I'd always felt like someone had been watching over me, although I never totally knew who. After my grandpa died when I was around 7 years old, my mother would tell me that he was always standing guard over me.
As I got older, I prayed that God would have my grandpa watch over my family instead because they were more important to me than myself. Since my early teens, I felt that someone had come to replace my grandpa to watch over me. It was a younger female figure in her 20-30s, but I had no idea who. Keep in mind that this is all "in my imagination" so to speak, with no "proof" beyond the feeling of being guarded.
However, this person always seemed to guard me when I could have been harmed or could have harmed myself. She kept me from crashing my car on the 405 freeway on the way to a high school dance. I was too busy trying to look and act cool that I didn't see traffic stop in front of me. Instead of braking, I swerved severely to the right into the next lane and then vigorously back to the left to point forward again. No accident. I could have easily knocked someone off the road or been sidelined and killed in a rollover.
I won't mention all of the other stupid stuff I've done that could have severely injured me, but there are plenty of them. However, I've never even broken a bone.
There have been multiple friends, family members, and even random strangers that have told me they were praying for me. I mostly said thanks, but otherwise ignored it during college and medical school. One guy even told me to "Smile, [because] God loves you" during my morning walk to class at UCLA. Apparently I walked fast and looked pretty pissed off with headphones in during those days.
My Guardian Angel
What is probably the most peculiar story happened to me recently. I was sewing up an elderly patient after her MOHS surgery. Lying on her back, her face was covered with thick blue towels to keep the field sterile. As I was working in silence, she slowly and quietly asked me, face still covered, "Who is that?"
"Who is who?" I inquired.
"That girl over there. She's beautiful."
I paused for a minute in silence, giving my scrub tech a weird look from behind my face mask, which she reciprocated in kind. After giving it another moment, I asked, mostly to entertain myself and pass the time by, "What is she wearing?"
In a delightful tone, the patient murmured with eyes still covered in blue towels, "Oh, she's in a bright white gown! It's glowing. She's beautiful!"
I smiled to myself at the image that came to mind and considered whether I should go on, feeling a little bit like an asshole for pushing the subject. At this point, I knew she hadn't been sedated all day, so I was considering the fact that she was more senile than anything else (however, she did answer all questions appropriately outside of this conversation).
After giving it some thought for a few more minutes, I went ahead. "Where is she again exactly?"
Eyes covered, her right hand slowly rose up from the table and pointed above me and just to the right. "Right there. She's gorgeous.
She must be an angel."
Not knowing what to say, I slowly resumed the work of sewing her up. I finally lightly bantered, "Must be your guardian angel," musing in the back of my mind that she's gotta be so old that she's gonna be dying soon, so maybe she was in between worlds and seeing angels now.
She matter-of-fact-ly stated, "Oh no, she can't be mine. I've already GOT one!" She must have sensed my nervousness and hesitation because after a few more minutes of silence, she plainly said, "Well... I guess it must be yours."
I quietly let that sink in. We didn't say a word for the rest of the procedure. As I finished, she thanked me, and I shook her hand and walked her out.
No specific incident above had made me believe in God, but each one had put me into a state of suspended disbelief, more and more so as I got older.
It's like one of my best friends described it: "God TUGS at your heart..." little by little until you decide to come back to Him.
You can only tolerate/ignore a random little boy poking at your leg so many times before you have to acknowledge him and ask him, "What do you WANT?!" In a similar way, God poked at me repeatedly until I got so irritated with Him/could no longer ignore Him and asked, "What do you want of me?"