I was born in a smallish town in east Texas. We had a perfectly quaint middle class house and home. Both parents worked (as long as I can remember) and we enjoyed skiing and summer vacations to Schlitterbahn.
Somewhere in the 7-year old range, a kid I knew named Brian was hit by a car while riding his bike and he died. That was the first real encounter I had with death and it really shook me. I remember my dad having to come home from his work to try to get me calmed down. I had heard about people dying. I even had a sister, whose portrait hung in our house, who passed before I was born (thus the 7 years between older brother and me). But this was different. This was someone I knew.
Frankly, because I was so young, I can't remember the exact sequence of things. I know that God used this death of Brian to turn me to Him. I remember not wanting to die and not wanting to be anywhere but with my family, but if I did, I wanted to be with God. Somewhere in the middle of all of that I put my confidence in Christ and what He had done. I had excellent teaching growing up - good Baptist Sunday School teaching. All of this helped make all of that real.