Close encounters of the God kind
Every life has a story.
Every journey has a destination.
The weekend retreat was interesting, and at times a bit troubling. This or that makes me feel like . . . was the prescribed dialogue technique between husband and wife.
Well, we were always open to new horizons, new adventures. As the saying goes, been there, done that, now what?
Then The Call came! A different invitation extended. I would be in a different chair, a different setting, and positioned for a dramatic encounter.
Ring! Ring! Ring, ring...
We wanted to extend an invitation to a deeper marriage weekend. It has been a long while since we have asked new couples to come to this weekend. We were in prayer, and felt we were to invite you!
This new weekend was called a sharing weekend. There were teachings, but it differed from the first. On the first weekend the sharing times were intimate, spouses sent off alone to dialogue. This weekend the sharing was open, spoken out to the entire group.
This format set the stage for the most impacting, powerful lunch break of my life!
The sobs broke through the noise of the very crowded room.
It broke through the talk, laughter, and din of clattering dishes.
Those mournful sobs. . .
What in the world was happening? What has this woman been through, what was surfacing, who would come to her aid? I felt sure everyone must have been asking these very questions.
As I stood gazing, people spontaneously began to join hands. They started praying The Lord's Prayer as one voice.
Suddenly GOD was in the room! It was as if a light rose on her face. She was shining! The tears disappeared, and it was evident to all that something happened to her, in her. I stood stunned, wondering, chills running up and down me.
One thing I knew, GOD was no longer an entity in space. He, God, had entered that very room. Little did I know then, that something would soon happen to me, in me, and I would never be the same!
Thus, the pursuit began.
Where does one go to pursue God?
Herein I stood days later. I knew that I had experienced something incredibly powerful. I also strongly felt that if I did not apprehend it, I would lose it forever. It would quickly relegate to the archives, filed under Close encounters of the God kind.
I went to the church of my childhood and prayed. I prayed for, of all things, an agreement with God. I wanted something that would allow an attachment. I wanted something that would bond me, so that I would not lose that Presence.
In the days ahead, as we attended the related marriage sharing groups, I caught snatches of conversation. It was almost as if people were whispering in the corners, speaking of secret things. I heard Holy Spirit, healing, miracles, baptism, and other such snippets.
Finally, someone came to us and explained. They told us that what was true in the Book of Acts was true for our day. God was still doing these very things.
Growing up in the Catholic faith, I believed the doctrine of Christ's redemption. Our new friends of the same tradition explained that we had to make that personal. We needed to give our lives over to Jesus Christ. We needed to invite Him into our heart. I had never heard this, despite my 12-year Catholic school background.
They invited us to a prayer meeting and told us they would meet us there. Before they ever arrived, there was an announcement. All who desired the Baptism in the Holy Spirit were to go into the sanctuary. I told my husband that we needed to go, despite not knowing what this meant.
I recognized the words from the seeming whispers of the group. I knew there was a Presence that I wanted to apprehend. I wanted the God who invaded that space in time. I wanted to apprehend, and have Him apprehended me. I wanted a personal God who was involved in this life.
I opened the little booklet they gave us. The very first thing my eyes fell upon were the words -
Covenant with God
There it was before me, that which I asked for, an agreement with God!
Next, I would find myself a marked woman . . .
This is part 2 in the series Every life has a story
*For a free on-line school, free PDF books written by Barb and more information on walking and living in the Spirit go to Midway Ministries
Photo by Ilovestrawberries