My Encounter with the God of Love
I suffered from an anxiety disorder most of my life. In addition to this disorder, I felt shame and unworthy of God’s love and grace even though I had been a Christian for almost 20 years. But now, I can’t deny I’m loved.
In September 2012, I found myself sitting in a prayer service thanks to the strong urging
of a good friend. I remember listening to the live praise music and other Christians around me worshiping God with a love and adoration I didn’t yet understand. I felt nothing. After months of crying and begging God to pull me out of a desperate situation that had only deepened my anxiety and depression, I was completely drained.
“I know you’re real and powerful God, but where are you?” I remember thinking.
The prayer service message that night was all about oppression, mental and physical bondage and how our spirits are affected by these things. As the prayer director spoke, I realized I was the person who needed to hear the message.
“What an odd coincidence,” I remember thinking. But now I know it was a divine appointment.
When the message concluded, there was an opportunity for prayer and worship before we were dismissed. That’s when I felt a tug on my heart as if God was saying, “Go ask for prayer” – so I went to the alter. As the prayer director began to pray over me, she motioned for an intercessor to join us. The girl who assisted didn’t know my story, but immediately said words I’ll never forget, “God wants you to know He hears your cries. You think He’s not listening; but He hears you, and He loves you. He calls you His precious daughter.”
After the young intercessor spoke, the prayer director placed her hand on my forehead and prayed for God to break the hold of spiritual oppression and restore my joy. Suddenly, I was overcome with an immediate feeling of immense love and joy. It struck me so hard and so fast that I felt like I might stagger backwards during the prayer, and that’s when the surprise giggles started — and I could stop, but I didn’t want it to end. During prayer, joy and happiness overpowered me, and the silly giggles increased into laughter. I felt the love of the Father completely engulf me, sweeping away the pain and the darkness I suffered for so many years.
When the prayer ended, I realized I was a different person. My anxiety disorder was gone and peace had replaced it. I undeniably know God loves me. I will never question His love for me again. For the first time in my life, I have learned to trust with my whole heart.
Thank you for reading my story, and I hope it has encouraged you.
My Savior’s Embrace
I want to share a beautiful vision with you that I had about a month ago. At the time, I was walking through a set of trials and was asking God to protect me, give me peace, and guide my steps. On the eve of the climax of the trials, I had a dream of tremendous peace. In many ways, I am still speechless by the captivating imagery that flooded my mind.
I found myself standing in a long, white gown inside an alabaster building. At first, I wondered where I was because everything seemed unfamiliar, but I quickly realized I was inside a gazebo nestled within a garden.
My breath echoed softly throughout the stone building, providing a complimentary rhythm to the gentle flapping of the luxurious purple curtains hanging across the entrance. I listened to the comforting sounds as I slowly walked across the cool floor towards a window overlooking the garden.
As I looked through the window, my eyes were immediately drawn to the vibrant wildflowers filling a meadow before me. They overwhelmed my senses in a vibrant kaleidoscope of rainbow colors as they swayed and nodded to the wind. I stared upon them for a long moment, enjoying their silent song, but they paled in comparison to the man who stood among them.
The man in the flowers was slender and adorned in a purple robe. His shoulder-length chestnut colored hair played gently in the breeze, joining the flowers in their harmonious dance. The man appeared to notice me the moment I saw him and slowly lifted his arms towards me, beckoning me to come to him. Although he never said his name, I knew it was Jesus.
Excitement welled within my soul as I quickly ran out of the gazebo and down the alabaster steps. I bound through the flowers towards Jesus; but the more I ran, the more I realized he was the same distance away as when I started. I stopped running and stared at him curiously for a moment, realizing I couldn’t reach him.
“Don’t come to me. I will come to you,” his voice echoed gently in my mind.
“Okay,” I obeyed as I closed my eyes, focusing on his words.
As I stood very still, I felt his comforting arms across my back and shoulders; and I leaned my head into his chest. I drank in the scent of his robe which smelled of the sweetest roses and wildflowers. The warmth of his embrace and the rise and fall of his chest comforted me the most. I couldn’t help but think it was a similar embrace to one my father and mother gave me as a child to comfort and protect me from the pains of this life.
“Don’t leave,” I begged as I opened my eyes and gazed upon the flowers around us.
“I’m always with you. Trust me to protect you,” he assured.
“I will,” I promised.
For the first time in my life, I remembered His words and trusted Him completely to protect me, and He did! He is always faithful.
In His love,