If you are reading the following, I have felt led to share from my heart with you. I pray that it might touch your heart and encourage and inspire you in some way. The experience I am sharing was an awakening, a time of enlightenment that has changed my life. The prayer I prayed from my heart and my Father God’s response is pretty amazing to me. May you find it to a source of encouragement and may it stir you to know Him more intimately and may He reveal Himself to you in a more real way than you have ever known before. The post takes place over the course of a week.
Monday, June 6th
I awakened and began my usual morning routine. I put the coffee on to brew, a few stretches to get my muscles limbered up and then on to the bonus room to catch-up on the overnight news. However, something for some reason did not feel quite right; I felt something in the air, an expectancy or anticipation of sorts that something out of the ordinary was on the brink of happening. It really wasn’t a good feeling or even a bad feeling, just somehow I felt different. I am usually quite intuitive, yet I did not have a leading one way or the other about what was going on in the air, but something out of the ordinary was about to happen.
The more I thought about my feelings, the more I prayed. I felt somewhat of heaviness in my chest. As a mother and wife, my thoughts were toward my family. I had the strong sense to pray for their safety and I felt like I wanted to keep them safe and have them to remain close to home and only go and do what was absolutely necessary over that day and the next couple of days. Tara canceled her plans for a trip out of state for a concert, Tiffany and Andrew stayed close to work and home and Randy and I decided to carpool together into Nashville for work.
I dropped him off at work and headed on into my job. When I arrived, I still felt an anticipation hanging in the air. It kind of felt like a sensation when you know something is going to surprise you; you may not know when or where, but you are going to get a surprise. You know when someone lets you in on the secret that something big is going to happen, that is the way I felt this particular morning! I proceeded to open the store as usual and called a fellow co-worker at the other store and she mentioned I sounded a little “different or funny”. I asked what she meant and her response was “you sound excited and a little anxious”. I was trying to mask my uneasiness, but apparently I wasn’t doing a very good job. I hung up and started to pray again. There was this gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach, I prayed again for protection about my family and my extended family. I began to pray for them one by one and rebuked the enemy from any of his ploys and devices to infiltrate, attempt to kill, steal and destroy from any of us. After a while, I began to feel the growling in my stomach stop and heaviness lifted from my chest as I began to sing a few of my favorite praise and worship songs. It seemed I entered into a deep place of worship and I began to feel a presence very real and begin to get stronger. I felt very light, weightless almost as I walked around the store praying and singing. I sensed the presence of the Lord very strongly and I cried uncontrollably like a baby for what seemed like many hours. I felt a warm, soothing calmness melt over my body, like melted candle wax. I knew I was experiencing the presence of God.
Two and a half hours had passed and around 12:30, a customer parked outside and I watched as she approached the door; I walked quickly to the bathroom to clean myself up. As I glanced in the mirror, the reflection I saw was a face that looked all pulled together, no tear or snot stains smearing my cheeks. Wow, I know I had been crying, but I looked OK now. I communicated quite well, answered the customer’s questions, sold her an office chair and took care of six other customers throughout the day. The sales for the day were incredible. The rest of the day sailed by very quickly. I closed at 6:00 and picked up Randy and we headed home. I listened as he talked about his day’s business, I heard his voice and the words, but I felt as if it was only my body present. My mind and my spirit were still preoccupied elsewhere.
Wednesday, June 8th
Over the next couple of days, I walked around in a mist of euphoria, floating around in a cloud. I felt as if I not totally conscious, kind of a “not all there” state. Randy teases me and says I am like that a lot anyway, you know the “blonde” thing. I grew tired and sleepy early in the evening, so every night I went to bed early, before midnight. I slept peacefully, awakened well rested in the morning and at sunrise my feet were on the floor raring to start my day before the alarm at 6:00. My appetite for food was gone so I fasted for a few days. I felt an incredible peace, nothing to worry about and I felt that even if something bad were to happen, I was going to be alright and God would carry me through just fine. I had such an amazing sense of wellbeing! All I knew was that GOD had visited me at work and had done something inside of me; like a cleansing, a healing of sorts and a renewing in my mind and body. I felt alive and I was loving life!
Friday, June 10th
As the days passed, I realized I had an acute awareness to all that surrounded me. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings were intensified and I felt exhilarated. I felt no aches or pains that tend to come along naturally with aging and being nearly 50. I actually lost a couple pounds, my clothes were fitting nicely. I felt happy, giggly and almost giddy like a teenager. Tara accused me of being on a “Jesus High”. Tiffany said, “Mom, whatever it is you are taking and doing, I want it too.” My reflection in the mirror portrayed eyes that were brighter and skin that looked smoother and hair that was softer and shinier. I had several complements that week on how well rested and youthful and radiant I looked. I had not done anything differently, but something had happened to me and my whole body was a reflection of it. I felt lighter, rejuvenated and full of life. Whatever had happened to me, it was ALL good and I was enjoying it. I was able to talk and communicate more clearly, openly and speak my mind without the fear of intimidation and being rejected or misunderstood. My words were precise, not jumbled on my tongue as I spoke. I listened better, no interrupting and my sensitivity level was heightened even more so than usual. I cried more those few days at all the beauty and love I witnessed everywhere and in everyone. People began asking me what was up with me; they could see a difference and wanted to know. All I could logically come up with was that I had been in the presence of God for a few hours at work. I really wanted to know for sure, so I started a prayer mission to find out what happened.
Monday, June 13th
I was off work and the night before I made plans to sleep in. I awakened at 5:30 and could not go back to sleep. I felt rested, so I got up, made coffee and instead of listening to the news, I grabbed my Bible and a journal and headed outside to the back yard and my deck. I do not know why I grabbed my journal, I had not written anything in it for many, many years. My passion for writing and my ability to write a simple card had stopped thirteen years ago, when something devastating and traumatic happened to me. I could, not for the life of me, get my thoughts or prayers to fall onto the paper. A dear friend that is a gifted and talented writer encouraged me to “write whatever comes to your mind and as you exercise that gift, it will return”. I tried, buying this pretty leather bound journal and a pack of my favorite blue gel pens; I had all the tools, but there were no words, no thoughts, nothing! No success, nothing was there, nothing was in me. My words had been stifled; the enemy had stolen my passion and gift. It was dead and no amount of my trying could resuscitate that which was dead inside of me.
But GOD! The previous Monday morning, something had happened to me and now it was about to be revealed. Something inside was stirring, brewing, cooking, a quickening and about to come to life. God was breathing life into me and the grave clothes I had worn for so long were coming loose, I was being resurrected. Something new and fresh was being birthed inside of me.
As I sat with my fresh, hot coffee the sun had just come up over the horizon. The birds were stirring for their morning breakfast, the squirrels were scampering around from tree to tree and the cows in the pasture behind my house were heading down the back field to graze for the day. I pulled my sweater around my shoulders, closed my eyes, inhaled deep through my nostrils and exhaling I said, “Good morning Father! Good morning Jesus and good morning Holy Spirit! I would very much like for You reveal to me what happened and would You show me what creative healing You have done in my body, my mind and my spirit. Would You bring to my remembrance and let me know what I prayed and what You did to me the day at work and show me what You have for me to do and let me know You are not finished with me yet?” With that prayer, I opened to my empty pages in my journal and with pen in hand, this is what I wrote:
“Oh Holy Lord of all and my Heavenly Father, I long to be in your presence. I long to be more like Your Son and my Savior Jesus. I long to be like Jesus in every way possible. I ask you to let me be like Jesus-Let me be His voice, let me be His words, let me be His hands, His touch, His smile, His laugh, His eyes, His feet, His mind……. Let me say with all humility, ‘Not my will, but Thine be done’, let me be Jesus in this flesh here on Earth. Let me have His awareness-so infinitely and fine tuned to the cries of Your people with broken dreams, promises and lives. The very things that break His heart let mine be broken too. Let me see with His eyes, the beauty and worth in each individual. The compassion He felt- let it move me into action. An action that will let me do something for someone else that may go unnoticed. Let me speak words of life- not death, words of affirmation- not condemnation, words of truth-not lies, words that build up-not tear down, words of love-not hate, words of faith-not fear. Let me touch someone else that is in pain, hurting and bleeding from the attack of satan and that is left to die. Let me touch with healing hands, like Jesus, and let the same anointing flow through my fingers to apply the balm of Gilead upon the wounds of the hurting. Let me be there, where the hurting are, the ones that no one else sees.
“As I continue to seek you and desire more of you, let me be stronger: physically, mentally and spiritually. Do not allow me to put up walls as barriers, withdraw and pull away, or push people away, keeping them at a good distance. Bring people into my life and across my path to share the ‘good news’ of Your Son as their answer to the endless searching.
“Open doors and windows of opportunity for my personal growth stretch and expand my boundaries, making room for Your will to be done in my life and through me. Help me to see the big picture and the end results of your handy work. Help me to advance the gospel to this generation.
“Let me have an open heart, mind and spirit. Open my eyes and help me to not let opportunities to pass me by, but prepare me, enable me and equip me to know when, where and how to jump head first into new adventures. Let me seize the moment, embrace it and grow from each one; becoming more like Jesus, and resting assured You are in it! You designed and gave it to me.
“I refuse to be paralyzed with fear any longer, fearing what someone may think or say about me. I will not be afraid or inconvenienced by changes, I will quit second guessing and over analyzing every little thing that happens. I will cooperate and have a grateful, cheerful heart in all that transpires for me. I will have an open and trusting mind and accept Your plan for me. I know beyond a shadow of doubt, You love me so much and You will not allow me to stumble down a path that hasn’t already been mapped out by Your hand. I will follow Your directions, listening for that still, small whisper of Yours, leading me where and when I should go. Everything that happens to me is You! Everything is in YOUR hands. My life is not mine, I belong to You and I humbly acknowledge how awesomely, amazing You are and I surrender my life, my dreams, my plans, my goals, my wishes, my desires, my hopes and my talents at Your feet. I will not pick them up again, to only make a mess of ‘doing it my way’! I accept Your will for my life, what I have left to give. You know oh, so much better, what is best for me. You won’t hurt, disappoint or leave me. You are my all.
“Let me enjoy and relish and marvel at each new day and Your creations. Let me love and unconditionally accept the ones You bring into my life. You have given me another chance to be Jesus. I will walk in truth, forgiveness, love, peace, humility, faith and favor. I walk with a confidence and a knowing that You have made me whole, free and unique. I will greet each sunrise with a fresh, new anointing and an exuberant smile to show the world how great it is to be daughter of The Most High King. I will delight myself in Your words and I choose to enjoy my life you have given me. I will love and show kindness to my family and friends and my fellow mankind. I choose to look and see You in their eyes and know You created them and we are together at this moment, ‘for such a time as this’.
All these things I pray in the Name of Your Precious Son, Jesus Christ! Amen!”
As I sat contemplating, after writing four whole pages, I read aloud. As tears streamed down my face, I knew that a miracle had just taken place. The words I read were from my heart, the very inner most part of my soul. I had just written something after all the years and times trying and never succeeding….finally I had put words onto paper. I have desired to exist and live from within His Presence always, all the time and to simply be Jesus all the time, to everyone I meet. I desired to touch people and leave a positive mark upon them. I want to encourage, inspire and lift them up.
The sun was so warm now as the wind rustled through the trees; I closed my eyes to simply welcome His presence. I longed for this quiet, intimate time together, just me and Him. When I say I physically felt His arms come from behind me, pulling me close and enveloping me, I am not exaggerating. I actually thought Randy had come up from behind me, but he had not. I felt as if Father God pulled me to Him, through Him and into Him. Our bodies felt as if they were meshed as one body. Into my right ear I felt His breath and He whispered;
“Tonya, My Sweet, Beloved Daughter, I have heard your heart and its cry and just as you have searched for Me and reached out to Me, you found Me. I am always here. You found a special place In My Heart. I know you, I know your heart’s desire and I hear your cry, I feel your pain. You have come to Me, do you not know that I long to carry you away, Into Me. I desire a deeper, a more intimate, and more intricately designed relationship with you. I long for a sweet communion with you.
“I have so much to share with you, My heart to your heart sharing. I have removed all the obstacles and all the debris from your past and now your path Into Me, is clean and clear. Nothing stands in your way any longer, My gate is unlocked, My door is always open and I stand with arms out stretched wide to welcome you anytime, into My Presence. From within ‘Our Sacred, Secret Place of My Heart’, you have found the greatest gift and from here you will begin to birth new things; My Purpose, My design, My Will and My Plan in and through you, so ‘Write it down’!
“There is still so much for you to do for this generation; open and prepare your heart, look around seeing with new eyes, be ready to move and ready to act when I say, because I have already made a way, preparing the way in advance for you.
“I search for hearts like yours; hearts willing and hearts able to hear My voice when I speak, hearts that will accept my instructions, hearts that will move and obey, hearts that will go forth into action when I say ‘now is the time’. Do not question, never doubt the ones I bring into your life, your steps are approved of Me and I ordered each one in advance. Just love Me, trust Me, have faith in Me, let go, giving your will into Mine and I will do the rest.
“My precious daughter, Come Into Me as oft as you will. Just as you have searched to quench your thirst, you were really searching for Me. Once you taste of Me, you are refreshed, renewed and you will never thirst again. When you are In Me, I am all you need. Do not leave My presence; In Me is where you belong. I am with you always.
“Forever in My arms is where you belong, our Secret, Sacred Place, in My Presence you are truly fulfilled and content. I am here, you are here, and I love you with an everlasting love, My precious Daughter!”
This was a message from my Heavenly Father directly to me. He loves me and He heard my prayer. My life long search is finally over and now I have the answer to all that I have ever wanted.
One thing I know for certain, I am no longer content nor satisfied with a mere glimpse of Him while worshiping in a church service where He shows up, or praying at Him, petitioning Him to move on my behalf with a “to do list”. He is not a puppet, going about doing as we command. I have settled and compromised too often for the occasional taste and touch of His Presence, but Father God longs and desires for each one of us to live, to move, to breathe and to operate on earth from within His Presence. For us to be fully aware that He is everywhere, with us all the time. I am so ashamed to admit, that even though I know I am saved and have been for many years, I have abused and neglected my personal relationship with Him. Too often the cares and concerns of my day to day life with all the demands and obligations have not allowed time to develop a deep personal relationship with Him. I realize there is always going to be something or someone that demands top priority in my life, but, if I do not make time for Him, my life will be chaotic, lack peace, rest and be void of the strength I need to function in a healthy way. God is my center, in and through Him I am able to stay focused, balanced and on point. After this amazing, awe- inspiring experience I had with Him, the peace and euphoric high I have now, I never want to go back to the way I was existing prior.
I see through eyes that behold beauty, grace, mercy and forgiveness. I no longer feel as if I am walking through life searching and looking for something I have misplaced or forgotten; I have found it in Him. I do not feel as if something is lost or missing; it is in Him. I do not feel the huge hole and void in my heart that has been broken and bruised so many times; He has mended all the broken pieces and put my heart together. I do not feel uncertainty or nervous or fearful any longer; He is my strength, my source and my rock. He has made me stronger, smarter and wiser for I have the mind of Christ. My Father God desired me, I felt something stirring on the inside of me that morning when I prayed and He was there. This experience has changed me. I feel I have been enlightened and I have experienced an awakening and I have a new revelation of who God is and what His plan and purpose for my life is. I have a mandate and direct order from my Him. The gift of being able to pick up a pen and write again about what transpired and His words spoken to me has such deep meaning and it is so intense, burning deep within my soul. Mere words can barely describe what I feel. I feel full, complete, whole and overflowing with this Godly love. My mind is clear, my heart is open and as I grasp the pen and write the words my Father gives me to write, my gift was given back to me, I will write and share what is on my heart; words written from my heart. I pray they will be words that will encourage and enlighten and challenge and inspire people to become conscious of their actions, words and thoughts. That they may be challenged to do better, act better, think better and arise to a higher level of living and existing in the presence of God. I believe that as I exercise my gift I will become stronger and more fluent with my words and that they will bring healing and they will bring life and light to the darkness that is present in our world we live.
My prayer is that you too will be encouraged, draw strength and a desire to press into Father God and allow Him to draw you Into Him. You, my friend are very precious to Him. He loves you so much and He is absolutely crazy about you. He will meet you where you are, run into His open arms and crawl up into His big lap, take a deep breath, inhaling His sweet aroma and exhale all the cares and burdens you were never meant to carry. In exchange, He will give you peace and rest. He loves you with an everlasting love. I truly thank-you for taking this time to read and listen to my words written from my heart.
“Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor… Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”
~ Mother Theresa ~