I wrote out this conversation I had with Holy Spirit at least a year ago. When I say conversation, I don’t mean that I hear an audible voice. It’s more like a thought that isn’t mine, and aligns with what I know He is like from scripture. Jesus said, “My sheep will hear my voice and another voice they will not follow.” As a little lamb, I am learning to listen. I try to tune in. I share this to encourage others who are in a deep, dark place and don’t know how long they will be there. He is with you. He will sustain you. He will rescue you, because He delights in you.
Me-This is awful.
Him- I can make it beautiful.
Me- I don’t know how to walk through this.
Him- I know how to carry you.
Me- What’s going to happen to me? To my family?
Him- Just keep your eyes on Me, child. That’s enough for you to do right now.
Me- Ok. (I relax into His arms.)
Him- You can rest or daydream about good times. Whatever you want to do to keep your mind at peace. I’ll be right here. Don’t worry about that other stuff. I’ve got it.
Him- And don’t try too hard to be perfect, or pray, or something. Just talk to me if something’s on your mind, and don’t worry about it if your mind wanders. It’s ok. We’re together. It doesn’t get holier than that. Don’t make it harder than it already is. I know this is hard for you. It hurts Me, too.
I thought of the bucket of my tears and the much larger bucket of the tears He cried for me.* I knew it was true, so I smiled that happy, sad smile I give Him a lot these days, because although I’m happy that He’s here with me, I know it hurts Him, too.
He reads my mind and says- I want to be here. Nowhere in creation I’d rather be.
I know it’s true. I remember the price He paid to be with me. The love in His eyes overwhelms me. Somehow in this suffering there are moments when I feel lucky, because He’s here. He knows this place like no one else can know it.
He never leaves.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d be healthy in an instant if I could. Soon, I hope to be. He’d be with me there doing a happy dance. Every step would be a thank You, every restored experience a celebration. Laughter and tears would be mixed into a whole new brew that I’ve needed to taste for so long.
Others would dance with me, too. Fewer would cry with me, fewer still would listen to how it really feels to be here. And stay. Only One will do it all. He reminds me of Gethsemane often. Emmanuel-God with us. He knows how it feels. He knows. Every minute. That’s why I’m lucky. He died and was raised so that He could be here through it all. Comforter. Until you go through the valley of the shadow, you don’t know what that’s worth. I’m sure that I haven’t understood completely. It’s so priceless, but I’ve seen glimpses.
And these glimpses take me deeper into Love, into pools, and rivers and oceans of Love. And I’m freer than I’ve ever been, even while I’m still in bed. His Presence takes me there. His Constance sustains me. His joy and approval wash away all the heavy burdens. His Light penetrates the darkest night. And I know I’ll be ok whatever comes.
When I leave that Light for a moment, I’m not so sure. The fugue takes over. I don’t know where I am caught in this dark fog. I don’t know who I am or how I got here. I run aimlessly in the dark.
So I’ll stay in the Light, as if my life depends on it, because maybe all of our lives really do.
* This imagery comes from a beautiful experience related in Wendy Alec’s Visions of Heaven, a book that I have read over and over again through my illness. The tears that God cried over Wendy’s illness are poured over her, and it heals her heart from the trauma. She relates the story much more beautifully than I have space for here. I think the book is excellent for anyone hungry to know the Father’s heart, but especially for those going through seasons of debilitating, chronic pain.
“But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.
“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.”
John 16:7, 12-14 NLT
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.””
John 10:3-5 NLT
“He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.”
2 Samuel 22:20 NLT
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