Something exceptional is going to happen for you. ---- Gladys Knight to Clay Aiken
This message board is different from the other boards. Something special is happening here. You can feel it in the soft edge of most of the posts and in the gentle tone of most of the posters. It shimmers on the periphery of your consciousness, waiting in the wings, as if it was shy, yet is still so solidly present that it makes the laughter richer, the tears more heartfelt and everything more meaningful.
Its here. We know it. Its what makes this board special. Some of us dont know what it is, some of us do and at least one of us just recently found out. I want to tell you her story.
A few weeks ago, you might remember, I wrote a post asking the Christians here to not judge Clays Christian life. In the thread that ensued, a young woman, who Ill call Susan, began to be touched by the words I had written. She said that she had been questioning the existence of God for most of her life, but that her questioning had only led to more questions. She said that she had been looking for some meaning and foundation in her life and had been wondering if Christianity might be the answer. As she followed the thread, the something that is here began to touch her heart.
I saw what was happening and wrote a post telling her that Christianity was all about having a relationship with God and that such a relationship is the only thing that can make life truly worth living. I also invited her to send me a personal message if she wanted to talk more. That evening I felt very strongly to pray for her. I sensed that something special was about to happen.
She wrote me a PM and asked me where to find information about Christianity. She said that she could not stop her tears when she read the things I had written. I wrote back and told her how Jesus died and resurrected to bring us back to God and recommended a book called The Purpose-Driven Life, by a man named Rick Warren. God was really touching her heart and I knew it. I kept praying for her.
About that time, my wife was placed on total bed rest due to her pregnancy. My life was being turned upside down. Questions about my unborn sons health, my wifes health, money and how I would juggle everything were swirling through my head. The second night of the bed rest, my wife had gone to sleep, but I stayed up. For diversion, I checked this board. There was a new PM in my inbox from Susan. Keep in mind that at that moment I was feeling very down, and that Susan was someone who had probably never prayed a prayer in faith until those days. This is what she wrote:
I just read your message about the stresses that your family is encountering. I am terribly sad for you and your family.
You cannot imagine what a help you have been to me and how much you have opened my eyes and heart. I did purchase the book that you recommended, The Purpose-Driven Life. I have just finished Day 3 and everything seems to be falling into place, nothing has ever seemed so clear. And because of this I can say that I feel comfortable for the first time ever, praying. I will pray to God for the health of your wife and your unborn child. I will pray for God to give you the strength to cope with the hardships that you are facing. And I will also pray for the happiness of your whole family.
My thoughts and prayers will be with you.
I cant express what an amazing feeling it was to read that message. I was so excited that I went and woke up my wife and read it to her. What an encouragement it was to both of us! It was at that moment that I knew that Susan had connected with God and had been brought into His family. Then, to top things off, God had turned around and used her to encourage me. Thats how God does things.
I continue to correspond with Susan and she continues to grow. She wishes to remain anonymous for now. She also asked that I pass on that the changes in her life are at times confusing and that by no means is she just skipping through a field of flowers. She says she still has a lot of questions, even some new ones. But she recognizes that she is in a process of growing and changing, and that if anyone else is going through these kinds of changes, she understands. Please pray for her. She has begun a wonderful journey and, since I feel like a proud papa, like most papas Id like her journey be as smooth as possible.
When I told ClayNation about this story, she told me two things: First, that it transformed her worst day on this board into her best, and, second, that if the board shut down today she would be able to say mission accomplished. In other words, she was saying that this board was always meant to be a work of God.
So the something you feel on this board is actually a Someone. Hes the Someone who made Clay and Clays beautiful voice, for only God could make a voice like Clays. Or, put another way, whatever made Clays voice must be God. Long before anyone heard it, God imagined it. He made that voice so we would hear His. One of our own has and is glad she did.