In the fall of 2011, my grandfather who had been terminally ill with cancer was called home to be with God. This shattered my world. I had never lost someone so close to me and I was grief stricken. I did however have peace of mind that he was with Jesus, as he was a devoted Christian during his lifetime and truly based his actions according to the phrase “What would Jesus do?”
After my Grandpa’s funeral, our family went back to his apartment in order to sort out where all of his things were going to go etc. Since our family is pretty big we decided that we would all go around and find something we would like to have as sort of a memento. I was still so upset, and didn’t know what I wanted to take, but I knew I wanted to take something significant; something that my Grandpa would have been happy for me to have. In consideration of all of this I decided to pray to God and asked him what I should take. Immediately after my prayer, the idea of taking my Grandpa’s most recent bible popped into my head. I battled with the idea a little mainly because I felt awkward asking for his bible. I wasn’t really following God at the time and didn’t want anyone questioning me on my beliefs. Following that, my non-Christian boyfriend at the time spoke up and was like “Wasn’t church and God his most prized possession? Doesn’t someone want his bible?” It was at that moment I knew I needed to take it. I knew it was God speaking to me, and making himself very clear on his answer to my prayer, so I took the bible and am so glad that I did.
After the funeral and everything was settled I really felt God begin to pull on me. I don’t know how to describe it any other way because he was literally pulling on my soul trying to bring me closer to him. I became really curious about what happens when you die, and where you go. I found comfort in reading my Grandpa’s bible, in which he had left bookmarks, underlines and highlights. I started praying more frequently and I don’t mean traditional head bowed eyes closed prayer; I literally started talking to him throughout my day. I talked to him about my grief, my stress with school and other little things about my day. I also felt this intense longing to be closer and closer to him; I wanted more so I continued to tell him that I wanted to be closer, and I wanted to feel his presence more. He answered this prayer and took our relationship to another level.
He spoke to me in a dream one night. I dreamt that I was walking down a long road on a foggy dreary day. I had someone who I’m very close with who was walking beside me, although I still can’t figure out who that person was all I know is that we were really close. As we were walking down the long grey road we were filled with anxiety and fear. We came to a gathering of people on the side of the road and Jesus was in the crowd talking amongst them. We walked over to him and he greeted us with the biggest hug ever. It was amazing! I was immediately filled with peace and love and I felt so safe. It was a similar feeling to the feeling you get when you’re young and scared of something and your parents hug you to make you feel better; just pure unconditional love. I could have stayed there forever. He then uttered these words and only these words in a soft but powerful voice “Why were you so afraid to come to me?” And that was the end of the dream. When I awoke in the morning I immediately remembered this dream and only this dream, and to this day I can still recall it as if it just happened.
A month or two after my dream God spoke to me through what I can only explain as a vision. It was the most surreal but yet amazing experience I have ever had. Because of the nature of it, words really can’t do it justice, however I’m going to attempt to share it with you. It was such an eye opening experience and showed me just how real Jesus is and how merciful God is.
So one afternoon, after I had written my exams, I was lying in my bed and attempting to have a nap. My eyes were closed and I was just sort of lying there trying to sleep. I had just listened to the song “Hallelujah” so I was sort of singing it in my head all the while talking to God and thanking him for helping me with all of my stress and grief that I had been experiencing. All of a sudden I could see golden swirls forming in front of my eyes, it was as if my eyes had lit up. This literally caused my heart to skip a beat. You could compare it to being in the dark and a light is turned on and all of a sudden you’re able to see something that was always there but just couldn’t be seen. From my field of vision I was looking down at the ground mesmerized by these amazing pink flowers, which looked kind of like lilies. There was a warm golden glow in the center sort of hovering over the lilies. My vision began to move and I felt as though I was flying or gliding over the lilies, which turned out to be a field of lilies that extended pretty far. When I came to a certain place everything became stationary again and the lilies along with golden glow remained the only prominent thing in my vision. All of a sudden water began to flow from the left and covered the lilies completely. The water was crystal clear and sparkling and I could still see the flowers underneath. The golden glow remained at the center now hovering over the water and lilies and there was a warmth radiating from it which caused my face to become warm. Suddenly I noticed water droplets, dropping into the crystal clear water that I was staring into, and the water rippled with each drop. This continued for a period of time until I realized that the water droplets were coming from me, from my eyes. This kind of shocked me because I assumed they were tears although I didn’t feel sad. I noticed my hair softly blowing in the wind beside me, however I couldn’t feel the wind. It’s hard to explain but I felt as though I was partially in another body, however not fully because I couldn’t experience all of the senses nor could I move this body, not that I tried because the entire time I was mesmerized by what I was seeing. I actually opened my eyes out of shock of what I was seeing and as I looked around my room the picture disappeared. I began to think about how beautiful and surreal everything I had just seen seemed. I felt like it was an experience from God but I couldn’t make sense of it’s significance. The something in my mind told me to keep watching so I closed my eyes again, and the water reappeared again. This time I saw a reflection of trees in the water all the while still looking at the golden glow and pink lilies underneath. My field of vision shifted slightly and I was now looking across the water to my right. Suddenly to the right a figure appeared in the distance, wearing a white robe. He walked down a path toward me and toward the water until he stood just at the edge where the water met the ground. I instantly knew that this was Jesus. I can’t explain how I knew I just knew. The sun was shining and he knelt down and scooped up some of the water in the palm of his right hand. He then extended his hand and the water out to me. It was at this moment that everything clicked in my mind and I realized that this was living water. It was the most amazing feeling of pure unconditional love that cannot be described in words. His extended hand surrounded by the golden glow became the only prominent thing in my field of vision and it lasted for a minute or two. The message was complete. He was showing me that he wanted to give living water to everyone so that everyone can share in his love and live with him forever. A message that I had heard before but I now understand a bit more of its significance.
After this experience I immediately searched for any bible verses that related to living water, and here are the ones that I found to be the most significant for this experience:
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38
“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:1
What is amazing is that prior to this experience I wasn’t entirely aware of what the bible said about living water, other than the general metaphorical interpretation that it symbolizes everlasting life. Following my experience and after reading these verses I was brought to tears because it just made everything that much more real. There is no way that my mind could have made it up on it’s own. The message was crafted and relayed too perfectly.
Ever since I had these experiences I have felt compelled to share them. I know this message was meant not only for me but also for everyone. I hope that anyone who reads this is able to feel Jesus’ love the way I did because it is the best feeling. I honestly feel so blessed and humbled to have had this experience. Jesus is amazing and so full of love and peace and I truly believe that if you want to be really close with him all that you have to do is ask and have faith; faith that he will bring you closer and that when you are close with him anything is possible, literally anything.