God was already taking care of us prior to the time of our birth. All the more He cares about what’s happening with our lives now.
This is my story about an extraordinary God who was already taking care of me, even before my birth. By the time I found myself in a place of surrender, He was already there waiting for me.
Having gone through Catholic schools and growing up as a Catholic, I learnt about God from as far back as I can remember.
While God was part of my world throughout my growing up years, He did not really make an impact in my life.
So while I knew that God exists, He was not real to me on a personal level. He was just someone ‘up there’ who was disconnected to me. I didn’t even find it necessary to go to church in my adult years.
That was until my life took a bad turn by March of 1992 when I considered suicide.
With knife in hand, I railed at the heavens, screaming at God in frustration saying that if He were real, then He better stop me from killing myself and start fixing my life instead of just sitting up there somewhere, oblivious to my pain.
Throwing out a challenge that if He makes Himself real to me right there and then, I will give my life over to Him. Then He could do with me as He wishes because I was done having a go at life.
What happened after that remains a mystery to this day. Shouting out that challenge was the last thing I remember of that windy and cold Thursday night in my kitchen.
The next thing I knew was waking up from a deep sleep in my pyjamas, having slept in a fetal position on the bedroom floor just beside my bed.
I couldn’t remember having gone into my bedroom to change into my pyjamas, let alone explain why on earth I slept on the floor instead of under the warmth of my quilt.
It was amazing how I lasted through the night with just those flimsy pyjamas on me. And all the more I marvelled to find that my hands and feet were not cold, and I didn’t even ache from sleeping on the floor all night.
And So the New Day Begins. . .
I went through that whole day in a haze, feeling like I was living someone else’s day. First came the surprising knock on the door early that morning, with a surprising visit from Neil and his family. That morning was the first time I met his wife and children.
At that time, I have spoken to Neil just a few times in the training course we were both attending – mostly with a mere nod of acknowledgement. But the week before, he offered me a ride home when he saw me waiting for the bus at a stop near school.
So you could have knocked me down with a feather when they said that they came by to ask whether I’d be interested to join them in a special church service that Friday evening as they have a visiting speaker from Guam.
I stood there immobile, with what must have been a confused expression on my face as I began to process the question. My first thought was that I must still be in a dream state, following the last thing that I remembered about the events in my kitchen last night.
They repeatedly called my name to get me out of what seemed to be a stupor. I must have mumbled a ‘yes’ after a while.
It sounded incredible even to my own ears that I was actually agreeing to go with people I hardly know to an unknown church location about an hour’s drive away.
Just a few hours later that day, I found myself sobbing uncontrollably in a school hall that was their church. I cannot tell you why I sobbed for what seemed like hours, but I did.
The service was underway by the time we arrived and the guest preacher was starting to speak.
All semblance of stoic dignity went out as soon as I entered that hall, fumbling my way to a chair in the back row, almost blinded by the onslaught of tears rolling down my face.
“Throwing out a challenge that if He makes Himself real to me right there and then, I will give my life over to Him. Then He could do with me as He wishes because I was done having a go at life.”
My mascara was running in black streaks all over, as I hopelessly wiped tears away with fresh tissues someone kept handing over to me. I made such a horribly public scene as I couldn’t stop sobbing at every word that was spoken by the American preacher.
While I couldn’t rationally figure out what was happening to me that day, there I was reacting so emotionally to whatever this preacher had to say. I was quite sure that we didn’t know each other, yet he was speaking directly at me about my life as if I was the only person in that hall.
I wanted to scream at him and storm out from that place. It all seemed so ridiculously far-fetched that they would have staged everything that night just for me.
As I cried and cried, my mind was racing…. who are these people? And why would they do this to me?
It all felt like I walked into a set-up and was helplessly trapped. I was shaking too much from crying that I would not have been able to say anything. Or even get up as I was almost bent over my knees from crying.
My New Identity
Suffice it to say that God ‘fixed’ all that was wrong in my world shortly after that Friday night at church.
It did not happen all at once, as I got myself in such a mess that there were so many issues that needed sorting out. But it happened in ways that could only be described as divine intervention.
I didn’t even have to do anything as the problematic circumstances surrounding me just started changing. Even if I try, I could not deny how God’s hand was in all of them.
From that time on, I began to realise more about myself and started gaining a different kind of self-confidence – one that is not based on circumstance, social standing nor reputation.
As I got to know who God is, I found stability in my new identity as a child of God. I understood that I was created in His image. That it was His very breath in me that has become my spiritual life source.
What I felt was a set-up when I walked into that church hall that night in March 1992 was indeed a staged event – something the likes of which only God could do.
In response to my challenge of the night before, God set everything in motion as He placed all the characters on the stage – Neil and his unexpected invitation in the morning, then the American preacher from Guam had to fly into Adelaide that very afternoon.
Adding to that, the Pastor of that church saw my emotional reaction and came over to ask if it was okay for him to lay his hand on my shoulder and pray for me.
One other incredible thing was, I did not go about seeking to find God the night before when I angrily lifted my fist up at heaven. Nor did I plan on getting a new identity following that tirade.
But inspite of my anger, God was already there, waiting for me as I came into what I thought was my last night on earth.
In a way it was my last night. Because the person that got up from my bedroom floor the following morning was a different person.
This is my life journey that I am sharing here with you in these blogs, as I write about how I am walking the path towards my extraordinary life of purpose and God-given destiny.