08/22/2014 03:54 pm ET

What A Spiritual Awakening Really Feels Like, From People Who Have Experienced One

The term "spiritual awakening" is something most of us have encountered in some place or another. Sometimes it is a story of conversion, returning to one's religious roots or experiencing transcendence in meditation.

But what does a spiritual awakening really feel like? Outside of an organized religious context, we rarely ask people about their revelatory experiences -- let alone discuss our own.

HuffPost Religion placed a call out through the anonymous social app, Whisper, to ask users if they had experienced a spiritual awakening and how it changed their life. The responses were diverse and inspiring.

Was there ever a moment when you felt particularly close to God? Did a spiritual awakening change your life in any way?

Here are just some of the responses we received:

never believed in god & I went to a beautiful church in Montreal and it felt like God literally picked me up and told me he loved me. I sat and cried in the back of the church. It was really emotional
I told God to kill me because I hated life. 2 days later I got hit by a car & nearly died. Since then, I love life & appreciate everything that I didn
Yes when my father was battling cancer and had emergency surgery after his first surgery fell apart. Now after losing my dad I pray every morning and night
When I used to pray it was always like "why don
yes, I was in a roll over accident with my 2 boys and I was 6 months pregnant. I hit a semitruck. I felt someone was with us as we were rolling over. My kids, and I including baby were fine. :)
Yeah. It was this one day idk I just decided to pray. I got down on my knees and I felt this peacefulness take over me. I didn
Yes because somehow when things are at the worse he always finds a way to encourage me to keep living and to keep faith.
I remember the day I got severed from god  God and I are good now but it took years and years for me to find my faith again
When I was severely depressed this past winter I bought a spiritual book and the first thing I read related directly to my life and situation and I started bawling my eyes out. I looked up and said "thank you". It truly helped me get through.
When I was eight the stained glass of a descending dove grew incredibly bright and I had an amazing sense of peace.
To me, god is nature. God is not a personal being or individual. I feel close to god studying biology, doing research, hiking and camping. Nature is amazing and is a higher power on it

Check out more on Whisper here.


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