I want to write this early this morning. I normally do not get on the computer on Saturdays. But today I must.
The past two days have been horrid for me. Abby has so much of my heart. She is intertwined in there like a vine that becomes one with a tree trunk it has been entwined around for years. She is part of me. And when things don't look good for her or when she is in danger or when she is hurt... every ounce of me aches.
The blow of Thursday impressed itself on every inch of me. It became my shadow and occupied much of my thoughts. Sorrow came in waves that took me even by surprise. And the hardest thing was... my faith was being attacked as well. And I know the enemy uses this situation with Abby to attack the very core of my heart and my soul.
When things like this happen, I sometimes can run to the Father and find Him... find His love... find His peace... and bury myself in His presence. But other times, I am stubborn and I won't go to Him... almost out of defiance. Like a wounded child who rejects a parents love and hug. I won't even approach Him... because I can't. I feel so rejected... so overlooked... so exhausted... so frustrated... I just sit and try to process it myself.
Last night, I was having yet another mini-breakdown. Don and I were talking and he was trying to remind me of God's goodness. I didn't want to hear it. I have clung to that for years and look... we are still here and it still is killing me and she is still in danger and she is still not getting better and for all reality's sake... she is getting worse! That is what I said... that is what I was thinking... that is what I was crying. And then I said this... "And I don't want to hear that she can be healed through death because that is crap. She won't be healed through death... she will be dead and I am not buying that anymore!" The moment it left my lips... I knew my faith was under attack and that I was in dangerous territory. Yet all I could bring myself to say to God was "Where are you?"
This morning, at 5:06 a.m., Abby had a seizure. I went in and her face was in the pillow and she was having a hard time breathing and so I got her to turn back over onto her back and soothed her for a minute. As I walked back to bed... numbness was all I could feel.
When I went back to sleep after that... something wonderful happened. The Lord has spoken to me, revealed Himself to me in dreams on a handful of occasions. Last night... or this morning... I was given a gift in a dream that I will cling to with both hands with all my might... with all His might.
I was in an area like a field. There were different areas of the field and one I avoided. It was where my grandparents died. It made me feel choked and desperate. I could not even look towards it. I was with two other people. One was a small girl and one was another girl around my age. I am not sure who they were. They wanted to go into that area of the field.
I wanted to stay where I was. I had no need to go into that area and did not want to face the emotions that were awaiting me there. But there we were... at a small wooden gate that opened into that part of the field. As I looked towards it, it was like a tunnel almost. It was long and narrow and went on beyond view. And there was a very strange looking twisted tree that haunted me most. I envisioned my grandparents dying as they hung in that tree. I imagined their pain and fear and lack of help. It made me feel like I was choking... I couldn't breath.
The girls were pushing me to go forward. I looked down and the entry was blocked with a large bush of thorns. Everytime I tried to take a step forward, it hurt my feet and legs... it was sticking me and scratching me. Then, one at a time, they simply stepped over the bush and walked in. I was perplexed and so I did the same and wa la... I was there.
Suddenly my grandparents were by my side. I was shocked. Not because they were supposed to be dead but because they looked amazing! They were healthy, slim, and full of joy. (This is very contrary to how I have known them in the real world.) They walked along side me as I walked down through the field and approached the tree. I asked them if it bothered them to be here. They both replied, "Oh No" with great enthusiasm. "But you died here," I replied. And then my grandmother went on to tell me that it was a joy that they had died here. She told me that she had instantly lost 80 pounds and her body was the way it was meant to be. She was joyful and so peaceful. I asked her if she was dead or alive. I can't remember her exact answer. But she said something about how dying had made her alive... and they started talking about God. My grandfather told me that God was living in the red letters of the Bible.
I was trying to comprehend what he meant (in my dream) and kept asking them questions about God and suddenly this rush of wind came through the field and I heard words. I sadly, for the life of me, can't recall those words. Oh how I hope God brings them back to my mind. But they were spoken gently and quickly and were not repeated. And then the light started coming down the field and towards us. Along with the light came a presence. A mighty presence. It filled every inch of every bit of space. And then there was a gentle rumble as footsteps approached.
The situation led us to some sort of wall... the next thing I knew... we were sitting with our backs to the wall and our heads buried in our knees. I remember feeling almost like an ostrich... if my face is covered... maybe "it" won't see me. You see, I wasn't sure what was approaching. My gut thought it was good. My mind told me it couldn't be happening. And my fear told me it was the enemy. The power of the presence was causing me fear... yet there was a sense of calm. The light was so bright and so thick... it enveloped me.
As the footsteps slowly came towards the back of the wall, I knew it would be coming around the corner any minute. None of us moved. It was a surreal stillness. I started quietly saying over and over and over... "Holy is the Lord. Praise the Lord. Holy is the Lord. Praise the Lord." And then I felt it, the presence was there... right next to us... and I could feel it looking at us. Then I could hear it breathing. I was so still. I was prepared to sit there for eternity... not moving... hardly breathing.
It seemed like 10 minutes passed. All the while I can feel the presence and hear it breathing. Then the girl to my left said, "Let's look!" I dared not move or even speak to tell her not to and the next thing I hear is her saying, "Aww... strawberries!" WHAT? Strawberries!
Then I started thinking to myself, should I look... is this a trick... should I keep my face hidden...? I started to lift my face every so slightly to maybe peek at the feet of what was there... and then it happened. It is the most amazing encounter I have had with my LORD yet... and I never want to forget it.
I felt His fingers gently and lovingly rest upon the sides of my forehead and He started lifting my face towards Him. I sobbed so deeply as the knowing swept across and through me. I was trying so hard to open my eyes and see Him... but I couldn't. But it didn't matter. I knew. I knew this was the LORD GOD. And He was there. He had come to me. He loved me so much to come to me and give me His presence. I had just asked Him for His presence the night before. And He had come.
I sobbed as I felt shame for having doubted Him. I sobbed as I tried to grasp that God was touching me. I sobbed because I had not trusted and had kept my face from Him... I had actually chosen to turn away from this... from Him. But all I felt was love. He, the very LORD of the universe, loved me so much that He came and was lifting my face up to Him again. I sobbed deeply because He loved me... and I could feel that love in the tender touch of His hands and the gentleness and power of His touch. And I could not get over the feeling I had just being in His presence... I still can not put it into words. But with that feeling came the knowing... "GOD IS HOLY... OH HIS HOLINESS. He is ALL POWERFUL. HE IS RIGHTEOUSNESS. AND HE IS LOVING. AND THAT IS ENOUGH.
It was enough. All the questions I was asking my grandparents didn't matter anymore. All the trying to figure Him and His will out didn't matter anymore. HIS PRESENCE AND HIS LOVE WAS ENOUGH. THERE HE WAS... WITH ME... THE GOD OF EVERYTHING... HIS PRESENCE PRESSING ONTO ME, ON EVERY SIDE OF ME, LIKE A SOFT WEIGHTED BLANKET AND THAT WAS ENOUGH.
I stood in His presence and lifted my hands and praised Him. And then He was "gone"... although He was still everywhere. I was marveling in what had just happened and I asked the younger girl to my right if she saw Him. She answered yes. I asked her what He looked like. She replied, "like makeup." "God looked like makeup?" I asked. "He looked priestly and as soon as I saw Him... he started disappearing." She was coloring, I think, and was happy... content. I am wondering now if that little girl was Abby.
I woke up this morning with that same sense of marvel. I immediately thanked God for meeting me and loving me and coming after me. And I felt peace. I could still feel His presence and I wanted to remember every detail possible about the dream and so I stayed in bed and recalled it over and over and over.
It wasn't until the third time I thought about it, and after I asked Him to reveal things to me through it (besides the obvious!), that I saw the link with death. God answered what I had just spoken to Don the night before about healing coming through death being crap. He showed me that healing does in fact come through death.
And that is multi-faceted. Healing comes in death to our fleshly lives and accepting Christ and being reborn in Him. Healing came through death when Christ (God in the flesh) died for us. Healing comes when we die to our understanding and rely on God. Healing comes when we die to ourselves, our desires, and trust in Him. Healing comes when our earthly bodies are sick, don't recover, we die, and are reborn in the very presence of God... in our eternal bodies. We are forever healed.
When I said what I said to Don last night, I said to myself... I don't trust God. In my dream, even though the light that shone so brightly and the presence itself told me it was God... something in me didn't trust that and so I hid my face.
God came and He waited. He watched and He waited as I hid from Him. And when I gave in just a little... He reached down with His holy hands and gently took my face into them. Then He simply lifted me back into His presence. I will never, ever forget this precious and holy gift. I will cling to it with everything I have in me... everything ounce of His strength.
My despair is gone. My faith renewed. My God ever so ever ever close to me.
"I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together." Psalm 34:1-3~
"I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;" Psalm 18:1-3~