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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Inspiration for Blog Title, "Whispers of Mystery"

            My nickname for those mysterious, loving, and remarkably accurate voices that began coming to me in 2005 forms the inspiration for my blog's title.  I haven't blogged too many of them, but should introduce the story that led to these “whispers of mystery”: In 2004, after the birth of my second child, I was a basket case.  Almost every day was a challenge to get through, and I was terrified I’d hurt my older child, a toddler whose screams were intolerable, especially while trying to nurse my infant and juggle a relatively new career teaching college composition.  When my toddler would scream beyond what I could bear, I had to run to my room, lock the door, and scream louder than him to avoid hurting him.  That, of course, would freak him out and send him into an even greater tantrum.  I went to my doctor for help, and, not surprisingly, he diagnosed me with post-partum depression and prescribed me with Prozac.  I took it, but didn’t want to get addicted.  I wanted real help.

            On December 26, 2004, the day of the Indonesian Tsunami, our pastor asked whether we had asked God for a character gift for Christmas.  No?  Since we had not, he suggested in place of a New Year’s Resolution, we ask God for a character gift for the coming year.  That was a slam dunk suggestion for me, and I knew exactly which gift I wanted.  It came from 1 Peter 3:4: “a quiet and gentle spirit.”  I vowed I would pray every day in 2005 for a quiet and gentle spirit.  I did, and I was bold, and I begged: “I’m asking this is for the children You gave to me.  I need this gift so I can be a mom to the children you gave to me.”  I prayed it like a demand, often adding, “I want to go off this d*&% drug!”  In early May, I even fasted for it.

            On May 15, 2005, a day of 5-5-5 (5, Hei, is a window, symbolizing an opening into the divine realm) and – I discovered 7 months later – Pentecost Sunday, the Lord initiated the start of this gift and so much more.  I had asked only for a “quiet and gentle spirit,” not the myriad of additional gifts added on top of it.  I won’t share the story of that day, but it began a three and a half month bewildering experience I call “my summer in the twilight zone,” a journey of glories, terrors, memories from toddlerhood confirmed by my mom, and physical manifestations, that, for Evangelical Christianity, were thoroughly baffling.  At once, I was amazed by God and what the Holy Spirit was showing me, while I was also manifesting migraines (which I don’t usually get), vomiting, nightmares, and so forth.  Charismatic friends could explain the former, but not the latter.  That May 15 was Pentecost Sunday fit perfectly in their minds for the visions and auditory whispers, and they could explain the nightmares as “spiritual warfare,” but they couldn’t explain the sicknesses.  Many years later, I discovered another spiritual tradition that could, which calls it “spontaneous kundalini.”

            Three and a half months after I received the gifts that initiated my “summer in the twilight zone,” I completed my journey with a final experience.  It was August 30, 2005, and Hurricane Katrina was hammering New Orleans and flooding it out.  Except we were camping and didn’t know it.  Well, I knew something was happening.  My husband, two children, my mom and dad and I were all gathering in Oregon for a three day getaway in cabins without any internet, TV, radio, or even a newspaper.  On the day we arrived, Katrina had just hit Florida as a Category 1, and we thought that was it.  We didn’t know the turn Katrina was about to make into the Gulf, the steam it would build there, or the damage it would do to Mississippi and Louisiana.  After breakfast that morning, a gut pounding sickness like labor pains took over me and a whirl of visions of people screaming, “Help!”  I ran into the woods.

            My husband found me groaning by a tree stump, bent over with my arms crossed over my belly.  He said, “Honey, if something’s wrong, could you at least tell us?  We’ve been looking all over for you.  What happened?”  I said, “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.”  I walked back with him and met my angry mom.  “How could you leave without telling us?  What about your children?!”  I yelled back, “If you want to be mad, be mad at the Enemy, because something is happening and I don’t know what it is!” and I ran into the cabin, fell into my pillow and screamed into it.

            After that day, I was set free from my “summer in the twilight zone” and only one manifestation remained: the whispers of mystery.  Many of my friends had thought I was crazy, and for my family, the jury was out until that last day.  But what they saw on August 30, 2005, and then what they discovered from the news of that day convinced them: whatever was happening to me was real.  I was not crazy. 

 © 2012 by karina.  All rights reserved.  Please use with permission or a citation that links to this blog.

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