I will never forget when my aunt Phylis died.  That’s when my faith became active.

I was a freshman in high school when I found out my aunt Phylis was in the hospital and was going to die form lung cancer.   Don’t get me wrong…we knew she was dying.  She had had lung cancer for a long time.  15 years or so if memory serves me right.  This time was different.  She was in the hospital to finally go home. Death and illness will do funny things to you.  It will either make you grow closer to God or run hard away from Him.  For me it made me run after God with a reckless abandon.  I accepted Christ when I was 8 years old but my faith never really became my own…that is not until Phylis was finally going to be with God.

I remember one night my parents asked us to pray for my aunt and uncle that God would grant them peace in this time in their life.  For the first time I really started praying.  And not just praying but reading my Bible as well.  At first it was so hard for me to get into the habit of doing.  Everything seemed so foreign to me.  It seemed as though the words on the pages were some foreign language that wasn’t meant to be understood.  The thing is that over time I understood it was all an inter-connecting story and it started making sense…all of it.  What once seemed like 5 minutes of torture became 15 minutes.  Then 30.  Then 45.  The next thing I knew I was reading chapters every night.  I just couldn’t put it down.

The same thing happened with praying.  It seemed so hard at first but then it turned into 30 minutes.  Then and hour and a half.  I couldn’t believe it.  Just spending time with God and conversing with him through prayer became the highlight of my day.  Then I found out that we could pray whenever we wanted throughout the day without closing my eyes…it was a rush.

I will never forget my aunt Phylis for a couple of reasons.  The biggest one being she helped (unknowingly) to shape my faith and help me make it my own.

The first 7  installments of my journey can be found by clicking below: