About a year and a half after my disability began, I returned to college with the goal of finally graduating and ultimately, of finding employment as a college graduate. While I was a student, I was very busy with school activities. I never even suspected the hour I first believed. Never Ever!
After I had graduated from the university, my activities came to an abrupt end. My life involved waking up and getting on the Internet. I would do that for roughly twelve hours then go back to bed. And the next day, I got to do it all over again.
After several months of that, I was bored out of my mind. It just so happened that a ministry group from a local church had been coming to my apartment complex for the past several years. A young woman about my age had been cleaning at my apartment during this time. We enjoyed each other’s company and always had a good time together. If I ever had any “church” questions, she would always be able to answer them, but I really wasn’t that interested in church. It was more my way of trying to placate her.
I had mentioned to her how completely bored I was and she volunteered to take me to church with her. It wasn’t that I wanted to go to church to hear the word or anything; it was just that I wanted to get out of my apartment. So, I agreed to go.
Well, the first Sunday that I went to church, I just loved what I was hearing! In his sermon, the pastor kept saying that God has a special plan for you. I knew very little about Jesus and the Bible at that time and I wanted to learn more.
I am a former English major and the one person that I knew who had written on both English and Christianity was CS Lewis. He piqued my curiosity regarding God with his apologetic “Mere Christianity.” A friend from church gave me an old copy of “Joni” that she had and a whole new world opened up for me. I loved learning about God; I loved reading about God; I loved going to church each Sunday, but I just was not ready to take that final leap of faith. Throughout this time, I would hear the idea that God has a special plan for you seemingly everywhere. For me, it became a recurring theme.
But, I still was not willing to make that ultimate commitment for Christ. Believers would always talk about that one awesome day when Jesus entered their heart, but it just wasn’t happening for me.
One night, I had been involved in an online discussion about Jack Kevorkian. At that time, he was actively involved in supposed “mercy killings.” A lady with Multiple Sclerosis, who expected her condition to progressively deteriorate, opted for Dr. Kevorkian to help her with an assisted suicide.
This seemed fundamentally wrong to me on several levels and I voiced my objections to her final decision. I mentioned that after my near-death disabling experience there was nothing that I wanted more than to be alive. Because I nearly died, I have learned to appreciate my gift of life.
A short while later, I received an email response from a radical extremist who used a lot of hate language. One thing that he said was that he hoped that I would be “sterilized so that I wouldn’t pollute the gene pool.” I was terrified. I was afraid to go out of my apartment because I expected some radical lunatic to perform a “mercy killing” extermination on me! The only relief that I got that night was when I was finally able to fall asleep.
I woke up the next morning, which was Thanksgiving morning of 1998, and I had another email from an address that I did not recognize. At first, I considered deleting it because I assumed it was from some other person who wanted to tell me how wrong I was. But, I thought that wouldn’t be right. I said what I had wanted to say and now I had to listen to any other opposing opinions. So, I opened the email.
Only it wasn’t from someone who was telling me how wrong I was. It was from a woman who told me that she had never thought of assisted suicide in that way. She said some other kind things, but she ended her message with “God has a special plan for you.”
With tears in my eyes, that was the awesome hour and day that I first believed. I knew it wasn’t just a recurring theme; it seemed to me that God was personally telling me that He had a special plan for me. Because of that Thanksgiving morning in 1998, I now am singing a new song unto the Lord!
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