When I awoke
the next morning... I began to see through new eyes... the
eyes of truth and holiness. I was both surprised and delighted to discover
the changes in me in the days to come.
I was amazed
when I heard, “You don’t curse anymore” thinking.. I cursed?
The habit was
gone, without my even having to be convicted or think about it … I wasn’t
even aware I cursed. Profanity was something I had been raised around... and I
never thought anything of it.
commented on my joy and the changes in me and wanted to know what happened...
and it was then, I began to speak of the Divine Encounter which had taken place
in my life.
I remember awaking with a hunger to know and love the Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit as much as it is possible in this life... and beyond. I greatly desired to please the Spirit of the Lord as the Bride of Christ, to glorify Father as His Creation and to become the person He had originally intended that I become through the lifeblood of His Holy Spirit Who had awakened me, in what I was to discover later, is Almighty God's perfect timing. I was filled with a passion to understand the Bible and what the Spirit of God wanted us to know through it. Beginning that day, whenever I read it... I would ask God's Holy Spirit to lead me...to speak to me.... to teach me... what God wanted me to know. Something always came... which would later be confirmed through a circumstance, which would follow... often imparting understanding. It was then I became aware of co-incidences happening regularly in my life, co-incidences which have continued to this day.
Some who of us fondly call these experiences, God-incidences. I have met others who refer to them as synchronicity. I experience them as simply His answers to our intimate conversations ... bringing Divine Order into Being... according to His unfolding plan. I... like other's I have met enjoy talking with God... as the love of our life... and seeing Him active and alive in our lives on an intimate level.... Through reading these writings... it is my hopes... you will be encouraged to reach out for your portion of His life, that He might reveal Himself to you intimately as well, if you have not already done so. It is also my hopes... when you read of some of the ways He has spoken to me... perhaps you will see your own relationship with Him more clearly, if need be... and be encouraged or redirected, if necessary. I do not know what you need from God... but it is my hopes He will meet it having revealed it to you.
Upon waking each morning... I couldn't wait to find the time to get alone with Him... so I could read the Bible. I expected to hear God's voice … as His Holy Spirit taught me and I was not disappointed. Continual prayer and reading the Bible was one of the first ways we began to visit together... eventually I would talk to Him about everything... not just the Bible ... I was to discover, He has other ways He expresses Himself, in His desire to keep me from relating to a book… rather than Him. As our relationship has evolved… He has talked to me about and through all of life…. during everyday living.
I remember when His Spirit first began to give me an understanding of the Bible. He took me to Luke 11... in the New Testament. Jesus was being asked by His disciples; "Teach us how to pray..." As I read His words... commonly known as 'The Lord's Prayer'... and those, which followed, they confirmed to me... something I had never seen before... God was indeed Our Father.... who provided all we needed and He had indeed given me the good gift of His Holy Spirit... a promise foreshadowed by Jesus on that occasion... which I had never seen before. It never dawned on me where the Lord’s Prayer had come from before this, because it was something we recited in School and I had never actually thought about it. I realized... up until then... I had never really thought much about anything... I rejoiced and thanked Him... from deep within.... as the confirmation spoken through those words... brought tears of joy to my heart. His Spirit revealed to me at that point, the Bible is a Book within a Book... in that the words in the Bible have a life of their own... which God would use to speak to us.... and direct our path and renew the Spirit of our mind, when it delights Him to do so. I have discovered since... some believers call this an anointing… or the revelation of His anointed word or a quickening of His Spirit within us.
Having asked His Spirit to speak to me daily, I understood at last, the power of this prayer. I knew it would indeed be answered... day by day, for those who took it to heart... and even for some who did not... because God's love is unconditional. I also understood, if I wanted to be forgiven... I must forgive… I must let go. I became profoundly aware... unforgiveness would destroy my own soul... and eat me up from the inside out, if I allowed it to take root and breed within me. Since that day... whenever bitterness has tried to swallow my Soul... I have immediately, upon recognizing it... pushed it away… offering it to God... choosing to forgive... remembering vengeance is His and not mine and if it were not for HIM... I would not be who I am. Upon doing so... His Spirit would reveal to me how to pray for the situation... for the benefit of all.
Somewhere around that time... I had a dream... where I was taking a shower. While doing so, I could hear a fervent voice gradually becoming louder, repeating... "You need to forgive your grandmother."
I awoke... thinking... 'Forgive my grandmother, why do I need to forgive my grandmother?' I was shocked when I recognized I had been sleeping... because the dream was so realistic. It was then I heard the words of someone in the distant past condemning me: "When you grow up, your going to be fat and lazy just like your grandmother!" ... in their effort to make me aware I needed to watch my weight.
I began to cry... I was convicted, I had judged my dead grandmother... through the words which were spoken to me about her... and I was becoming like her.... and hating us both for it... although I had never voiced it before... even to myself. I began to see how lazy I was becoming as my weight continued to pile on and my energy was drained by it. All of this was affecting not only my self-esteem, and my ability to believe I was loveable… but the intimacy between me and my husband as well. My lack of self control… manifested through an inability to control my appetite made us both feel rejected, pushing us into vicious cycles. He thought: If I loved him, I would loose weight... and become more stimulating. I thought: If he loved me... my weight should not matter… and I was deeply wounded because His desires were being drawn elsewhere with ever increasing intensity. It was as if I had been under some sort of curse unaware... powerless to be any different… blaming another for my share of the problem. Up until that moment, I had no idea how powerful words directed at our Soul can be.... nor did I know how to change myself... except to choose to forgive.
It was through this dream God began to speak to me with regard to unforgiveness within me and others. I had no idea how much there was... until circumstances unfolded in my life to expose them.... and set me and others free... of which I will write at a later time... believing the lessons I learned will be of great value to some, possibly many.
Personally, I wanted to deal with the weight issue first. I hated my image so much... I would not even look at my reflection in a store window... but that was not to be for now. I was told, this was not the root... it was just a branch on a tree... which needed to have it's roots destroyed. I was assured, if I insisted on my own way... I would be just lopping off branches... which would cause this ungodly tree, to grow back stronger than before.... so I stepped back and continued to let Him lead.
It was then I began to take other people's complaints about me to heart... through new eyes. I had not realized, I had become such a homebody until then... and my most stimulating conversation... and most valuable friends... were Soap Opera characters from TV. I ate lunch with them... drank coffee with them... and I adopted their TV values as my own. I was shocked to discover... I had become dependent upon them as an extended family... and their world had become a vital part of my own.... influencing me in ways God had not intended for our life.
About that time, I began to see patterns in my life I had not seen before. I saw how I allowed my 2 small children to play with their friends... in or out of their rooms, before taking their nap... while I visited with my TV family... and I seldom kept their rooms clean because of the pattern I had us in. Being the eldest child in my own family... one of my chores had been to baby-sit my 3 brothers and sister, whose friends were encouraged to play in our yard or basement... while my other sister helped mom clean. Although I had numerous other chores, cleaning... had not become my specialty... but I was good at keeping a watchful ear and eye out toward others when they played. Unlike my father... my husband being an only child... had no tolerance for messes created by others... and this brought on much conflict in our marriage.... and most days I had a deaf ear to his complaints. I could not understand why he would become so angry.... nor why I would forget what he would ask me to do. We were in a vicious cycle, I would feel as rejected by him as he felt devalued by me. I believed I was doing a good job and carrying my weight... no pun intended. *smile
As each new day unfolded after that dream, God's spirit revealed to me, patterns in my life, which had been formed over the years... and asked me to give them to Him. When I recognized I had no idea how to keep my house clean... I was overwhelmed. I asked His Spirit to teach me how to clean. I asked that He might help me become organized too, so my job would be easier and more efficient. As I sat before Him... eyes closed listening, I noticed a picture forming... in the Spirit of my minds eye. I saw myself doing specific things to clean... and organize my time and my children's rooms, and I applied them. When I felt condemned for not getting enough done... He revealed to me I had an A or F mentality.... and suggested I stop grading myself.... and simply do what I find I am to do with a Spirit of excellence. By the time I realized I had developed an obsession about cleaning... I was in a pattern of writing myself an unrealistic list... adding to it... as I saw everything through perfectionist thinking... and then convincing myself, I had not done enough... because the completion of the list had not met my expectations. It was then... His Spirit spoke to me about giving Him my expectations... and receiving His in return.... reminding me he desired to help, if I would only ask. When my tendency to be obsessive... and stressed out attempted to transfer over into cleaning... His Spirit would stop me... and say that is enough for now. I had to learn to obey so self-discipline could be developed... and I could learn to be content with what is and more tolerant.
Eventually He began to work on my weight. He showed me... I had been loving myself with food.... rather than turning to Him or my husband or anyone else for comfort, since the death of our twins, 5 years back. Food had become my God.... and I was lavishing all of my love on it.... and taking all I could get in return... through instant gratification... and the pleasure it gave me. I had no self control when it came to food... this grieved me... for self control is a fruit of His Spirit living within me... and I understood... gluttony and obsession needed to die... for His Spirit to come forth in this area. I became aware I thought about food all of the time... while I was eating one meal... I was thinking about the next. At 29, I was 5'3", and weighed 230 pounds. When I offered God my patterns... to include my appetite and asked Him to change my taste buds... as well as my genes... believing the life blood of His Spirit was flowing in me now, He caused me to understand... since my teens, I had developed the habit of drinking coffee.... which made my stomach nervous.. and I would eat to get rid of the nervous energy.... this is when he told me to take caffeine out of my diet. He revealed to me my eating habits... and how they had been formed.... teaching me about nutrition, that I might apply a new way of being. He put me on two 21-day fasts... a week apart... telling me... through this, He would clean out my system of toxic waste and negative energy. I was to discover... this would help to change my cravings. He told me... after a few days I would no longer be hungry... and I would feel euphoric and if I gave Him the cravings when they came... He would tell me their root... as HE set me free. I marveled at what transpired; I wanted to eat because I was angry or because my feelings were hurt… because I was frustrated or felt rejected or anxious. A commercial on TV would stir my appetite, or the sight of a fast food place would call me when I was on the road.... or I couldn’t think of anything else to do to bring me pleasure… or because I was bored.... OR...... I had learned not to waste my food…. and to eat because I was suppose to... hungry or not... 3 full meals a day… as well as 2 snacks. I wanted to eat because others were eating... I ate too much... because I was not sure when such a great meal might come again... or because I wanted my lions share… a habit developed... being raised in a family of 8... or simply because I had paid for it... and I could eat all I wanted to eat. Sometimes I wanted to eat because I was depressed... and it made me feel better for a while at least. I wanted to eat for so many reasons.... through so many patterns, which had formed over the years. All of them had been weighing me down, I can smile* about it now but the time had come at last... where I was shedding them... as quickly as I was shedding the pounds.
I will never forget the day I was almost finished with my second fast.... although I was not hungry.... and felt great... I wanted to eat so bad. I was not resisting the desire or giving it to God... instead I worked myself into a frenzy. I was making everyone's favorite sandwiches. I began preparing a fresh turkey club sandwich on a Kaiser roll for my husband... suddenly I wanted one so bad, I could no longer stand it. When my husband begged me to not break my fast.... because I was doing so well, I took a jar of jelly and threw it on the floor... breaking it into a million pieces screaming, “I want to eat!!!”. This shocked everyone... especially me. I remember thinking... "Whoa... where did that come from?" and hearing God's voice say... "That is your stronghold... you desire to eat for the pure pleasure and the social experience... and if you don't release that to me... you will gain every pound back and never overcome this problem."
Although I did not look how I desired to look... once I lost 60 pounds... God refused to deal with me further with regard to my weight. He told me... because I wanted to be loved for who I was... and not for my body... I needed to learn to love myself and others as they were.... while I learned to discipline my appetite. His Spirit taught me to appreciate food.... as a gift which sustains life and provides energy. I became mindful of what I ate... in positive ways... and He has enabled me to help others with what He has taught me, in our efforts to apply them together. He reassured me, HE would keep me healthy.... and my current body style was acceptable for the time being. He revealed to me... I had made an idol of food and wanting to be thin... and He did not want me to serve it.... or for food to rule over me... but for me to rule it. He made me aware... society at large has imposed on us their views and concepts about life, especially about the body... and asked me to give them to Him.... in exchange for His own.
I was soon to discover, releasing a concept or perspective... expectation... whatever or whoever God might ask... into His loving care... is one thing… actually letting go… and being transformed by the events which follow in its entirety is another. Please believe me when I say.... the spiritual journey of faith is well worth taking and although it might not in all ways seem like it's going work out for the good in the end, I am here to tell you it does! In some cases... far greater than you would have first imagined for all concerned.
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