During my sophomore year in college I drove over an hour one way on empty country highways from where I lived to where I worked and went to college. This was before iPods. I had worn myself out with the music CDs I owned, and I greatly disliked listening to the radio in the morning because all of the stations had DJs talking instead of music playing. And to be quite honest, I didn’t care at all what they were talking about. During these long drives, I started contemplating my future. I was almost completely done with my basics and needed to choose a major, but I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. After a few months of kicking around ideas, I realized I needed some help.
My parents took me to church about once every three months when I was growing up, but I never ‘heard’ the gospel. I was pretty sure I believed in God, but I didn’t really know anything about him. So during these months of contemplation and figuring out I needed some help, I also realized that I didn’t know who God was. I remember one day during my drive saying, “God if you’re there and you want me to get involved in the church, I need you to take care of it because I don’t have any idea where to start.”
A few months after that day I moved to the city where my college was located. The very weekend that I moved into my new apartment, God placed a wonderful girl by the name of Amber in my life. A friend and I went out bowling after we got all my stuff moved in. We ran into Amber at the bowling alley. I ended up with her phone number. I called to ask her on a date and she asked me if I would like to go to church with her. I was thrilled twice over.
I went to church with her that Wednesday, and then to dinner with her that Thursday. After a few weeks of attending the church on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings and Wednesday nights, I realized I had never heard words with this kind of power before. I told her I wanted to go to that church because there was something different going on there. I began attending the church regularly and made some wonderful friends in the college ministry. A little over eight months later I accepted Christ in that very church, and that was just the beginning.
I moved away to go to Seminary. Ironically it was difficult to find a good Bible preaching church while working on my Master’s. A friend from the college group would get the audiocassettes of sermons from my old church and when I would come back to town to visit my parents, she would deliver them to me. The pastor, Alan, was my Bible teacher and mentor through these tapes, even though we had only ever had one private conversation. Of course that conversation did result in my salvation, so.
When I had been gone for around ten years, my father got sick so I moved back. A few years after I moved back, my old college minister offered me a position as a preteen associate at his new church. After serving there for one year, the pastor who lead me to Christ almost 15 years earlier asked me if I would come be his youth minister. I have now been serving in that capacity for two years and I have the wonderful opportunity of meeting with him every week to be mentored, face to face this time. And all because God brought a girl into a bowling alley on the night I moved into a new apartment and she gave me her number. If that’s not providence, I don’t know what is.