Experience


#1

Hello Everyone: I was hoping to start a thread wherein participants can share accounts of their own direct experiences with God. What were the circumstances? How would you describe it? Was it manifest in a mundane everyday event that was somehow attended by a deeper awareness or presence, or was it something totally out of the ordinary that caught your attention? Or was it something altogether beyond what you could describe, or an intimation? Maybe it's something you experience every day. How does that happen with you personally?

All are welcome to share.

Your friend,
Sufjon


#2

[quote="Sufjon, post:1, topic:274081"]
Hello Everyone: I was hoping to start a thread wherein participants can share accounts of their own direct experiences with God. What were the circumstances? How would you describe it? Was it manifest in a mundane everyday event that was somehow attended by a deeper awareness or presence, or was it something totally out of the ordinary that caught your attention? Or was it something altogether beyond what you could describe? Maybe it's something you experience every day. How does that happen with you?

All are welcome to share.

Your friend,
Sufjon

[/quote]

Over a decade ago, I was driving home from North Carolina (we hadn't moved here yet), on Interstate 59. I had almost drifted offto sleep at the wheel. I hearda voice say, "Jon, wake up." Now this was a voice I heard with my ears, not some inner voice. I was alone in the car.

Jon


#3

A very profound experience I had was when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues for the first time. It was very intense, and I will never forget it. It felt like a warmth was all inside my body, and it was like this river of love just filled me up until I couldn't contain anymore of it and it just overflowed out of my mouth.


#4

I'll just share a couple of experiences I've had:

  1. God literally opened a window for me that I had not been able to open. It had to get opened to let out some poisonous fumes. I tried so hard to open it repeatedly in a few minutes I had before I would pass out, using all of my strength and then I prayed to God and told Him that there was no way I could do it and asked Him to open it and He did. The fresh air was able to come in and the fumes out. I was able to breathe again.

  2. Since I had bought a clock new, the pendulum had not worked and I had taken it to get repaired and was told that it could not be fixed. About 3 years later, when I was feeling especially isolated, God randomly fixed it one night when I was on my way to bed. I heard it and it scared me and I had to turn back on the light to search where the noise was coming from and...it was the clock - working after all those years! Totally felt God's presence and love for me and I was comforted.


#5

My first teaching job, the school I was working in was taken over by a very evil woman. (Administrator number four in the two years I worked there.) I was a second year teacher and she was a horrible bully. At one point, I was called into her office and made to listen to a list of lies that she had created about me. Normally, I am a very emotional person and I'm apt to break down or go nuts in such a situation, but this time I was very calm and I denied what she was saying. She continued to try to make me admit to any one of things she'd claimed on this paper, but I refused and continued to say the truth. She then brought in her assistant principal to try to trap me, into getting angry and doing something to get me fired, but I still was calm. I could hear God's voice telling me to keep telling the truth, not to react to their lies, and that it would all be okay. Finally, after two hours, I was allowed to go. I never heard from them again and they were both gone by the next school year. One of my coworkers at that job asked me how on earth I had managed to stay calm, and I realized that it was God with me. He saved my job that day and shortly after, He got me an amazing new job at the school I still work at today. I think of that experience everytime I hear "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."


#6

I have had more than a few experiences with God. Two of the most striking happened as my younger brother was dying of cancer. Actually, I guess we shared these experineces together. The Christmas before he died I had purchased a very beautiful crucifix for his gift, which he hung in his bedroom. For the last two weeks of his life I spent each night in his room, both to spend time with him and to give his wife a break. She would be with him during the day. The night before he died, as he was laying there in a coma, completely unresponsive, he suddenly sat up and, with eyes still closed, reached out his hands exactly in the direction of the crucifix on the wall. Stunned, I woke up his wife and we both just stood there in amazement. What was particularly stricking was the look of awe and wonder on his face. This was about four hours after he had received last rites.

We took him to hospice the next day as he was very near death. As I was by his bedside, with my head down, remembering our life together (we were only 18 months apart and best friends) he again sat up and this time, with his eyes open and mind as clear as a bell he looked at me and said "hey, Steve". We just looked at each other and held hands for about 30 seconds and he went back down. He died two hours later.

I will always thank God for that grace. I miss him so much.


#7

Many years ago I lost my son less than a half hour after he was born....neither my wife or I got to even hold him.....we were devastated as we had tried for so long to have a child and finally did......a year later my wife was called back to the Presence from a fatal automobile accident.....I was in seminary at the time and dropped out....just couldn't handle so much grief......and I lost faith...I cursed God and DARED Him to do something to me....I called Him every filthy name I could think of.....I ripped my Bible up and cursed Him with every fiber of my being...I would let no one comfort me.

After a time I decided to end it....I quit my job....and lived a wild and decadent life for as long as my credit cards would hold out....I applied for new ones and used them as well.....when my rent and utilities were due and I had no more credit I planned my suicide.....I sat alone in my apartment in the dead of winter...no electicity...no heat...no food....just a large bottle of tequilla and some pills....I had purchased a new car and decided to drive up in the hills outside of town to a location that had many many fatal accidents as cars ran off the road into a deep long drop canyon....I figured I could drive up there....take the pills...and drink until I began to "fade"...then drive off the cliff into oblvion.

The day came....I gathered everything together put them in the car and went back in the apartment and sat down in a cold dark apartment....I was so scared...scared to live any longer but afraid to die...I hated life and I hated God...if He even existed...which I had convinced myself He didn't.....as I sobbed and shook with cold...I finally said..."If you're there....if anyone is there...please help me....I'm so afraid...." or something to that effect.....and the room grew bright and warm and it felt as though Someone put their arms around me and I cried and cried and rocked back and forth....and those Arms held me....and for the first time since my wife had died...I felt loved and peace flooded my being and the fear left me....the light faded...the room became cold again....but I was whole again.

I never heard a voice....didn't see an apparation.....just sat in His Presence and....healed.

I threw the pills and liquor away....scraped together a couple bucks in coins and walked down to the corner market and called my former employer and asked for my job back.....I got a raise and could start the next day.....I called the phone company and utility company and asked them if we could work out a payment plan so my services could be turned back on.....I had electricty and heat by the end of the day.....I called my landlord and asked to pay extra until my delequent rent was paid in full....he agreed.....I drove to the Meetinghouse and found the Clerk of the Meeting and we prayed and he gave me enough food to last me for a couple of weeks until I was paid.

In my despair and aloneness He came to me...He healed my broken heart....not a day has gone by since then that I have not been grateful....that was almost 30 years ago...and my life has never been the same.....I went and bought a new Bible...which I still have and read almost every day.

I experienced the love and mercy of God that day....to this day I can't speak of the experience without choking up....even now my eyes have tears in them....I miss my wife and the son I never got to know...but they are in the Presence.


#8

[quote="Publisher, post:7, topic:274081"]
Many years ago I lost my son less than a half hour after he was born....neither my wife or I got to even hold him.....we were devastated as we had tried for so long to have a child and finally did......a year later my wife was called back to the Presence from a fatal automobile accident.....I was in seminary at the time and dropped out....just couldn't handle so much grief......and I lost faith...I cursed God and DARED Him to do something to me....I called Him every filthy name I could think of.....I ripped my Bible up and cursed Him with every fiber of my being...I would let no one comfort me.

After a time I decided to end it....I quit my job....and lived a wild and decadent life for as long as my credit cards would hold out....I applied for new ones and used them as well.....when my rent and utilities were due and I had no more credit I planned my suicide.....I sat alone in my apartment in the dead of winter...no electicity...no heat...no food....just a large bottle of tequilla and some pills....I had purchased a new car and decided to drive up in the hills outside of town to a location that had many many fatal accidents as cars ran off the road into a deep long drop canyon....I figured I could drive up there....take the pills...and drink until I began to "fade"...then drive off the cliff into oblvion.

The day came....I gathered everything together put them in the car and went back in the apartment and sat down in a cold dark apartment....I was so scared...scared to live any longer but afraid to die...I hated life and I hated God...if He even existed...which I had convinced myself He didn't.....as I sobbed and shook with cold...I finally said..."If you're there....if anyone is there...please help me....I'm so afraid...." or something to that effect.....and the room grew bright and warm and it felt as though Someone put their arms around me and I cried and cried and rocked back and forth....and those Arms held me....and for the first time since my wife had died...I felt loved and peace flooded my being and the fear left me....the light faded...the room became cold again....but I was whole again.

I never heard a voice....didn't see an apparation.....just sat in His Presence and....healed.

I threw the pills and liquor away....scraped together a couple bucks in coins and walked down to the corner market and called my former employer and asked for my job back.....I got a raise and could start the next day.....I called the phone company and utility company and asked them if we could work out a payment plan so my services could be turned back on.....I had electricty and heat by the end of the day.....I called my landlord and asked to pay extra until my delequent rent was paid in full....he agreed.....I drove to the Meetinghouse and found the Clerk of the Meeting and we prayed and he gave me enough food to last me for a couple of weeks until I was paid.

In my despair and aloneness He came to me...He healed my broken heart....not a day has gone by since then that I have not been grateful....that was almost 30 years ago...and my life has never been the same.....I went and bought a new Bible...which I still have and read almost every day.

I experienced the love and mercy of God that day....to this day I can't speak of the experience without choking up....even now my eyes have tears in them....I miss my wife and the son I never got to know...but they are in the Presence.

[/quote]

I'm glad you listened, Publisher. There are no stonger or louder words than the Word of Love. God bless you.


#9

Publisher, I am in my store right now hoping that no customers come in since it is hard to explain why I have tears running down my face.

God bless you, I am so happy for you that you found God again.


#10

My experience wasn't with God, but Our Blessed Mother.

After being unsure in my faith for so long, I thought I was ready to come back to the Church again. I was attending church, occassionally, but did love my own quiet time in the grotto. I would often go once or twice a week through the week. I loved that no one was there except me.

Just before a weekend away that I was dreading, I prayed that Our Lady give me the strength she had, to help get me through. Upon arrival of my parents house, my Atheist sister was waiting. I prayed again to Our Lady when I saw my sisters car. My heart was pounding, I was so nervous to see her. (We had a terrible argument about me returning to the church, she didn't agree with it).

The weekend went smoothly and the next day I returned to my favourite spot, the grotto, and knelt down to thank Our Lady. The love I felt was beyond this world. I actually felt her embrace. She put her loving arms around me. Emotions and tears overcome me, it was truly like heaven on earth. I did not want to leave this feeling.:) My daughter was with me that day, and looked at me and asked why was I crying. I told her I was just so happy, beyond words happy.

I have experienced it one other time. Not the embrace, but the overwelming feeling of love as I kneel and look up at her statue.

I was touched by grace, I believe this with all my heart. This is why I have come back, and I pray that I never loose my faith and never forget this feeling.

This is a beautiful thread.
God Bless you all.:)


#11

[quote="SteveVH, post:6, topic:274081"]
I have had more than a few experiences with God. Two of the most striking happened as my younger brother was dying of cancer. Actually, I guess we shared these experineces together. The Christmas before he died I had purchased a very beautiful crucifix for his gift, which he hung in his bedroom. For the last two weeks of his life I spent each night in his room, both to spend time with him and to give his wife a break. She would be with him during the day. The night before he died, as he was laying there in a coma, completely unresponsive, he suddenly sat up and, with eyes still closed, reached out his hands exactly in the direction of the crucifix on the wall. Stunned, I woke up his wife and we both just stood there in amazement. What was particularly stricking was the look of awe and wonder on his face. This was about four hours after he had received last rites.

We took him to hospice the next day as he was very near death. As I was by his bedside, with my head down, remembering our life together (we were only 18 months apart and best friends) he again sat up and this time, with his eyes open and mind as clear as a bell he looked at me and said "hey, Steve". We just looked at each other and held hands for about 30 seconds and he went back down. He died two hours later.

I will always thank God for that grace. I miss him so much.

[/quote]

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story Steve. I am happy to hear that you kept your faith through it all, but I am sorry for the loss of your brother.


#12

I want to share three experiences with you, ranging from mundane to dramatic.

1.: After 15 years away from God it took some nerve and time to go back to mass for the first time. A few times I wanted to and then chickened out. One night I promised God I would go the next tuesday. It was very early on a very cold and icy morning with snow half a meter high and I missed my bus! The next bus only two hours later and by then mass would have been over already. So I wanted to shrug it off and go home, bad luck! But then I didn't, I had promised I would go to mass. After some internal discussion I said: oh, very well, I'll walk! and stomped off. I wasn't in the best of moods as it's about three miles to church.
I had walked perhaps a hundred meters when my next door neighbour stopped his car beside me and gave me a lift. He must have thought me quite mad as I was laughing my head off. God has a strange sense of humour!:thumbsup:

2.: Just after Christmas I had fallen into mortal sin again. On the way to mass I found myself trying to reason myself out of it. I knew I shouldn't receive Holy Communion but for all the wrong reasons I wanted to and was debating with myself if my conscience was stretchy enough to just go through with it. I told God: if you don't want me to do it then just make me stay in my pew!
Before we even reached church I had decidet that I simply couldn't add a sacrilege to the already heavy load on my conscience.
During mass, right when we kneel down and say Lord, I am not worthy...I had a very severe dizzy spell. I had to sit down and concentrate on breathing to not simply faint. By the time I was feeling right again communion was over. I'll never forget that it's never a good idea to dare God to do something!;)

3.: More than 20 years ago I suffered from severe depression. The only thing that kept me going some days was the thought that I could simply kill myself when it was getting too bad. When that time had finally come I sat on my bed surrounded by lots of hoarded pills and I was good and ready to take them all, go to sleep and never wake up again.
But God didn't let me. I recieved a distinct NO from Him.
I wasn't even overly religious at the time and for years afterwards I was so angry with God that I drifted away from the church altogether. Over the years there were times when I heard Him calling me back but I didn't want to and ignored him. Until one day I couldn't ignore Him any longer and finally turned around and took that one step towards Him that everyone has to take on his own. After that He took me by the hand and leads me ever closer to Himself. But every day I pray that He doesn't let me run away again! That He binds me to Himself even if it is against my will at that moment. For that I have surrendered my free will to Him so that He may always keep me close!


#13

It was totally removed from the ordinary, it occurred within a totally ordinary everyday event to a totally ordinary person, and consisted of a gift which involved being engulfed in infinitely huge, unconditional love, with the knowledge that this love and experience meant I was in the presence of an-other, a totally superior Being, and yet one who was somehow very, very familiar. Absolute total peace, well-being, and joy were the result; I've never experienced anything like it before or since. That was nearly 25 years ago.


#14

It was the mid 1980's and I was living in California. I loved the mountains, the beaches, and the fact that I could ride my bike almost anywhere. One day, a friend called and asked if I wanted to spend a day biking through Ventura. There were still interesting places I hadn't explored. So, I told her I'd love to. We set a date and time to meet.

Over the next few days, I began to feel uncomfortable about our plans. Discomfort quickly turned into a recurring mental image of my friend flying over the handle bars of her bike and landing on the pavement with blood pooling around her. This was a terrible vision, especially knowing my friend was pregnant with her first child. I couldn't get this out of my thoughts. I began to pray for her safety and for the safety of her baby. I continued to pray each time this image entered my thoughts. I considered canceling the riding date, but I had nothing concrete to justify this. What if I was just feeling overly protective, because she was pregnant? I had no logical reason to cancel our date. So, I did the logical thing and let the plans stand.

On the day we were to meet, I prayed again, adding to many prayers lifted up on her behalf that week. We met as planned and had a wonderful time riding. We found a nice restaurant for lunch, which gave us time to chat and rest. After lunch, we rode through more areas of town. We were having such a good time, I forgot about the vision. I know. Hard to believe.

We were about to part ways and ride back to our homes, when my friend said she wanted to check out one more place. I said, O.K. and followed her lead. We turned onto a street without bike lanes; and my friend, being in the lead, left the street and rode onto the sidewalk. I was right behind her.

Just moments later, her front tire struck a hole in the sidewalk, halting her bike abruptly. My friend was propelled over the handle bars and slammed onto the pavement. It happened so fast. My heart was pounding. The vision flashed through my thoughts, as I rushed to her side, fearing the worst, and expecting blood.

Thank God, she was conscious. I flagged down a passing car. A good Samaritan stopped, helped me get her into his car, and drove us to the emergency room. My friend was placed on a gurney and immediately assessment. I called her husband, who rushed to the emergency room.

The doctor came out and told us there were no signs of serious injury to my friend or to her baby. Oh, the relief I felt. I sat down, truly stunned. Then I realized, everything I had seen in the vision happened. . . . .everything except the ominous picture of blood pooling around my friend, and the tragedy that scene depicted.

Thank God, my friend and her baby were safe. For reasons I could not quite understand; the worst had not happened. There was no blood. My friend was fine. Her baby was fine.

For days, I kept going over the events in my thoughts. I recalled the vision, which was so clear, and the multiple petitions to God for the safety and protection of my friend and her unborn child.

Had I failed my friend? Should I have canceled our riding date? If I had canceled, would it have happened anyway? Would she have asked someone else to go with her? Would she have gone riding on her own? Would the worst have happened?

Or. . . .was the purpose of the vision to call me to prayer, ultimately witnessing God's power to reveal a glimpse of the future, and intervene? Prayer was the only obvious variable. After all, what's the point of seeing into the future, if nothing can be done?

There are many things I will probably never understand about those events. However, I am convinced that God was the source of the vision, the voice behind the call to prayer, and the one who protected and delivered my friend and her baby from harm. The power and glory of God were revealed in a powerful way.

As for me, I'm a little less logical in my decision making these days.

Peace and blessings to all,
Anna


#15

I read all the posts, and you all have managed to make me cry. I'm sorry for all the trials suffered; and at the same time, so grateful that God has not abandoned us.

What really touches me about this thread is that the Holy Trinity is working in all our lives--- regardless of our Christian religious affiliation. Very powerful and humbling.

Peace,
Anna


#16

[quote="Anna_Scott, post:14, topic:274081"]
It was the mid 1980's and I was living in California. I loved the mountains, the beaches, and the fact that I could ride my bike almost anywhere. One day, a friend called and asked if I wanted to spend a day biking through Ventura. There were still interesting places I hadn't explored. So, I told her I'd love to. We set a date and time to meet.

Over the next few days, I began to feel uncomfortable about our plans. Discomfort quickly turned into a recurring mental image of my friend flying over the handle bars of her bike and landing on the pavement with blood pooling around her. This was a terrible vision, especially knowing my friend was pregnant with her first child. I couldn't get this out of my thoughts. I began to pray for her safety and for the safety of her baby. I continued to pray each time this image entered my thoughts. I considered canceling the riding date, but I had nothing concrete to justify canceling. What if I was just feeling overly protective, because she was pregnant? I had no logical reason to cancel our date. So, I did the logical thing and let the plans stand.

On the day we were to meet, I prayed again, adding to many prayers lifted up on her behalf that week. We met as planned and had a wonderful time riding. We found a nice restaurant for lunch, which gave us time to chat and rest. After lunch, we rode through more areas of town. We were having such a good time, I forgot about the vision. I know. Hard to believe.

We were about to part ways and ride back to our homes, when my friend said she wanted to check out one more place. I said, O.K. and followed her lead. We turned onto a street without bike lanes; and my friend, being in the lead, left the street and rode onto the sidewalk. I was right behind her.

Just moments later, her front tire struck a hole in the sidewalk, halting her bike abruptly. My friend was propelled over the handle bars and slammed onto the pavement. It happened so fast. My heart was pounding. The vision flashed through my thoughts, as I rushed to her side, fearing the worst, and expecting blood.

Thank God, she was conscious. I flagged down a passing car. A good Samaritan stopped, helped me get her into his car, and drove us to the emergency room. My friend was placed on a gurney and immediately assessment. I called her husband, who rushed to the emergency room.

The doctor came out and told us there were no signs of serious injury to my friend or to her baby. Oh, the relief I felt. I sat down, truly stunned. Then I realized, everything I had seen in the vision happened. . . . .everything except the ominous picture of blood pooling around my friend, and the tragedy that scene depicted.

Thank God, my friend and her baby were safe. For reasons I could not quite understand; the worst had not happened. There was no blood. My friend was fine. Her baby was fine.

For days, I kept going over the events in my thoughts. I recalled the vision, which was so clear, and the multiple petitions to God for the safety and protection of my friend and her unborn child.

Had I failed my friend? Should I have canceled our riding date? If I had canceled, would it have happened anyway? Would she have asked someone else to go with her? Would she have gone riding on her own? Would the worst have happened?

Or. . . .was the purpose of the vision to call me to prayer, ultimately witnessing God's power to reveal a glimpse of the future, and intervene? Prayer was the only obvious variable. After all, what's the point of seeing into the future, if nothing can be done?

There are many things I will probably never understand about those events. However, I am convinced that God was the source of the vision, the voice behind the call to prayer, and the one who protected and delivered my friend and her baby from harm. The power and glory of God were revealed in a powerful way.

As for me, I'm a little less logical in my decision making these days.

Peace and blessings to all,
Anna

[/quote]


#17

[quote="Angels_Eyes, post:11, topic:274081"]
Thank you for sharing your beautiful story Steve. I am happy to hear that you kept your faith through it all, but I am sorry for the loss of your brother.

[/quote]

Thank you for your kind words. Actually, this experience strengthened my faith. I will have to admit that there were times, when my brother was suffering intensely, that I pretty much screamed at God to take his suffering away. But then I remembered that Christ suffered intensely as well and that he was with my brother in a very special way during his suffering and the experience of my brother reaching out to the crucifix was a verification of this.

God bless.


#18

[quote="Anna_Scott, post:15, topic:274081"]
I read all the posts, and you all have managed to make me cry. I'm sorry for all the trials suffered; and at the same time, so grateful that God has not abandoned us.

What really touches me about this thread is that the Holy Trinity is working in all our lives--- regardless of our Christian religious affiliation. Very powerful and humbling.

Peace,
Anna

[/quote]

Isn't it amazing how God uses some of the most intense trials that we suffer to bless us with his beautiful presence. At a time when we are tempted to turn away, he is faithful and transforms a seeming curse into something beautiful.

Prasie you, Lord Jesus Christ!


#19

[quote="SteveVH, post:18, topic:274081"]
Isn't it amazing how God uses some of the most intense trials that we suffer to bless us with his beautiful presence. At a time when we are tempted to turn away, he is faithful and transforms a seeming curse into something beautiful.

Prasie you, Lord Jesus Christ!

[/quote]

Steve,
Yes, indeed.

Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Anna


#20

I like far too many people grew up in a divorced family. This event occurred when I was an adult out of the household and very much independent for over a decade. During what was supposed to be a joyful family event, a wedding, we ran into some complications. Without going into too many details it was a situation where I found myself in the middle. I felt that the stresses of the broken family were being put on me. I was being yelled at and chastised with great anger by a parent. I had probably not done the proper thing, which led to this person's anger, but in all fairness I think what I did was in part a result of the broken family that I was subject to. The anger I was receiving was not just mine but for other people as well. I knew the other parties would never receive the chastisement I was receiving. What was supposed to be a happy time was turning bitter. I knew I did not want to make things worse. I suspected the person yelling at me needed to get out some anger and I was the one who would take it.

In that moment I became overwhelmed with emotion. I felt all the pain of my childhood whelming up inside me. I was transported back to being a kid again who had tried to do the right thing but was in a situation which I did not create inclined toward failure. I really thought I could not take it any longer and was about to explode with anger, sadness, and rage. I said a prayer to God asking him to give me relief from the situation. Suddenly I felt all the emotional pain disappear. The great weight of grief was lifted from me. I felt a tremendous peace come over me. The parent raged on but it no longer mattered. Eventually they finished and I was able to leave in calmness and let them cool off. I've never had a sense of peace and relief come over me like that and there are certainly not many times in my life where I've felt that much terrible emotion overwhelm me. It was truly God's grace and I very much needed it.


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