My family did not have a lot of money when I was growing up. We moved around a lot. I was in a different town/city for kindergarten through grade three. In grade three, we actually settled in Melville where I lived until the beginning of the ninth grade. That was the longest we had ever settled anywhere during my childhood.
My dad is an alcoholic. I say that with some reluctance because I'm not saying it to degrade him. It did, however, affect our lives as children, as it would any home. The reason we moved around so much was because he frequently found himself unemployed because of his drinking binges. Even while in Melville for those six years, he went through several jobs.
I know his drinking was the toughest on my mom and my brother. I think that it was hard on my sisters and I more because of the constant worry of him being gone and wondering if he would ever make it home. For my mom and brother this worry was coupled with wondering where the next meal would come from or how the bills would get paid. He was generally a "happy drunk". I don't remember him ever being physically abusive with us kids while in that state. Sadly, we would quite often "hit" him up for money because that's when he was the most generous.
Having said all of this, it was my dad who had an extreme curiousity with religion. I remember the great interest he showed in the Jehovah's Witnesses when I was quite young, almost converting. Over the years my dad has told many tales of "bar room proselytizing".
When my brother finished school, he moved in with my aunt and uncle and worked for the Potash Mine in Colonsay. While boarding with them, they began having bible studies with the "then" pastor of the church I now attend. He, being a previous self-proclaimed atheist, started sitting in on the bible studies and gradually became convinced of the truth of the Word.
I'll never forget the phone call that changed my life forever. This is what I call the first miracle in my life. My brother phoned my dad - remember my dad's interest in God and religion - and told him he was having bible studies with a pastor and his family, and that this church "didn't believe in smoking or drinking and that the women wore skirts and didn't cut their hair". Whether my brother said these exact words or not I do not know, what I do know is that this is how it was translated down to me through my dad. I recall my dad hanging up the phone and relaying his conversation with my brother (which was probably meant for my mom).
I do not say what I'm about to say lightly. I did not know God at all. I was always very interested in things of that nature, but I did not have a clue how to find God. And I was desperate; desperate for relief from my anxiety and worry. When my dad relayed the phone conversation with my brother, with the words being something like, "this church didn't believe in smoking or drinking and the women wore skirts and didn't cut their hair", I heard God's voice for the very first time. God spoke to me very strongly and told me that THIS was what I was searching for. That is what I do not say lightly - I really am not a kook. I had never recognized God's voice before, but I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God spoke to my heart that day.
And that day was the beginning of my new life. My first miracle. The day I began to seek God without abandon, without a care for anything in the world, eventually finding Him.
Like I said, this was my first miracle. I have several more to share.