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My father died in 1942, right before I was born. Mother was looking to make a life for herself, so I spent most of my time with my grandmother. I was really close to her, and with her help, I raised myself.
Eventually, my mother married my stepdad. You would think after this second marriage, my life would have settled down, but it didn’t. Altogether, in fact, I went to 13 different public schools. It was a nomadic, unstable experience—one where I never had the protection of a "normal" household or family.
Externally, I was a mess. I was five years behind in reading, and my classmates constantly made fun of me, calling me "stupid." One night, some kids threw me into a construction pit. I couldn’t get out, and I was terrified I would die down there.
So I started crying.
Why am I telling you all of this? Is it your sympathy I seek? Not at all.
That incident was a turning point in my life. It was the first time I had ever felt the presence of God, Who came to me as a voice in my head.
"Why are you crying?” the Voice asked. "Don’t you understand what’s happening? You watch. You’ll see. There’s a reason for everything that occurs in your life."
I was only ten years old at the time, but since that moment, I have always known that there is a force greater than me and my little existence. That experience of God was defining moment that shaped me for the life I would lead.