In a recent post, I wrote about my son and the struggles he’s been going through, and thus, the struggles his mom and I are going through as well. It became clear to me that he needed a God encounter.
Some months ago, one of the teenage girls at our church got up in front of the congregation during service and talked about how she had experienced God at some recent event. Something in my brain said “Ian needs that.” Then, after a miserable January, in which all of his issues and struggles started coming to light, I knew what I had to do. I had to pray. The youth winter camp was coming up near the end of February and Ian was signed up to go. At the beginning of the month, I emailed some trusted friends from church and told them that I planned to spend the month praying for Ian. Specifically that God would really show up for him at winter camp. I asked them to join me in prayer for him. After a few weeks, my prayers kind of transformed into not just specific for Ian, but to asking God to begin a bit of a revival in the kids. It was also discussed that we would do a one day fast a few days before the camp.
When they got back, the camp leaders reported to me that Ian had responded to the altar call. And not just that, but that they could see him hesitating to raise his hand which indicated that God was really pulling him, and that Ian was really thinking about it and making a real decision, not just going with the moment. This was a pretty big faith building moment for me. I asked God to show up, and He did. What’s more, I heard a few days later that about half of the kids also responded to the altar call. I asked and He did. This was the second time in my life that I prayed for one specific thing for a month and He answered.
I know Ian still has a long journey ahead of him and a lot of growing to do. But I know this was an important step in heading the right direction. I certainly have a lot of learning to do also. I can’t even believe how much I’ve grown in the past couple years. Looking back, there’s a portion of my life that feels dark. As a matter of fact, I recognized that even at the time. It felt dark then. Now, there are pockets of darkness here and there, but generally, everything feels bright and beautiful. And I know that with God’s help, those pockets of darkness will be eradicated. For my family too.
Now I have a new prayer target: my wife. Shortly after the winter camp, I started getting the impression it was time to focus on her. There’s been a bit of a theme of letting go of the past. Not even exaggerating, less than a week later something came up from Erin’s past that is going to need to get dealt with sooner rather than later. I can’t really talk about specifics yet in case certain people happen to read this (as if anyone reads this!). However, I am really looking forward to seeing how God moves here. It’s a very exciting time in my life. This is the real hope and change!