This post has been a really hard one to sit down and write. I think I've tried to start this about 10 times, and then I'd erase it because it's not a story I was sure I wanted to share. I'm not really sure how to even approach this because it sounds soooo crazy...and in reality...it really is freaking crazy. So, instead of dragging this out any longer, I'll just go ahead and tell you.
I thought I was going to (*gulp*) die this year.
Pretty melodramatic I know. I'm certain you're thinking I'm insane. It's totally okay to think that because I totally agree with you. I realize that this seems a bit over the top and crazy...because in fact, it is.
Today is my 26th birthday...and well, I feel old. I feel REALLY old. I'm closer to 30 than I am 20, I'm noticing fine lines and wrinkles making their way onto my face and even though it would be really easy to sit here and dwell on that (ha ha) I wanted to share a story with you that has really affected my life.
Now, you may be thinking WHAT THE HECK IS SHE TALKING ABOUT!? It's a funny story I tell ya. It's something I have had a hard time admitting to my closest friends and loved ones because either 1) I knew they'd think it was ridiculous. or 2) because it showed weakness in my Faith for Him. Ridiculous is something I can handle (Pshhh Ridiculous is my middle name!)...but my Faith? That is something I hold near and dear to my heart. Admitting that I thought that the year of "25" was my year to die? Yeah, it made me sick. But as much as I tried not to think about it...it haunted the back of my mind in a way I never want to experience again.
When I was 15 years old, my Mom and I moved to Northern California. My Mom was engaged to be married and one day we went to San Francisco to explore the city. Here I was, a small town Texas girl who had just moved from everything I'd ever known and smack dad in the middle of a huge, beautiful and brilliant city. On this day, we were walking around Pier 39 and I was just minding my own business. I remember exactly where I was, and the feeling that came over me. We were just coming back from seeing the seals, and my Mom was calling me to come out of this goofy hat store. I started walking by her and I felt an eerie feeling that someone was just staring at me.
Now, let me rewind a minute.
Have you ever had that feeling? You know, one that is incredibly unpleasant and makes you feel like you're being watched? That feeling that gives you the heebie jeebies?
I had had this feeling one time before when I was 13 years old. I was changing in my room in the back of my home after a shower, and my blinds were open. It was the summer and it was around midnight, and we live in an area where there were NO houses around me. I was getting dressed and I remember feeling really weird. I felt like someone was spying on me, so I went to my windows and I closed my blinds trying to ignore this so called "feeling." I walked into my Mom's room and said, "Mom, I feel like I'm being watched." Mind you, my Mom is asleep and I remember her mumbling something like, "Mhmmm sweetie,...gargle gargle gargle...go to bed."
I go back to my room and I laid in bed watching that late night Jerry Springer (hey, it was the only thing on) until about 5 minutes later I heard a HUGE crash coming from our kitchen. I jumped up and ran to my Mom's room as fast as I could and I could see my Mom putting her finger over her mouth to silence me, bright eyed and raised in bed, punching the lime green dials on the cordless phone as fast as she could.
We heard more commotion and next thing I know my Uncle's cop car is at our house and my Papaw is walking over to our house in his underwear with a shot gun. My Mom and I went outside and stood on the porch and my Uncle Larry told us to move to the side as he shined his flashlight to the side of our house. There laid a man...a very drunk man...with his pants unzipped and next to a broken air conditioner that had fell off of our house. He had tried to break in our house by climbing up on the lawn mower, and onto the air conditioning unit by the kitchen window (which is right by my room). My Uncle arrested him and I later found out that his shirt was on the back steps to my room. Ever since that day, I've always been thankful to have a "6th sense" as I say. I always know when someone is watching me. And to this day, I will argue with you until I'm blue in the face about it. I seriously KNOW.
So, on to my story. Sorry about that, but I just wanted to fill you in on this "feeling" I got that day on Pier 39. So, there we are...walking and I felt it. Redundant? Haha, I know. I sped up a little to get closer to my Mom and then I saw this tall man in dark clothes in the corner of my eye staring at me from across the Pier. S-T-A-R-I-N-G in a way that literally gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I tried to look away thinking the man was staring at something else, but everytime I glanced up, there he was...staring. Next thing I know, the man starts to walk up to me very briskly. My Mom and soon to be step Dad have no idea that this is going on in my head, and I'm trying to convince myself that I'm just imagining things. The man got closer and closer and then before I know it...the man is right beside me. He gets right up to my face. So close I could smell his breath...The look in his eyes was so intense. I can't even begin to describe it. He looks deep into my eyes and says:
"You're going to die when your 25."
I'm sure terror flashed across my face as he said this with a snarky, intense smile. My step dad yelled at the man and he walked away...just like that. I didn't look back...and I just remember feeling awkwardly weird.
But, I mean, heck, I was 15. 25 seemed SO far away. No BIG deal right? Dude was out of his mind.
Until, last year...when I turned 25.
It has been a really, really trying year for me. Everywhere I went, I was cautious. I was always thinking of the worst case scenario and counting down the months until I was 26 because I just wanted to put this all behind me. When I found out that my chloesterol was high, I think I started freaking out even more because I was sure I was going to die of a heart attack. Especially with the amount of stress that has been havocking my body. Fear was taking over my life to the point I'd just cry because I couldn't get this man and his statement out of my head. And y'all, 25 was a great year but I can't help but think how scared I was ALL. THE. TIME. Driving to work, driving to photo shoots, roller coasters, airplanes...any way you could think of dying...I was thinking about it. I was letting it control my life.
I've prayed to God a zillion times this year to help me get rid of this demon in my mind. Some days I did great, and others, not so much. I've lived in fear for a whole year because of some random lunatic of a stranger. I mean, WHO does that!?!? What an evil man! But, sadly, I am the idiot who actually let it get to me. I am ashamed...but at the same time...I'm so so so releived this is over. If something happens today, or tomorrow, or years from now...OKAY. It's God's plan. But, thankfully, 25 was not in the plan like this stranger predicted.
To this day, I'll never know why this man did this to me. I never really thought about it until I approached the age. I think getting older makes people more emotional, and in my case, it has made me worry a lot.
I have more Faith today than I'll ever need. I am so happy I can put all of this behind me and hopefully not feel like some crazy person. As much as people told me, "Shay! It's not gonna happen!" I still couldn't get the small chance that this man could be right.
I'm feeling relieved today...and probably for the rest of my life. I'd like to celebrate this birthday in a way like I haven't before. Please promise me you won't do what I did and live your life in fear. It isn't worth it. All I know is that your life is in His hands, and that he is the only one that knows when it's your time to go.
CRAZY STORY THOUGH, RIGHT!? AHHHHHHHHH! It feels good to share this with you guys.
It's already been one of the best birthdays ever too. This lady right here brought tears to my eyes. Sweetest post EVER.
I love y'all! XOXOXOXOXOXO!