This is my 247th post.
There isn't anything super significant about the number 247, but after pouring my brain out over who knows how many pages worth it brings with it a reflection of how things change. I'm a completely different person than I was five or six years ago.
I (like to think) I've grown up a bit.
I've traveled places I'd never been to.
I've made new friends, lost old ones, seen who's stuck around.
I've learned to say no, and when to say yes.
And I'm not done yet. Not even close.
I'm still a mess of a construction site. Constantly being shown new things, and things I have to work on as an individual.
I'm kind of lucky, I guess. I have actual remembrances of the event itself that I look back on. Apparently, I had my own paparazzi and never knew it till after the fact. Can you believe it?
I mean, who actually has pictures leading up to the moment of their conversion?
This picture above, is me sitting with Lee, and Ashley.
Lee and Ashley were Ohioans on the same trip I was on. I had actually signed on to go to Panama City Beach, with a campus ministry, to "witness" to spring breakers. Quite honestly, as an agnostic, the only reason I went was to get away from Wisconsin. I was escaping all my problems for a week, trying to clear my head.
Do you think God has a sense of humor? I sure do. Here I was, on a trip to "witness" and along come Lee and Ashley, and they begin to share the story of God with me. But, can ya blame them? I mean I look like a godless pagan sitting there all anti-social-like.
I wasn't ready at that point, but I listened to what they had to say. I don't know why. I thought it was all a load of crap, but I felt compelled to stay. After Lee ran through the gospel with me, he noticed my trip bracelet. I think he was kinda disappointed that he'd just shared with a "fellow Christian", little did he know my life was going to change drastically from this moment on.
The next picture is a moment, I'll never forget. Sitting in assembly of all the students, as they shared their stories of witnessing. Something happened. I broke. I realized just how incredibly awful I'd been. To everyone. I knew I couldn't do it on my own anymore. I knew...that no one could possibly love me, for all the shit I'd done. But for some reason...I couldn't shake the feeling that someone did.
There really isn't any feeling in the world, that I could put into words, that can describe the revelation I felt.
And there never will be.
When you, whoever you are, experience God in a real, true way for the first time I guarantee there won't be words you can use to do it justice. It's more than praying a prayer. It's more than being a good Christian. It's different for everyone, but it's real nonetheless.
Since that night I've changed a lot. People all change, and evolve over time. I have stronger opinions about aspects of the Christian religion than I did then. I've broken with some ideas that I thought were correct, and embraced others that I'd never considered before. And tomorrow? I don't know. I don't know where I'm going to be tomorrow. Or next week. Or in 10 years.
I don't relish ever last thing about my past. And I don't always make the right choices in the present.
But choices come and go, and life goes on. One thing remains constant, and that is this: I will never regret the decision I made that night.
And that's all I'll ever need to know.