For me, Virginia is a day, not a state. A day so important to me that I often mark my life around it: “I used to think that… before Virginia.” Virginia is the day (and yes, the place) of my most wonderful epiphany. The day everything changed. My day of deep encounter with God. In my journal, I called it the New Day.
Virginia is Saturday, April 20, 2002. Virginia is also the state where Calvary Pentecostal Campground is located, just outside the town of Ashland. My encounter with God happened on that day and in that place because God chose them. He invited me to meet with him there. Since Virginia, I think it’s a good idea to accept his invitations.
If you had also been there that day, you probably would not have noticed me. I was not slain in the Spirit. I didn’t have a vision. I didn’t utter anything in an unknown tongue. I did cry a lot. For most of an hour, I just knelt on the floor and shook and sobbed. I left a wet spot on the carpet. I had never done that before. But you wouldn’t have known that, if you had been there.
I have been hesitant to write about that day, mainly because if the details are all laid out it may seem quite unremarkable.
Maybe I fear the sneers of skeptics. I can’t prove to anyone that God met me that day. Of course that isn’t necessary. If you don’t believe God interacts with us, you won’t be interested in my story. On the other hand, if you are a God-seeker, you might find something here that will encourage you to recognize his invitation, and to accept more expectantly.
Maybe I fear the condescension of those who have had more spectacular God-experiences. I envy them sometimes, but it is silly, and worse, I think it grieves my Father who has been so good to me. There is a happy place of balance, where I can be content with the revelation God has given me, and yet desire more, not despising those experiences I have not yet known.
Just for suspense, I’ll write the story in several parts. More to come tomorrow…