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)
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.
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)
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.
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 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.
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.”