Hello Heartdwellers Family, last week in Adoration Mother Mary Elisha was overwhelmed with the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness towards her. As she stared in the Blessed Sacrament, she could not help but think how so many people do not really know her God. If only they could know how sweet, how kind, how faithful, how generous, how vulnerable, and how loveable He is. Even the hardest of hearts would fall in love with Him. She began to cry wanting so desperately everyone to know her Jesus, and then the Holy Spirit put a thought in her head, “So tell them.”
So, Mother Mary Elisha was inspired by the Holy Spirit to start a new series called “If You Only Knew” and the Holy Spirit gave her the titles of each of the messages. Then the Holy Spirit inspired her to open it up to others so that many could share the amazing wonder of who our God is. The first message title hit me right between the eyes. “If You Only Knew: God the Incomparable Friend”. For this is my testimony, this is my story, this is me and I am so thankful that now the Lord has given a place where my story may be told for His Glory and Honor of how an amazing and wonderful friend He is.
By the blessing of the Lord, I was brought up in a Christian home, with grandparents influencing me in the faith on both sides. I had known the Lord all of my life and had invited Him into my heart when I was five, baptized when I was seven. Yet, it was once I went into Grade Seven that the Lord truly showed Himself to me and became truly real and became My Lord and My God.
All my life I had been weird, for the Lord blessed me at a young age with the gift of Prophecy. At the age of five I had told my mother that she had two babies in her tummy, and the next day it was shown that yes, she was having twins. At the age of twelve, I had told my dad that he would not be chosen as elder anymore at our church before he went to the meeting, and it happened.
The role of a prophet is to invoke a response, and if the response is not what the Lord wants, He writes it down and if there is no change the judgment is penciled in to fall. This is what I had found in my life. For it seemed that I was the last of much. I would come, and then once I left, the foundations that were there before were swept away. I was the last group that had my grade one and grade two teacher, I was the last group that had grade 13 in Canada. This seemed to follow me, and people seemed to pick up on it. For I did not have many friends and people seemed to not want to spend time with me. I remember in kindergarten, usually playing by myself. In grade two we had a Secret Santa and the person who should have given me a gift had chosen to give theirs to someone else, so someone got two gifts. It was in grade three [when] I found that books were the best friends—so much that my grade three teacher would have to say in front of the class “Gabriella! Stop Reading!” It was in grade four that I was diagnosed with a learning disability. Finally, we had a name to what I had been struggling with all this time. For my mind could go a mile a minute, hence the reading in between different subjects. Yet my mouth could not keep up. It was in molasses. My mouth would never be able to keep up with my brain and would never be able to say what I wanted it to say. Sometimes the opposite would come out. I could not say the word “the” for the life of me. I would soften it so no one would understand. I would also have what I coined “brain farts”, for if my mind and mouth were in a race my mind would be so far out and over a hill that I would forget what I was trying to say before the first sentence was out of my mouth. The other issue was that my brain could create so many different connections which would have me ask a question out of nowhere. I could never communicate how I got to that question because it made complete sense in my brain, but since I could not communicate the pathway, it was just random to everyone else. I was the kid that everyone was like “What planet did she come from?” This all came to a head in Grade Seven. In Canada, we are taught French starting in grade five/six. Though I loved the songs in French I could not understand it and my parents saw that I was going backward in my learning English, as I was getting all mixed up. Therefore, to help me they took me out of French. This was the nail in the coffin, for every kid in the whole school moaned about French, and then the weird girl was the one who got out of it? By that point, I was shunned. I had no friends. Schoolwork was [so] hard that I felt I needed to work 110% just so that I could be just under everyone else who seemed to have no problem in learning. It was also at this time that I was propositioned by two guys regarding dates and sex, which I ran like Joseph regarding that. Since I spent the French time in the library, I became good friends with the Librarian. To protect myself I started to spend more and more time in the library making myself useful, so that every recess, lunch break and French time I was in the library. Once again books were my comfort but Grade Seven is when friendship becomes the most important and [when] in-crowds and cliques are created, and no one wanted to be friends with me. Every day after school I would go up into my room and cry on my pillow, my little heart longing for connection and friendship, but unsure on how to do it or even how to start, as well as protect myself from more unwanted attention. It was here that Jesus made Himself real to me. It was here that Jesus became my greatest, and best friend.
One day when I was crying on my bed, I felt a loving hand on my shoulder. It felt so real and so loving yet when I put my hand there nothing was there. I could tell that the hand was Jesus and slowly in my mind’s eye, I started to see Him—sitting on my bed, His hand on my shoulder, comforting me and talking to me. He told me that He was there and would never leave me. He told me have not fear for He was with me, be not afraid for He was my God. He would strengthen me and give me help and uphold me with His glorious right hand. He let me know that though young men would stumble and fall, those who hoped in Him would renew their strength, they would soar on wings like eagles, they would run and not be weary, they would walk and not be faint. He told me not to worry what everyone else thought of me or their words, viewpoints, or rejection for they were like chaff. In the end, all that mattered would be Him. He was the Alpha and Omega, and in the end, all that mattered was what He thought of me. He then shared with me Isaiah 43 1-7 showing me His thoughts regarding me.
But now, this is what the Lord says – He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the water, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you. I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
With this my tears stilled, and my lonely heart was comforted. This was the start of a friendship that would last me a lifetime. As a child, I knew Jesus as my Lord and Savior who died for my sins. I remember a few days before my baptism at age seven Satan kept on bothering me in the Spirit and also in a dream that happened the exact same way. I was trying to sleep but was unable to and felt that Satan was in the room with me trying to scare and speak all sorts of lies. I told him to leave but he did not. I then told him “Leave now or I am going to sick my big brother Jesus on you!” He left so quickly, and I felt that Jesus came and like a big brother said, “Everything good here?” So, I had known Him as a protector and big brother and Savior and Lord, but this is when He became my true friend. The time between school and dinner on my bed became my place to connect with Jesus daily, became a delight. No topic of my heart was off-limits. I did not need to explain myself, to help people understand where I was coming from. Jesus completely understood and accepted me for who I was, pain brokenness, and all. He loved me and He cherished me and took delight in me. So, I poured out my heart, and every time He would comfort and accept and love me. Over time our talks went deeper as my thoughts would move toward what I should do now or in the future. I started to have dreams of Jesus, which now the Lord has confirmed were trips to Heaven. Those dreams were so vivid and wonderful and the feeling of being known and completely accepted that waking up into this hard world would bring me to tears. After a while, I pleaded with Jesus to please stop them because my heart could not bear to see His wonderful face and be there with Him and then be taken back here. I can see now that Jesus was using those times to strengthen my faith and heart to Him. I knew that I might live many years in this world and to know that I was separated from Him like this I could not bear. So lovingly Jesus granted my request, though I know He had come to me in disguise because He loves being with me, and I Him.
It was through this I started to write what I called Dream Stories. For they dealt with the struggles I was feeling in my heart which would not happen in Heaven, but I did not know that we could have a Spiritual relationship with Jesus where we could walk with Him in this life. In my viewpoint, these things could only happen in a Dream, and so Dream Stories was born through my talks, and dreams I had with Jesus. It was then that I started to pray many dangerous prayers, and from this point, the Lord has answered each and every one. I prayed that He would give me wisdom, and He granted it just like He promised in James. I prayed that He would bind me to Himself and that I would never leave Him, and that each year may I grow closer to Him, and He has made sure of that. It was that time I saw that the in- crowd was being created and I could see that with some of my strengths if I wanted to, I might be able to get into the in-crowd. Yet I saw if I did, I would lose who I was and so I decided to continue being the outcast looking in. I also saw that the in- crowd was also always backstabbing each other. I wanted nothing to do with that.
I started thinking about what I wanted in life, and I told Jesus, “Lord, please, Your will be done. I continued to pray Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane though I did have some requests. With the wisdom the Lord gave me, I saw that there were three things on earth that I could not do in Heaven—have Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”, be married, and have a child. The Lord placed in my heart at a very young age to be a mother so I asked the Lord to do with me as He willed but may He please allow me to have a husband and a family. I then asked the Lord to please hide me from all men and that the only one who saw me for me was the one that He had chosen for me, and He answered that request. I asked that I could have a firstborn daughter, and He, in His graciousness, gave my heart’s desire. I also asked, that He would please use me to influence as many people as possible to come to know Him, for I knew that people matter so much to Him, and He had done this.
When you pray prayers that are His will and that are dangerous, He will fulfill them. It may not be the way you expect. I remember writing down a list of all the characteristics that I wished in my husband, and Jesus gave me a man with exactly all those characteristics, but not in the way that I expected. May times in my life the Lord has asked me to place my desires on the Altar and His will be done. Only then, to fulfill them in ways more wonderful and glorious than I could ever think of.
It was not all wonderful after this. There was still the loneliness and rejection at school that would sometimes overwhelm me. One day I was so done with this world and wanted to go home to Heaven that I was thinking of doing myself in. It was then that Jesus guided me through His wisdom the reasons not to. The first was it would break my heart to show up in Heaven and Jesus took one look at me and said, “I did not call you.” I wanted Him to call me. I wanted Him to request my presence before I came to Him. Therefore, it was He who chose my time, not me. The second was that the Lord gave me this life, but I had no right to take away the life of any children I might have in the future and the future generations. Therefore, I could not murder them. The last thing is that Jesus shared that we sometimes go through dark times in our lives so that we can understand the struggles of being in that darkness and therefore be a light to others who are going through that darkness in their lives. It was like I could see all these people who were in darkness, that the Lord brought me in this life to be a light to them. If I snuffed out my light all those people might snuff out theirs because the person the Lord planned to help them at that moment was not there. This is why abortion is so abhorrent, for it is not only the baby’s life but all the lives that the Lord had ordained for that child to touch are completely affected for eternity.
When I look back, I am so thankful that the Lord gave me that learning disability for it pushed me into His arms and allowed Him to mold me at a tender age into His. Without it I could have easily been in the in-crowd and lost myself and many other things. It is because of Jesus that I am even able to speak to you now. He used that disability so I would come to Him for wisdom, and therefore was given the tools I needed so I could communicate well and thoroughly. As well as given a crash course of seeing the pitfalls of society though looking in on the outside. He has done this for His Glory and Honor, for there is no way I would be able to do this without Him guiding me and my words.
Jesus has always kept His promises, has always loved, listened to me, and accepted me. But has loved me enough that He has never allowed me to stay where I am. He is always coaxing and lovingly guiding me to the next step like a Good Shepherd. He’s never let me get away with anything for if there was anything ungodly in my heart, He would bring it up right away. It was never in condemnation but always, “I think you need to work on this, shall we work on this together?” He has always guided me with a gentle hand and if I have not been ready to change, He will let me be but always be near and ready until I finally say, “Your will, not mine be done.”
Jesus is here with you. He is for you, and He is in your corner. He will never leave you nor forsake you. In your darkest night and deepest pain, He is there with you holding you and crying with you. Your pain is His pain. There is nothing He does not know about you, and He still love and accepts you. He does not mind that you are a broken and hurting mess. He is just happy that you are acknowledging Him. That you are talking to Him. That you are trusting Him with the painful and broken places in your heart. You can be honest with Him. You can yell and scream at Him. You can cry on His shoulder. He loves it all. Because by you opening up [it] shows that you trust Him, and when you trust Him, He can do amazing things on your behalf. So come and find out what the “best friend” He is. For He is the only one who will never disappoint. He is for you and all He longs is for you to come to Him so He can start the best friendship you could ever have in your life. In closing, I would like to share an old Hymn that sums this up beautifully.
Take It to the Lord In Prayer (lyrics)
By Nolan Williams, Jr.
What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and grieves to bear
What a privilege it is to carry
Everything to God in prayer
Have we trials and temptations
Is there trouble anywhere
Our precious Savior
He is still our refuge
Take it to the Lord in prayer
When we’re weak and heavy laden
Cumbered with a load of care
We should never be discouraged
When we take it to the Lord in prayer
Oh what peace we often forfeit
Oh what needless pain we bear
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer.