Inwardly I’m dancing with Jesus through my days, while outwardly my life looks “normal.” I’ve raised my three children and am enjoying having some grands. In the time since my husband Terry died in 2012, I’ve worked to become one person (after 36 years as two) and I think I’m doing a fairly good job of it. I figure that since I didn’t have any choice in the matter I might as well embrace it, and I’ve come to enjoy the advantages of being single.
After losing my father it became mutually beneficial for me to move in with my mom. Living with her allows me time to focus on my writing and gives her someone around to help out.
I have my “Jesus Space” in the basement where I hang out and enjoy Him, not that we don’t enjoy each other 24/7, but it’s that time alone together that makes the relationship grow, staying fresh and new.
I mostly write at Starbucks as I’m too distracted at home to get much done, and I figure the price of a good coffee is cheap rent for four hours of an “office.”
My days are spent helping with my mom and working on my writing, which, it turns out, involves much more editing, marketing, formatting, and website-maintenance than actual writing. Having my tech-support husband die on me was most inconvenient and I’ve not quite forgiven him for that, though I’ve since been forced to learn a lot of technical stuff I wouldn’t have otherwise bothered learning.
For the story of how I got where I am today, see below the pictures. Under each picture tells a bit of detail about it.
My Journey, in Pictures
I am not happy!
Picture 1 of 19
I came home from the hospital to our house in Bangkok. Big sister Jan is doing her best but I'm just not happy!
I was born in Bangkok, and Thailand was “home.” My missionary parents taught me to love God passionately, and I grew up seeing and sharing their compassion for others.
I got involved in a Charismatic group at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where I met my husband Terry, who was one of the leaders of the group. We spent the next twenty years trying to find a church where we fit, but even though Terry was often the worship leader or on the worship team, and we were a part of the “inner circle,” we still never really fit. Out of our desperation for more of God we asked questions that pastors found uncomfortable. We would dream of worshiping in a church where most of the people were passionate about God, did that exist, and what would it be like?
During a small Bible study I started in 1992, a neighbor challenged everything I believed, causing me to go home determined to find every reference in the Bible that answered her challenges. Maybe because it was the first time I’d ever had to defend what I believed, or just that Holy Spirit switched something on in me, but from that night on I became passionate about God. In my quest to learn more about prayer, I bought the book Conversation With God by Lloyd J. Ogilvie, and one thing he suggested in his book became the catalyst for everything that has come after. While the book talked about different aspects of prayer, the one that was new to me was silence. He said to sit in silence before God for three minutes a day and listen, even if you have to use a timer, which, being a perfectionist, I did.
I decided to start out with twenty minutes a day with God (the youngest of our three children was four years old so I couldn’t leave them for long) and during that time, besides worshiping and praying, I would try silence. With nowhere to go in our small apartment I would sit on the washing machine in our tiny laundry room. Occasionally the children would wander in and out asking questions or just seeing what mom was doing, but God isn’t easily scared off and it didn’t matter. At first, I spent my time before the throne, worshipping an awesome God who was huge and powerful, and holy. I was overwhelmed by such an almighty God, and often in tears.
Then one day, after a few months of spending time with God, I suddenly realized that instead of worshiping before the throne, I was hanging out with Jesus. Instead of worshiping a holy Father-God I was laughing and enjoying a close relationship with my Bridegroom, Jesus. It took me by surprise. I hadn’t thought much, if anything, about the Bridegroom relationship, but just realized one day that my God-time had changed. Jesus had come and wooed me without my realizing it. Where I had been writing prose about an awesome God, I was now writing about dancing with Jesus. Now, instead of being on-my-face worshiping, I was sitting and hugging Jesus’ presence to myself wherever I was.
Here’s something I wrote that shows where my heart was, and it was one of the first signs that my writing and perspective had changed. I wrote this on a napkin I found in my coat pocket, standing in the hallway outside my son’s first grade class as I waited to take him home.
I walk around with my head in the clouds.
I feel protected in a cocoon of love.
These people who see me have no idea
that I am Your beloved.
I am Your chosen bride
and You have set Your seal on me.
My heart glows in response.
I feel Your love radiating over me,
warming me to the depths of my being.
I walk in a world apart from others.
Sheltered, protected and secure in this knowledge,
my heart bursts!
It was a few years later that I first experienced “doing” something with Jesus, as in, he was really there. Not his omnipresence, but his manifest presence. God is omnipresent, everywhere all the time. But when he chooses, his manifest presence comes, and you can physically know his presence. I was sitting on my washing machine having silent time with God as usual and I became overwhelmed with the thought of being his bride, and what it will be like to dance with Jesus at our wedding. I began to imagine dancing with Jesus, and then it was real. I felt his presence with me, and it wasn’t like my imagination anymore.
With my eyes closed, sitting on my washing machine, I danced in the Spirit (meaning not physically) and cried. It was as if I were really dancing with Jesus, and I felt his presence strongly, and later it kind of freaked me out, like, is this wrong? I’ve never heard of something like this, is it allowed?
That was in Columbus, Ohio, in 1995. Growing in intimacy with Jesus has been a process. It took me a long time to really start experiencing his reality, as I didn’t have the knowledge of what he wanted or what was possible. I was still limited by my traditional Sunday school upbringing and by my fear of being “in the flesh” or making it up. It was hard to drop man’s teachings and let Jesus show me the relationship he wants, what is possible in him.
For example, I had believed the lie that we should never imagine God or have pictures of him, doing so was to limit him to our human perceptions, and for a long time I was crippled by that. Then I came to understand the beautiful truth in the Bible where Jesus repeatedly tells us to use our spiritual senses to “see” and “hear.” Where for 33 years people saw Jesus, and they didn’t drop dead.
Since then I’ve grown into an intimate relationship with Jesus as my Bridegroom that has changed everything I believed and everything I thought being a Christian was. You’ll find more of my journey in my book The Wild Romancer.
Besides writing and sharing with women how they too can know Jesus intimately, I have served alongside my husband Terry as we traveled and taught, ministered in our weekly meeting we called Ginmay (God Is Not Mad At You), and recorded our podcasts on living the Adam Walk in “real life.”
Unfortunately my beloved Terry died August of 2012. He appeared to be in great health but had a heart attack or a stroke.
Since then I have been learning to be one person, rediscovering myself and building new dreams, goals, and visions. Now it’s just Jesus and me and I’m enjoying taking my relationship with him even deeper than it was.
My goal is to flow through life dancing across the waters with Jesus as I touch the world around me with His supernatural love.
I’ll close with this excerpt from Chapter Ten of my book:
Once you catch on and choose to enter into the Romance of Romances, you are lost to anything else. You welcome the tutoring of Holy Spirit, for only through Him can you go deeper in love and enter into the King’s bedchamber. Once you have tasted of True Love you can never go back, for nothing else matters.
Earthly things lose their appeal because your Beloved holds your heart in His hands. Wherever you go and whatever you do, your eyes are locked on His. Your heart sings your Beloved’s name. Anywhere or anytime, you can close your eyes and be lost in Him. You can run with Him on the spice-laden mountains, dance in His arms to His love songs, and be His hands to the hurting and broken. You can taste of His love in His inner chamber and walk with Him in His secret place. You will enjoy His garden of delights and find His fruit sweet to your taste.
I found my way into the wine cellar, found it was good, and began to wonder what else they had been hiding from me.
(Roger Hicks, a Baptist preacher who fell into Jesus)