Restoration or Resolution? (Part 1)

phototake-rm-hives_urticaria_skin_rash

Hives (Urticaria)
© Scott Camazine / Phototake

Many years ago, when my world came crashing down, so did my body.  It very simply gave way to complete and utter exhaustion brought on by the previous trauma and stress and my unsuccessful coping mechanisms.  My whole body broke out in hives from the tip of my head to the bottoms of my feet.  If you have never had hives, I cannot begin to tell you how horrible they are!

The itching was relentless; the wheals raised and nasty; the stress level even higher than it was.  So after a trip to the doctor and a shot, I was hoping for some relief.  None followed since the shot made me so agitated I could do nothing but walk the floors all night long.  A lion caged comes to mind.

The next morning I went back to the doctor, and this time got a shot once again to calm me down.  It did.  Blissfully put me right to sleep.

But I was on the edge of something.  Something that was taking me down fast: grief, heartache, sleep deprivation, working my body to the point of exhaustion in order not to think.  And it was kicking my butt.

That’s when the sister (once again) stepped in and made decisions for me.  She and Terah found the perfect spot for restoration: the Eagle’s Nest.  My favorite scripture is Isaiah 40:31, so when my sister leaned into my face and said, “It’s called the Eagle’s Nest,” I knew I had to go.

On a cold and blustery, snowing day, the two of them took me to this sanctuary and left me.  All alone.  Just me and God.  There were many, many God moments that were supernatural in nature during my stay at the Eagle’s Nest.  After all, God is supernatural.  But one moment in particular that I have pondered on for a decade is the dream in which my future was being discussed.  The general concensus in the dream by whomever was deciding my fate was “Send her to Thessalonica.”

Wikipedia

Wikipedia Panoramic view of Thessalonica with Mount Olympus in the background.

Having been raised in church, I knew that Thessalonica was one of the cities of the New Testament, and I woke up realizing that I should read Thessalonians.  But I was mad at God.  A lot had happened in my life that year and over the previous several years that made me feel as though God had thrown me into the desert alone, to be devoured by elements and circumstances beyond my control.  And apparently His control as well.  There was no way I was going to Thessalonica or anywhere else I felt He was guiding me.

But as is the way with supernatural activity, the God way, I was so drawn to read the books of Thessalonians that there was nothing I could do but sit down and get out my Bible and read.

At that first reading I was overwhelmed with the message that God would restore my family, for my family was in chaos.  And that gave me the hope, I suppose, to continue fighting, continue coming up for air and trying desperately to pull those I loved up with me. But after years filled with disappointments of that restoration, I began to question my interpretation of Thessalonians.

“Had it truly been a message of restoration?”

(to be continued)

The Star of Bethlehem

A few Christmases ago, I went with a couple of friends to an Amy Grant  and Vince Gill concert.  On the way home a falling star fell in front of the car I was driving.  It was so bright that it looked like it fell right on the pavement in front of us.  Unbelievably awesome!!  I can’t begin to tell you what an experience that was.  Every Christmas I remember it and am wowed all over again by that powerful sight.

bright star

So as I put up my stable scene of Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus, and all the other participants on that amazing night, the star that led the kings from far away to find the Christ Child was on my mind.  This star had to be magnificent, out of the ordinary to the nth degree.  It would have stayed stationary, unlike the stars that come and go as our earth turns.  The group of three would have been able to see that they were getting closer and closer to it until they stood directly underneath it.  I can’t imagine the feeling of finally arriving at the location I had studied from afar and placed its GPS location by a faint but brightly burning star, burning ever brighter the closer I came.

Were these three the only ones who were privy to such a star?

Did they see the star?

Did God hide it from the eyes of the masses?  To those people who qualify all that happens in the world through science and logic, the answer is a scoffing no; those people include the Spirit God among the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.  But for those of us who have experienced the supernatural, who know for a fact that there is an intelligent force much greater than ourselves, someone we call the Father God, we know that anything is possible.

The Bible talks about signs and wonders, and they come in many shapes and forms, human and inanimate, powerful and gentle, roaring and whispering, joyful and heartbreaking, explained and mysterious.

My blindingly bright falling star was a wonder.  A wonder that reminds me every Christmas season of the power of the Son God, the power to give life to the dying, a new birth.

May you experience the supernatural this Christmas, for that is what the Christ Child is:  a spiritual experience outside the boundaries of earth.

starry night full of wonder