Friday, October 20, 2017

At The Table

April 29, 2013 Journal

I blogged about my dream. But before that, when I lay down, immediately Jesus pulled me to Him and He was so real.

I keep saying that. It must be that I am growing to see Him more and more clearly each time, or slowly over time. I think that makes sense.

He had flowing light brown hair and a light brown beard that I immediately liked. I remarked upon this appearance a little, but mostly, I just looked deeply into His eyes.

You’ve been busy thinking, He had said to me, before this.

“Yes, I have so much to consider,” I said, thinking back on it all- the stuff about seer prophets and churches and how unusual it all was, how far from the normal life that I had been wanting for so long.

You are a prophet, He said.

“Yes,” I said, resigned. “I’ve sort of been picking up on that, lately.”

Do you like it? When Jesus asked this, there was sadness in His voice, as if He had given me a gift that He knew I wasn’t thrilled about.

“Oh sweetheart, of course I do!” I assured Him, honestly, showing Him my heart. “I love it. I love that this is who I am- a part of who I am.”

Even with all this? And Jesus gestured, in a way, to the blog post that I hadn’t posted, about feeling odd and peculiar and how sometimes I wish I had a normal life.

And then I was really confused and uncertain, because Jesus has so rarely let me know that He felt sad about something I was doing or feeling. It was unsettling, and I had to ask Him directly about it, why that was happening, and if He really wanted me to be emotionally authentic with Him.

Jesus reminded me of one of the chapters of Amy Carmichael’s book, where she had shared a short poem she had written, to capture something Jesus had poured into her heart:

      "I remember in times past almost desperately repeating to myself these lines, written as though spoken from the lips of our Lord:

“Am I not enough, My own-
      Not enough for you?
Am I not enough, My own?
      I, forever and alone,
I, needing you?”

      "It was a long time before I could honestly answer, "Yes, you alone are enough for me." I remember the turmoil of soul I experienced before committing myself to follow Him on whatever path He would lead- remember as if it were yesterday. But at last- oh, the rest that came to me when I lifted my head and followed! For in acceptance there lies peace.

      "God bless you and utterly satisfy your heart... with himself."

      -Carmichael, Amy "I Come Quietly to Meet You" Chp. 31 All Means All

Remembering this passage, I understood what Jesus was asking and also, that this was the level of intimacy that I had with Him now- Jesus was opening His heart to me as deeply as I opened mine to Him- He was being emotionally honest with me. He was doing this not to make me feel guilty, but to express Himself, to be heard or felt or received. This was how deep the level of mutual trust that there was between us.

So immediately, I said, “Sweetheart, even with all that, I love it. You know that I do, You know all things. Look at my heart and read it. You know what is there.”

The wonder of being so close to Jesus was all awash in me yesterday, when I thought about how much farther my understanding had grown by experience. Jesus was full of love and I was full of wonder and I just kept dropping into the moment, trustfully and completely being there, and Jesus was so present and strong.

Again, I remembered who He was with joy and I threw myself into His arms. I declared, with loving abandon, “I worship You!”

My head was close to His head and I whispered in His ear: “Your name is above all names,” and

Jesus turned His head and looked at me, with those incredibly deep, deep, intense eyes of His. And I was almost afraid, except that His eyes were deep like that because of unspeakable emotion that moved up from the depths of Him.

And at some point, the wonder of this washed through and through me, I said to Him, “This is how close I am to You!”

I remembered what Jesus had said, two years ago- This new creation, this union between you and I, this new life that comes of My life in you- this is unique, He had said, which such fierce delight and joy, wonder- which had confused me at the time, because I could not understand why He felt so strongly about it.

Now  I understand it more, but I also understood that everyone is a unique creation in Jesus, never to be seen before or after, irreplaceable, and I said, “Please take care of my ego so I can simply be secure in this, my place in You and focus purely on showing other’s their place.”

And we talked about that, and I was sure that was what I wanted. Then we moved through that naturally and then I was slipping into sleep. Then I woke and dreamed that dream I wrote about.

I was just thinking about this- about wishing to pass on to others the extraordinary uniqueness of their place in Him- how much He delights in who they are together in Him and He said to me, interrupting my thoughts- Then you must know it for yourself.

Now I have to write my anxiety out. I’ve been anxious all afternoon long, because of that blog I had posted.

Didn’t I give you that dream? Jesus reminded me.

“Yes,” I admitted.

Didn’t I tell you to post it? He continued.

“Well, yes,” I admitted.

Then Jesus reminded me that each believer is a stone that is being put together in His house and that He is the one in charge of each stone. He has all different kinds of unique stones and they are each in a different place in their walk and understanding with Him, and He knows where each is placed, and only He could see the whole, unbroken picture in a way that the rest of us cannot.

He said, Didn’t I tell you that you are a prophet?

“Well, yes,” I said.

I know this anxiety and guilt of old- it is out of proportion to reality, but my anxiety is so high I can’t reread the blog to remember it better. Anyway, I know the anxiety is out of proportion and it will pass away and I won’t even remember this whole afternoon until I reread this and think, oh yes! That time.

Eph. 6:19  My most urgent request is for clarity of utterance every time I open my mouth to speak. I desire that my words will be gifted with inspiration, boldly articulating the mystery of the gospel.

April 30, 2013 Journal

My anxiety is making it impossible to write. It continues to linger, though it has abated somewhat.

I finally commented on that person’s blog and their reply was strongly encouraging.

When I read it, Jesus immediately said, Is that not confirmation enough? Like, can you finally let go of your anxiety, sweetheart and just know that I’m using you?

May 2, 2013 Published Blog

I was in the stone house, in the front room that is open to the lawn. The outer wall is set with pillars, only the inner wall is solid. On the front room, there is a couch and on it, I am resting with Jesus, His head on my shoulder and I can see His dark hair. He is wearing His usual white robe.

Outside of the front room is a green lawn and beyond it are the woods. In the woods, I know there is a small steam, but I can’t see it right now, because I am facing inward, toward the inner room, and I am looking up at the ceiling.

For the first time, I see that the ceiling is white and there are beams across it that are black. It’s quite lovely and reminds me of rustic French homes. Also, I remember that the beams of the house are of cedar, from Song of Songs.

We are resting quietly, peacefully, and my thoughts are drifting loosely. I was thinking about how the woman who anointed Jesus before He died had broken the alabaster jar, how that signified she was holding nothing back, burning all her bridges and pouring everything of value out on Jesus.

I thought about how we are like jars of clay, cracked through and frail. I felt my own human frailty, a fragile piece of pottery with a webbing of cracks running all through me, hardly able to hold any weight and feeling as if I am never doing anything that matters- not loving enough, not strong enough, not clear enough.

"I'm a cracked pot," I confessed to Jesus.

Perfect, He murmured peacefully, not bothering to lift His head.

Released from guilt by His response, I was filled with a playful joy.

"You are a Man of few words, aren't You?" I teased.

With you.

I wondered what Jesus meant by that; I was trying to think if there was anything in the Scriptures that talked about if God is talkative or not. There didn't seem to be much material on the subject. In general it seemed that sometimes Jesus was at dinner parties and sometimes He was going off on His own to pray.

"So, with extroverts, are You extroverted?" I asked, mulling this over.

Jesus sat up and looked at me, His eyes bright. Would you like to see? He invited.

"What, now? You mean, like, right this moment?" I asked, taken aback.

Jesus caused me to know, by showing it to me, that there was something like a dinner party that was happening right then, that we could attend, if I wished. I could see it, a warm grouping of rooms set in the woods, some distance from where we were, with lots of glowing lights.

This was overwhelming to me, but I had been overwhelmed so many times before in that place that I simply said, "Okay! Why not. Sure."

Immediately, I was standing in the front room of that other house. I was receiving a lot of impressions very rapidly about how this house looked. It was like opening and closing one’s eyes quickly. This sometimes creates a confusing jumble of images and I have to stand still and rest in Jesus and re-center my faith before I can begin to sort through the images.

I could see that this was an Eastern house, of wood and colorful pillows and fringed silks and lanterns. Jesus was with me and we were standing in this lower room looking up into an interior room that was two or three steps up. It seemed to be evening. At first, the foyer had seemed empty, but then there seemed to be a lot of people around us.

I kept seeing the people moving around in a confusing way and I was having trouble getting my eyes to focus on them and I couldn’t at first tell how many people there were because of this overlapping of images. It seemed like the foyer was sometimes full of people moving around and greeting one another and myself. There was no doubt that they were full of joy and good humor, and were full of welcome.

One person came and greeted me by taking my hand. Though this startled me, I was able to receive their welcoming gesture with good faith, holding myself still. I shook his hand and then he leaned forward and kissed my forehead, which caused me to lean back in surprise, though I felt nothing but the loving acceptance and joyful recognition of this other person. It was as though he knew me, but I did not know him and still had a hard time focusing on his face.

I was drawn up the few stairs into a dining room with a low table and floor cushions. The walls were polished wood. It had a very Indian or south Asian feel. There seemed to be a lot of jewel colored fabrics everywhere. It was luxurious looking.

To one side was an open interior door and that opened to a side room, lower down and beyond that, it seemed there were windows into the yard. On the other side was also the same arrangement, but I couldn’t see clearly too far in either direction.

I was at the foot of the table, Jesus was at the top of the table, at its head. It was a long table. Sometimes it seemed so long that I couldn’t see everyone seated there, but it was never so long that I could not still see Jesus clearly at the head. I sometimes looked down the table at Jesus and caught His eye, which filled me with a little thrill of joy each time.

On the table were place settings before each person; I could see a gold plate, rimmed with bands of color and the utensils and goblets and napkins, all in a colorful jumble of not perfectly clear seeing. On the plate, I saw there seemed to be red pomegranate seeds. I ate one, just to see if I could. I could, but I couldn’t taste it.

I could not hear the conversation, though I could watch the gestures of the other dinner guests. Jesus, for example, did seem to be enjoying Himself very much, looking right at home, often laughing and gesturing freely with His hands. Every time I caught His eye, it was full of laughter.

I could clearly see the guest seated next to me at the corner of the table. This guest was dressed like an Indian princess, swathed from head to toe in turquoise silk, with gold embroidery, her eyes were beautiful. Looking at her, I heard the word, bride, and immediately I thought with warm recognition and fellow feeling, “Ah, she is a sister of mine!”

Next to this woman was an Asian man, dignified and self-contained, also dressed in silk, and further down there seemed to be other people, but I could not see them so well.

On the other side of the table, when I looked, I was startled to see a perfectly ordinary looking man- like a farmer from Idaho, with an open, generous, simple face, dressed in perfectly ordinary clothing. He seemed to radiate love and simple good will and patience.

Next to him was a taller, thinner man wearing a cowboy hat. He seemed to be full of down to earth insight, earthy good humor. He seemed to have a lined face; he looked older. Further down the table, I could not see.

As I was taking all this in, I felt a strange sensation, as though the atmosphere around me were rippling up. I looked around, but I could not see what it could be. The sensation came again, and I almost caught words. I began to wonder if maybe someone was speaking to me.

I tried to focus my eyes on the source of the possible sound, down the other end of the table. A young woman with dark curly hair came into focus, and this young woman did seem to be speaking to me- she was leaning forward, looking at me with love and interest and expectation.

I looked at Jesus beseechingly, because I couldn’t understand what was happening or what I was supposed to do.

He did not speak, but His eyes were full of love and understanding. So I leaned forward, cupping my hand around my ear and said, "I'm sorry, I'm not good at this, could you say that again?" and I strained to hear.

How are you? the young woman said, suddenly, clearly, like when you finally find the right station on the radio and the words jump out.

"How am I?" I replied, stunned by the ordinariness of this question, after all that effort just to hear it.

Then all the guests and Jesus just burst out laughing. The laughter swallowed me up. I knew I was the object of their merriment, but I did not feel bad or embarrassed; I felt loved.

"I've overwhelmed, that's how I am!" I declared, throwing my hands in the air with good humor. "I have no idea what's going on!"

Soon after, or right then, or sometime after, the dinner was over and the guests began to stand up, so I stood up as well. There was the usual jumble of confusion that accompanies movement but I saw that the others were going down into another room, which seemed to be a living room, with rugs and floor cushions. We went through that room and through the open doors to a green lawn and it seemed to be at night, which was the first time I had experienced night in that place.

I thought to myself, “Oh, they have a lawn like ours, only it looks out into a jungle, instead of the woods.” I went to the edge of the jungle and looked into the velvet shadows behind the vines and trees. It was peaceful.

There were stars in the sky above and a bonfire and chairs. I went to sit in one and suddenly saw that it was an ordinary camp chair, with striped canvass. These sorts of details both surprised and delighted me.

I sat down in the chair, which was next to Jesus, but then I pushed my chair back, so that I could see the whole scene of the fire and the starry sky and the velvet darkness of the jungle and people talking quietly and peacefully around the fire, watching all this and knowing that Jesus was there, with them.

Then Jesus began to tell a story, so I came back and sat down on the grass beside His chair. Jesus put His hand on my head for a moment and then went on talking. By this one gesture, and by the fact that His hand remained close to me, I knew I was loved.

I could not hear what He was saying, but I did not mind, because it was peaceful just to be there. It seemed as though I fell asleep. When I woke, it seemed as though hours had passed and the night had deepened and it was time to go, but this also seemed to happen in no time.

Then I found myself standing barefoot on the clean stone floor of the front room, and it was familiar and home.

(Sometime after posting this blog, I went back and copied it into my journal, and at that point I copied and pasted the following verses. They were what I had found when I was trying to look up anything that would help me understand what I had experienced.)

And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”
-Luke 13:23-30

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
and his loyal love endures!
Let those delivered by the Lord speak out,
those whom he delivered from the power of the enemy,
and gathered from foreign lands,
from east and west,
from north and south.
They wandered through the wilderness on a desert road;
they found no city in which to live.
They were hungry and thirsty;
they fainted from exhaustion.
They cried out to the Lord in their distress;
he delivered them from their troubles.
-Psalm 107:1-6

"Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the west;

I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’
Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth—

Everyone who is called by My name,
Whom I have created for My glory;
I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
-Isaiah 43:5-7

“Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east
And from the land of the west;
I will bring them back,
And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
They shall be My people
And I will be their God,
In truth and righteousness.'
-Zechariah 8















Friday, October 13, 2017

October 13th

May 16, 2017

“This is why,” I said to Jesus, as I rested in His arms, against His heart- that is why I can pray as He leads me to pray. Because when you are resting against His heart, and then when you pray, you are speaking face to face with Him, with one’s heart on fire with knowledge of who He is and what He wants.

You know Me, Jesus insisted, when faith took me further in, further into the heart of His presence.

Became aware of the most precious Holy Spirit and kissed His feet and poured out love and gratitude toward Him, doing this without words, because it was too much to explain to Him how fervently grateful I am that He brings me to Jesus, or Jesus to me, but in any case, makes possible communion with my Lord, and is making the channel clear and is dwelling in my heart and making me holy and convicting me and keeping me ready for my Lord.

Then I went to Jesus, and He was distinctly a different Person! I know this, but it is so delicious to experience the beauty of the Trinity. Not only was Jesus different, but He was irresistible and known and He attracted me more than anything in life, and I belonged to Him more completely than to anything else in life.

The Holy Spirit was telling me that this is because we were made for the Lord, and it was Their plan. We really are the Lord’s own flesh and blood. We have this bond with the Lord Jesus, because He is the Son of Man, because He became a human being, born of the virgin Mary, like us in every way although holy, sinless and beautifully obedient, and died in our place, that we might be drawn up into the life of God. We live in Him and through Him.

Placed my cheek against His heart and loved Him, loved Him, loved Him. His presence was more than usually tangible- almost solid, and I wondered if my love was getting to His heart.

All the way through, Jesus told me.

“All the way through,” I repeated, obediently believing it.

Like a tidal wave.

I grinned outwardly, I could not help it. It was too funny to think of my love going all the way through His heart like a tidal wave. I don’t feel as if my love could be that strong.

Don’t be shy, Jesus said, after I wrote all this down and then hesitated returning to Him for just that reason.

“There will be one more song (before this hour is over) and I will come back to You,” I assured Him.

May 17, 2017

“Lord…”

Felt His love, went inward, saw His face full of light, close to mine, then lost in distractions.

Saw Jesus smiling at me in the light.

Had another distracting thought, a tiny annoying one like a gnat. Sometimes these thoughts are like little suggestions of what seem like steps of faith, but they are more like steps of ritual in order to receive the desired end. They are annoying, but I just swatted it away, remembering what I had read yesterday.

It came over me in this wave of joy to realize that Jesus has not one shred of fear. He has absolutely no fear of my being led away by such things, no more than a shepherd would expect his sheep to cease from following his voice by the buzzing of some annoying gnat. There is no comparison between the voice of my Good Shepherd, and the small buzzing of a gnat.

If I even begin to swerve, and many times I do, because I can be stubborn and I don’t know what path Jesus is leading me on, and because I get distracted by things in the distance in the wrong direction and because sometimes I am afraid of what I think I see in the distance, no matter any of these things, Jesus always gets me right back on track with no alarm whatever.

I don’t have to be afraid, that is His word. In fact, Jesus commands me not to fear. “Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid, you trust in and rely on and cling to God; trust in and rely on and cling to Me,” Jesus said to His disciples, I remembered, as I was in His arms and His love was pouring sweet over me.

Small one, Jesus said, affectionately, when I returned to His arms.

“Like a tidal wave,” I remembered, because I was like a small exploding bomb of love in His arms, my heart seeming to burst with joy to realize where I was.

Believe it, Jesus said seriously.

“Well, it’s only what You deserve, You are that good,” I added, before going to Him.

Brushed away another thought, turned my attention toward Jesus gratefully. “My Good Shepherd!”

Beloved Jenny.

“Lord, You are sovereign, You are sovereign, Your Word is true and final, Lord, teach me Your word so that I might have it and hold it and be one who truly loves You,” I was whispering, because of how I was perceiving Jesus in that moment- with remembrance of all He did after He was resurrected and that I was with Him right then. My Lord did not answer in words, He answered in love, such love and I remembered that passage from Deuteronomy about cleaving to your God and loving and worshiping and serving and fearing only Him and how intimate worship is! Absolutely one cannot worship anyone or anything other than the Lord. It would be absolutely, unspeakably wrong.

The Lord will preserve my soul and guard my going in and my going out from now until forever more, because He is faithful, and jealousy is as strong as the grave, so He is the glory within and the wall of fire without.

“I’m overwhelmed,” I admitted, hesitating to return.

Come here, sweet Jenny.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered, realizing that distracting thoughts about some controversy had held me back from returning, even after His delightful invitation, and worried that He might be so offended that He would withdraw.

Jenny, I never leave you, Jesus assured me.

“Here I am,” I said, going inward, immediately drawn without words into the heart of His love. Jesus has a heart that is so open in love; His generosity and mercy are beyond understanding.

It’s covenant love, I realized. Covenant love is when you are all in, nothing withheld.

May 25, 2017

This morning has been a toilsome uphill climb where every bit of my muscle strength is needed for each step and my legs wobble under the load. Assailed by terrible doubts. Eventually had to be purposeful and direct, stating it as truth that Jesus Christ Himself has been with me all along and that He is faithful to convict and to guide- The Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the same Jesus who sat by the well in Samaria, is with me, I stated firmly, and I will have everything I need- guidance, confirmation, feedback, in the doing of His will.

After that, it was much, much better, and then I was able to go a step further and remember that the Lord Jesus has already been doing that, faithfully. He’s been doing that all along, and this is true.

The load of this blog is extremely heavy, but the Lord Jesus Christ always knows exactly what He is doing, and He always prepares His servants in advance, so that they have the ability when the time comes. Obedience beforehand makes for ability in the moment. If one has not obeyed in the past, the strength to follow through with present and future tasks will be lacking. People do need preparation in the Kingdom, this is a true thing- that’s what I am learning vividly in this experience.

I had to come to Jesus eventually by nothing by faith as well, because when I listened, what I saw was Him bend over me to feed me something, which was a clear and peaceful image, if swift, and then nothing more to indicate where He was. I realized I was never going to feel able to go to Him on my own, so I had better go to Jesus by only faith, so I did, as humbly as a beggar, pleading nothing but His blood and that He bid me come, and He welcomed me into His arms of love, filling me with awe and relief and I remembered at once that verse: that which teaches you the truth and is not a lie, that anointing remains on you and what it teaches you is to abide in Him.

June 1, 2017

"Oh, my Lord Jesus," I breathed, falling onto my knees in His presence.

I've got you, sweetheart.

“Yes, yes, You do.”

I made you for Myself, Jesus said to me, when I was pouring out my heart about the difficulty of beginning this new stage. He understands exactly why it's such a reach of my faith, but Jesus made me for Himself and I belong to Him and I am the work of His hands.

Such an intense longing for Jesus broke over me that it poured out in tongues.

Jenny, you break My heart, Jesus said quietly, because He feels it too, and because I can go to Him already, so it is very painful for Him when I pour out such intense longing, when Jesus is right there and I can turn to Him and be with Him, and let Him comfort me.

June 3, 2017

Making the climb to posting this weeks' backstory blog was one of the worst that I have ever known. I had to stop in the middle of the day and recognize the fact that I was under more warfare with doubt and fear than I can ever remember before, and the temptation to deny the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus by completely disbelieving His leading all along to this point was like a force of unyielding, blatant pressure coming from every side. It included appeals to intellectual pride and to protecting my self image, being mocked, and denials of the truth of Jesus Himself, or that Jesus wasn't letting me know that I was going the wrong way and that I was an embarrassment to Him and a detriment to His cause. The very force of it let me know that the blog must have something important in it, but as usual, I couldn’t see where the value lay. I just knew it must be there because it was being resisted so much, and I have learned to recognize this pattern over time.

So I had to stop and pull on some armor and set my feet right down on the Rock and say, “This is where I’m standing, right on the Rock, and the Lord Jesus Christ leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake, and He is a good, good Shepherd, and He is capable of telling me when I am going off the path, because His rod and His staff, they comfort me, and I can rest in that.”

Part of what made the anxiety worse this time was because I hadn’t had a chance to work on it until late in the week, and then I couldn't get back to it again until Thursday night. I have a greater battle with choosing trust over anxiety when the blog is sitting unfinished and I have to believe that I will be given both time and direction to finish it.

When I sat down on Thursday, I cried out to the Holy Spirit and thanked Him for leading me all along, and waited before Him until I could get my soul lined up with His faithfulness, handing the whole thing over to Him, and then I started to work.

Piece by piece the entire thing was straightened out. Everything I needed was given to me. I was told what wasn't necessary, what to rearrange for clearer understanding of ideas, and what Scriptures go in and where. I was carried right along, only I needed to be obedient. (I want to be clear that this direction from the Holy Spirit in no way makes my blog infallible. I am fallible and this is a personal testimony that requires careful discernment. But the strength and clarity of the Holy Spirit's guidance was particularly marked on this occasion.)

At one point, as I was in this flow, I thought about breaking from it to look for the piece of music that I wanted to put at the end, but the Holy Spirit very strongly insisted that I not do that at all, but that I continue to look for the Scripture. This direction from Him was extremely strong, and I obeyed, and I am very glad I did, because no song went at the end after all, and so looking for one would have been a waste of time and energy, and I had no energy to spare.

In fact, feeling exhausted and almost unable to continue, I had to stop midway, having been reminded at that point that those who wait upon the Lord renew their strength, and so I stopped and rested in the faith of the Lord being within always, and living in me, and His presence was there, and having been reassured by this, I went on with the work.

When I finished, I worshiped and thanked the Holy Spirit. I worshiped and thanked Him as I was still sitting in the chair, I worshiped and thanked Him by the side of the bed as I knelt down, I worshiped and thanked Him as I lay in bed. I poured out worship to Him, who had led me clearly, beautifully, and lifted off my shoulder every anxiety, every question.

I felt like declaring, “I will never, ever doubt again! Never again!” It's true that my faith was permanently made stronger by walking through this experience, but what that means is that the Lord Jesus will load more on me, and that will take me right to the edge of that ability, and so on and so forth, and I just must be willing to trust and obey always, with each step.

In completing this blog, I felt like I had reached a stronghold of faith, that I was shielded therein, the foundation built stronger. You see, it was so much harder to share this part of the backstory, because I myself had doubted those things when they were happening, and so to go back and pull them up into the strength and clarity of my present relationship with Jesus, and to set them in that light, required me to face them all again. That was the intensity.

I had to face and release old doubt and recognize that the Lord Jesus had led me then and He is leading me now. I would not be here with Jesus now if He had not been with me then. I am not two different persons. I myself was at that time under the leading and guidance of Jesus, and because of that, I am here at this point under His continuing leading and guidance, only now His work gives Him more credit, because He has been at work in me a long time. I was a very rough lump of clay at that time, but He is still the Potter. The transformation glorifies Jesus, because I am the vessel that He created me to be, and this is not happenstance or circumstance or self-created, this is His will, according to His own design and plan.

"Lord…” I said, after having written all this.

You will see Me and you will not be ashamed.

Been resting in His arms and I saw again a long trail of glory, the train of a wedding dress- it’s the train of the whole Bride altogether. (This has been shared before, but I share again here because this is chronologically where it fits.) I cannot describe how glorious this train is, because it is made up of all the works of faith and love that every believer has ever down for the Lord since the beginning of His church, including the martyrs then, and the martyrs in the Middle East now, and every desperate poor Christian who has put their faith in Him, given to Him something, believed in Him, served Him, from every age, and the suffering of some of those ages of history is so great it is almost past wrapping one’s mind around, and to put one’s trust in the name of Jesus at that time- the glory of that is thick, thick and heavy and gorgeous and dazzling with light.

This fabric is thick with glory, thick and heavy and ornate and most precious. Every precious thing is sewn on it, and it’s extremely heavy and the length is past description, because who can say how long all those acts of love and faith and hope and obedience and sacrifice and suffering for the Lord should go out toward, in the shadow of the cross and resurrection? The Lamb is worthy of all the glory.

“All I must be is obedient to You, all I must be is obedient to You,” I was saying in a rush of relief, humility and rightness, my head nestled against His living chest. My part of this glory is so very small, but all I must be is be just what He made me to be, and to fulfill just that which He ordained for me, and there will be no shame at the smallness, because I am the work of His hands and Jesus knows what He is doing.

“You can hold the “too much,”” I said to Jesus, giving Him the burden.

It’s never too much for Me, He replied.

August 15, 2017

I have been perfectly starving for Him and no amount of time with Him seems to be enough time. I was exhausted yesterday with a pounding headache and although I had a great deal to do yet in cleaning up, I went to lie down and though I kept almost falling asleep, I forced myself awake to remain with Jesus and He gave Himself to me in such a rich way.

I saw myself on the roof top, picking burs and things out of wool before it is spun. I was sitting in the strong sunlight, the wool was stretched thin out over the smooth surface of the roof and I was working, but I was hardly thinking of work. My entire being was caught up in thinking of Yeshua, because He belonged to me and I to Him and I had never dared to dream such a thing, but now I was living in it.

This knowledge ebbed and flowed, and at its height I could not move, could not breathe. It was like light shining incandescent and one cannot see at all, and so holds still, holds one’s breath, lost in the light. As this knowledge settled within me, the light ebbed enough so that I was able to pick the rough bits of sticks and burs out of the wool in serene contentment.

Yeshua was not far away, just in the workroom attached to the house complex, and sometimes amid His brother’s voices I could hear His voice. I was alive to His voice. Each time He spoke, even in the midst of the others, my heart responded like strings sounding out a chord. I was when I heard His voice that I was lost in the light.

I could remember Yeshua as I had known Him before- kind, but older and heavily mantled with the kind of dignity that comes from great internal strength of character that is perfectly balanced and effortlessly received from His knowledge of who He was. He was in the same village, but not related and generally not coming into my daily course of actions. I knew Him from the synagogue when sometimes He read from the Torah, and from assemblies that called the whole village together- the knock the olives from the trees and press it, or to bring the grain in and thresh it, or sometimes when I passed Him on the street and He looked at me, His eyes deep and quiet. I had known Him to be brilliant, holy, gentle and far away from me.

He was all those things still, but now a friend who was closer than a brother and I lived with Him in the house of His Father, and I was His. Just that- again and again, I saw myself on the roof, trying to see and breathe through the light of a quiet, out breaking joy, remembering when it was once impossible to speak to Him, impossible to ask about Him in a personal way or to draw close to Yeshua the beloved- between the Son and I were layers of walls, a great distance, and now there was no distance and the walls that had once divided us now formed the rooms where I lived with Him. When I went home, it was to Him.

September 11, 2017

I feel that I have turned a corner on a dangerous, harried season of my life that stretched from August into September and consisted of multiple family events, doctors’ appointments with corresponding frustration in not getting documents from the military on time, the first day of preschool and the trip to NH.

I’ve been trying to soak in Jesus every chance I get, trying to make up for the dryness of that week and the bustle of the weeks before, but as usual, I can’t stay awake as long as I would like to, or go to bed as early as I would like. Each year this will get easier and easier, however, and what I am learning in the meantime is to steward my time well.

As usual, when I first present myself to Jesus, I must repent- of irritability, wrong priorities, fear, impatience- all that ugly crop that is growing up so often during my day. But Jesus always forgives and He never gives up. He doesn’t love a theoretical me, He loves the actual me. This is why we will be on our faces before Him when we first see Him- because of His saving love.

Saw Him reach down and pull me, laughing, into His arms. But I was not quite ready for such a quick transition between repentance and joy, so I was not able to surrender to it. Jesus put His head down close to mine, His face peaceful, reminding me how close I had been to Him last evening. I had managed to soak in His arms to a good extent that time. I kept seeing livestock- sheep in particular. There seemed to be sheep all over Nazareth and it was a sunny day and Jesus was laughing for joy.

Came back to Him and settled in swiftly.

Ah, that’s it, Jesus said, approvingly.

Thought of His blood shed, and how it covers us and makes us new and how we are now living members of His own body and there isn’t any distance between members of one body. It would be strange for there to be awkwardness between a heart and the arteries, and how can there be any distance between the body and the head?

Filled with love to be so close to Him, watching His eyes, the expressions that pass quietly over His face. Not able yet to think about being with Him on the edge of eternity, but falling into the depths of joy that there are to know that He is with me. I can always find Him where He dwells.

Ended on the threshold, hearing in my spirit Jesus call my name, knowing that I would be hearing my name in His audible voice. His familiar voice was full of love, full of joy to be finally calling me that way, that I should be finally hearing the sound His divine voice resonating richly in His living human throat. Knew that I would be and seemed even then to be waking up to His arms wrapped around me as though He will never, ever let go, and Jesus is living and breathing and fully present, knowing that I have Him at last and will never lose Him. Nothing will ever take me away.

Calling Him by His name with my own voice, my human voice, calling the name of Jesus as I am in His arms, knowing that is the name of my Savior who went to the cross for me and now I am with Him and calling Him by name and looking at His bright, human face, the visible face of God. Knowing that He has saved me, has saved me now to the uttermost.

“I am Yours entirely,” I confessed with joy, because all that I am is due Him.

*

Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.

For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.

For still a little while (a very little while), and the Coming One will come and He will not delay.

But the just shall live by faith [My righteous servant shall live by his conviction respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, and holy fervor born of faith and conjoined with it]; and if he draws back and shrinks in fear, My soul has no delight or pleasure in him.

But our way is not that of those who draw back to eternal misery (perdition) and are utterly destroyed, but we are of those who believe [who cleave to and trust in and rely on God through Jesus Christ, the Messiah] and by faith preserve the soul.

-Hebrews 10:35-39



















Friday, October 6, 2017

Held Securely

April 28, 2013 Journal

Last night, immediately I was with Jesus. There was some mutual amusement over the ease of it and over the nervous energy that remained from reading those things I had found yesterday. He knew I was nervous- like stage fright and dubious and also excited. But I knew much better now, what I should do, which was to try and see.

And so immediately I went back up and began to try to see better. It was hard.

At first, I saw how the city stretched out all around the corner where I stood and there seemed to be a looming building inside the walls and opposite the gate but the dimensions seemed completely off, but that is how it was appearing.

I kept trying to figure out what was in the courtyard, but I could not. Nothing came into focus through the light. Indistinct shapes would loom up, but not take clear form. Then I went up the stairs of the massive building- I went very slowly, almost on my hands and knees, trying to see and to feel. There were times when I had to stop right where I was for a moment. Jesus was very patient with me.

I reached the open doorway and felt the door with my hands and then I saw the inside very clearly- the floor was made of beautiful rosy squares of stone arranged in patterns and there were huge gold pillars with flaming lamps, golden, hung from there, and windows high up in the wall, showing a blue sky with white clouds.

The entire space was full of light- shades of light- white, gold and rose. And at the back, there was another staircase and this rose up to a blinding light.

Upon seeing that, immediately I was huddled at the side of the room, sitting on the floor with my back to the wall, behind the line of pillars.

“Is that the Father?” I asked Jesus, in awe and fright. “Maybe I shouldn’t be here….”

I buried my face in His chest, above His heart; I was tucked under His arm and I heard someone say- It’s His little beloved!

I couldn’t see who was speaking- when I tried to see them, I saw light upon light, but I knew that was more than one person or being nearby and that they were kind and they sounded glad to see me. And furthermore, it struck me that they knew or identified me in terms of my relationship to Jesus- they understood that relationship and it sort of defined me.

Jesus pointed out a quiet, shady space that was to the side of the throne, so I said, okay and we were there. I saw how there was a space behind the throne, between it and the wall and the space was shady, quiet and peaceful. Immediately I thought of how Moses had asked God to show Himself and God had said, I will show my back to you, and I thought how the back of God is a safe place to be.

So we were sort of in the back place. Again, I got the impression that there were other people or beings there, but I couldn’t see them. But there was a door, or a curtained opening, so I went there and at first all I could see was darkness.

But I waited, sort of to allow my eyes to focus again- maybe after all the light in the larger room, my eyes needed to refocus. Then the seeing settled and I saw that it was a long veranda, pillared on one side and on the other side, doors in the wall.

There was the first door, and I passed that by. There seemed to be somebody waiting there. Then there was another door and I opened that and it was a room full of gold.

I turned to Jesus, puzzled. “Gold?” I asked Him, thinking that was odd, that God should care about gold. “What does the gold mean?”

Jesus gave me the most loving glance ever and He said, so lovingly, you know what it means.

I remembered Jesus showing me that gold was acts of love and then I realized that it was the storehouse of loving acts that God loves to remember- because He remembers all our lives, but He especially treasures the acts of love.

I went to the next door and I opened it and there was someone kneeling there and Jesus said the room was for intercessory prayer.

I was full of awe and quickly closed the door. I felt that I could, in fact, go on exploring, but I was so worried about further interrupting something or someone holy that I went back to the throne room, because in part, I knew it wasn't a private chamber.

I knew Jesus wanted me to go up to the Father and I kept trying- I kept climbing up the stairs on my hands and knees, because it was overwhelming, but I couldn't make it all the way up. At one point, I said to Jesus, anxiously, “What does the Father want with me? What will He want to do with me? What does He expect from this meeting?”

Jesus did not give me an exact reason, but caused me to understand that there was some freedom for mutual relationship to develop, not a set ritual or exchange.

At one point, I thought, I’m such a child in this place, I’ll just go up the stairs like the little child that I am, so immediately I saw myself about two years old- just a toddler, really and I went willingly up the stairs, but as soon as I looked up into the blinding light of the Father, knowing that the unseeable Father was hidden in the light, I got scared and I ended up standing on the stairs bawling exactly like a little toddler would.

Immediately someone that I couldn't see came and scooped me up in their loving arms- I don’t know who or what- and they passed me to Jesus who cradled me lovingly in His arms and was comforting.

Then I moved out of that seeing and thought, I have no idea how I’m going to approach the Father. I hid behind the throne at one point and tentatively reached my hand up and the Father reached His hand down and our fingertips brushed.

Immediately I put my fingertips to my cheek and then to the stone and then to my mouth, in wonder, as though to be sure they were mine and not burnt to a crisp by the holiness of touching God.

I had no sense, all this time, that the Father was in any way impatient. Jesus reminded me that I had sometimes, of myself, gone up to the Father- and I remembered those times.

Finally, I tried to simply be present, to be present in myself and present in the experience and present to the Father and I made it up the stairs and into the edge of the light and it was as though the Father were a figure of a man that I could not see clearly in the light, and He knelt beside me in a similar posture to the way Jesus has, many times, to comfort me, and the Father held onto me under my arms, at my rib cage and held me securely, reassuringly and He spoke to me.

But what He first said, I don’t remember. What I remember first was my asking Him, "You aren’t angry or disappointed in me?"

And He said, How could I be angry at you? You love My Son.

And I remembered that verse, but I knew that wasn’t anything I could take credit for, so I said, “but You made me that way.”

And the Father bent down closer and He whispered in my ear, you were Mine first.

These words echoed all through me and it was as though I could see down through or past time, to that point.

And I gave you to Him, the Father finished.

Then, at that point or later, the Father said lovingly, you may go now- not in the sense of trying to be formal, but knowing that I was desperate not to offend Him and that I wasn’t sure what was expected and so giving me permission so I wouldn’t feel guilty.

He released me and I sunk down so slowly, like a leaf, down through the air and then into our rooms and Jesus was there and He took me by the elbows and pulled me into His arms and everything was clear and comforting and He put His face on my hair.

He said, I’m pleased with you… No, listen, He added, curtailing my immediate and usual protest. Listen and take this in: I’m pleased with you.

I felt this shy wonder. “Even when I made so many bumbling attempting that must have been so embarrassing for You?”

Even then. I'm not upset about that, that’s expected, He replied.

I was aware of how comfortable a home those rooms are, and it was much easier to be trustingly present there, to be present to Jesus and His love washed over me like a tide.

“You long for me,” I said to Him, in wonder.

All the time, He said.

I worshiped and adored and loved and cherished Him. I had an easier time staying in the moment, though it seemed we were caught up in flames that I could not see, but that enclosed us. I was able to stay.

April 29, 2013 Published Blog

I had a dream early this morning.

I was resting in the embrace of Jesus and then I slipped into a dream. I was standing on some lush, green landscape that somehow I knew.

However, I began to rise up into the air, slowly at first. I saw the trees and then the hills and then the landscape open up below me.

Then there were clouds and the ocean and then I was moving faster and I saw the earth spinning, blue and white, in the blackness of space.

For a moment, I thought I was going to fall and I felt suddenly afraid. But immediately I felt arms wrapped strong around my waist; I knew that embrace. He whispered in my ear, it's Me and I relaxed immediately, both into His arms and into the dream.

We moved backward, it seemed, deeper and deeper into space and I could see the lighted globes of planets and the spinning arms of galaxies streaking past. I began to wonder why this was happening and then we stopped.

I turned in the Beloved's embrace and looked at Him. His face was so grave and so serious that I wondered for a moment if I was with the Father and not the Son or perhaps the Trinity personified.

In the dream or experience, I didn't pause to try and understand this, I just moved through it, with the confidence of long intimacy and love. I said, "Which One are You? Show me Your hand."

And He did and I saw the nail marks, so I knew it was the Son. "Oh, it's You," I said, smiling at Jesus with love and He smiled back at me.

Then it was as though I was drifting through space in His arms and there were other people, but I wasn't sure if they were actually there or not. But one of them made a loving gesture and my heart warmed.

I thought, "Ah, love!"

And it was as though the loving gesture was something bright tossed up into the galaxies and it made all the stars shine brighter.

Then in the dream, it was as though this man and the Beloved were dancing to jive music in the sky. It was joyful and free and spontaneous and full of love. (It reminded me of scenes from The Fiddler on the Roof.)

The dream began to change- the space around them began to get compressed, more and more, until God and the man could not dance and were instead tightly confined into a small, flat, narrow box that was locked.

Immediately I was angry and dismissive. "This is just a dream," I said to myself. "This is just a dream after all, because no one can lock God in a box."

I tossed the lid of the box open as a gesture of contempt for the idea. It came open like those old cellar doors that were used to close off the stairs to the outside- like cellar bulkhead doors.

I was about to discard the dream and think about something else when Jesus whispered in my ear, Wait and look.

So I actually looked at the dream scene in front of me and this feeling of awe and understanding slowly washed over me.

The flat box was not lying in space or in the ground; it was lying in a church aisle, up near the pulpit. To each side of it were the wooden pews and the inside of church walls with narrow, pointed windows.

The box was open and inside, I could see God and the man. God was holding the man in His arms. Behind them was the entire galaxy, resting right there in the middle of the white washed rows of wooden pews and plank wood walls.

This box was like a hot box- a flat, narrow box that slave holders and Japanese prison camp guards used to torture their slaves and prisoners by locking them in during the long hot days.

But the box was not confined, even so! It was filled with the boundlessness of space- with Life, because God was there. No one can put God in a box and make Him smaller; He carries everything that He is with Him.

Abusive religion masquerading as sacred and living tradition can try to lock a person away from God with rigid, legalistic boxes, but God stays with that person, holding them close in His arms, even in the hot box, and because God is there, all of Life is there.

They are held in Love, even when they don't know it or think it impossible for God to be with them in their hell. But He is. He always is. His love and life are there and sooner or later, those doors will come open.

*

I always want everything-

to be everything
to do everything

in order to please everyone

it’s like a bottomless pit that appears
after pulling the curtain back
and you can’t take a step for the darkness
that comes after the light

you- you yourself- were held
right where you were

and even when you couldn’t
you were held

and now to step out, you appear on the edge
of the dark of
doing everything perfectly
that stretches down below you
into everything you want to be and do
for everyone else’s approval
endlessly.

In that moment, wait.

wait and let your eyes adjust after
the light- the light of being loved
that filled you right
where you were,
in the moment where you couldn’t

and you will see it’s not a pit
it’s an avenue, open to
the airy sky on one side
and smaller rooms
to the other

those doors are choices
and you are free to open them,
to see what lies within.

in one is treasured love
in the other, intercessory prayer

in either room, other people
are quietly at work,
but they don’t mind you
coming in and looking-

they know that you are searching
they know who you’re with.

i can’t ever be the voice that
says it all perfectly.

i can only be one part of a
larger tapestry.

and when i become present
even through the fear,
i can walk right up the stair
into the edge of the timeless light,
and, even just as I am,
be held securely.

-May 1, 2013