Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Christmas Miracle: Happy Birthday

For all of you that know me...

I wasn't born on this day, but I attribute this day to the most significant event in my life.

I'm not sure why I always think of the date as December 20th, but it's probably just fried neurons that keep me from remembering when the actual date was (I had to check and it was December 12th, 2000).

So what happened on this date or around it some eight years ago?

I was reborn.

Bear with me and finish reading before you rush to judgement.

You could call it an epiphany if you'd like, but it was much more than that. Truly, such a divine experience cannot be fully expressed if you've never experienced it.

I'll paint the picture a bit for you to set the framework.

I always want to say that it happened on a Friday or something, even though evidence tells me it was a Tuesday in December. Perhaps, it was the lifestyle I was living. Every day was like a weekend to me. I had just dropped off a friend. I use the term loosely because, at that time in my life, I had many friends that were more like partners in crime than what one would call a friend.

Anyhow, I had just dropped of my friend and made that right turn to head back home. Little did I know, that the car that turned left behind me was one of our local police officers. He did his job, pulling me over for my broken turn signal, and I suspect would've let me off with a minor citation or warning if things had been different. I remember vividly the song playing on the radio, Limp Bizkit's Nookie--which I still abhor to this day, as I turned it down and silently cursed my circumstances as I pulled my car over to the shoulder .

That lingering fear of the law catching up with me became a self-fulfilling prophecy that day.

In fact, I had a prior arrest only 6 months ago. As my stash was taken as evidence and I was placed in the back of the cruiser (in handcuffs of course), I remember the officer saying something that while not very profound had a lasting impact. "You don't need this..."

He was right. That day my arresting officer was the voice of reason and to a smaller extent the voice of God.

Some of that whole day fades away into a foggy mess, even though I was what I'd call sober when I was pulled over, but a few things I remember clearly.

One thing I cannot forget was the look of utter dismay and disappointment on my mother's face when the officer dropped me off at home after being processed and released. In fact, I don't think a word was even exchanged between my mother and I that night.

One of the other things I remember lucidly was the brokenness in my spirit. I can't really describe it except that it's like your innermost being had just been shattered. I saw my life and what a mess I had made of it, and knew in my spirit that I was powerless to fix it.

I did the only thing I could think of... I cried out to God for a help, for direction, and then opened up my bible seemingly at random. When I opened up to Romans 13 and started reading, the words cut deep into my soul.

It's an amazing thing to know that the Almighty Creator of the Universe listens intently to prayers such as mine in my time of need.
God, I'm sorry. I've been such a dick. I've disobeyed you, please forgive me. Lord, help...
And almost as soon those words escaped my lips in barely recognizable sobs and mutterings, it felt like a great weight had been lifted from me. At that point, I knew that things were going to be alright.

Now, I should preface all of this by adding that after that revelation everything was NOT fine and dandy. In fact, I still had a trial; court mandated drug rehab counseling; traffic safety classes; probation; and then I still had a whole slew of friends that would think that I'd gone mad when I recounted my story. After that prayer, God didn't fix all of my problems, but He did forgive me.

In fact, some things were completely different immediately after I said that prayer, but others took some time.

To my shame, I remember thinking how cool it would be to celebrate Jesus' birth with a bowl of the finest ganja as a new if the aroma of that piney sweet bud and my intoxication would waft up into heaven as a sweet aroma. In time, God changed my attitude about that as well.

I began to understand how much I was missing out on. I had sheltered myself from reality every time I lit a joint. Every time I took a hit from the bong, I drove a wedge between God and I, and soon enough God changed my heart and I didn't want it anymore.

My story's not over, in fact, it's just the beginning of my story. It's the story of my Christmas Miracle. It was the year, God turned this Sinner into a Saint.

Sorry. I know this was a bit long, but I couldn't tell the story as fully as I have without using as many words.

I hope you believe in Christmas Miracles.

Leave a comment, if you would.


rev-arb said...

It is often through the darkest of days that God brings the most light into our lives. Remember He is blessing you even now.

Allen said...

Thanks Rev, I appreciate it. Take care.

Anonymous said...

this is really a touching story.thank you.

salinda said...

God NEVER moves. We do the moving.

Thanks for the story, all we need to do is call and God will hear our cry. He will never leave us. So why do we make it so hard on our self. We need to get back to the Lord.

Allen said...

Salinda, you're completely right. Prayer has a greater effect on the one who prays it than the ONE who hears it.