I want to share a memory of a time I had with the Lord. It was the day after Valentine’s Day, I believe. Valentine’s Day had been especially hard on me that year. Not because this was my first year without my husband, but because I stood alone with my children on that day while around me, families went to the front of the church up to the altar for a family a blessing.
My kids were everywhere but with me and I honestly just did not want to proceed, but I felt God prompting me to go for the family blessing that all families were receiving with their children, parents and grandparents. I found it so difficult.. I was torn in shame and failure at having finally given up the fight to save my marriage.
As I walked up alone, I was fighting tears and my heart felt defeated and isolated; abandoned. I was given some love, understanding and a blessing from my pastors. But I longed for the day when my family would stand whole with me. Healed. Whole. Loving God by choice. Choosing to be together. To this day, I am choking back tears at the thought of that. It seems so far and so unreachable. Yet I hang on to a well-worn thread of hope. A thread that is frayed and bares too much weight for it’s thin countenance to carry. Yet I cling to it.
The next evening, I visited the church for our ladies’ ministry evening. Always a favourite time of the week for me to attend. The hoopah was still standing in the church (a traditional Hebrew tent that was sometimes used for weddings – otherwise known as the tent of covenants). I felt drawn towards this special place as if God was personally calling me to come and sit with Him underneath this covenant tent. As I stared at it with the bruise of the previous day’s events on my heart. I did not want to go. As much as I did not want to approach it and enter the day before, even more so did I not want to enter that day.
I stared and walked around the sanctuary while praising God, my heart so in love with Him even though I was avoiding the place that I knew He wanted me to be. The sanctuary was filled with sweet praises as we all lost ourselves in the sweetness of loving our dear Father’s presence. I felt Him around me beckoning me and drawing me to the place I had hurt in so much the day before.
Reluctantly and like a petulant child I went to my Father. Even as I approached, the tears were welling. I was full of self pity, full of hurt, full of the feelings that I usually buried but that were way too close to the service for my emotional comfort. I was tired of the isolation. Tired of the loneliness. Tired of the ever-present battles in my life that I fought alone. No support. No friends. No parent to reach out to. No miracle in my life to help me through the little things. No miracles in my life to help me through the big things. And yet I always had a sense of God’s presence and love. I just wanted a break. I just needed some love. Desperate for either, for both, for anything to remind me that I was precious, valued, here for a reason.
The hoopah was against the window wall and I crawled to it and laid down in the corner, just asking God to comfort my soul as I praised Him the best that I could. Still the waves of abandonment and rejection, hopelessness and despair were washing over me. Yet I sat there in obedience.
I started to feel safer there; that I did not have to feel what I felt the day before and it brought me peace. I felt a warmth – His warmth there with me and I relaxed. I started to feel the breeze of His spirit surrounding me and I smiled. Awestruck by His faithfulness; awestruck by His love for me, as insignificant and worthless as I felt, He was making sure that I knew that He loved me. Humbled by my own lack of faith and His grace, I sat in amazement. I praised Him in joy, feeling His arms surround me. I laid there for a while in a sleepy joy and started to drift away, but He had other plans for me.
In my spirit I saw an angel standing right before me. We were in another place. I was lying in the same position that I had been on, yet I was now on a bed in a cluttered room and this exquisite angel was before me with wings and garments of gold. I had never imagined garments of gold on an angel and that, coupled with His excessive size, was a surprise to me. He was friendly enough but silent. He stood before me and there was an overwhelming sense of purpose about him. I looked at him wondering at the whole situation and started to thank God for sending him to bless me with the gift of seeing him. I was caught up in this moment of worshiping God and an overwhelming sense of warmth came over me.. like I was suddenly in a toasty warm place. He was pouring oil out of a small clay vial over me and smiling. I was truly overwhelmed! I was so grateful as this feeling brimmed up within me.. filling me to overflowing. The joy was overwhelming as my heart filled with such peace, joy, thankfulness and sense of incredible love from my Father. I basked in it, letting it fill me. Letting it spill over me. Every inch of my being saturated in this feeling. I thanked God. I thanked the angel for serving God and for serving me from God’s ordinance. I praised. I worshiped. I loved Him.
The angel drew closer to me and put his hands in front of his face as if to drink water from them and he started to blow from his hands to have his breath fall over me. This part is difficult to describe, but all I can say is that there was a sweet, shimmering, brilliant dust that came from his hands and sprinkled over me covering me in my resting place. Truly I was in awe and to this day, I do not know the significance of that beautiful powder landing all over me. It covered me until I was glowing from head to toe. The joy within me was immeasurable. I was beside myself and captivated by my joy and thankfulness. I felt my sense of undeserved grace but knew that I was so in need of this blessing that I just sat and received. One of the most beautiful moments of my life, to say the least.
The angel stood before me but walked a bit away from me through a doorway, inviting me to come with him. I followed him and saw him then preparing a table. He laid out the plates, the forks and the knives. It was a very simple and almost rough-looking wooden table as you would expect to see in a simple cottage in the woods. He set every chair just so. Every plate just so. All in its place to his meticulous satisfaction.
He pulled a chair out in invitation for me to sit at the table. There was no one else there, but some started to appear in garments of the ancient days. I had a feeling that I was sitting with some of the people of the bible that I had come to love so much over the years, yet we did not speak. There was a sense to me that I was waiting for something. And then the words “His banner over me is love”. My anticipation heightened and I heard murmuring. building and building. Now like a rumbling. Like the approaching of many horses, it built and built and then I heard it. A whisper, but clear as day, the anticipation covering me with chill bumps as I heard them say “the bridegroom is coming, the bridegroom is coming… the bridegroom is coming!!!”
And then it was gone. I sat in awe. I am awed to this day when I think of it.