One day when I was 9 years old, I went to the grocery store with my best friend to buy some sweet treats. She challenged me into stealing the candy and I walked out the store without paying for it! I fully expected to get caught and was surprised a huge hand didn’t drag me right back inside. When I returned home I felt so guilty that I threw away the candy. Then I went directly into my basement bedroom.
I sat alone in the dark wondering why I did not just say “No!” I pondered the fate of my biological father, who at that time was in prison for theft. I thought I was considered a “bad seed” and even at age nine I wondered about my state of mind. I was already seeing a psychologist because of trauma suffered in my childhood. I had witnessed (my first memory in life at age 3), my biological father attempting suicide just before he went to prison for 11 years. All these thoughts raced through my mind and rendered me in a state of hopelessness from my now stealing a candy bar. I wondered what my future held.
Not being able to sleep, I laid in bed for several hours of agony and despair. My bedroom door was open to the long hallway that went to the laundry room in the basement. It was pitch black…just like how I was feeling.
Suddenly an amazing white and glorious light appeared in the laundry room. It filled the entire room, radiating beams of light clear down the hallway into my room. My first thought was, “I need to go see what this is!” However, when I tried to get out of bed, my body was frozen and unable to move and I could barely breathe. I then realized this must be the presence of God himself! Now I was terrified! He knew I stole that candy and now he was here to send me right to hell…and I deserved it! I began to tremble and my entire bed was shaking with fear and the reality of being in the presence of God. All I could do was think about every thing I had ever done wrong in my entire life.
Then, as if someone poured warm butter all over me, I felt a touch on the top of my head and it quickly spread warmth through my entire body down to my hands and feet. I stopped trembling completely and felt the presence of unconditional love flood over me! Silence and peace filled my mind for the first time, such a pleasant feeling. I have difficulty putting words to the experience of how God’s love saturated every part of me and how it felt. This amazing love has never been experienced again, but has never been forgotten either. Even today, when thinking about the experience, I am filled with the presence of God’s amazing and unconditional love for God, myself and others.
We had a conversation, God and I, pretty simple because every question I had for God melted away like warm butter, my questions just didn’t matter, the only thing that mattered was God and this AMAZING LOVE he had for me! At age 9, God taught me one thing…nothing but love mattered, love was everywhere and it made me happy!
What I can share with you is how God ended our conversation that night. He said, “Let me have your hand, and I will lead you, guide you, and show you which way to go.” So, I lifted my right hand up into the air, with full trust in God, and immediately fell asleep. God has been faithful in my very challenging life to lead me, guide me, and always show me which way to go. Funny thing is...God never mentioned my stealing the candy.
God is love and his love never fails! He loves you and so do I!