It has been a difficult season for me, being sandwiched between the needs of my children and my mom. I feel so busy, so responsible, and so drained that it is almost suffocating.
Yet, all this is pushing me deeper into God. I am asking for strength and for wisdom. I am asking for His love to flow through me when I am empty. I am listening for His voice. He has answered me with the most beautiful string of encounters with His presence.
One – The Wind
One February night I was having a quiet time in my room. I turned on some “Bethel Without Words” and just sat in the music. I felt God’s presence. It was like a wind blowing through me and around me. I was reminded of my childhood, when I used to climb the maple tree in my front yard. I loved to climb as high as I could, until the branches got thin enough to sway gently in the wind. I felt a breathless exhilaration. I felt peace and joy. I felt the wind.
“That was me,” I heard God whisper. “The wind was my presence. I have always been with you, even before you knew me.”
The presence of God was so sweet. It blew away my fears and left me feeling refreshed and new and loved. I practiced trying to find this “Wind of His Presence” during the course of my day; when I was stressed about all I had to do, when I was worried that I wasn’t enough, when I felt my frustration rise and my sanity shaken. I would close my eyes and feel the wind softly rock me back and forth, like a mother rocking her baby. I was safe and loved, and this reality was where I wanted to live every hour of every day.
Two – The Heartbeat of Love
About two weeks later I was enjoying worship at my church on a Sunday morning. It is so easy to connect with the presence of God in that place. I felt the wind again. Then it began to pulse through me like a heartbeat. I began to awaken to the truth that this love was also pulsing through everything everywhere…All THE TIME! The universe was founded and built by His love. It is operating and expanding by His love still. This love is alive and active like the wind blowing, like a river flowing, like blood being pumped through every cell.
This was challenging my current world view. I had seen the world as a very cold and hard place much of the time, full of dangers and toxins that I had to protect my children from. Many scenes that flashed through my mind were not pretty; broken down cities full of corruption, once beautiful wilds polluted and dying, great mountains of decaying garbage inhabited by sick and hopeless humanity. Yet God was telling me that His love was pulsing through all of this. Scenes of great evil, people experiencing unspeakable horrors at the hands of other people, also flashed through my mind.
“There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still…”
I knew that Corrie ten Boom had said this after living through a concentration camp, but now God was telling me that it was really true. HIS LOVE IS EVERYWHERE! Of course there is a lot in this world that IS NOT love, that IS NOT part of God’s original plan.
But His love is still there, bigger and stronger. If only we could be aware of it. If others have found His love in the depths of darkness, certainly I could find it in every circumstance of my life. If His love can bring redemption from the worst of the worst, certainly He can do the same in my slightly messed up life! When I began to look at the trials as potential miracles, my burdens began to turn to wonder.
Three – The Eagles and the Wind
In the following weeks, I practiced feeling God’s heartbeat of love pulsing all around me and in me. I imagined it flowing thought everything I looked at. I imagined it touching everything I thought about. Many times I would feel the wind of His presence, so full of love.
At the same time, I found myself searching the sky for eagles. I know that there probably aren’t many eagles around here, but I was eager to see any bird of prey. God speaks to me so often through nature, and right then I had an obsession with eagles. It started when I wrote the article, A Cure for the Negativity that is All Around , in which I told about a vision I had about 12 years ago. I saw a nest full of baby eagles on the side of a rocky cliff.
God said, “You are eagles and you are to raise your children like eagles.”
Eagles play a huge part in the visions that Rick Joyner tells about in the Final Quest Series. The eagles seemed to represent the prophets, flying high enough to see clearly what others cannot see. They instruct, encourage, and warn the other believers. They bring refreshing winds of healing when they flap their great wings. They set believers free when they devour the snakes of shame. They carried many scars from the battles they had fought with courage. The Final Quest books have impacted me deeply. I have read them many times and felt challenged and uplifted each time. A small, timid voice inside my heart would say, “Perhaps I am meant to be an eagle.” My mind would quickly dismiss the silly thought…until I remembered that vision.
I still didn’t understand how I could be an eagle in the spirit, but I wanted to find out. So I began to search the skies for a sign. Perhaps if I caught sight of the noble creatures (even a hawk would do!), they could teach me something. As I drove through the country to the farm I frequent once a week, I would see large birds high the sky. I would marvel at their freedom and wonder what they were seeing.
“How I wish I could fly up there like an eagle! How I wish I could feel the wind as they do and see as they see!” I thought to myself.
As I watched, I realized that they usually didn’t work hard or even flap their wings. They simply allowed the wind to carry them.
“The Wind of my Presence will lift you up so you can see like an eagle. Being in my presence is the key to the vision you desire,” I heard the Spirit of God say to me.
In a split second He married my two obsessions, the wind and the eagle. I wasn’t crazy! God was taking me on a journey that I didn’t understand, but it seemed as though He wanted me to be an eagle as much as I wanted to be one!
The scripture I received at the Women’s Encounter brought all of these encounters into focus for me.
Psalm 27:4-5 “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life (His presence – YES! That is what I want more than anything!), to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.” (That’s where my baby eagles and I live! That is where He is positioning me!)
Four – The Sky and the Ocean
One Evening in April I was attending Women’s Prayer at my church. The worship that night was simply a play list on a cell phone plugged into the sound system, yet I felt the Presence of the Lord so deeply. I felt His love pulsing through me! I felt His wind! I imagined stretching my wings. The beautiful wind lifted me high above the earth, above my circumstances, above the doubt and fear and anger of this world. I could see that all was love, all was victory, all was good.
Right at that moment a song came on that I didn’t know, but the vocalist was singing about the wind of God.
“I can feel your wind blow through me. All of me cries out for all of you!”
The words perfectly captured what was going on in my spirit. (Later the leader told me that she hadn’t picked that song and didn’t know why it had come on…but I did!) I was soaring on the inside and feeling incredible freedom and peace. Then I encountered the clouds in the sky. I became the rain, falling to the earth. I became part of the great waterfall that Hannah Hurnard talked about in Hinds’ Feet on High Places. I was one of those happy drops of water, throwing themselves down from the High Places with thrilling abandon to be broken on the rocks below. We continued to flow to the lowest place, down to the Valley of Humiliation to bring life and love to suffering humanity. The water persisted in its journey until it reached the ocean. And there I was, water in the depths of the ocean. I could lay my life down to bring His love in the lowest place.
The wind and the rain
The Sky and the Ocean
“This is what I am offering you. This is the necklace from your dream.” The Father whispered.
Then I remembered necklace and my dream (God Encounters ~ Part One)! The beautiful silver necklace with light blue jewels each inlaid with smaller dark blue gems.
The light blue was the wind.
The dark blue was the rain.
The light blue was the Sky.
The light blue was the Ocean.
The Sky was limitless freedom and potential and vision.
The Ocean was His Love and Peace in darkness and suffering, humility and servant-hood.
My Father was offering me the vast expanse of the Sky and the deepest depths of the Ocean.
How could I, an imperfect mortal be worthy of such a gift? How could I even understand such a gift? How could I ever accept it and live in its reality? Then the answer came.
“You can’t work for this. You are my daughter. This is your inheritance. Just accept it.”
So in my spirit that night, I accepted the gift that I could barely comprehend. My Father, the King, placed the necklace around my neck and clasped it in the back. It felt light. This was no burden! This was no heavy yoke! This was the Sky and the Ocean…and it was mine.