It is safe to say that I have not kept up with blogging this semester! Nathan and I wish very much to do so, but it has proven very difficult. I do have something I wanted to share with you. I wrote this letter to my family last week and wanted to share it with you too! For those of you who do not know, I lost my handicapped brother Jay almost 12 years ago. I was 18 and he was days from his 14th bday and this is a vision I had of him and of the Lord last week. It was such a sweet gift to me, the vision and the gift of the Holy Spirit!
I love you all and PROMISE there are blogs to come!!
"Thoughts, Visions and Dreams...
Up on my desk I have a picture of Jay. The one where he is grinning from ear to ear, the smile that was kinda forced yet the only way he really smiled. It is perfect in every way. It is not the one with the blue shirt on (which I had on my mirror for years and it disappeared. Somebody needs to fess up,) but the one with the white shirt with the huge round glasses!
I love gazing on it and even as it has been almost 12 years since Jay was a part of our daily interaction I think that it is safe to say that he is still a part of some slice of my day. Maybe its a handicapped parking spot, or somebody giving me a thumbs up, or the random waif of dried slobber from his thumbs, or kissing my kids after they are asleep and seeing one snagging a corner of their siblings pillow with their head just as Jay always did, sometimes its finding a random white sock that looked like Jay's little socks (some I have may have been his,) or a penny laying on the ground and I need to pick it up just because, maybe its the sound of bball in the background or just a glance at the few momentous I have around.
Some days the memories are a lot bigger than slices they are punches to the gut or a pie to the face, the ones where you loose your train of thought and get an immediate swell in your throat feeling like you are going to chock and if no one is around you can loose it or if others are you hold back because it is just not the time to go there, they wouldn't know how to respond and quite frankly it wouldn't have the affect you wanted...how could they know, it would be unfair to dump that one out into the thin air! Sometimes I don't have the emotional energy to go there. Its just to hard...yet it is always so sweet.
So tonight was one of those nights, THE PUNCH. This is not something you plan for, it just happens and I just had to tell yall about it...too sweet to keep to myself.
We are doing a study with our small group by Mark Virkler, How to hear God's Voice. It is way different than anything I have ever studied and honestly blown my mind and my heart way off this planet. Some of it can be a little hard to understand, but I have tracked with it...mostly. The Bible is full of verses about the Holy Spirit, verses I some how seemed to skip over or not really notice until this past year, maybe year and half. The Lord has taught me so much about himself and about who I am in Him and Him in me, some things I have known, some maybe not, but mostly things I have known but not really FELT. I think it safe to announce that I am not much of a "feeler." I think I am but due to maybe my birth order and the circumstances that surrounded our lives as we knew them I became a "stuffer," into a rather large container bc it rarely filled over or poured out. That is all another story that I look forward to sharing with yall some day, in light of all the Lord has been revealing to me and speaking to me.
So back to the study. We quiet ourselves before the Lord. Focus on Him. Tune to flow (words from the Lord, pictures in our heads, etc). Journal. That is the sequence of what we are learning and I was blown away by the fact that I have always had the Lord speaking to me I just rarely recognized it for that. The visions and dreams as well. I just wasn't focusing on Him and then seeing all that he had to tell me, show me, love me, etc. This has come quite easily for me and is an amazing tool I am looking forward to learning and knowing at 30!
Tonight we watched the video about Visions and Dreams. (Before we started the video we sang a song about the Resurrection and one of the lines I wrote down in my journal.) He talked and read from Daniel. He facilitated a time to focus on the Lord and to see what the Lord had to say or show us. Part of his facilitating was describing a place around the Sea of Galilee. He explained a place I was already picturing, I love it when that happens. Then he began to describe a scene from the Bible about feeding of the thousands and then the healing of a paralyzed man.
Immediately the gut punch came and I wanted the vision to stop. Not really wanting to go there in front of all the small group. But I felt the Lord prompting me to keep looking. I did and as he began to speak I could see these knobby bony knees of a 14 year old little boy burst forth, like an egg shell blowing itself out or a butterfly coming out of a shell at a rapid rate, and out came these muscular running type thighs, tan I might add, not too hairy in case you were wondering. It all happened so fast. The boys arms just pushed up from his wheelchair and it all just happened. And then I realized it was Jay.
Rewind to the lady who did the painting of Jay for the YL Urban Center and we all voted to have the picture of him done with him in his wheelchair not standing. Don't think I, maybe we, were ready to visualize OUR Jay any different that how we knew and loved him. Any dream I have had of Jay has been chest up or with him on my back since his death until tonight.
I stayed with the vision from the screen rolling in my head and it continued on a grassy knoll with Jesus and me and Jay sitting beside Jesus, but from where I was he was behind Jesus. This is were I opened my Journal and began to journal what the Lord was saying to me.
At the top of my page was "I STAND IN HIM COMPLETE." I had written it before any of this even started tonight. Yet it was totally planned. It was centered and in all caps too.
It was at this point that I realized that I had not let myself imagine Jay physically any different than how I had known him, I was limiting all that God could make straight. It couldn't have been a sweeter moment to see my brother as HE IS, COMPLETE. It was only in my mind's eye, but the question I was asking the Lord before any of this began was, "Lord, how do you want me to use eyes of my heart?" Anything I was imagining before was from the eye of my mind, but not of my heart. I could not have imagined this without the Holy Spirit.
By showing me Jay's completeness the Lord wanted to show me my own, what He has done for me, what He can continue to do. He wants to commune with me on the kind of level and wholeness that He does with Jay and Granny and Grand Chubby. Jay was just sitting behind Him looking at me like, "I have been waiting for you to figure this out. It is that simple." He had a gentle smirk on his face as he listened to what Jesus was telling me. This kind of wholeness only comes from knowing Jesus, looking at Him, asking Him, letting Him make me FULL and just desiring and being in His presence.
Other random details in case you wanted to know: he had the build of a runner, not a skinny runner, but a muscular one, he was around 25-26, a man indeed, Sam, you are a bit taller, but your butt is still bigger! He had a head full of thick brown hair, not curly, but fluffy. He looked just like how I would imagine him, good looking (like his brothers and dad,) genuine, full of happiness, totally content yet eager. He had on a blue t-shirt (not collared) and khakis! (He must of put some pants on after busting out of his old legs!)
Too amazing not to share with yall and sooo easy to see. Such a blessing to have FULL access to the Holy Spirit. It is our gift from the Lord, a promise of what we have to look forward to for all of eternity with Him, and with all those who have gone before us and who are STANDING IN HIM COMPLETE!
Love each of you more than I could ever express!! Praying that the Lord is speaking to each of you and that you are in a place where you are focusing and listening to all that He has to tell you. Just ask, Just look, He is certainly there!
My new favorite song is by Brett Dennon, Dancing at a Funeral. "Now is not the time to be so sad and mournful.We are going to this funeral and we'll be dancing the night away. So don't be so shy, we are living and we are dying, we are laughing and we're crying, every single day..." Looking forward to all dancing (standing) complete in who we are....ONE DAY!
Clare....hope you are not gut punched...maybe just a slice to add to your JAY DAY!"
We have felt called to relocate from Nashville to Panama! Come with us on our ride as we try to follow the stirrings in our heart and follow the path the Lord has laid out for us. Nathan is teaching/ coaching at CCA Panama, while Clare is teaching/ coaching our 3 kids. Ro 3, Essie 2, and Field 9 mo.