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His Secret Place

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, finally.

However, I would still have deep longings in my heart. My friends related their experiences in life—weddings, births of children, everyday conversations—with 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 game—it 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.

Lynell F.




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