Bella – part 18 Meltdown

Bella allowed the music to strengthen her as she reached for the garden door. Taking a deep breath, she slowly let it out trying to calm herself. She had to be clear headed when she found Pastor Toby. It wouldn’t do her any good if she was too scared to say what she wanted, what she needed to say. She took another deep breath, held it, and opened the door.

At first all she saw was the flowers and plants he tended. A mixture of disappointment and relief surged through her. Maybe he wasn’t here after all. But then she saw something move at the end of the row and heard a very quiet chuckle. Pastor Toby! Had he seen her? As if he had heard her thoughts, he called out, “Hi, Bella! So glad you’re here. Come look what I found today.”

Bella walked up to him and looked where he pointed. Next to a tiny, empty chrysalis was IMG_20181005_154120386a brand new butterfly. Wings still drying, the beautiful turquoise and black insect rested on a leaf. Bella stared at the tiny creature, tears filling her eyes as her heart seemed to grow too big to contain. What was going on? She had seen plenty of butterflies before, but none had affected her as this one was doing. If she wasn’t careful, she was going to lose herself in the flood of feelings rising in her.

She tore her eyes from the butterfly and looked at Pastor Toby. “I need to ask you something,” she said.

“I know,” he said, smiling at her. “Let’s do this.”

Now that the moment was here, she didn’t know exactly how to start. Should she be blunt or lead into it more slowly? Not being one to beat around the bush, she asked, “Are you human?”

“Nope,” he answered looking at her with a hint of joyful expectation.

She found looking into his eyes to be as emotional as looking at the butterfly. Tears beginning to stream down her face, she tried to turn away. She did NOT want to cry. She didn’t like to cry and avoided it at all costs. So why was she crying now? It didn’t make any sense. Was he doing something to her? She could hear the music from inside the house getting louder and seemingly to swirl around her. There was something in that music. Something that seemed to reach deep inside her. That’s it! Maybe he was brainwashing her through the music! But the harder she tried to turn away, the more the tears came. She had to do something – anything – to break this.. this… mind control.

“Um… can we go to the lake?” she asked him. “We can talk on the way.” That would get her away from the music, as well as give her a reason to not make eye contact and a chance to regain her composure.

“Sure, whatever makes you feel more comfortable.” He turned and gestured towards the lake, inviting her to take the first step.

Released from his gaze, she started walking quickly towards the lake, hurrying to get out of reach of the music. She noticed he matched her pace, staying right by her side.

“So, you’re not human?” she asked as they walked.

“No, I’m not.”

“Are you here to capture this planet?”

“If by capture you mean take control, yes. I do plan to take control one day.”

Surprised to not only get direct answers for a change, but to be told right out that he planned on taking control, she was speechless. But only for a minute.

“Why?” she burst out. “Why take our planet when you have your own?”

“This is my planet. I’ll just be taking back control of it.”

“Your planet? You used to have control? When did you lose it? How?”

“It’s a long story. I’ll tell you someday. But I think you have a more important question to ask me, don’t you.”

She had to admit he was right. As curious as she was about the control issue, it was a distraction from what she really wanted to know.

“What are you going to do to us? To me?”

“Nothing you don’t want done. But I want to heal you of so many injuries you’ve suffered in your life. I want to make your life better. And I want you to live with me forever.”

“But what if I don’t want to live with you forever?”

“I will never force you. It’s totally our choice.”

“And what if I told you I was going to warn everyone about you? What if I talked to reporters about your plans?”

“That would be awesome!”

Taken aback, totally not expecting that answer, she stopped and looked at him. “You don’t care if I tell the whole world about you?”

“No. In fact, I wish you would. I wish all my children would.”

“Aren’t you afraid of military attacking you and forcing you to leave?”

“No, they can’t do any more than what I allow them. And I’m not going anywhere. I have many people yet to save here.”

“But you’re just one alien. Wait, is Jude… of course he is. So there are only two of you aliens. Against a whole army. And you don’t feel threatened?”

“Nope.”

Bella continued walking, trying to make sense of all this. None of her scenarios had even come close to this. Why wasn’t he threatened? Did he think he was more powerful than an entire army? Evidently he did. What kind of alien could be this powerful? A whole ship load of them might feel invincible, but just one or two?

And why did she still feel the song swirling throughout her inner being? She couldn’t really hear it with her ears anymore, but it was like her very soul was reaching out and soaking it in. Her heart felt open and raw, seeking his touch, his presence. And she felt a sense of longing growing in her – longing to be with him no matter where he went. To be with him forever. Just the thought of losing him should the military kill him created a pain so deep she couldn’t bear it. Tears began streaming down her face again as she turned to him.

“What kind of alien are you?”

“Alien?” He laughed. “I never said I was an alien.”

“But you said…”

“I said I wasn’t human.”

“Then… who are you?”

“I’m God.”

“God? Like God-in-the-bible God?”

“I am.”

Just two simple words, but it was enough. All the confusion fled her mind as if a bright light was turned on. For a moment she saw clearly who she stood before. This was the almighty, all powerful God! The Creator of the heavens and the earth! This was GOD!

She fell face down before Him, sobbing and feeling so insignificant and dirty. She was nothing compared to Him.

“Oh, God, I am so sorry. Please forgive me for all my evil thoughts against you.”

“You’re forgiven,” He immediately responded with a voice so gentle and loving that she dared to look up. Then it hit her. This was also the One who had made her – and loved her – and only wanted her love in return. As she looked into His eyes, she felt His love for her totally engulf her. Her heart swelled until she thought it would burst. And she knew beyond a doubt, that there was nowhere she’d rather be than here in His presence. Forever.

“I love You,” she told Him. “I want to be with You forever. I never want to be separated from You even for a moment.”

“That’s totally possible,” He answered. “All you have to do is invite me inside your heart. My Spirit will come and set up dwelling there. And we will never ever be apart again.”

“Yes! Yes! Please come into my heart!”

“Done!” He face lit up with joy so brightly He seemed to glow! Yet she had no trouble seeing His hand reach down to raise her up. Standing next to Him, tears drying on her cheeks, she couldn’t resist hugging Him. As her arms wrapped around Him, His joy enveloped her until she felt like she would burst if she didn’t start dancing or something. So she did! She danced all the way to the pier with Him dancing right beside her. Breathless, she sat down and turned to Him.

“I have some questions…” she began.

And He laughed.

 

 

 

Bella stories:

I’m Not Hurt, Not Really Part 1 Part 2

Bella part 6   9  10  11 12  13   14  15   16    17

A Bus Full of Angels

“Is that what I think it is?” she asked the girls next to her, pointing up at the sky. “Is that a … foot?”

They looked up and smiled.

“No, not really. It’s a hand.” they said together.

She looked again. Sure enough, now it looked like a hand. “That’s weird,” she said shaking her head. “I could have sworn it was a foot. Jesus’s foot.”

“No, not at all,” they answered together again.  They waved at the hand which waved back.

She tentatively waved also and watched the hand wave back at her as it descended through the sky.

Lower and lower it came until it reached the ground.

She decided better safe than sorry and ducked inside a nearby doorway. She waited a moment, then peeked around the door frame. She saw two angels and Jesus, all smiling as if proud of something. Or maybe very pleased about something.

Jesus?  Jesus! Feelings of love and want rose up in her. Jesus was there! But how could that be?

A girl pushed past her and ran outside, giving a big hug to the nearest angel.

She wanted to go outside also, but was afraid that all of this was in her head. She thought if she went outside, they would all just disappear like a puff of smoke. So she continued watching from behind the door frame.

The angels and Jesus just stood there, one angel with an arm around that girl. What were they waiting for?

Curiosity overcame her fear, and she emerged from the doorway. One of the angels got so excited seeing her that he gave Jesus a hug. It reminded her of when contestant winners who get so excited they hug anyone within arm distance.

As she slowly walked towards them, her attention was on Jesus. She noticed His medium brown hair and clear brown eyes. He looked young and beautiful. He watched her as she watched Him, and when she got within a few feet of Him, He pointed to something to her left. She turned and saw a huge bus.

Bus? She felt confused. First a hand descending from the sky, then Jesus and some angels standing in front of her, and now a bus? Did they want her to get on it or something? Why? Where would it take her?

Jesus motioned to her to follow Him. Sure enough, He led her to the bus.

OK, so He did want her on that bus. Well, she had trusted Him enough to approach Him. She was also going to trust Him now. And if He wanted her on the bus, she would get on the bus.

She climbed up the steps and sat down next to the girl that had run past her in the doorway.

“Hi, I’m Susan!” the girl said. “Isn’t this amazing? We’ve been invited to ride with Jesus! This is going to be so good!”

Well, amazing, yes. But good? She wasn’t so sure yet. IF this was real, and IF this was really Jesus, then yes, it had to be good. But what if it wasn’t? What if this was just a figment of her imagination and she was going insane? That wouldn’t be so good.

Not knowing what else to do, she grabbed Susan’s hand for security and waited for the bus to move.

Jesus climbed on and sat in the driver’s seat. The angels climbed on behind Him and sat in the only empty sea, which happened to be next to her. The rest of the seats held other angels. She was on a bus filled with angels! And Jesus was driving! She must be going crazy.

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“Everybody ready?” Jesus calls out. “We’re heading to the High Places.”

“What are the High Places?” she asked Susan. But Susan was not paying attention to her and didn’t respond.

Turning back to Jesus, she saw that He was looking into the rear view mirror towards the back of the bus. “I’m sorry,” He said to whoever He was talking to. “I must take these ladies to the High Places before I take you to your destination.” She turned to see who He was talking to. There were skeletons back there! She hadn’t noticed them when she got on the bus, but she sure did now.

Then Jesus looked at her and Susan. “This is going to be fun!”

“It already is!” Susan responded.

“Good,” he said with a smile. “But I have to warn you. Once there, you will be given a mission to accomplish that might not always be fun.”

She looked from Jesus to Susan and back to Jesus. A mission to accomplish? Not always fun? What did that mean? Did she really want to go there? Was it too late to change her mind?

He smiled reassuringly at her. “Yes, you want to be here. Because that is where I am. And what better place can you be than where I am?”

She had to agree with that. So she settled back in her seat and waited for the adventure to begin. As she waited, she got drowsy and began drifting into a pleasant sleep.

Suddenly a loud jarring noise startled her. She sat up and noticed two things. One, she was no longer on the bus. And two, her alarm clock was buzzing itself right off the side table. Had all that been a dream?

Disappointed, she got up. She wished she was still on that bus no matter where it was going because Jesus had been on it. Her heart hurt with longing to be in His presence again.

“You ARE in My presence, Little One.” She knew that voice. The still small voice.

“It’s not the same,” she told Jesus. “I can’t see You with my eyes. I can’t touch You with my hands.”

“You will one day,”

“What was that I experienced?” she asked. “Was it a spiritual experience or just a dream.” It had to be just a dream, right?  Jesus driving a bus full of angels and skeletons?

“It was neither,” He answered gently. “It was an allegory. A dream with meaning.”

“What did it mean?”

“Can’t you figure it out? Think about it.

So she did. And slowly it dawned on her. It was another way to look at her salvation. Perhaps a bit bizarre but a pretty accurate allegory all in all.

She saw Jesus from a distance and was afraid He wasn’t real. That was before she was saved.

She overcame her fear and approached Him. That would be her seeking salvation.

The angel celebrated when she met Jesus.  Don’t angels celebrate as sinners repent?

Jesus drove the bus He led her on. He was the driver – leader – in her real life, only not with a bus.

Her fear that it was all her imagination. Yes, after her salvation, there had been times she thought all of it was just an imaginary game she and others were playing.

The bus was full of angels. God has placed angels all around His people, which included her.

He was taking her to the High Places. That was most likely representative of when she would be made whole and strong and able to do the things He calls her to do, which would be the mission the dream spoke of. As in the dream, she had not reached the High Places yet so she wasn’t too sure.

And the skeletons? She had no idea. Maybe she would figure that out later. Or maybe, since they had a different destination, she wasn’t meant to figure it out. Maybe the whole point of them was to show there are things in the spirit world she knew nothing about and didn’t concern her.

“OK, Jesus,” she said. “I have to admit. That was a pretty amazing dream. There’s no end to Your creativity, is there?”

“Nope,” He said with a smile. “Ready to have some fun?”

“Ready,” she answered, also with a smile. “Start that motor and let the ride begin!”

Just Like… The Kitten in the Woods

“Let’s try this trail!” My son pointed to a narrow trail through a little piece of woods that bordered the street we were bicycling on.

“It looks hard,” I answered. “Maybe we should get off our bikes.”  Inside, I was picturing riding down the steep slope, hitting that hump at the bottom, and flying off into the trees.

“Nah, we can handle it,” my husband said as he took off, my son right behind him.

My daughter and I watched the boys disappear over the hump, then turned to look at each other.

“You go next,” I told my daughter. I still wasn’t sure this was a smart thing for a middle aged lady to do.

After watching her navigate the path as smoothly as the boys, I cautiously started off. Gaining speed, I almost screamed when I hit the hump but managed to stay on the bike even as I made the turn that lay right behind it. When I came to a stop, the others cheered. We walked our bikes a few more steps around some branches when my daughter stopped us.

“Do you hear that?” she asked.

We listened quietly a few minutes before we heard it too.

Just like I heard you when you called to Me.

“It’s coming from over there.” My husband pointed across the little stream that ran by the trail.

It took a few more minutes before we spotted the tiny gray form. It was on the other side of the stream, meowing pitifully. It would look at us, then try to cross the cold water. After several unsuccessful tries,  it gave up and paced up and down the edge of the water, looking at us as it continued to cry. She couldn’t get to us, so we decided to find a way to get to her.

Just like I did when I went to the cross for you.

It wasn’t until we got back home with the tiny kitten that we discovered just how bad a shape she was in.

cassi - CopyShe was very young, probably less than a month, wet, cold, covered with fleas. One eye was closed, covered with a brown crusty film, and her other eye wasn’t that much better off. There was a smelly discharge coming from her ears, and she had a kind of wheezing cough.

Just like you were when I found you.

Even so, we fell in love with her immediately. We saw past the disease and filth to the vulnerable and sweet kitten that she was.

Just like I see past all your sins and failures to the lovely treasure you are.

Even though we couldn’t imagine loving her any more than we already did, we knew we couldn’t leave her in that condition.

Just like I couldn’t leave you in your condition.

“She’s going to the vet first thing tomorrow,” my husband said. “She looks pretty sick.”

“She must be hungry. What can we feed her?” I asked. We had some dog food in the house but no cat food.

“We can ask next door,” my daughter said. “They have a cat.”

“Good idea!”

Our neighbor was generous but the kitten couldn’t eat any of the dry cat food.

“Maybe she’s too young. What else can we try? She has to eat something before tomorrow.” I said.

“What about tuna fish?” my son asked.

“Sure, we could try,” my husband replied. He went inside, and returned a moment later with a small dish of tuna.

As soon as the kitten smelled it, she attacked it like she hadn’t eaten in days. Mostly likely, she hadn’t.

Just like I feed you what you can handle.

Over the next week, her health improved dramatically as we applied the medicine the vet had given us. She didn’t like it and fought us at times, but we knew it was necessary if she was going to return to full health.

Just like how you are healing as I work in you, even if you resist at times.

After a month, you couldn’t tell that she had ever been sick. Cassi was healthy in every way, and had became my daughter’s best friend!

Just like you,  My friend!

cassi - Copy (2)

Lost Puppies

While she was sleeping, she dreamed…

The brown woven basket was filled with puppies. Cold, wet, shivering puppies. Not knowing any different, they stayed in that basket, huddling together in an attempt to get warm but without success.

Suddenly a hand reached down and gently picked up one of the puppies. As the puppy was held snuggly between two warm hands, the warmth flooded over and into her until she was infused with life. Her brown fur, once wet and plastered to her skin, became soft and fluffy.

The hand carefully place her back into the basket with the other puppies. Warmth spread from her and radiated into the cold puppies. As they got warmer, their fur dried and fluffed just as hers had done. The basket of cold, wet puppies transformed into a basket of warm, lively, happy puppies!

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She woke, the dream fresh in her mind. What did it mean? Somehow she felt it was from God so she spent some time thinking about it. Then she understood. She was the cold puppy that had been picked up. God had warmed her and then put her back into her family where His warmth, His life would spread to her siblings.

And that’s exactly what He did, she thought. He reached into my family, picked me up, warmed me spiritually, then returned me to my family. I didn’t have to do anything but allow the love He had given me to radiate to them. Over the next few years, she watched as one sibling after another warmed up and connected with Jesus. And she was deeply awed at God’s love and concern for a bunch of lost puppies, and how He had chosen her, through no merit of her own, to help bring about this amazing change.

Am I Saved Yet?

After her amazing encounter with Jesus, she read every book she could find about Jesus. From those books, and from some new friends she had made, she learned that, although she was in love with Jesus and told Him that daily, she had never actually responded to an altar call or repentance prayer. So was she saved?

She had been taught at an early age the importance of following rules. There were rules for everything. And now she learned there were rules for being saved. It didn’t matter that she spent time with Jesus every day, talked about Him to everyone she met, and doodled His name in her books.  If she never responded to an altar call, was she saved?

Her church didn’t do altar calls. So she found a friend’s church that did and made plans to attend it. When the altar call was given, the thought of everyone looking at her caused her to panic inside and she froze, unable to make herself get up and walk down that aisle. The preacher said that not going down the aisle was the same as saying no to the Holy Spirit. Full of remorse, she asked God to forgive her.

She talked with her friends and decided to try a smaller church.  Maybe it would be easier with less people. But the same thing happened. And even though she said the sinner’s prayer in her heart as the preacher said it out loud, she knew it wasn’t good enough because a book she had read said that it wasn’t good enough to just think the sinner’s prayer, she had to say it out loud in front of a witness. So she wept silent tears for her weakness, wondering if she would ever be able to get saved.

But she didn’t give up. She continued going to churches and reading books until one day she finally got the courage to make the walk to the front. Trembling so hard she thought she might faint, she repeated the sinner’s prayer with everyone else and went back to her seat.

IMG_20180307_111959575Was she saved? She had read how everyone in the books described all the peace they felt when they got saved. She didn’t feel any different.  Maybe a group prayer wasn’t good enough after all. Maybe that new book she was reading was right – that people should be led to Christ individually.

“Jesus,” she cried out. “Help me figure this out! I want to be saved. I want to be Yours. But I just don’t know how to do it!”

Beginning to get discouraged, she continued reading books, finding more rules and prayers, and following each one each time.

Respond to an altar call. Check.

Repeat the sinner’s prayer. Which one? She had repeated several so maybe she was covered.

Ask Jesus to live in her heart. Did she do this. Quickly she did and checked it off her mental list. Was she saved yet?

Give her life to Jesus and tell Him she would go wherever He wants to send her. OK, this one was harder, but she did, even if that meant moving to Africa and eating bugs. Was she saved yet?

Making Him Lord of her life. What did that mean? Maybe this was the hang up. “Whatever it means, Lord, I agree with it.” Was she saved yet?

Eventually she was so confused, she gave up. Salvation was just not for her, she thought. If God wanted to save her, He would. She wasn’t going to try anymore.

One day, months later, she was singing a praise song, about a group of people who rejoiced in belonging to Jesus, and the realization bloomed inside her that she was one of those people! She had been saved! When – she didn’t know. But that didn’t matter. She now knew who she belonged to. And she had the peace that came with that.

A gentle voice whispered unheard, “Silly girl. Don’t you know you were Mine the first time you told Me you loved Me? The words don’t matter. The place doesn’t matter.  Feelings don’t matter. What matters is your heart. You were saved on that day, and I’m glad you finally believe it.”