Yes, and yes!!! This has been my walk with Christ. Although the initial experience was distinct, I was born again at that moment of asking Jesus into my life. My walk with Christ has been much like my physical growth. I went through baby, to toddler stage, adolescent stage, the teen stage and ended up being stuck there for awhile. You know how teens are? They think they know everything. Until about 8 years ago, I experienced a physical healing from liver cancer, which lead to a rapid spiritual maturity over a period of 5 or so months. It was more profound then my physical healing was. I understand something that's so simple, yet took me over 25 years to finally get. God is good ALL the time!!! He loves us more than we can ever comprehend.
Thank you for the personal post and ping! Life is a journey during which we come to that realization. Our Lord told us to enter through the narrow gate. It is stories such as yours that remind me of what St. Faustina experienced:
One day, I saw two roads. One was broad, covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it, dancing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end without realising it. And at the end of the roads there was a horrible precipice; that is the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And their number was so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness, and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings. (153)