“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)
Blog post insight
So the reason for this blog post was quite unexpected. The words wrote themselves and it was the fastest post to publish.
I originally had chosen a different music video than what is there now. That again, is intentional on God’s part. As you watch, “Into The Light”…pay close attention to the frames where you see LIGHT all by itself (it occurs at :48/:50, 1:57/1:58, 2:10/2:11, 2:13/2:14, 3:09). He has directed me to share those specific image frames with you.
I feel the need to mention that there are a couple of frames within this video that gave me pause…but those aren’t to be the focus.
Back to the point: The radio clicked on the morning at about 6am. This is going to sound odd, but when the radio started, I don’t know where I was (in the Spirit) because I started praying at 4am and never stopped. When “This” started I was somewhere between prayer and dozing).
Somehow I had come into the presence of the most amazing Light I have ever seen in my life. It was nothing like the sun and it didn’t hurt my eyes to look at it. The song “Overwhelming” came to mind as the dream/vision was ending and the music on the radio pulled me back. I distinctly remember wanting to get closer to the light. But I wasn’t walking to it. It was as if The Light contained a force that was pulling me to it. For the first time in my life, I felt complete peace and love unlike anything I have ever known. I think I recall that my mind was begging for it not to end.
All the songs that were included were somehow part of what happened. As in, I either felt them happening or heard them when I saw this Light.
It was utter Beauty.
Post Script: Related Scriptures
This morning after I wrote and published this, I was reminded by the Holy Spirit of the words “Honor thy Father.” How could I forget that Honor your Father and Mother are the 6th of the 10 Commandments found in The Book of Exodus. You can find it under Exodus 20:12.
By writing this letter I was honoring both my earthly Dad and My Heavenly Father…there was a reason I felt compelled.
Blessings to All
Author’s Note: This is part of a Testimony of God’s Grace. Although these events occurred when I was a teenager (15-17 years old) the memories are nearly as fresh today as they were then. My style of writing has changed little…the difference is I have had time to practice writing on these blogs and have been directed to share these experiences for “Such a Time as This.”
I stared at the breakfast plate in front of me – picking at food I couldn’t focus on.
Tired and lacking sleep – my eyes were still heavy and puffy from tears. I didn’t want to be here. Almost anywhere, but here. Then again, I didn’t want to think about the next place we would be driving to.
“Kenzel, you need to eat” Dad’s voice said from behind me. “Eat so you can take this”- handing me another pill. “Dad, I don’t need it. I’m all cried out. I”ll be fine.”
I looked up at him as he held the tranquilizer out for me. “Take it.”
“Dad, seriously, please.”
I picked the horse size pill out of his hands and looked at it as he walked away.
Tears formed but at this moment they weren’t because I was sad over having to bury Mom. On top of everything, Dad wasn’t willing to believe I would be ok…that I didn’t need the influence of a drug.
I glanced over at my cousin Pam, a specialist as an RN/ER Nurse. She must have observed the situation and her eyes were still fixed on me.
I looked down in shame. She got up from her chair and walked over.
“You know you don’t need that.”
“I know, I told him. I don’t like how it makes me feel either. But he doesn’t believe me when I tell him I’ll be okay” and I took it. Downing the glass of water to wash away the nasty taste.
“He’s dealing with this the best way he knows how.”
I nodded, still finishing the water.
The tears started to flow, making it hard to see, until they started cascading down my cheeks.
The drive that day to the cemetery went in slow motion. I kept wishing (and hoping) that I could somehow take my hands and stop the car from pressing forward in motion. Each mile got us closer to an ending I was unprepared for.
The tranquilizer on an empty stomach was doing me no favors.
Finally parked in front of the Mortuary, I opened the door and stare at the ground. Stepping out, I look at the building behind our car and think to myself, “What are we doing here? This isn’t really happening…” Walking towards the door, I can feel my body moving but am not connecting that my feet are in motion.
Is the world spinning? I’m not sure I can feel my jello like legs.
Yes, I am breathing.
Someone opens the door I am staring at – I step in. I’m reminded of the sterile smell of the hospital, but I’m sensing an underlying presence. In a hospital, there is still hope. In a cemetery the only hope is your prayer for eternal salvation.
Wait…this is the same place we came the other day to select Mom’s casket. I wonder about turning back the hourglass.
My head slowly turns as my body follows my feet. I recognize no one. I see a chair in the corner and sit down. Maybe if I sit I will sink into the cushion and translate into a different time and space. Someplace where death is unknown. My opportunity to do so is limited…
Dad approaches me, then gestures with the prompt, “It’s time to go in” (go in where? I think to myself.)
I stand – or try to – and realize I’m under “full” sedation now.
“I don’t know if I can make it back there, Dad.” He and my Aunt stand on either side of me and provide their arms to keep me upright.
How ridiculous and embarrassing this is.
We arrive at and pause outside a room down the hall. Inside, there is a silver casket set up. As I recall, Mom asked for a plain wooden box – but the day we came to purchase it they said they didn’t stock that style. Oh – Nooo…Mom is in that silver casket! I stay on the far side of the room.
I watch as people walk in and one by one walk by – then glance. They touch her folded hands, say something quietly and move on. Some say a prayer and then their good-byes.
I am in a blur. I continue to try and edge closer to her casket but fear steps in and I back away. I finally notice my older brother in front of the casket and I go stand next to him. We exchange soft conversation. He leans over and kisses her forehead. Observing him do that makes me grimace…(for some reason I think of Judas kissing Jesus in Gethsemane. I have no idea why)
Even now, in real time I weep heavily as I recall this.
After he kisses her forehead I slowly reach out to touch her folded hands. The hands that held me tightly after waking from a bad dream. The hands that held my hair back when I had a stomach bug, the hands that made the hurt — hurt less — or not at all.
Her hands are like ice. I am horrified. They are hard, cold, devoid of all that makes God’s created body beautiful. Her ash-gray colored skin is unnatural.
This is not normal. I look at her and think silently “Wake Up.” Nothing, no response. In my mind I think, maybe if I say those words out loud, she will come out of this. I whisper “Wake Up – please?” Still nothing.
I cannot believe I am staring at her. I cannot believe she is not breathing. Living. Loving. Laughing. I do not comprehend how this is possible.
I step away and return to the casket a couple more times. It’s not long before staff enter the room and it’s evident that graveside services will proceed. I walk out before they close the lid.
This is sickening.
I do not recall the graveside ceremony. Apparently I took my camera with me that day (for whatever reason???) because I snapped a picture of the group standing in front of her grave. My Dad was front and center of her burial plot. I have not seen that photo in some time. I do not know if I want to see it.
I recall her Memorial service – she had pre-selected her favorite songs to be sung (Just as I Am, Amazing Grace among them) and I vaguely recall the repast (gathering after the funeral and church service)
The memorial service was rough because Mom raised me in church and I attended with her frequently, having started Sunday School there. To be there in her memory and not have her the physically present felt like a radical paradigm shift.
My (future) sister-in-law drove me home following it. Of all things, Home, was the last place I wanted to be. (It really, really hurts to say that right now, too.) I didn’t want to see all these people in the house, I didn’t want to reflect and talk about Mom, in the past-tense…
I wanted this day to be different, but I had no idea how to direct the GPS. So I did all I could do and asked: Please, God, stop this nightmare…
I’ve spent a few minutes wondering what kind of visual I could give you to emulate what I felt that week and the weeks and months to follow – even 33 plus years later.
I didn’t want to focus on an actual funeral related scene (like Steel Magnolias) because I need to convey something on a different scale that was more complex. More encompassing.
So, here it is:
I picked this one because the main characters have a brief warning about impending trouble (my Mom battled her illness for 10 months) and when the first of the unthinkable events happen it is so sudden that, well – just watch, you’ll see.
I also picked Gravity because of the reality that we exist on a planet created by Yahuveh Ahava and this earth is under gravitational force. Out in space all the rules are changed and Ryan and Matt face incredible obstacles and choices in an environment not suited to their nature. The day Mom died…I too discovered all the rules changed and I was thrust into the unknown. Those of you who have lost someone know exactly what I’m talking about.
Part of my healing journey in this Testimony Series is to let Him guide me into His Word (and you as well) scriptures that uncover His Truth amidst the pain, suffering so that I (we) emerge in victory: healed, stronger and healthier. Please seek Him and ask for greater understanding. His Victory – is Ours. By His Stripes, we are healed.
Please forgive me in advance – because this is rather lengthy.
Some of you may have noticed that about 10 days ago I wrote and initially published a blog post that I then made “Private.” Within hours of having written it, I changed it to a “Private setting.” Something about that post frightened and alarmed me. I just re-read it though and the theme of what I wrote then is very, very similar to what will be shared here.
Suffice it to say, what The Spirit wants, The Spirit gets…
I was just at Trader Joe’s this morning and while perusing the aisles a song came on whose melody I recognized (and I kid you not) it stopped me in my tracks. I just stood there trying to listen to it as best I could. In that moment, I fought with myself about coming back here to write. It is the song I heard that prompts this message.
When I wrote my last blog testimony about the day I escaped abduction as a Pre-Schooler, the brief comment thread exchange with (reader) Tony took me by surprise. I went so far as to start appealing to God about His directive earlier this week to resume the work of that testimony…
“What you do not understand, daughter, is that your willingness to try is what I SEEK. I need to know that you will be obedient to me, that you will listen.” The bigger lesson came shortly after when I understood that the very lives we lead will eventually depend on our ability to listen and hear Him in the coming days….
I also thought I had only been in the wilderness since March of this year. As I have taken time to look back – really look back (my arms and hands are beginning to tremble as I write this) I now understand this trip in the Wilderness has actually been a long term experience that began in November of 1983.
You may have heard some people say that the Wilderness isn’t a place anyone wants to be.
That’s true – The Wilderness isn’t fun but analyzing the wilderness got me to thinking. The Wilderness is where The ACTION happens but it is also where your FAITH comes to life. The Wilderness is where Yeshua shows you the condition of your heart.
Men and Women who walk this earth today: you are all shaped by your experiences over time. You are not the person you were yesterday and if every day is a Hap-Hap-Happy day with only good in it, you have no opportunity to grow. Challenge and adversity is WHAT allows God to be able to stretch you. To build your faith…
This is what happened to
David facing Goliath, Daniel and The Lion’s; Shadrach Meshach and Abednego and the Furnace; Naomi and Ruth…Esther & The King (Such a Time as This,) and ALL the Bible legends from Genesis through Jesus in The Testament.
Having just finished reading the amazing John Maxwell “Giants” Series every person in the Bible (named and unnamed) matters! By the way, when I mention “unnamed” that includes YOU, dear reader, …because The Bible is still unfolding!
(Pardon the rabbit trail…)
The day of my near abduction when I was (about) 6 forever changed the framework of how I looked at myself and especially at others. I may have been born into sin…but that brush with that man made me unclean.
The next turning point arrived the day of Mom’s funeral. It was the moment I made myself look at her in that casket. It was the first time as a naive and gullible 15 year old that I had to look death in the face.
That was the moment I stepped into the wilderness and that wilderness would last a while and would be followed by ever-increasing challenges (and the ever increasing, yet unseen, presence of God.)
I recall someone, some time ago telling me in passing what a “strong” person I was. That’s what the Wilderness does to you. But please know, that’s God’s design. He doesn’t do it to be mean. He does it out of love. How do we learn to survive if Immanuel doesn’t work WITH US to understand His Ways?
I mentioned in the last blog post “Purpose Achieved” that I would write here again if called to. Well, I haven’t been called to but that Madonna song really got to me. If it’s possible for a secular song to speak volumes, that one did today. And I really believe you need to hear and know this.
Until I watched this video and looked up the song’s history on line, I did not know “Live to Tell” was released March 26, 1986. It was written for the movie titled, “At Close Range.” Not so coincidentally, March 1986 is the same month and year my Dad died.
This is the song to listen to. Here is the music video:
Here is what you need to know, or what many of you have learned and are in the process of learning:
The Wilderness is a tough place to be. It isn’t fun and it’s anything but pleasant.
There are many people who have just entered a Wilderness or maybe have been there for the last year or so. But…
I don’t know how I know this, but I do. I don’t know when it will be here but I continue to understand it is JUST AHEAD. This dream excerpt and interpretation will explain why:
This is from a post earlier this year. After months of prayer I’ve received a full interpretation as to the symbolism…and when it was given I got so nauseous (still am) and began to weep.
Right next to you
By your side
Don’t take another step or walk through another hour of your day without Him.
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A simple Christian listening to the Holy Spirit
"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture, while adding some gracious ferocity.”
Resounding The Forgotten Truths from my Spiritual Father Apostle Richard E S Takim.