I grew up in the Baptist church. I was extremely unsatisfied, but I knew nothing else. But as I got older, I left. I went to walk in witchcraft, serving other god’s. I never denied the reality of Jesus and the Father. But I saw no example of the reality, anywhere. Reading the gospels had the desired affect. I knew I couldn’t do this. The standard was too high. So I said, I will go to another religion. This isn’t for me.
Years passed, and I had an experience where I accepted Christ as my personal savior, in a fantastically legalistic Pentecostal Church in Dallas, Tx. I thought, this is different. I saw people who I could see His presence all over, and I wanted that. I saw the beauty of people who were standing in His presence. But the spiritual high I got didn’t last. No one taught me how to abide in that presence. “Just release it by faith.” they would say, as if that answered my questions. It was back to the drawing board. To my own interactions with the Spiritual Realm in the occult. Little did I know, but that day I accepted Him as my personal savior, set in motion my ultimate freedom from the occult, catapulting me into a journey of faith that I had never seen anyone walk before. Never imagined I could walk it.
I went head first, fully aware of what I was doing this round, back to the occult. It never satisfied me, but was also more real than what I found in church, no matter where I went or how hard I looked. But one day, I darkened the door of a church once more, where a pastor who didn’t know me from Adam, in the middle of a sermon, looked out and said:”It’s not too late to turn around and come back.” He then continued on in the sermon like nothing had occurred. Later, my father asked me if I was ready to stop running yet. Immediately, I was cast into the Spirit, where I could see that I was bound, unable to break free. I was stuck. Chains of my own fashioning and design. It was then that the music began to play, “Set Me Free” by Casting Crowns. A Man approached me, and asked if I desired to be free. When I finally gave my answer, a resounding Yes! He broke my chains, and my vision ended. From that time forward, I began to experience visions, feeling His presence periodically, and got involved at church. Unfortunately, it was the beginning of the next stage of pain. Having been through the spiritual abuse, I began to be wary of the things I would hear said, I would challenge with scriptures to have my pastor actually prove his point. A year ago, I reached my limit, when I discovered how widespread the gossip was about me, in leadership and to their families outside of the church. Fury coursed through me. I swore I would not come back, and I immediately stopped taking my family there. Then Lent came up. I had already been studying the mystics of the Church, and I found something I loved, the way they talked. I understood them. I resonated with them. Fr Bob introduced me to the tradition of Lent. I began to heal.
I have learned much this past year, and I have learned that most of all, that I know little. My watery, sugary drink, of christianity, is being transformed into the finest of wines, in being bathed in His Love.
Kiss me with the kisses of your lips, my lover, for your love is more intoxicating than wine! ~ Song of Solomon
In this, I have discovered that His love pours out on me, into me, and through me back to Himself. He is the Bridegroom and I? His Bride. People are all into that Sonship movement these days, but it doesn’t speak to my soul. Not like being His Bride does. For me, simply being His Bride is what I can resonate with. His love is so intense, so passionate, and getting to experience it, truly is intoxicating.
~The Christian Mystic