I'm working through a book called "Holy Conversation" by Richard Peace. In the 2nd chapter, it challenges me to briefly tell a story about how God first came alive for me.
I remember attending a week of Christian camp in the Summer between 8th and 9th grade. There, through the testimonies of the camp leaders and counselors of how God had changed their lives, God first came alive for me. Having grown up in a Christian family who attended and served in church weekly, God was already part of my life and the lives of those around me. However, I hadn't heard any life-transforming stories from the people around me. Either they hadn't bothered to mention, or figured at my age, I wasn't interested. But now, I was hearing firsthand from people who had experienced God as a real and personal change-agent in their life.
Also, during that week, the camp leaders challenged us to daily read our own Bible and pray. Soon after camp, I wrote to a friend and pen-pal my same age who had been a Christian herself for a couple years and asked her for some ideas on where to start when reading my Bible. She wrote back with a list of some of her favorite verses, and some suggestions of where to start. I then began to do my own Bible reading, sporadic as it was. But I noticed that whenever I did, God always showed Himself to me through His Word. I could see Him pointing out truths I needed to hear as I read that day's chapters. I still find that today, as through the Holy Spirit, God teaches me about Himself, and myself, and helps me put life in His perspective.
I'm thankful today for those camp leaders, and my friend who helped point me to God, and challenged and encouraged me to experience God for myself through study and prayer. God is truly alive in my life every time I seek Him.