Five minutes that changed my life

By October 16, 2014Stories

A student (anonymous)

IMG_2234I was raised with an alcoholic mother and a drug addict for a father. Because they split up before I was born, I thankfully didn’t have to live with the two of them under the same roof at one time! That might have been just a little too much for me.

I was not aware of Christ in my life up until last winter. Having the childhood I’d had, I did not see much of a reason to believe in a God who claimed to love me and to want nothing but the best for me. How could I believe that when my mother was in a drunken stupor screaming at her drunk boyfriend? Why would I believe that God was protecting me and was there the whole time? It took me eighteen years to see He was in fact there the entire time and never left my side; not once.

The day I came to Christ I could not have been more tired and cranky. The class that week was on the Holy Spirit and the instructor had asked us to sit in small groups. We were to all pray for each other, and to practice listening prayer for one another. He wanted us to pray for each person in our group one at a time while we practiced listening to what God might be speaking to them. We were then to tell the person we were praying for what had come to our minds during the prayer time.

When my turn came to be prayed for, I wanted to be anywhere but there – preferably taking an Advil and heading back to bed. As I sat there waiting for their praying time to be up, I decided to give God one last chance. One last-ditch effort. I mean, what could really happen, right? I said these exact words to God, “If you show them something like, I don’t know, an animal, or the ocean, or the mountains then fine! I’ll give my life to you! Whatever.” As the prayer time ended I received the shock of my life.

The first girl said, “I got an image of a butterfly”. I think, ‘Yeah that’s great, whatever… next!’

The second girl said, “I saw the ocean and big waves”. ‘Aha, yeah okay’.

The third girl said, “I saw a mountain range”. ‘Uh oh!’

The last girl, “I saw an eagle and the word freedom”.

I threw my hands up in the air, said a couple of swear words and told the group what I had just promised God. I do my very best to never break a promise and this was one that I knew I could not go back on. The group was ecstatic and the news spread around the school within a half-hour. I’m sure it doesn’t sound like much, but I cannot even explain to you what I was feeling in that moment when God decided that today was the day. It’s one of those things that’s got to happen to you, you know?

Looking back on my life and everything that happened as I was growing up, I now see God there so clearly, when at the time I felt completely alone. Just this morning my friend and I were talking about time and how in the grand scheme of things five minutes of time isn’t really going to mean anything. But for me to come to Christ, all it took was those five minutes.


  • Joanna says:

    This story blessed and touched me immensely. In my own personal life and my journey with listening prayer; butterflies symbolize my mom and her death last Christmas, oceans symbolize my grief and lastly the mountains symbolizes freedom. I love how God weaves peoples lives together through their stories and their day-to-day life. God bless you at the Mark Center and blessings upon the person who shared this story.

  • ken says:

    What a blessing to read this. 41 years ago tonight jesus called me
    He sprang the trap on my way home from school

  • Rose says:

    Your story touched my soul. I was raised in a home where my father was hooked on alcohol. My parents divorced when I was a teen. Your life has been tough. I admire your choice to believe in God and your value to try your best to not break a promise. I also choose to believe when I was young (17 years old), I am now 60. God has been with me all these years. God healed my heart, and helped me understand the story of my parents. Every person has a story. May God bless your life as He did mine!

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