• Deborah

Are You Listening, God?

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

A simple but powerful prayer of hope.

Whenever confused or burdened, just look up.

Terminal Illness reveals what's most important in life. Last year, my husband Rich started to show signs of being anxious about "how to be more like Him," while winding down on his illness journey.

He would point upwards with his index finger, tears in his eyes, and say, "I just want to be more like Him." It was heartbreaking as his spouse. How do I help my husband focus when he has a devastating degenerative brain disease? What do I say? What can I do?

After having this experience about 3 times, I was given a plan via a dream or vision one night.

It was as if I was looking through my own eyes but with Jesus whispering in my mind. He had me take my left hand, palm up, while using my right hand to point at each finger, beginning with the pinky finger.

The pinky finger represented the first important concept I was to teach Rich. It was for "Love." The next finger was for "Service," then the middle finger, "Forgiveness." I can remember feeling elated, even though I was asleep, I was really "awake" spiritually.

Then He said, "These three things will give you a Grateful Heart." Then he said the thumb was very important. He said, "Each and every day, everyone has the Freedom to Choose whether to follow Me (Jesus) or not."

He doesn't want anyone to feel they are forced to love Him. Free will, freedom to choose, to love him willingly. No one wants someone to be forced into a relationship. We want people to stay with us, build a life with us --- to LOVE us unconditionally... because they want and choose to. God is no different. He impressed upon me how important it was to respect other's freedom.

God’s sovereignty does not violate our free will, it sets our will free. Mark Ballenger (read the article here).

After being in lock-down since March, our family decided to plan a little Anniversary party for Rich and me. I was very aware that more-than-likely, this was our last earthly anniversary.

It felt good to get together and celebrate something. It was at this event that I revealed the painting and the story behind it. Let me explain how the painting came into existence.

Several months after my vision of how to teach Rich to focus on the most important concepts that Jesus wanted him to remember, I had another idea. I'm not really sure if it was my idea or God's idea, but it was a good one and I've learned to just follow through when He lets me know what to do.

Over my adult lifetime, I have come to know several people who have had near-death experiences or NDE's. I could totally relate to these people after having a very powerful spiritual transformative out-of-body experience myself when I was in my twenties.

For those that are not too familiar with this topic or if you are concerned about whether or not these stories and messages fall in line with the Bible, here's a good video featuring Pastor and author, John Burke, to give you something to think and pray about. This video came out in the spring after the COVID-19 pandemic so hopefully, it will give you peace and encouragement.

The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see. Alexandra k. Trenfor.

My particular experience was not a case where I was near death or in danger of any kind, but I was taken up to a place that I can only describe as like a waiting room in Heaven --- while I was wide awake. This was His way of answering my prayer. I was struggling with a concept so He took me up with Him and answered my prayer... in person! That's another story for another time.

Anyway, I thought that it might be a good idea to help Rich overcome any fear of the dying process to watch some videos and hear other people share their near-death experiences. Rich is like a small boy and so I try to keep things short and to the point to help him on his journey. I chose uplifting comforting videos of men describing how their experience changed their lives for the better.

We were watching one such video and the person sharing their experience said something like, "Instead of complaining about the hardships I was enduring, I decided to ask God, 'What can I take away from this experience to bring more light and love into the world?'" I got goose-bumps! I knew this meant I was to pay particularly close attention.

Then God told me to make His lesson for Rich into a painting. Since I paint often, my first thought was, "I don't think I have any blank canvases." Immediately an image flashed into my mind of a particular place in my storage bedroom showing me right where a fresh new canvas awaited my paint. I jumped up and went into the storage bedroom and found the canvas right where He showed me it was. I started my painting project right away.

I took a photo of my husband's hand, then I enlarged it. If you know my painting style at all, I don't like doing people. A hand belongs to a person! You have to mix each and every flesh tone and its variation carefully to get it right. I had a bit of anxiety, but it was like God said, "You're not doing this alone, I'm right here. We got this."

So, I sketched his hand onto the canvas. After that was done, I just trusted God to help me mix the paint and do the photo justice. It all came together pretty quickly. I think I had it done in about eight hours!

Oh, while creating the composition, He showed me He wanted to add something. He showed me a heart-shape in the palm. He wanted us to remember that no matter what is going on in the world right now --- the COVID-19 Pandemic, the election year chaos, hatred, violence, fake news, disinformation... We were to ignore it all and focus our whole heart on Him. So, I added that to the painting.

Now, because Rich is not capable of remembering these important concepts, he looks at his painting and smiles. Now and then, he will ask me what a word is. But, it gives him peace. I hope it will give you peace as well.

Yes, God is always listening, always paying attention to our joys, our sadness, our burdens. Just ask for help. Try it and see. But, remember, you have to also pay attention, watching and waiting for His answer.

It may not be the answer you expected or wanted, but He knows the Big Picture. Trust, have Faith. Together, we've got this.

Be well, be blessed.