Tag Archives: experience

Face to Face with the Holy Spirit: Receiving the Holy Spirit Part 4

2 Jun

At first, I didn’t tell anyone about my “Night of Terror.” I was unsure of what exactly had happened and felt that if I shared the experience, they might get spooked out or wonder about my sanity. “This Holy Spirit stuff is terrifying,” I thought to myself. “THAT, THAT…whatever that was, is exactly why I wanted nothing to do with this spirit nonsense!” Resolved to shut out the supernatural for good this time, I decided to put this Holy Spirit thing behind me and move on!  

 

Apparently even though I was determined to be done with the Holy Spirit, God wouldn’t let it go. A few days later I woke from a terrifying dream. I was shaken with fear and back in that dark place; however, very slightly, to my soul I could feel God almost reprimanding me. “There is no fear in love,” he prompted me sternly. “If you have fear, you are not in Christ. It’s impossible to be in Christ and fear.”  Then he issued a command, “Try again.”

 

Not so sure God really understood the circumstances, I finally decided to open up and share about my situation and God’s desire for me to take another whack at this filling, or baptism, or demonic open house deal. After explaining the situation to my parents, they reassured me, “It’s a counter attack.”

 

“What is this,” I thought to myself, “World War Three!”

 

My dad went on, “Satan used your childhood fears to scare you out of moving forward. He capitalized on your weakness because he’s worried you’ll find out who you really are in Christ.” I was surprised there was no surprise on his part. “He’s especially concerned about you becoming a Spirit filled Christian who walks in the power and authority of Christ Jesus. That’s Satan’s worst nightmare…you moving from a ‘good Christian’ to a believer relying on God’s Spirit.”

 

So, tucked under my covers that night, I made another attempt at inviting the Holy Spirit. I’m not sure why I was so formal, but my journal notes record that I kept repeating, “may the Spirit live in me, may the Spirit live in me, may the Spirit live in me…” As I was drifting off to sleep, suddenly, what felt like 1,000 volts of electricity, bolted through my body.  Like a closed circuit, power was running on loop from my head to my toes, vibrating every fiber of my being with energy. Yet instead of being deadly and draining, it was energizing and life giving! It felt as though light was streaming from every pore, and my whole body slightly trembled from the “surge.”

 

Swimming in bliss, I slowly opened my eyes to the “real world.” Directly over me, hovering parallel to my body, with five inches between us, was a figure. The general form of a person, I could make out a head and shoulders with a “body” that continued down the bed. Face to face, I encountered the living Spirit, the Holy Spirit, of God Almighty. S/he was majestic. Though the face had no distinct identity, the being swirled with every color of the rainbow in an iridescent light show. There was the sudden awareness that while I was in my room, I was not in this “reality.” The whole space seemed to be transcendent…other worldly.

 

Paralyzed in awe, the Holy Spirit leaned down just slightly and gently kissed my forehead. I winced in shock and closed my eyes tightly. Over the next twenty minutes, God continued to energize me with his power and I eventually drifted into a deep, peaceful sleep.

 

Waking up the next morning, I was still me. All the “feelings” were gone, and there was no evidence of the experience. While the event was transformational, the change in me was almost imperceptible at first. It was over the years looking back that I could quantify the now living and active Holy Spirit in me, working through me, empowering me to hear and do God’s will in my life and the lives around me. I was now, a girl on fire, a girl on a mission…

Advertisements

“Where were you when I was being molested?” A friend’s cry for answers.

15 Apr

Is God useless and helpless when it comes to human suffering? That’s the picture I had gotten in the past when questions like these came up. “Where was God when I was being molested,” questioned my dear friend. For the most part I never even wanted to look straight at that issue; my dull understanding came from sideways glances through a peripheral vision of seemingly endless atrocities committed against humanity.

As a vulnerable child is approached by their prey, where is God? Previously, I had two vague and disturbing images that would come to mind. Surrounded by bright light and ethereal clouds, an elderly

Father with a flowing white beard peers down from the Heavenlies to earth, searching the landscape for something discernable. Because he is so far removed, he can only see large worldly events through the haze of the glorious light. But if he squints and strains to bring an individual into focus, for only a second he can see the abuse, yet quickly recoils and thinks, “But if I help that one, then they will all want help!”

Worse however, I find it even more horrifying when I try to understand the abuse through the personal relationship Jesus Christ offers. No longer removed and distant, Christ is now standing in the room. He looks on helplessly as the child’s innocence is being devoured. Jesus watches the whole event with sadness and pain, just waiting for the ravaging of her body to cease so he can comfort her with a whisper through his tears, “It’s going to be alright.” No it’s not Jesus, why don’t you stop crying and do something! Pick up that chair already and hit him over the head you helpless, useless God!

As my dear friend continued to share about her experience, she revealed, “I cried out to God several times asking, ‘where were you when I was being molested?’ One day he responded with a vision, showing me that the whole time, Jesus had been in the room.”

“Ah ha, I knew it! So he was just standing around looking on helplessly,” I thought to myself.

“I don’t want to get too graphic,” she offered, “but the Lord showed me that Jesus was actually between me and my abuser. That everything the molester did to me, he did to Jesus first. He took the brunt of the abuse.”

My heart dropped.

I had no idea.

I had no idea.

I have no idea who God is…

The implications of this revelation tore my theological world into pieces. Somehow, this means that all day, everyday, Jesus is being molested. Yet not just molested, he’s being burned, hit, spit at, yelled at, raped, murdered, and maimed just to name only a few sins committed by one human against another. But how is this possible?

A few days earlier on Sunday at church, our pastor had been teaching from Ephesians 3:18, “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,” but he accidentally repeated the dimension of “high” twice and left out “long.” It got me thinking about how some have explained those dimensions form the shape of the cross; but a cross could be made by only two of those dimensions, so why all four? Just as I was pondering this, I had a very clear supernatural vision. The cross at the front of the church became brilliant gold and extended dimensionally both forward through the room and also behind the wall it was mounted on out into the courtyard, seemingly through time and space

.

My previously pathetic comprehension of the cross, the black and white still frame image of two pieces of wood, some

nails through Christ’s flesh, a painful death sentence he shared alongside some thieves, and the taking on of the world’s general sinful nature, suddenly burst into full color with rapid motion images.

The cross was not a stationary or metaphorical event. The traditional recounting of Christ’s trial, flogging and crucifixion is grievous indeed, yet there are many who have been falsely accused, beaten or crucified; potentially even all three. However, if in addition to being falsely accused and sentenced, beaten and whipped beyond recognition, and then crucified alongside legitimate criminals, Christ on the cross individually and personally experienced each human being’s suffering from the beginning of time to the last day, then I truly stand in fear and trembling before the greatness of my God.

Could that be what scripture recounts here, “From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’)” Matthew 27:45-46 An eerily similar cry to, “Where were you when I was being molested?”

The cross has always been the Christian symbol of Christ’s suffering for humanity, but could it be that in addition to the physical events portrayed in the gospels, on the cross, Christ supernaturally and personally interceded for each human being “real-time” up to the point when he declares, “’It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30

Angelic Visitation at Ava’s Birth, Just Like Jesus! (or just a woman that rocked my world and went on vacation)

11 Apr

It’s hard to believe, and admit this, but at the time I gave birth to my daughter Ava I still hadn’t decided if I was going to become her mother or if I would give her to a family through adoption. While I was still at Kaiser Hospital in recovery the day after Ava’s birth, a social worker assigned to my case by the state of California, visited me to ask questions about what I planned to do with Ava. I gave her the tenuous, and doubt filled answer of a scared nineteen year old girl, “I…I think I’m going to keep her.” Yet in my heart, I still wasn’t convinced I could do this.

As soon as the social worker had left the room, my nurse, a hefty African American woman, came in to see if I needed anything.  After assuring her I was fine, she continued to linger.  A few seconds passed before she finally asked, “Are you thinking of putting your baby up for adoption; is that why the social worker was here?”  I told her I was considering it.
“Why?” she blurted out emotionally.
Eyes widened, look of surprise on my face, through my head ran the indignant thought, “How dare she question me?” It seemed highly unusual and bordered on unprofessional for a nurse to insert her personal thoughts into my private business! Wanting to end the conversation as quickly as possible, I just told her that I didn’t know what I was going to do, which was the truth, I didn’t.  “Well, I was just wondering,” she said, “because I was adopted and always wondered how my mother could have done that.  I work with babies everyday and it’s just so joyful that I can’t imagine someone giving that happiness up.”
Um…awkward. Actually, I was kind of offended; her input was only making my decision harder. At the same time I felt compassion for her, it must be hard working in a field that is the literal birthing place of your pain (however, why she felt I was the person to counsel her through this trauma was beyond me).  Trying to answer her question, “Why?” I explained that some women don’t feel they are ready for motherhood.  And some people, like myself, were too young or unprepared, unmarried, and well, un-mommy types. I launched into the benefits of placing a child into a stable, two-parent family; the benefits of a lifestyle I couldn’t bestow.  At some point she retreated back to her duties; either she was satisfied with my answer or figured she had done enough damage for one day.
Yet, as jarring and agitating as her questioning had been, it made me think, think, rethink, and eventually actually help convince me into giving motherhood a try. Maybe I could do this. The next day, I let my nurse in on my decision to officially become a “Mom.” She was ecstatic. Because I was generally leaning toward adoption originally, I had nothing but a little green infant outfit and my aunt’s old car seat as my “baby items;” my nurse, full of joy, decided she was going to help solve that problem. Just before her shift was finished she came into my room, arm’s filled with baby tee’s, blankets, and diapers.  She had jacked a healthy portion from the supply room and was now stuffing them into my overnight bag. She gave me a wink and left the room.
Two weeks later, back at Kaiser for a “baby well care” check up, I decided to visit my nurse in delivery.  At the desk I explained, “Hi, about two weeks ago I gave birth to my daughter here and I want to thank my nurse; she was a real blessing to me. I can’t remember her name but she was tall, heavy set, African American, really loud and funny?”
They looked at me curiously.   “That doesn’t sound like anyone here in our department. Are you sure you have the right hospital?”
“Yes, I’m sure I have the right hospital; I’m not a lunatic!” I thought to myself. I walked off sheepishly with a heap of questions. I never did get to thank my nurse. I’ve run through several scenarios in my head. Maybe my description was off, maybe she was new there then left suddenly, maybe my head wasn’t clear after giving birth (however, I gave birth naturally so, no drugs), or maybe, just maybe, she was sent to help me make the right decision…
Do you have an angel story? I’d love to hear it. Email me and let me know if you want it to remain confidential or if I can share it. Nobody knows about this kind’a stuff because people don’t share this kind’a stuff.