Have you ever had a crazy spiritual encounter? You know, like where you felt like you were visited by a presence outside of yourself? I will never forget the night I had a face-to-face encounter with the Lord himself.
I know it sounds insane. Actually, that’s the very word I’d use to describe it. It happened at night. I was sleeping, and then all of a sudden, I woke up in sweats. There was a dark presence in my room, and I didn’t know how to handle it other than to pray like religious experts tell you to and to rebuke the spirit “in the name of Jesus.” As soon as I said those words, I felt completely calm and at peace. It was as if the presence had left right away, and shortly after, the presence of God was in the room. It was thick and very, very real.
I know what you’re probably thinking. “You were dreaming.” No, I wasn’t dreaming. It was real. In fact, I woke up the next day, and my house had completely lost power. I called an electrician in the area and he came out to take a look. He thought it was pretty bizarre that there had been no other outages reported in my neighborhood and there had not been a storm that night. It was a perfectly clear, starry night, and my neighbors all had power. The electrician could find nothing wrong with our wiring and ended up referring us to another company simply because he was unable to fix our power outage. (The power ended up coming back on just hours later, so we ended up not needing anyone else to come out.)
To this day, I still believe it was the spiritual encounter that caused the unexplainable power outage. A real encounter with God himself.
The reason I believe this is because my entire outlook on life has changed. I grew up in a very religious household. Both of my parents were devout Catholics and we attended mass every Sunday. The ritual nature of the Catholic religion always turned me off and I ended up turning my back on the church as soon as I was old enough to drive. I refused to go to mass with my parents and kind of developed a wild streak. By the time I turned 22, I was a self-proclaimed agnostic—bordering on atheism. It only took a few science classes to convince me there was no God.
Then I lost a very dear friend of mine to a drunk driver in 1998, and things continued to unravel. The night God came to visit me, I fell asleep in a drunken stupor. (I know what you’re thinking—the alcohol made me crazy. But hear me out.) When I woke up and realized what happened, my entire life began to change.
I was eager to find a church and start reading the Bible. I had to know more about this being who visited me. This being who created the whole universe and all the people in it. And my relationship with my Creator and Redeemer has only grown since that night. I enrolled in seminary school the other day, and the application process got me thinking about my personal testimony and how much my life has changed for the better.
Only an encounter with God can do something like that, right?