That moment when you realize your life has changed . . . forever

Just a few weeks prior I was living the dream.  I was on the football team (going head-to-head with Tyrone Carter), studying chemical engineering (they made the most $$$), and chilling at the University of Minnesota.  There was NO questioning my place in the world because I was on top of it (think Leonardo DiCaprio with arms outstretched in Titanic).

On this day though, I was empty.  I was questioning my place in the world.  I was questioning my place at the U of M.  I was questioning my place in life.  I was all alone and I felt it (think Kate Winslet at the beginning of Titanic…okay enough Titanic references…it’s not as if I like the movie…*just realized I own it*…yeah).

So, not knowing what to do, I prayed.  Up to this point in my life, I really didn’t pray at all.  Even though I grew up going to church, I didn’t know much about God and I certainly didn’t know how to pray.  So, I said, “God, if you’re real, I need you to show up.  Show me that you give a rip about me and what’s going on in my life.”  That’s not the moment when my life changed forever.

The next day a guy called me asking if I’d be willing to talk about God.  Whoa!  “Prayer works,” I thought to myself.  “I should have prayed for a car!”  That’s not the moment when my life changed forever.

This man knew God and he brought God into my dorm room that day.  He shared that God loved me (sweet!) but that sin (what the heck is that? aka imperfections) separated me from God (CRAP! that didn’t sound too good).  He asked me how I was going to overcome this and waited an awkwardly long time for me to answer (think Michael Scott).  I didn’t know.  Finally, he relented and said that Jesus put himself in my place on the cross so that I could have a relationship with God.   He told me I could enter into this new life through faith and get it started with another prayer (my 2nd!).  Even though I was getting my prayer on pretty big time now, I didn’t feel comfortable praying with him there.  So, I said thanks and he prepared to leave.  That’s not the moment when my life changed forever.

My life changed forever when the man who had brought God into my dorm room left…but God stayed.

From that time, life has never been the same.  It has not been easy.  I have not become perfect (ask my wife!).  I still fight sin.  I still have moments when I wonder if the Lord knows what he is doing.  I still may feel alone at times, but I know that I am not.  I thank God for changing my life…forever.

YOUR TURN: What about you?  When was the moment (just pick one!) when your life changed forever - when you knew you’d never be the same?  Who was there?  How’d it happen?  You don’t need to share everything.  But, would you share a piece of your story?  Thanks!

APPEAL: If you are feeling alone (which can happen to all of us), do not hesitate to contact me (pastorcor@gmail.com) or some other trusted person in your life.  I started this blog because I love to engage people in all kinds of conversation.  Many of these conversations, especially as a pastor, can be quite serious and deal with deeply personal issues.  If you find yourself in a place needing to talk, know that I am here.

Posted on by Cor in FAITH

8 Responses to That moment when you realize your life has changed . . . forever

  1. Lisa M

    Thanks for sharing this Cor! The moment my life changed forever also happened at the U of M. I was battling depression and finding my place in the world. I was in pretty deep despair laying in my bed, and I verbally cried out that if God was there I needed Him. NOW! Up to that point, I did not pray. I grew up going to church sometimes (okay, mostly on Easter and Christmas) but that was the extent of it. I had some close friends who had exposed me to God by talking lovingly about Him around me, so I figured I would cry out to Him (if He was there) in this awful moment. Almost instantly I calmed down. I stopped crying and felt like I had some perspective on things. I didn’t know what perspective, but at least I was calm. The only thing that can explain that is God’s presence. I’m telling you, I was pretty wound up before that! After that, I started talking more with my friends about God, asking questions, and going to church. In time, I learned more about who God is, why He wants a relationship with me, how to have that relationship, and what Jesus dying on the cross and raising again really means. So, the moment that changed my life set me on a path to salvation and having the most fulfilling, life-changing relationship I will ever know.

    • Cor

      Wow, Lisa! Thanks for sharing these incredible circumstances. It’s interesting to consider the parallels of our two stories. It’s a great encouragement. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Neeraj Mehta

    Wait a minute. Did we know each other then? That University of MN, seems like your story and my story are good examples of the fact that God doesn’t just reside at christian colleges! Thanks for sharing.

    • Cor

      Yes! We were friends back then. ; ) He took good care of us, didn’t he!?

  3. Kathy Johnson

    I am married to that man that came to visit you. God was doing amazing things in his life too, and those things would change the course of his life. God used you to bless Vince in more ways than you will ever know. Happy “50” birthday, Vince Johnson!!!

    • Cor

      He’s great! Isn’t he? haha

      Happy Birthday to Vince!

  4. Chris Schumacher

    About 9 months ago I was at a pretty rough point in my life. Relationship was falling apart, my identity seemed to be based on my accomplishments, living life through a series of masks. Ultimately I was just at a broken point in my life. At this same point I was Bible study leader, putting on the face and being able to encourage other freshmen in their faith journey, all the while ignoring the encouragement that I was giving to them. I was just feeling down and my best friend invites me to go to this night worship service, which consisted of only singing. The order of the songs, and the lyrics within the songs just broke me completely. They built up to the fact that I was living my life about Christ, and not for and with Christ. Realizing the full extent of how I had been choosing not to fight as a man of Christ battle after battle. Breaking me down so far that I finally said, ‘Lord… I do not have the strength to be in control… I give you wheel. My life is yours.’ The songs then continued to build into the strength that God has to lead the broken, and wrapping the entire night up in with the song ‘It is Well’. That was the day my life changed forever.

  5. Janelle

    Wow. Where to begin. I went to Bible camp when I was like four years old and my counselor, who had taken me under her wing all week, asked me if I knew Jesus and I said no. She explained the gospel to me and I “accepted Jesus into my heart”. For the next twelve years, I went to every altar call and “rededicated my life to Christ”. Finally, in tenth grade, the Lord told me that I didn’t need to do that anymore because I was already saved. It took that first time when I was four years old. However, I still struggled with this fact that I was saved because Jesus died on a cross. Granted, I went to church, sunday school, and even youth group, but that just wasn’t doing it for me. When I was a senior in high school, the Lord laid it on my heart, after a youth group lesson, the fact that I was graduating and would leave my school behind. How would I be remembered was the question that came to mind. Well, I began to try and live out my senior year like a true Christian. I dedicated my year to him and tried my best. I would say that I became a believer at the age of four, but a Christian at the age of 18.

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