On Sunday I heard, for the first time, the testimony of a dear friend. She spoke about her son’s illness, his slow recovery and then his sudden and unexpected death, 16 years ago. She spoke of speaking to God and His reply. I was at the front of the church and could see the anguish of those also hearing this story for the first time and of those re-living the events. It was painful for everyone and a privilege to hear.
We were then taken through a meditation and prompted to explore a time in our lives when we had gone through a storm. Where was Jesus in all of this? In what way was He in control? What was He saying to us? I thought about this for myself and suddenly had the realisation that there was one storm in my life that I had never handed over to God; the two miscarriages that I had gone through before my two children were born. I had always felt like it was a great burden that I carried and I knew that this was causing me a problem.
At the end of the service, as is usual in our church, there were people at the altar rail, ready to pray with anyone who wanted it. I went up to Peter and told him that I was still carrying anger and heartache after all of these years – 18 years in fact. I thought that what I needed to do was to bring my two dead babies to the foot of the cross and hand them over to God. Peter prayed over me and asked the Holy Spirit to come and take the anger away. It was at this point that I had the most amazing revelation.
What I saw was Jesus, standing at the foot of the cross and with him were two people. Not babies, but mature, perfect people. Not dead but alive in Christ. Not my children anymore but His friends. I felt love; their love for me, not just as their mother but more because of Jesus’ love for me. I couldn’t see their faces; I didn’t need to. I sensed them though, in a way I never had before. It was overwhelmingly comforting. Not dead; alive.
I didn’t want to leave my vision but Peter was speaking and his voice broke through. He was trying to remember a verse from scripture, one of Paul’s letters, where he tells us to leave the past behind. And there, kneeling next to Peter was Jesus, His elbow on the altar rail, His cheek resting in His hand, listening to Peter. He looked at me and said “You need to listen to this; it’s good stuff”. It made me smile.
And now the anger has gone and I don’t feel the need anymore to wear the hurt like a medal. I let them go and give thanks to Him for the two that are with me. They are my blessing.
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.