My friend Mary (not my daughter-in-law, though she’s also my friend!) has a new name for me, Adventure Girl! We just got back from our latest adventure in which I had the privilege and joy of being her traveling companion. We left last Tuesday, and we crammed a lot into our six days together. Before reaching our final destination (a leadership conference at a church in Newnan, Georgia, to which she’d been invited) we stopped in North Carolina and there visited with some of her family and friends as well as attended a meeting with a gathering of artists in someone’s home. She had been invited to talk about prophetic art, a subject near and dear to her heart. After she spoke, she went around the room and prophesied over each person in attendance (including her mom–that would be a stretch for anyone!), and hit bull’s eye after bull’s eye. Prophecy can be an amazing encouragement to the body of Christ. It certainly was in this instance!
Thursday we traveled to Georgia and stayed with Nancy Moelk who, along with Richard Kinney, have a counseling ministry called Firehouse Ministries (I’ve counseled with Richard in the past). That was the first night we slept in the same room, with me on the floor on a futon and Mary in the bed. Sometime around 3 a.m. on Friday I heard rustling and recognized that she was having an encounter of some sort. Then I heard her say “Oh!” as if she’d had an epiphany. When it got quiet I ventured to ask, “Are you okay, Mary?” She said she’d had a jolt of electricity shoot through her left shoulder and down her body and had asked God what were the lightnings of God. He told her “The Presence, the Power, and the Love.” (PPL no longer means Pennsylvania Power and Light to me!) I’m not sure what I said next or if I asked her something about it, but she got down off the bed and prayed for me, putting her hand on my head and just saying, “Rewire” (which is what she’d heard she was to pray). She asked me if I felt anything and I said no, just that her hand was warm. She, on the other hand, felt all kinds of electrical stuff going on in her hand, and things started to happen in the room. She tried to get back up and said, “Oh, Patti, the weight of glory in this room!” She couldn’t stand up!!! So she reached over and grabbed her pillow and laid down beside me on the futon.
Then she started to describe what she was seeing, starting with lights. At one point I did see something shining in from outside through a slit in the room-darkening curtains (we were out in the country–the room was so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face!). We thought maybe it was a car but didn’t hear anything, and the lights didn’t move the way they would if a car was going by. They kind of flashed a little. She went on to describe more of what she saw (including some angels) and I’m thinking how cool it was (even though I couldn’t see it). She tried to get up again (big mistake, lol), and this time fell back down like a ton of bricks–and I mean a ton! It sounded as if a 500-pound lead weight hit the floor (and she was only halfway up). I’ll never forget that thud. I don’t get why I don’t feel things when they obviously affect her and others, but I was able to get up without any problem. I realized later that had she not told me what was going on, I would never have known. I didn’t really see what she was seeing or experience the weightiness of His presence and I so wish I was more sensitive to this type of thing. Made me wonder how many times I’ve missed the holy because of my spiritual dullness :(
During the day that day I got discouraged, perhaps due in part to the fact that I feel sometimes as if I’m never going to get this. I mean really, what’s it going to take? I’ve had great teaching, prayer, impartation, fasted, and gone after God, so why doesn’t God just touch me too? I’m sure that would fix a few things! Then again, perhaps it would be too much and “splinter” my brain…. Anyway, if you’ve ever seen that scene in the original Star Wars when Luke Skywalker is training with Yoda and keeps asking him when he (Yoda) is going to take him to meet the Jedi Master (not realizing of course that Yoda is the master himself), that’s kind of what I was feeling like (i.e., impatient). I was becoming increasingly frustrated with where I was and wanting to get there already. At one point Luke goes off on a rant and I think even says, “I don’t even know what I’m doing here!” and Yoda sighs and says, “I can’t teach him, the boy has no patience.” Of course Luke realizes his mistake and tries to argue that he IS ready and then goes on to say he’s not afraid. When I’m tempted to say that (I’m not afraid), I think of Yoda’s answer. In the afternoon at one point I was talking with a pastor’s wife (wondering inside what I was doing there–which is when the scene I mentioned “played” in my mind) and I shared with her that I didn’t really know who I was. That’s significant, btw, so remember that.
Anyway that evening after worship and before the service started the speaker prophesied over a few people in the room, the last being Mary. We were in the second row and he walked over, called his wife up to stand behind her and lay hands on her and then put his hand on her head and said, “Fire!” Anyone who knows Mary will say that’s not something she needs more of, lol. I was trying to look serious but having a hard time holding it together because it was funny to me (and to Mary and the other people who knew her!), not that God was making her shake and bake but because it was like throwing gasoline on a fire that’s already burning! And she laughed throughout the shaking. His word was really a good one and blessed her. She was already blessed, though, because during worship she prayed for someone and they had an encounter with God and got healed of 25 years of back pain! She told me that God had shown her in a vision what she was to do (and this included covering him with her prayer shawl) after which she was to pray and then walk away. The weight of glory came on him and he dropped to his knees (which he had hated to do because he could never get back up without crawling to some stairs as a result of said pain). At some point as he’s having this encounter he reached back to pull his shirt down and realized it didn’t hurt. So he tried to straighten up (he was bowed down to the ground) and could! It was amazing! He is completely pain free! :)
But despite all these miracles, by the time we got into bed I was more than a little down and barely holding it together. When the lights went out I let the tears come and asked God please not to reveal to Mary what was going on. Even though I would have loved to have talked with her I knew she was exhausted. Years back my mom tried to stifle a sneeze and had a brain aneurysm. I was trying to stifle sobs and felt as if my heart was going to explode. It took me a while to fall asleep and just as I did Mary sat up in bed and started yelling orders to someone! Talk about an adrenaline rush! She only said a couple of lines and then said, “Oh, these DREAMS!” and laid back down. So I pretty much tossed and turned the rest of the night. But in the morning, in the morning as I’m sitting there on my futon about half dizzy from lack of sleep Mary comes out of the bathroom and says, “Holy Spirit told me to tell you who you are is love.” Wow. Shift happens.
We traveled back to Charlotte that night and had our first good night’s sleep the whole trip (which was good because we were traveling home the next day). In the morning she gave me an answer to another question. We’d talked before we went to sleep about the fact that I’m on a journey into feeling again and I was wondering what shut them down in the first place. Mary said that she was given two words, “Don’t feel” and believed that’s what I told myself when I was very young as a result of some painful and/or scary things. So basically I taught myself not to feel but that wasn’t a bad thing because it was the means of protecting my heart. I don’t believe you unlearn things (our brains weren’t made that way), but you can relearn/renew the mind in such a way as to effect change.
I need to spend more time alone with God. I’ve known that for a while actually, but between the busy schedule and how (for want a better word) “awkward” I feel before God, it seems to be neglected when it fact it should be my first priority. Real intimacy scares me. And I wonder, if I’ve been so far off balance in the feelings department, when the big shift comes will I swing equally as far in the other direction? That could be REALLY scary, especially for those around me, lol. Perhaps that’s what would happen if I had a big encounter, I’d be so shaken to the core that I’d be out of control. In any event, God knows what He’s doing, and I trust Him. I’m excited to be able to feel again, even though I realize that not all feelings are pleasant. The thing is that it all comes from the same faucet emotionally, so in order to protect from the bad I’ve missed out on a lot of the good. I look forward to catching up :)