a reply to: swanne
Hm. That's a pretty long story. The short of it is at one point in college, I had wandered very far away from my family's Christian roots (one of my
grandfathers was a minister). I was laying in bed at night, alone (which in college for me was a little unusual), and I was contemplating death and
what might come after. Seemed to me there were two choices - either you believe we die and that's it, your light in the universe winks out and you
are nothing but a biochemical machine, or you believe there's something more.
I chose more. Didn't know what it might be, but everything in me screamed that this crazy thing we call life is not all there is
Fast forward to meeting my wife. She was raised in a strong Christian household, but was in a crisis of faith herself. She wanted to figure out what
it meant to her now. It was a struggle, we had arguments and I felt like she wanted me to change who I was inside.
We started going to church and I felt like a complete outsider. I did not belong there, and felt like my history of booze and women and what not made
me unfit to be there, like these Christians around me were somehow better than I was, and I was defiling their place by sitting on the pew.
But sometimes I really connected with what the pastor was saying, and one day, I said a prayer to the effect of "Look God I don't know if you're
there. I know I've done a lot of stuff I shouldn't have. If you're really there, the let me know somehow."
Nothing happened. At first.
I can't really describe all the tiny steps of faith that came next. There were dozens, and they were each small. I'm not one of those people who
knows exactly when they became a Christian.
A lot of nasty stuff happened in a short few years to my family. We lost my grandmother - my mom's family's matriarch. My father was badly injured in
a table saw accident. And then a niece of mine was diagnosed with an aggressive, malignant brain tumor. She was 5.
It was my niece - I'll just call her Butterfly. It was her ordeal that really opened my faith up. We needed answers and we needed a miracle. During
the 10 months she fought, God solidified my faith through answers to prayers that defied coincidence, and synchronous events across physical
distances, dreams, and visions.
Since then, He has continued to answer prayers - stuff where there's no logical explanation except that it was manipulated. I have had prayers
answered - both "yes"s and "no"s. I have been the answer to others' prayers. And I am a very different man than I once was.
Cliff's notes version...long version would be another book.