himself when I couldn’t stand any longer and wrapped myself around a toilet and He whispered in my ear “follow me”.
God revealed himself when my mother told me the full story about my brother.
I encountered God when I stood next to a 10 year old girl during a campfire worship service and she yelled, out-of-tune with tears in her eyes “oh how He loves us” when you knew that her earthly father showed her no love.
I encountered God today on a bike ride when I got a text saying “just be still”.
I’m encountering God right now.
You are too.
He is everywhere. Calling us. Wanting us. Screaming our name. He wants me. And you. To live life with Him. To simply breathe and be. To love. To cry. To feel.
To follow him.
He reveals Himself daily.
open your eyes.