Michael...I don't want to take away from the Seth's story, but I'll share because you asked. (And you're sort of a big deal around here.)
It's not too complicated, really. I don't like to delve into the darkness of it, but basically I was at the point where I wanted to off myself too. I never grew up with a faith in God and really didn't want it because of what I saw of other "Christians" out there. (What I didn't know was people had nothing to do with it!) I was sitting there with a gun in my mouth and told myself that I'd at least try to pray before I ended it.
I spent over two hours in prayer begging God to turn things for me. I needed something real because I was done. From what I can remember of the day, a remarkable lightness came over me...it was as if my troubles dissolved and I was lifted above it all. I have no logical explanation, but something changed. I continued to pray fervently that entire night, praying for this new feeling to continue and to never return to that darkness.
The next morning, I took off work and traveled to my nearest church, found the first available pastor and told him of my experience. He spoke to me sensitively but firmly rooted in faith...and ultimately I was encouraged to give my life to Christ. I was dubious at best, but I accepted the challenge...anything was preferable to going back to that place. I did just that and spent hours in prayer, both with others and on my own. I didn't leave the church until that night, reading through Corinthians and other recommended passages in the book. Needless to say, I continued with the effort and the feelings I begged to have gone never returned, and that feeling I got lasted the better part of two years before I finally felt like I had my own strength back.
My path since has been both great and treacherous. I'm no religious nut and I don't care what people think or believe, but I can't deny I was saved that day in the most literal of senses. (Nor can anyone convince me otherwise.) I've encountered many obstacles to my faith since, and still have difficulties with many Christians (gay haters, zealots, burn-in-hell types, etc.), but I've determined it has nothing to do with anyone else. I'm still not perfect, I don't even attend church with regularity...but I do believe and I do talk about it with others fairly often.
To this day, I still find it funny how I ended up taking the least desired and probable path with my life. Reading Seth's story, I was reminded how few times I actually hear/read the kind of transformation I experienced...an actual touch by the holy spirit...but this post was one of them. To me, it's the verifiable proof, but it's finicky and certainly not at our disposal. I just appreciated reading a similar experience that was just as real for someone else.
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