I was twelve years old when my mother passed
away from a disease called lupus. She was only 41 at the time.
This left me, her only daughter, to literally "fend for myself" due to an irresponsible
alcoholic father. I can recall a strong sense of abandonment upon her death.
I had not known that she was going to die, and I went into shock. I cried
myself to sleep every night for over a year. I was angry at God for taking
"the good one."
One night a year
later I was feeling so abandoned. I was sitting on my bed and
feeling drawn to open a Bible that my grandmother had given me.
Neither my mother nor my father had attended church, but as a
child I had wanted to go to church. I longed to hear about God.
My grandmother took me a few times, and it was there that I learned
the 23rd Psalm. This night, when I picked up that Bible (amidst
my loneliness and despair), I opened to that Psalm, the only
scripture I knew. I read the verse where it says, "yeah, even though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with
me." Suddenly I felt as if I was next to that valley. A peace
flooded my spirit as I read those words, and even though I didn't
really know God, I had a STRONG sense that night that He was
there with me. What comfort. But still, losing my mother continued
as a terrible loss in my life. Somehow I had to figure out how
to deal with the pain of not having her.
In 1979, when I was
22 years old, I experienced more pain from an unfaithful husband.
It was at this point that I fell to my knees, crying out to God
for help because I was trying my hardest to "be good" and do all the "right things" to
make my life work. It was at this point that I realized that
I could do nothing without His help, and He did come into my
life that day in a major way. I started to know a little peace,
However, I would
still have deep longings in my heart. My friends related their
experiences in lifeweddings,
births of children, everyday conversationswith their mothers
being there for them, and in these times my pain would return.
Why me? Why did I have to go through life without a mother? I
began to find some consolation in my friendships with women,
but soon found this fruitless. In the meantime, God was speaking
to me mightily about who He is and about seeking out truth.
Many years passed,
and in all my grieving, I longed to go to heaven to see my mother
and to be with her there. Life, for me, was not a gameit
was serious. I realized how quickly any of us could die, and
for me all the trivial everyday things lost their meaning. I
found it hard to enjoy unimportant activities that just seemed
to fill up my time. I longed to be out of this life. The greatest
desire of my heart was only to be with the Lord.
One day, I was in
church soaking in the Lord's presence, when He came to me. In
an instant (less than a second), I felt my spirit self literally
leave my body and begin to rise. I could feel myself being carried
out and away from my body, and I knew the exact moment when I
left the room. In a flash, I found myself in another room seated
in a chair. I sensed such peace! Nearby was a couch, and there
on the couch sat my mother! I was flabbergasted! I just sat there
in amazement. I knew that she was happy, and immediately I looked
up and saw Jesus standing in the doorway of the room. There was
such a great light upon Him.
He spoke to me. He
knew my heart. He knew that I had contemplated suicide to escape
the unbearable pain. He said, "Your mother is happy here. Your work is not yet finished." Immediately,
I knew that He was addressing everything going on inside of me,
and I believe He took me to this place because He knew that I
needed to know, to be assured. When He talks, and you know it's
Him, it's life changing!
And my life did change,
though the strength from my incredible experience would see me
through more difficulties. A couple of months later, my husband
of 23 years announced that he wanted out of our marriage. He
could not handle being with someone so devoted to God. My only
son, now 22, lives with his father and rarely visits me. Through
the pain of the divorce, my son lost a relationship with a gal
he was preparing to marry, and now he has turned to drugs. This
is heartbreaking for me to watch.
So, I sit here today,
having lost yet more important people, and I feel pain that at
times becomes unbearable for me. Yes, thoughts of suicide sometimes
return. But the words Jesus spoke to me continue to ring deep
in my spirit self, and I believe it is God Himself who is keeping
me alive and able to cope. I know He is healing my broken heart
one day at a time. There are setbacks, but He's real in my heart,
and NOTHING can shake that.
Now I'm 45 and am
glad to say I have recently completed a college degree. I've
had many other experiences with my Lord, and His presence in
my life has been what has kept me from going over the edge. He
knows exactly what to say to me at just the moment I need to
hear it. I KNOW He is real, and I KNOW that the spirit realm
is just as real. I've been there. And nothing compares to being
able to shut out the world and enter in to His Secret Place.