I had the idea for this post today while I was doing my "Weekly Home Blessing Hour", and debated on whether or not to share it with you because it's hard to be vulnerable with people. But I felt like someone (if not myself) needed to read it. I hope this story blesses you.
I was listening to Sandi Patty's album "Le Voyage" (it's one of my favorites to "clean" to). A favorite song of mine, "The Tenderlands," which I've sung many times, touched me in a sweet and special way today. The kind of way where you just know God is speaking just to you! And when God speaks...everything stops... and we just listen. He reminded me of a special time that I've had a hard time explaining before, but since I write better than I speak (for the most part), I'll try to write about it.
One part of the song says...
The world is pure where mercy lives
This heart becomes the grace He gives
His gentle words I understand
They rise as mist in the Tenderlands
Mercy lay down, hold me within your arms
Rock me sweetly, cover me with your smile....
While listening to this verse I was overcome with thankfulness and began to cry tears of joy. I knew God was saying, "Remember, I love you. Remember when I showed you." Like I said, this is hard to explain, but I'm going to try......
There was nothing in particular going on in my life at the time. Things were good, life was good and I was between awake and sleep on this unimpressive morning. I think it was the weekend, a Saturday if I remember correctly. I just know that nothing special was going on. But I do KNOW, as well as I know my name that I had an encounter with Jesus Christ! Just when I least expected it!
In those early hours, I began dreaming of Him, but I was conscious enough to also know that I was awake. I KNOW one thing for sure, I was in HIS presence. We were just sitting and talking together...being together. He reached out to embrace me. And that's when I completely awoke. I awoke in Jesus' arms!!! I felt them, I KNEW He was holding me. I can't explain the FLOOD of PEACE that washed over me. Nothing else mattered and everything was ok. And then I heard a still, small voice say, "You're enough." Of all the things Jesus, the Son of God could have told me, He was telling me that I was enough. He was saying that I was enough for Him? WHAT? Jesus, the Savior, the Prince of Peace, the Bright and Morning Star, The Alpha and the Omega, the I AM is telling me that I am enough for Him? It still blows my mind! As I lay there with my eyes still closed, the tears began to flow. Oh how I thanked Him! Oh how I praised Him! Oh how I adored Him! All at once, and all in my heart. My lips couldn't speak what I was feeling. It was too great, too sacred, too precious and too holy. "This must just be a tiny taste of the glory of Heaven," I thought. I didn't want to move, afraid He would leave...I wanted to stay in His arms forever and be "enough." In His perfect and sweet time, He did leave, and I raised out of my bed, changed. You can't help it...when you meet Him, when He becomes really REAL to you, you never forget it! And I certainly never have.
It doesn't really matter to me whether or not you believe me. You can think I'm a zealot, or making it all up, or that I'm just plain crazy. But just like no one can take my salvation, or pluck me out of God's hand, no one can take that experience away from me! Let me tell you friend, God is big! God is bigger than our wildest imagination and you can't put Him in a box. For some reason, Jesus decided on a Saturday morning, Earth time, to come visit Angie Howard and tell her He loved her. I mean, if He can love us so much that He would die on a cross for our sins, why can't He reveal Himself to us and show us personally? The answer is, He's God, He can do whatever He wants. I've heard other similar testimonies...God, just showing up and loving on His kids, so I know I'm not the only one.
There's no need for me to explain God. I can't. I just know that He became REAL to me in a way I had never felt before and have never felt since. Yes, I've felt His presence many times. You can't spend time with Him and serve Him and NOT ever feel He's near. But this time was special. And that encounter has carried me through some dark times.
So I guess I shared this with you to let you know that you are not alone. And just like He told me, "You are enough!" I hope you will open up your heart and let Him speak that to you, because it's the truth. He loves you just the way you are...the way He made you. Oh how I needed to hear that today!
Thank you Lord. I love you!!!