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The Vision that Changed my Life

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The following is a re-blog of a post I wrote July 19, 2012. Today, July 19, 2013 is our daughter’s 25th birthday. In honor of her and the blessing God brought through her I am re-posting it.

 Finding Faith in Strange Places

God is beyond faithful. He often surprises us with positive answers to our prayers, even when he knows the outcome may not be all we expected it to be. I have found in spending much time alone with God over the years that he even gives me the smallest details of my prayers. That is not to say that sometimes he says no simply because God knows the whole picture and what is ahead. In this case I could not have been more blessed. (Matthew 6:33, “Your heavenly father knows your needs and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”NLT)

The Truth

Before I go any further, I want to emphasize that I am a normal, wife and mother who simply lives for God. This is a true story and one I have wanted to write about for 24 years. Many will think it untrue or that I was so desperate I just thought it happened. I can assure the readers it was real and I have thought about it every day since then. The reality of this vision at the time was only about having a child. 24 years later I now know it was so much more.

The Vision

I wanted to have a baby, but it was not happening. I really started praying and crying out to God that my time was running out and if I was going to give birth it needed to be sooner than later. There was something deep in my spirit that gave me the assurance it would happen, but my faith was at times faltering due to the negative tests that continued to show up.

This may sound crazy to some of you but the one place I felt like praying the most was in the Jacuzzi bathtub we had in our very large bathroom.  At night, I would fill it with hot water, turn on the jets and relax. Night after night I spent time asking God for a child. Many of those hot baths I would cry wondering why God wasn’t listening.  I even bargained with God that if he would bless me with a child once the child was grown I would give her back to him.  This went on for 3 years.

It was in the midst of this very unstable marriage that God not only answered my prayer, but showed up. By that I mean Jesus really showed up. I was deep in prayer in the bathtub on this mid October night of 1987 when suddenly I felt a presence in the room. The door was locked so no one could have entered physically that way. I raised my head and there in front of me was Jesus, draped in a glorious white robe with a belt around his waist. He had sandals on his feet and a smile of peace on his face I will never forget. His arms were outstretched holding a baby. I immediately asked him, “Whose baby is that?” He gently answered, “It is your baby.” Then, he was gone. (Deuteronomy 28:4,”You will be blessed with many children.” NLT)


Denial

I jumped up, threw a towel around myself and ran into the kitchen where my ex-husband was reading the paper. I screamed that we were going to have a baby! Explaining what had just occurred was like speaking to the wind. He not only didn’t believe me, he thought I had really lost my mind.  I told him I was not going to do any more tests because I absolutely knew I was going to have a baby. What I did not know was that I was already pregnant.

His Amazing Ways

The miracle here is that our daughter was born on July 19, 1988; almost 9 months exactly from the night Jesus appeared to me.  It was God’s timing all the way around.  The few people that I had told the vision to and the timing of her birth was something of a “chilling” result.  They didn’t think I was so crazy after all.

If you recall in a previous paragraph I referred to the baby as “her.” From the moment Jesus came to me I also knew the child would be a girl. I never once thought differently.

Starting Over

This is not the end of the story. In some ways it is the beginning. I believe now that one of the reasons it took so long for me to get pregnant was because God knew the marriage was not going to last and it didn’t. I became a single parent when she was almost 3 years old.  We packed up and moved back east to live with my parents. The divorce was messy but God intervened more than I could tell you. Marriage at that point was the last thing on my mind. 12 years later God showed me otherwise and brought Mark into our lives.

The Future

The miracle of her birth at the time was a priority; what I didn’t know was how important the vision would become. As I have re-lived that moment over and over there have been other events that now become clear when I see Jesus in the midst of a trial or a test. The vision then became a vision over time. I do not however base my faith in God on that vision; I truly believe that Jesus knew my despair and my heart for God so much so that he made it very clear he was listening and always available. If Jesus can show up in someone’s bathroom, he can show up anywhere.

The vision is a reminder that God is near, always listening and wants to continue to have a personal relationship with everyone.  The vision sparks the freshness of the Holy Spirit that draws us to God in daily devotions and conversations with him.

Present Day

I am not advocating in any sense that everyone has to have a vision as I did to do the work of God. In my case I think God knew my desperation in so many areas that he made it tangible.  The vision is not an event, or an experience but a lifestyle that in itself produces children of God who are impassioned about getting to know the true nature of God; not as the world claims him to be.

It is my hope that those who read this will benefit from the nature of the vision, not just the vision itself. It is a replica of Jesus in and out of life’s chaos and turmoil that Jesus shows up. The vision is the cross where Jesus has given us a way out of all of the division, pain and sorrow this world produces. The vision is an example of God’s goodness, mercy and grace even when we aren’t pursuing him at all.

More than anything, the vision gives us Jesus in our field of dreams; in our despair, in our hearts or even in a bathtub. In summary, the vision is a lifelong ride following the creator of the universe to be just like him.

Acts 2:17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/07/18/quote-finished/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/gods-certain-knowledge/

http://goldenbible.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/faith-passive-or-active/

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27 thoughts on “The Vision that Changed my Life

  1. What a great testimony. I love it and hope it inspires everyone to desire more of the Lord.

    Great!

  2. First time I have peered into the spiritual and mystical life of someone, other than my own. You have quite a bond with this Man called Jesus! Bless you, dear sister. It is truly comforting and humbling to share one’s relationship with others who believe in the Christ.

    Shalom, Cathy!

  3. Appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. I am not a crazy visions person either, but have had some.

  4. i feel so honored to have read this blog. i needed this, more than you can imagine. i broke into tears, as i realize i have been asking myself over and over if there is truly a god, for why would he let my poor brother suffer, and through you, i have had the answer. i pray so much for a mate or companion in my life. it isn’t that i am not a survivor of life, it is that i am lonely. i now have hope, not so much for the companion, but hope that i will never be truly alone, that god is with me right here, right now. thank you so much for helping me

    • Terry, I waiting until today to post this as it was 24 years ago July 19, 1988 I gave birth. For some reason I felt it was the right time to do it. Maybe it was for you. I am so glad it has refreshed your heart for God.

      The 8 years I was in that marriage were some of the darkest days of my life. And I can honestly say that I would much rather be alone than married to someone who is a miserable human being like my ex was. I have found I am alone much of the time due to we don’t live near family. I have gotten use to it, but it gives me time to write and for the first time in my life spend enormous amounts of time alone with God.

      If this helps, the dark days I spent there crying my heart out to God, I learned many lessons. But the last thing I ever thought would be that Jesus would show up in my bathroom. It goes to show, when it all looks impossible, or dark and you are weary, Jesus appears out of nowhere giving us his love and proof he is listening. And after that, I never had any doubt he wasn’t with me or hearing my prayers.

      Hang in there and allow God to show up; and allow him to fill your loneliness with him. He did that for me. Cathy Craig Neil, PMIC/Guardian Property Management, LLC 803-840-1946 blog: http://www.craigmotor.wordpress.com author/columnist: http://www.believers.bay.com

  5. Wonderful post, as always. It just goes to show us that when we give the glory to God, He gives us the hope we need. Have a lovely day Cathy!

  6. Beautiful testimony.

  7. I loved reading this. I am sorry life was rough on you, but it does demonstrate our merciful and gracious God.

  8. What a blessing. Thanks for sharing. It is a reminder that we worship and awesome God. Your post reminded me that our focus should always be on Jehovah. He comes through even when the night seems so dark and things so hard. He loves us and has us in the palm of his hands. I am reminded of times when I wondered if God had blind spots. I found out that God does not have any blind spots. He sees and hears his own. His banner over us is love.

    During those times when he appears to be silent, he is still with us. I know that nothing in my life means more to me than my relationship with God. He is the very reason I live and breathe. God is my all in all. Mighty El-Shaddai!

    I have been blogging on politics a lot lately and was reminded recently by someone very close to me about something important. She reminded me that no matter what I worried about or wrote about, the best thing I could do for the country was to pray. So that is what I am doing. It is well. God is the Master of the universe. Mighty God!!!

    May his grace continue to abide with us all. Amen.

    http://blackrepublicanandmyworldview.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/running-on-fear-the-tale-of-the-2012-elections/

  9. Wonderful post. God bless you.
    Tricia

  10. Pingback: Fresh Start « A Kiss Of Bliss

  11. Thanks for sharing Cathy, awesome story and testimony. Enjoyed reading it. God is good, all the time….

  12. Finally the post that I’ve awaited. Thank you so much for sharing that, Cathy. I am encouraged and blessed and affirmed. Jesus is alive, wants to be WITH us, and knows just what we need, when we need it and how to communicate with us. He loves us that much.

    • Chrystal, I am humbled by your remembering. The Vision lives on as I see it in so many others like yourself. There was so much more to it that I originally thought.

      I am blessed that God gave me this to tell; so many have commented how it touched their hearts.

      In the wake of what happened today in Colorado, it gives me hope as I remember Jesus standing there; he is always with us no matter what.

      Cathy Craig Neil, PMIC/Guardian Property Management, LLC 803-840-1946 blog: http://www.craigmotor.wordpress.com author/columnist: http://www.believers.bay.com

  13. Amazing! God is so good! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Wonderful story! God is so gracious and kind! What extraordinary love he shows to those who are faithful!
    God Bless you & yours!

  15. Cathy, that was a beautiful testimony! You are correct in the attached scripture, he is pouring his spirit out on those who are seeking him sincerely! I already feel blessed to have connected with you ❤

    • Marty, I believe we are in the worst of time and the best of times. The world is chaotic to say the least, but God is in the process of building the greatest Harvest of the church that has ever taken place. I often ask God, “you want me to do what?” living in this era is a humbling existence.
      I am reading your blogs. Sounds like I am not the only one who has had terrible female issues! U didn’t want a hysterectomy, I did but insurance wouldn’t pay for it.

      • Yes, it was not a fun time, BUT, I got all of his grace and love in return so I’ll take it!!!lol… Yes, I also follow Bible prophecy. I pray everyday for the Lord to count me worthy. The day of reckoning is closer than we think!

  16. Woooooooowww Cathy!!! That is AMAZING!!! I’m sure if that happened to me I would just stare ahead too dumbfounded to speak! haha

    • There hasn’t been a day since that one I haven’t thought about it. At the time it was all about having a baby. What I didn’t know when the vision occurred was I was already pregnant. From that point on God’s working power kept happening. Once I had the baby and the time frame fit exactly what I had told people, not one of them said a word. Now so many years later, God has revealed so much more than the fact he showed me my child.

      Cathy Craig Neil, PMIC/Guardian Property Management, LLC 803-840-1946 blog: http://www.craigmotor.wordpress.com author/columnist: http://www.believers.bay.com

      ________________________________

  17. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging faith and inspiration in others. Beautiful.

  18. Wow! That is a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it. God bless you.

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