Monday, March 7, 2011

my testimony

*here's part 2 of my promised 3 part series.  There is a time in each person's life, a defining moment, of "knowing" God.  An indisputable incident that cannot be explained, but which we can (and often) ignore.  When that moment happens to you, examine it, and accept it for what it is, God reaching out to you, His child.  If you choose to ignore it, (and it is your choice), that may be the only chance you get.  So, here's my indisputable incident, and I am so glad that I did not ignore it.*

It was on a Saturday in the month of August 1982.  My husband had moved out of state with some buddies of his, and I was living with my mom.  Here I was, 23 years old, mother of 2 small children, and back living with my own mom.  Fun, wow.  How did I get here, I wondered.  What happened to all my childhood plans.  College, career.  I was going to be the next Lucielle Ball and Carol Burnett.  Instead, I'm home with my mom, and caring for 2 babies without my husband.  The worst part, I didn't even miss him, too many problems in our very young marriage.  So, here I am, sitting and doing nothing, when my mom says "let's go to church".  On a Saturday?????  A friend of hers had been inviting us to her church, so today mom decides that all of us girls would go to church.  So mom, sisters, and I pile into the car and head off.  It turns out to be a Messianic Jewish Temple.  This could prove to be a very interesting day.  The music is fast and lively, and then this man gets up and starts to talk.  Not "preach", just talk.  And he talks about God like he knows Him.  And I mean really knows Him.  Not just words in a book, but God as a being with feelings, about me.  Then the man talks about Jesus.  And I am amazed.  I heard about Jesus in my church.  But only as part of the trinity.  This Jesus the man talks about, is a Man of Love, Power, Truth, and Love.  (Love is always worth repeating).  My life was a mess, but here was an offer of love, despite (or maybe because) of the mess.  I don't remember the words, but I do remember the feeling, inside me, churning and breaking.  The man starts to talk about how Jesus died for me, but more than just died, how He suffered and cried for me.  Then I realize, I am crying.  For the first time in years, tears are just pouring down my face, and I can't stop.  So I bow my head, and cry out His name, and dare Him to prove Himself real.  (Yes you can dare God, and He delights in proving Himself to you.)  Suddenly I feel a touch on my shoulder, so I open my eyes and look around but noone is there.  So I close my eyes again, and then I feel a touch on my head.  Not just a brush of wind, but a real firm touch, so I look around, and again, nothing.  Now the third time I bow my head, I don't close my eyes because I am bound and determined to catch whoever was messing with me.  That's when I feel it.  Two hands, covering the top of my head.  And the heat!  I touch the top of my head and can feel the heat on my own hands.  The heat starts to flow down my face and neck, into my heart.  It was something I could not explain, but I knew that is was Jesus.  The preacher man tells everyone to close their eyes, and if you want to learn and know more about Jesus to raise your hands.  My hand went up.  Then comes the moment of decision.  The preacher man says that if you are ashamed of Jesus, He would be ashamed of you.  If you raised your hand, come down front, and let us pray with you and share more with you.  I was TERRIFIED!  My legs would not move, literally, I could not place one foot in front of me if the building had been on fire.  An usher came up behind me and told me that he saw my hand and asked if I wanted to go up.  I got mad at him for peeking!  There was a woman I didn't know sitting next to me, she calmly took my hand, and walked with me down that long aisle.  They surrounded me, prayed with me, explained to me, and gave me a bible.  The service was over, but my mom had to wait, and wait, and wait for me.  I laughed all the way home, and for months afterward.  My life circumstances did not change overnight.  In fact, things got worse before they got better.  But that heat stayed with me.  Whenever I doubted what had happened, that heat came back.  Awesome.  Now, at anytime during this service, I could have chosen to ignore the touch, or explained it away as my over-active imagination.  And God would have let me, but I firmly believe that there is a place in each and every one of us that was created only for God, for Him to live there, in us and with us, all the time.  Don't blow Him off when He comes knocking at your door.  That may be the only chance you get.
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