And there he was

Dr. David Jeremiah, life beyond amazing, tour, Fort Wayne, coliseum, event, Christian, Blackhawk Church, believer, inspiration

My husband, Steve, and I recently attended Dr. David Jeremiah’s A Life Beyond Amazing event in our town.  I enjoyed Dr. Jeremiah’s presentations:  first to get acquainted with his family life then his message on enduring life’s challenges as unto the Lord.  However I must say that the fundraising prayer by one of his staff was tacky!  The music was loud, motivating, and moving.  Overall I must say that it felt good to be worshiping and learning in the company of fellow believers in Jesus Christ again.

I really wanted to meet Dr. Jeremiah after the event.  No problemmo as just one of about 10,000 people in attendance, right?  Very carefully we made our way to show center from the nosebleed section of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.  My balance was a bit off from the sensory overload from many directions as I still battle Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.  Nonetheless, I was a woman on a mission and soon found ourselves in front of the stage talking to the gifted musicians still lingering around.  I complimented Dr. Jeremiah’s granddaughter who sang in the worship team and asked where I might find her grandfather?  “He had to leave for a fundraising dinner,” was all she said.  I was disappointed but understood.  Fort Wayne, Indiana was the starting place for Dr. Jeremiah’s ministry and many members of the church he had founded here were in attendance; surely there were special activities going on to which Steve and I were not invited!

We tried to find some restrooms that were not swamped by the crowds still leaving the arena.  Having been there for shows many times before, when we headed down an open hallway where some smaller meeting rooms were located.  We encountered the vocalists again and saw a meeting room bustling with people just before we found our destination.  The hallways were virtually empty except for a few late-comers headed to what looked like a reception.  Then just before I turned to go into the lady’s room, I saw him!  Dr. Jeremiah was walking with his wife headed for that same room and it was becoming clear that we had just passed the room where his post-event activities were to take place.

This was my moment and I stepped up to it.  I walked up to Dr. David Jeremiah with my arm outstretched to shake his hand.  He accepted it and looked into my eyes briefly as I said what I had rehearsed in my mind ever since I had expressed a desire to go to the event days beforehand.  It went something like this:

Hi.  My name is Julie ____.  Several years ago you gave a message that included the teaching that God’s man in the middle of God’s will, will not perish until the Lord God ordains it.  I wanted to tell you how much that message has meant to me as I have battled a serious illness with seizures every day for the past 5 years.  Thank you.  Keep doing what you are doing!

His spoke words that followed mine as I finished the sentence from his audio tape, as if he had just given the message yesterday and not over 10 years ago!  He thanked me and quickly continued to his destination with his wife.  I continued to my own destination with a sense of wonder and amazement.  That moment was ordained by God for sure, just for me, just for him.

My spirit was calm and full as I thought about all that had transpired over the past 2 1/2 hours.  Steve and I drove home lightly chatting along the way, mostly quietly in our own thoughts.  I would be very sick with convulsive episodes within the hour of returning home and showering.  My senses were completely overloaded from the loud music, close proximity to other people, and the effects of some new treatment ramping up.  For the first time I did not feel traumatized by the serious illness that I have been selected to endure.  My own words provided the comfort I needed to get through the darkness of the night.

God’s woman, in the middle of God’s will, will not perish until the Lord God ordains it.  He has a plan and purpose for our lives even in the midst of suffering.  And should I finish well, the tasks before me no matter how difficult, there may be reward someday but first there certainly will be a closeness to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that transcends my understanding.  I want that.  And touch points in life like these will help me to craft my own life beyond amazing.

I’m up for that.



White light and angels

They were tall, white angelic beings moving towards me amidst a glow of an even brighter light.  I did not understand what was happening at the time as I was just waiting there with the figures floating towards me.  More of them were to the right than to the left; or maybe I could not see them as if blinded by sunlight.   But this was not sunlight.

I sensed them coming closer, around behind my right arm as if to escort me somewhere.  I began to drift forward.  Then I stopped.  Why had I stopped?  Was not this the right way to go?  And then the words spoken to me were felt more than heard:  it is not time yet.  And they were gone.  No light.  No angels.  Just the darkened images remained inside my mind that are always there when one’s eyes are closed.  When I opened my eyes I saw the inside of the camper all around me.  Most importantly, I WAS ALIVE!

Quickly realizing what had just happened, I groaned for strength deep within me that was not available in my listless frame.  “I have to open the windows!” I exclaimed inside my head.  Horror nearly immobilized me.  Could I do it?  Could I reach it?  Which window?  How do I open them?  Let’s see, first I have to get up on my elbows to push myself up.  Then lean forward to create momentum and reach out my arms to grab the back of the dinette.  Slide forward and get my legs onto the floor to bear weight to stand.  There, that’s it.

By the grace of God I was able to get the window opened and reach up to open the ceiling vent further before carefully collapsing back into bed.  “Just avoid hitting your head on the bunk over you,” I thought to myself.  Soon I could feel the rush of cool, fresh air on my face and arms.  I took in a deep breath, reviving further.  I was going to be o.k.  Sigh.  What the heck had happened to me?

Some might call it a near-death experience.  Others might label such an experience as a hallucination from toxic fumes.  I prefer to call it an experience in another dimension that I cannot fully explain.   Perhaps a second chance at life.  For several hours prior to this vision of sorts in my “mind’s eye” (not really seen as I looked around and not really imagined with my eyes closed) I had struggled with seizure attacks and convulsions.  This happens about every week or so that I endure much of a day with continuous noxious episodes.  This past weekend landed me with two days like this in a row!  Such is life in the mysterious world of mercury and unknown toxicity.  The typical episode triggers of hunger, thirst, needing to void, feeling cold, fragrances, waking up, falling asleep, mold, or food sensitivities did not apply that day.

We had arrived in Alabama at about 4:00 a.m. after over 15 hours of travelling by truck, towing our travel trailer cross-country.  Temperatures the next day were still around 40 degrees in the deep South when my beloved ventured off to see his son-n-wife at Fort Rucker Army base nearby.  It was usual for me to stay behind after long ventures to rest up, hoping to visit with everyone later the next day.  After sleeping about 7 hours I had made myself a breakfast of my special diet leftovers and yummy coconut almond milk.  My tummy was satisfied yet I still felt groggy so I returned to our comfy bed.  Gratitude filled my thoughts for having a safe place in which to retreat with all the provisions that I would need away from home . . .

Clearly some provisions I did not need after all!  Our crochety campground water spicket was frozen solid so we were unable to hook-up fresh water to the camper and use the toilet as designed.  Gratefully some of our emergency gallons of water were starting to thaw so we had a reserve for flushing the toilet and drinking the next morning.  But unfortunately since we had departed from the frigid North the day before, we had to take our entire journey with a camper still winterized with “non-toxic” RV antifreeze.  All of the drains and toilets were still filled with the scent of the pink stuff.  Not thinking about the mixing of products, we used some windshield washer fluid to flush the toilet a couple of times.  Then when I was concerned that the toilet waste solids would congeal, I tossed in a Bio enzyme pack, earth friendly of course, with barely a scent of pine or something.  Pink and blue and green make . . . ?  Something not nice, I now understand!

Before we crashed into bed, we had already opened the overhead vents to help control condensation inside our unit.  What I did not realize is that a window I had also opened in the morning was above the venting for the propane furnace!  I’m not sure what chemical compounds might have made their way back into our living space since the carbon monoxide detector had not been activated.  Maybe I just don’t do well with propane gas altogether.  Who knows?  What I do know is that the noxious mixture nearly sent me to heaven!

Sadly after eating that morning it was all I could do to get to the bathroom and collapse onto the bed instead of the floor.  I could not, did not move for a very long time.  Slow thoughts of my inability to move, recognition of my awkward positioning, wondering how long Steve would be gone, the location of my cell phone all dawdled through my head.  And they stayed there.  There was nothing I could do about anything and I wasn’t even sure exactly what to do anyways.  My thoughts were dulled into a kind of motionlessness that was similar to my poisoned body.  In time the white light and angels came.  In time I was able to get up as described earlier.  In time Steve came home and found a broken shell of a woman recovering quietly in our bed.  Many tears followed.


Death is a funny thing.  You think you know all about it from watching others pass away then transitioning into a waxy state lying in a wooden box placed in a funeral home parlor decorated like an old rerun of The Beverly Hillbillies.  Sermons, Biblical passages, and Christian authors have much to say about this life and the next but until you face it yourself the words simply won’t mean much.  The unexpected BENEFIT of having a severe illness that brings daily seizure attacks and convulsions is that every day I get to face death in addition to the newness of life.  My breathing stops and it starts back up again.  From a spiritual standpoint, THIS IS NOT A BAD THING!  As a result, each day I take practically nothing for granted as life and some goodness are imparted to me.  This process is extremely humbling.  I have also learned that death is not something to be feared . . .

Many years ago a friend, Louise, shared with me an audio tape of Pastor David Jeremiah in which he stated,

“God’s man in the center of God’s will is immortal until God is through with him.”

Oh yes.  I have now lived through many brushes with death and seen this to be true!  So where do I go from here?  I’m not quite sure, really.  What I am sure of is that I will probably write about it!  You will be the first to know my beloved Gentle Reader when the inspiration comes.  Until then how about if we keep the windows open on the opposite side of the furnace, take care of ourselves as best we can and keep our eyes fixed on the Lord.  The light of His love will surely shine upon us all the days of our lives until He calls us home.  As for me, I will be ready.  How about you?  JJ