I was born a pastor’s kid, lived a pastor’s kid for most of my childhood, and am now the adult-aged child of a missionary. Since so much of my early life involved being at church, it is impossible for me to recall a time that I did not know about God, Jesus, or sin. I can remember sitting in church listening to my Dad’s sermons when periodically he would say something like, “If you want a relationship with God, then pray this prayer with me.” Being an obedient child (at least in my mind) who wanted to do the good thing of having a relationship with God, I would repeat the pray out loud.
However, I could tell that something wasn’t right. I didn’t feel any different. One day my church hosted part of a community revival. During the service, something clicked in my mind. I didn’t need to be saved because all people were sinners; I needed to be saved because I was the sinner. When the invitation call happened, I turned to my mother. “Mommy, can I go up there?”
Shock of all shocks, Mom told me that I could. Who would have thought that a pastor’s wife would want her baby to be saved? I walked to the front of the church. Dad walked me through the Scriptures. I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior that night. I was five years old.
Knowing That There is a God
When I look back on my life, I can see a bunch of times that God has been guiding me. There were the times when I felt like I was jumping off the cliff to freefall into the Abyss of Insanity. However there is one definite moment that I will never forget. I was fourteen. My parents and I were driving home from New York City. I had just walked across the Carnegie Hall stage in Scholastic Art and Writing award ceremony. I was on cloud nine.
We were in Pennsylvania. A ‘V’ shaped grass median separated the Interstate sides. I don’t remember the red car slowing down as it crossed into oncoming traffic. Dad slowed our Corolla; the Red Vehicle passed into the right lane. We were in the clear…except for the car that we had been travelling beside. When we slowed, our Buddy Car pulled ahead. Red Vehicle and Buddy Car collided.
Still bouncing from the initial collision, Red Vehicle hit our Corolla’s transmission. It then proceeded to flip over our Corolla before colliding with a fourth vehicle. Red transfer paint streaked across our windshield and down the passenger side window where Mom sat, but the glass didn’t shatter.
Dad and I didn’t feel the moment of the impact. Mom had bruises from the seatbelt. While other passengers involved in the accident were driven to the hospital, we got carted to the nearest town in the back of a police car. The next day, we would leave the Corolla abandoned in Pennsylvania as we went home by rental car.
It is a moment of my life that I will never forget. It is the moment I think back on whenever I ask myself how I would answer the question, “Why do I believe there is a God?”