Thankful…

zebra

 

I haven’t written a “thankful” post in a while…figured it was about time! So, on that note…

I’m thankful for…

1. Morning tea and time spent reading His Word

2. The birds singing outside of my window in the morning…this is my wake-up call and I couldn’t ask for a better one.

3. My husband, who will sit on the couch for 30 minutes while I practice presenting a presentation. He knows nothing about DNA and shotgun sequencing, but he listens and nods anyway 🙂

4. My fatty chickens that follow me around the yard, thinking I keep a sac of food on me at all times. They’re completely spoiled, but give me such fun entertainment.

5. For the Good and Mighty Lord giving me patience when I have to sit on the phone for 20 minutes with our internet provider. And the countless other times He’s extended grace and patience to me when all I want to do is lose my temper.

6. For peace in my heart while actually giving my presentation today…and for those two that came up to me to compliment me on it afterward. It takes selflessness and kindness to extend a compliment to someone else, and I greatly appreciate the feedback.

7. For the fact that my internet (that has been down all day) is going strong now for almost an hour. This allows me to “detox” from school and relax my mind. Thank you, Lord!

8. For stories of war and redemption, and the reminder that my life could be much, much worse.

9. For our great, big garden that is growing so amazingly! I haven’t lost a plant yet! All of our squash plants have bloomed beautiful yellow flowers…I am eagerly anticipating our first harvest 😀

10. For evening walks around our property with the mister. I love our talks on getting pigs and playing “Keep-Away” from Marley 😀 These things make my day.

11. For a mom that is so selfless that she actually gives me a gift on Mothers Day.

12. For friends that love adventure and trees as much as I do!

13. For glimpses of heaven and my Father that allow me to keep my eyes focused on the things above.

14. For elusive driveway bunnies that will gladly accept strawberries from me…but not a pat on the head 😉

15. For the last three weeks of school and this heart of anticipation. I will not rush it, I will soak it in and thank Jesus when it is over. It’s so close I can almost taste it.

I hope whatever you are doing, that your heart is light and filled with peace. Go give a hug and make someone else’s day 🙂 Until next time…

xoxo,

Stacey B.

PS. You can find me on Instagram if that is yo thing!

marleynme

Advertisements

A Glimpse of Glory- Sharing My Experience

sun

I wasn’t going to share this experience- mainly because I didn’t want to allow a persons reaction to it to take away from what it was for me. Also because I only wanted to tell those that appreciated it for what it was. But here I am sharing it a week later…and I’m not sure why, but I feel compelled to do so. Hopefully, it will give someone hope. My friend, Denisse, says that God never wastes a testimony. And I know that is true about our Lord, so here you go…

I had trouble sleeping all last week, waking up at 2:30 a.m. on the dot multiple nights in a row. One particular  night, I had regular dreams and woke up at 4:30 a.m. with a headache. I lay in bed waiting to fall back asleep, and finally, just as the new day was dawning, I did…and this is what happened:

(I don’t feel comfortable calling this a “dream” because it was more of an experience, so that’s what I’ll refer to it as from here on out)

In my experience, Jason took me to a park in uptown Charlotte. It was a cloudy, overcast day. We were walking along and he sees one of his co-workers sitting on a bench. He walks over and introduces us, says he has some work to do, but he’ll be back to get me. So I sit down next to the lady (who is African American with thick glasses and frazzled hair – just so you can picture it) and I try to start up a conversation with her. I’m getting frustrated because I’m trying to be nice and conversate with her, but she’s only giving me one-word answers..and I remember saying to her “It’s hard to talk to you because you’re giving me short answers”. (Ha!) So I stop talking to her and look around.

I notice that my church’s worship team is in the same park filming a video for Sunday. One of the lead singers is on-stage and he keeps looking at his phone like he’s anticipating something. Then this little boy runs up to me, hands me a bag of Pop Rocks and tells me to hold on to them until the worship team tells me what to do with them. I accidentally rip the bag as soon as he walks away :-/ Stay with me…this is where the experience takes a turn….

All of a sudden, birds from all over are flocking across the sky. It was magnificent, with birds flying all over, and they were all heading in one direction. I look up to see a cloud unlike the others in the sky. It is darker, like a storm cloud, but there is no thunder or lightening coming from it. You know how on a rainy day, the cloud breaks, and you can see a ray of sunshine coming through? This cloud had rays of light coming through, but it wasn’t the color of sunshine, it was brighter…brighter than white.  Shimmering bright light and purple were filtered all through the cloud. The cloud was also shaped like a doughnut, and in the middle of it was the brightest light. And these birds were going to that cloud, they were flying under it and around it. I remember (still sitting on the bench) saying out loud “That is beautiful“. And I took out my phone to take a picture, but as I held up my phone, I realized I would never be able to capture the beauty of this shimmering cloud. So I put my phone down and look back up at the cloud.

What happened next, I will try my best to explain with our worldly words…but I realize that this account could never do this experience justice. I’ll do my best though…

I’m sitting there, in awe of this magnificent cloud, this glorious sight, and something in me wants to be near it. In a moment, in a flash, in an instant, I just wanted to be near the cloud. The cloud was good and something deep in my soul knew this. So I get up from the bench, I begin walking toward it..like a moth to a light, I’m drawn. My eyes are focused only on the cloud, everything around me doesn’t matter. As I move closer and closer, I am loosing a sense of the world around me. Faces fade and become blurry, the last thing I hear is a person saying “Whoa, look at those birds”.

Suddenly, in front of me, a bright (brighter than bright!) light opens in front of me…like a tunnel. This is the same light from the cloud, except now it almost surrounds me. On the outskirts of this tunnel, there is a shimmering white and purple light (it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever witnessed). But inside, ahead of me, is only a bright light. And it isn’t white, it is brighter than white, brighter than the sun, but you can look straight into it.

Emanating from the center of the Light are things so profound that I could never compare them to things of this world. I’ll really try to explain it. So, this Light in front of me encompasses all things. There is power and grace, joy and hope, and unbridled love. Love is one of our words, what came from this Light was so much greater than love. If you think about the person you love the most, with all of your heart, the person you would do anything for, magnify that times a million and that’s what this was.

As I keep walking into this Light, I feel so happy. No, happy isn’t the word- I feel ecstatic. Every part of my being knows that I’m home. The farther I get into this Light, the world behind me fades. I can no longer hear anyone speaking, everything is a blur (I’m only looking at the Light, but out of the corner of my eye, I see the world fading, and I sense myself going deaf). I continue to this Light, because I start to realize that it is my Father. And a child wants to be with it’s Father. And the Lord, this ever glorious Light in front of me, is so delighted to have me with Him. I feel it in every bone of my body. He’s pulling me closer with love and joy, and he is rejoicing, and I’m rejoicing with him. My heart feels like it will burst with this Love coming from this Light. I keep walking and I’m smiling from ear to ear, I think to myself “I’m finally home!” .

 

As I was walking, all of this greatness intensifies, and I come to a point where my body stops. At this certain point, the radiance and gloriousness coming from the Light are so powerful that my worldly body cannot handle it. And so I separate. My body stops, my soul continues on. (I know this sounds weird, but I’ll try to explain). I feel myself separate, it isn’t unpleasant. Actually, it feels like such a relief. It feels like a thousand pounds being lifted off. I felt lighter, like I could fly. I look back on my body, and I know that I am still Stacey because I am acting like Stacey. My soul is continuing forward. I’m moving forward toward the Light and I’m getting closer and closer, further into His Presence, and for a split second I think about Jason. I am aware of what is happening to me, I’m aware that I’m going home with my Father. And for a moment, I have the thought “I don’t want to leave Jason behind.” I stop moving forward and get confused. I turn back and say “Jason, Jason?”.

After the second “Jason?”, I wake up.

—————————————————-

My ears and chest are burning hot. I am disoriented, I have no idea where I am, who I’m with. And it takes me several minutes to figure out that I’m at home, in my bed, my husband sleeping soundly next to me. I sit up and begin to cry. Well, bawl is more like it. That experience was so real, and I feel upset that I’m back here on Earth. And almost angry at God…asking Him how He could show me such glory and complete happiness, only to let me come back here to this drab world..where nothing I will ever experience will be as great as being with Him. Nothing that I used to think is beautiful even compares to our God..

I cried and cried. I didn’t want to be here. I cried all day, and what is weirder is that my energy was zapped. The entire day, I had trouble putting together thoughts in my head, I found myself napping at odd hours of the day. I couldn’t think straight or anything.

I’ve had a hard time functioning this past week. He’s shown me who He is and how awesomely He loves me…and now I just want to be with Him. I couldn’t find the beauty in things last week that I normally do. It’s like I fell into a depression because I realize nothing on Earth matters.

You guys, the problems we face today..the heart break, the stress, the financial issues, etc…all of that will fade when He calls you into His presence. You won’t even remember it. As you walk into the Light, everything about you is rejoicing and so, so glad to be at home. To be going home. You know what else? The Lord doesn’t only allow you access to His presence, He pulls you into it. I was walking to Him, but he was also pulling me and embracing me like a father does a child.

This Light, it is warm and comforting. Like nothing you’ll ever know on Earth. It embraces you and every grudge, every bad thing that ever happened to you fades. Fades away just like that. There is no fear in this Light, no worry, no burden to carry, only unending, inexplicable love. From the moment you enter, you are being hugged and welcome. You are being celebrated and rejoiced over. The Earth fades and you are with your Father.

If anything, this experience has shown me that my loving God thinks of me. He knows what I go through, and when I saw Him, he celebrated (with me) that those things were over. He waits for us and when we are finally with Him, we realize that He’s waited years for us to be with Him…and it’s such a good feeling. No, it’s the best feeling. He wants us so bad.

—————————————————

That is my experience. I hope that it gives you hope. One day He’ll call you home and it will be the best day of your life. Only then will your life really begin. Until that day, we’ve got to find the beauty in everyday things. Find His glory in the day-to-day and live for Him. We’ve got to withstand trials and tribulations, but I tell you…it will be so worth it. And it is only light and momentary. Something awaits us that is far greater than anything you could ever imagine…

Go out there and show love to each other. Bless you,

Stacey B.

PS. I’ve been asked if this was an NDE (near death experience)- I cannot know. I stop breathing in my sleep sometimes, but I cannot say if this was one of those times. But, I can say that I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have been with my Father for however long it was…The Lord is good, and in Him there is only Light.