It had started out pretty much like any other day. It was a Friday what could possibly go wrong? Little did I know that my world would forever change that day? It was to be a dramatic, life altering, axis shifting change.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
How I could not have seen it coming is mind blowing even now a couple of months later as I write these things down. It was sitting there on the edges of the horizon like an elusive bird waiting to fly. I was just so caught up in the goings on of my busy “Christian girl” life that I had no clue I was about to meet the Lord of all Glory face to face. Not only that but it would be such an encounter that I would never be the same again. Nor would I look at Him or His word the same way.
I know it sounds like you are getting ready to end the page but I promise if you will hang in here with me just for a few moments of your time. This will not be one of those Jim Jones Kool-aide moments nor a David Koresh wacko scene. I’m not some granola bar Christian either nor do I get carried away by every charismatic fad going around. I’m a 100% believer in the absolute sovereignty of God’s Holy Word.
So please hear me out before you hit the x and then you can hit it all you want and I will bless you in Jesus name from the very bottom, top and all sides of my heart.
When I say I had an encounter with Jesus I don’t mean that I saw Him as Moses did, or that I wrestled with Him like Jacob, or that He revealed Himself to me like He did in the upper room. So let me tell you how it unfolded for me if you have time…
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, least any man should boast.
I had been going through some particular struggles with fear around that time. It seemed every time you turned on the news, social media etc… it’s war, it’s killing, it’s disease you name it and people were claiming it… I don’t know what happened but this fear just settled over me like a dirty coat and I couldn’t shake it for anything.
It was during this time the Social media sites were burning up with God’s fire and judgment on divorced people and all people who don’t follow the law exactly. I’m thinking great JUST what I need. Now I’m dealing with fear on a triple wide scale. Fear of death, fear of disease, now I was in fear of my soul going to hell. Could it get any worse? Matter of fact it could and it would, much, much worse.
During those days I did everything I could to get out of it. I read my bible until the pages blurred before me. I prayed until I couldn’t think of another sin to confess. I sang and worshipped until I was hoarse and tired.
Yet the more I pushed the less I felt Him near. Pretty soon my fear began to turn into anxiety. The next thing I know, I can’t sleep. I kept asking, Jack, please pray for me something is wrong with me. He would pray again and again, bless his heart. The weird thing is he would pray and I would hear this in my head; God’s not even real. Who are you trying to fool? Certainly nobody around believes you. Even if He were real He doesn’t care about you at all. Curse God you’re going to die anyway.
I would try to sing and a voice would whisper in my ear, so & so is god bow to him and you will live and I would stop, screaming in the name of Jesus get thee behind me and it would go away only to return and I would close the piano lid in utter defeat. My hope for victory shattered like a million glass pieces on a tile floor.
I would try to read the scriptures and I would hear; it’s not really true, it’s just a bunch of lies, ancient myths handed down through the ages. Why do you even read this stuff? Again, screaming out the name of Jesus to help me. Only finding temporary relief from the onslaught yet again. My mind screaming God please don’t leave me. My heart racing like a caged animal, my soul in utter torment.
My God, my God why?
Time and again Jack would pray for me and I would cry and cry and cry. Such was the torment of my soul. I had no clue what was happening to me or even why it was happening to me. I was a church girl. I was born in church practically. Sure, I had lived a less than exemplary life but God was a forgiving God and I was okay right? I could quote you chunks of the word, sing you even more. I was blogging all about Jesus, witnessing and sharing His love with everyone I could.
So why was this happening to me? I am on God’s side and I’m no Job.
This went on for approximately 3 weeks. In which time I could barely eat, sleep or work. Yet somehow I did. I cried non-stop day and night. I lived in constant fear of my life. I had this knowing in my heart that God was far, far away. By the end of the second week I felt totally abandoned and alone. Which to me didn’t make sense? He said I will never leave you nor forsake you. So why do I feel like He has?
When I laid down at night I couldn’t sleep because I felt like the trumpet was going to sound and I was going to be left behind. I would wake up in the middle of the night after falling asleep in exhaustion to find my husband out of bed and I would freak out. I cannot begin to describe the horror of those days.
At work I would chew my cheeks and quench my teeth when others were around and when they would leave I would fall apart. I would go to the restroom heaving and crying because I felt God had left me. On the bathroom floor in great heaving sobs, confessing and confessing every sin known to mankind. Still I could find no peace, no rest.
I would close my eyes and the horrible images and thoughts thrown at me were enough to make me nauseated and I felt like the most rotten human being on planet earth. I would fight against exhaustion just so I wouldn’t have to sleep. Not only was I afraid of being left behind, I was afraid of what I might experience when I closed my eyes.
God where are You? Leave me not Oh God of my salvation.
All I could do and all I did was cry to the Lord day and night for mercy. I had no fancy words or elaborate prayers to say. I was desperate and I was real. As real as I could ever be. I had lost all shame, what I had seen, heard and experienced had shattered any illusion I had of being good.
Gone was the church girl and in her place lay a wretch in desperate need of a Redeemer.
I remember clearly the day my breakthrough came. Even now I stand in awe of what He has done. The Lord is good and He is near to all who call on Him.
Oh the joy of my Redeemer, Oh the Christ who died for me.
Psalms 3: I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill. Selah.
There is something about it when God shatters the illusion that you have about yourself. When He takes back the covers and reveals the heart for what it is and what it is really capable of.
You see this is my encounter with God, my face to face.
Let me explain to you what actually happened to me when I look back on it. It’s a breathtaking display of God’s mercy and grace to a lost soul. Yes, I said lost soul because I don’t know that before this time I was saved or not. I knew allot about Him, I loved Him allot but I had never really given Him possession of my life. I had a misguided love based on my ability to be good or be good enough.
I never saw the fullness of the sacrifice He paid for me. I was still trying to earn His favor. If I was good enough, read my bible enough or just to be plain honest if I was perfect, then I would be accepted. I had unfortunately lived out my entire life this way. I had not fully accepted that there was absolutely nothing I could do or should do but believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved.
That’s it. You say well that’s way too simple. Yes it really is and therefore a stumbling block to whole lot of folks. Good church girls like me. Some good old church boys like some of you.
What my beautiful awesome Redeemer did for me those weeks was show me the gap between God and man when Christ isn’t there. He showed me the separation that sin is between. He showed me what it means to be separated from Him by sin. It was gut wrenching awful. It was curl up in the fetal position for hours weeping awful. I do not ever want to go there again.
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that He will not hear.
The good news is that He will be found of those who truly seek Him. If you really and truly want Him, He will come to you.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
What an awesome promise, what an awesome God.
Now back to my story. It was on a Sunday I had just finished a movie, a faith based film, and I was starting to feel the familiar gut wrenching trauma again in my stomach. I dropped to the floor in front of my chair crying out to God. No answer, once again begging and pleading for it to stop, finally I got up in total defeat. I don’t think there has ever been another moment in my life that I have felt such utter defeat.
I went into our room where my husband was watching a football game and I lay down beside him. Silent tears flowing. I didn’t say anything as my husband rolled over and grabbed me. What’s wrong he said? I don’t know, I replied but I can’t live like this anymore. He got real quiet and out of nowhere I said I don’t think I’m even saved.
It was one of those epiphany moments when something inside of you just snaps and like the final moments of a movie, it all begins to make perfect sense. I could see my life clearly and all the “I” moments, all the moments “I” had done this or that and I knew, deep down in my heart I knew I had never actually allowed the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Lord of my life. I had never allowed Him to own the title He deserves to wear. I was Lord of my life and as long as I followed the rules I was okay (in my eyes).
I was a little girl trying to earn my daddy’s heart. No matter how hard I tried I never could.
Jack said to me, let’s pray then. Right there on a beautiful Sunday afternoon I prayed and I asked the Lord to take my sins, take my life I was giving it to Him. That I believe without one doubt that He paid it all. That there isn’t or wasn’t a thing I could do or even should do to be born again except believe on His name. I believe that He loved me and I didn’t have to earn His love that He gave it to me freely at the cross.
You can’t begin to know the veil of darkness that lifted off of me that day. That peace I had heard so much about but realized I had never known, flooded all throughout my being and I knew for the first time in my life what it means to enter the Sabbath rest of the Lord. Oh what a day that was and is for me.
I know this comes as a shock to some of you, but Paul explicitly stated to examine yourselves to see if you be in the faith. I will tell you straight up if you come in any other way but through the Lord Jesus you are not saved. You cannot pull yourself up by your own bootstraps as the saying goes.
You cannot do one thing to merit eternal life. Not one thing. The only way to enter the Kingdom of God is through the Son and the work He did on the Cross. Period and that is it.
My encounter with Christ left me speechless and full of love I have never known before. I no longer fear, His perfect love cast it all out. I no longer doubt His eternal life, because I feel the seal of Holy God in my spirit man. His Word is alive and living in me, all those years of devouring the Bible were not in vain.
But do not be deceived God is not mocked what you sow you will reap. Repent of sin while you have time you do not want to be separated from Holy God. I realize He only allowed me a glimpse and that was enough for me to never want it again ever. It is your worst nightmare.
God loves us so much that while we were yet sinners He died for us. So don’t make yourself a martyr for nothing. You can’t pay for your own sins~
Receive the love God has for you and believe on His Son. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life… No man comes to the Father but by Christ~ John 14:6
I love you guys so much and everyone who has been with me so long. I thank you so much for continuing with me and I pray that when we meet face to face in Glory we can sit around and tell of His wondrous work in our lives.
God is so good~
I’m hid with Christ