Contributed by Brad
I grew up in household that didn’t speak much about God or Jesus. In fact, the only real exposure to God or Jesus was when my brothers and I would visit my Grandmother in Virginia. She would talk to us about God and Jesus and give us the occasional Christian coloring book. She was very firm in her beliefs and I believed her. But then we would hop on the Piedmont airliner and head home and get back into our regular non-Christian lives. I would continue to say my prayers once in awhile. And when I asked my parents “why don’t we go to church?” or say “we should go to church.” they would always reply “sure, we will go.” But that never happened.
Flash forward years later and my parents divorced and we are living with my mother. She was in bad health, both physically and mentally so my younger brother and I went off to military school. Military school was originally our idea but when it was time to go we needed a bit of a nudge. We both fit in quite well and excelled, he at his school and me at mine some 20 miles away. That December my mother’s health deteriorated. We went to see her in the hospital and it was quite dreadful. She was never conscious and she died shortly after our visit. I was 14 and my brother was 12 years old.
Returning to school in January, we got into the flow of military school life again. It was all a blur really. I was numb and working on autopilot. When the subject of God came up, I would not pay it much attention. I was beginning to feel that there was no God. I figured, with so much pain and anguish in the world, why would God allow this? I yelled at the heavens and said some terrible things. I was checked out. Then it happened..
On a normal cold freezing January night in the mountains of Virginia, I went to bed in my dorm room and fell asleep. Some time during the night I began to dream. In the dream, I was walking through an old dark house on my own. I was wandering from room to room when I came upon some stairs to the attic. When I got to the top of the stairs I walked into the attic and noticed it was very much just like a regular room with old furniture and dust. I could see myself in the third person and I could see things in first person as well. To my left I noticed an old large cupboard. It had two large doors on it and something told me to open them wide. And BOOM! The brightest, warmest and most powerful light I have ever seen poured from this cupboard. I instantly fell to my knees. I simultaneously knew who/what this was. It was God. I understood. The light and power were so intense I felt humbled, overwhelmed, humiliated and elevated all at the same time. I felt lucky to even be in the presence of The LORD.
I woke up and was sweating and had tears on my face. I sat at the edge of the bed and regrouped myself trying not to wake my roommate. A smile then came over my face and I was warm and happy. I think eventually I fell back to sleep and woke up at 6:30am sharp (to the sound of the reveille bell). I tried to tell a few people about the experience but I couldn’t really convey the magnitude of the experience.
Ever since that day I have had no doubts. God came to me and recharged me. He helped me get through a very dark time. I’ve always felt there was GOD, but this was the first, what I would call EXPERIENCE. Since that day in 1992 I have had other experiences. I plan to share them on this blog over time.