It was this past past Sunday, during singing in church, that a thought slipped into my head. I can't even remember what the song was, but I do remember very clearly that I was welled up with emotion.
It was while we sang our hearts out about God's faithfulness that I realized something that has always been at the back of my mind, tucked into a corner of my deepest thoughts: God was always there.
My childhood was a little off from ideal. There were struggles and challenges that most middle-class families don't face. My childhood challenges morphed into teen angst made worse by a troubled relationship that started out right and ended up off-the-grid wrong.
The normal teenage crises were multiplied by adult-sized problems and neither the intellect nor the emotional maturity to deal properly with them.
The trusted became the deceptive, right was made wrong, and my world was turned upside down.
I was lost.
In a sea of teen-somethings looking for an identity, a refuge, a safe place, I was lost and wandering.
Locked away in my heart, fighting with the irrationality of all that I had experienced, and mixed with the incongruous thoughts of a not-quite-an-adult-but-no-longer-a-child was the emptiness.
At the time, I couldn't really see it, but 20+ years, 3 marriages, 2 divorces, some abuse, betrayal, lost loves, and thousands of heartaches later, standing in a church with my husband and children that the blindfold was lifted.
I was never alone.
God was always there.
It was the Holy Spirit who slipped silently into my room at night while I lay crying in my bed, praying to fall asleep and never wake up again. It was God who caught every tear in His hand and shushed me asleep, calming my heart and my troubled mind enough for me to find a few moments of peace.
It was Jesus who came to me when I fell to my knees, blinded by my own tears and praying to be rescued and made new who said, "By My wounds you are healed."
So, if I were asked to prove that God exists, that Jesus is alive today, I could pull out books written by amazing authors far smarter than I.
I could point to ancient documents by learned individuals, lauded as men of great intellect of their time.
I could launch into apologetics and quote scripture.
But when it comes down to it, I have a relationship with God that surpasses all of that. I know that it was Him who was there for me. It was Him who saved me from myself and from others who made poor decisions and were on misguided journeys they believed were right.