I am so excited to share the last encounter with you today. Not because it is the last, but because of the author. Remember that cute five year old blonde I mentioned a few days ago? Well now she is a beautiful sixteen year old. She shared this for me to share with you, and I just love her heart and her honesty of her struggles. I pray you are blessed by my daughters story.
Throughout my life I have had only a few times that I have felt truly close to God. Recently, I have to say that I have been jealous of all of my brother’s experiences. Most of my experiences have been through music, where I am so involved in worshiping my Lord, that I feel it is just me and Him. These times are extremely important to me because singing is a huge part of my life, and it is the talent that was given to me by God to use for God.
I believe I was in sixth grade, not long before we moved back to Texas. I was on a winter retreat with the church youth group in Orlando that I was not really apart of. I had gone on this retreat for the same reason that I go on most, because as a pastor’s kid (PK) I felt as if it was my duty to go. On the weekend retreat, in the mornings and at night, we would have worship and do a devotional as you do on most retreats. This one night though, the leaders told us to all go off to our own space and pray. That was all they said to do. I went off thinking that it was a stupid task, and that I was wasting my time, because despite the fact that I did believe in God, and that Jesus died for me, I never really felt like God listened when I prayed.
So I went off with my disapproving attitude and I sat down in the grass in the dark by myself. I was sitting there not really knowing what to do when I looked up at the stars and I just knew that God was there. After sitting in the grass looking at the stars and praying (I did finally get into it) for a while it was time to go back inside and continue worship. When we worshipped I really felt for the first time like I was praising God. This night was the first night that I even closed my eyes and bowed my head in worship.
I still have the constant struggle of feeling like God isn’t listening to me when I pray. Since moving to Montana it has been even harder. I have struggled a lot since the move, and I have prayed about those struggles, that they may be lifted, but sometimes the relief takes a long time. In these hard times I must remember that God is there and the relief will come.
As my brother said, so delicately I might add, “Because all this crap is happening right now, something spiritually big is going to happen soon.”
I hope you have been blessed by these encounters. I would love to hear your encounter. You can email them to me at email@example.com. If you are loving this series make sure to check out last years lenten series, “40 Encounters With Jesus.” Available in both Paperback and Ebook formats. ~Jen
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