Before I relate to you the things I plan to relate, I want to clarify my basic beliefs regarding ghosts, spirits, and things from beyond. Because of what the Bible says in many different places, I believe that once a person dies, their soul goes on to it's final destination, never to return to the earthly realm. So, I absolutely do not believe in ghosts the way modern paranormals or the superstitious would have you believe. I do however believe there are spirits. There are spirits of light, which are the Holy Spirit and the angels...and there are spirits of darkness, which are the demons that serve Satan. That forces one to acknowledge that when they encounter something that seems other worldly it has to either be a visitation from God to give reassurance or direction or comfort to us when no other way seems adequate. Or it is a demon sent to lead one into false hope, wrong desires, create confusion,...anything that ultimately leads to death and destruction. That is why God constantly tells us in His Word to stay away from phsychics, fortunetellers and such. God does not reveal his will that way and we are to trust him for our future without knowing the whole picture. Also He knows any that claim to do that sort of thing either is a charlatan or is in league with the Devil, whether it be by design or deception.
With that clearly stated, let me get on with what I came today to share with you. Your mother has had experiences. Numerous times. They have occurred totally unwilled or uninitiated by me. The first time happened when I was about ten. We were planning a trip to Uncle Hightower's to pick up half a steer his son Geary had raised and butchered. The closer to time to go it got I "felt" extremely that I should not go, that it would be bad for me. That I would hurt very badly. I begged Mama to let me stay with Edna or Sarah. She made me go. She thought I was remembering the last tummy ache I had from me and Kim's run to the store loaded with snack money. I knew it was more. I knew I had never felt what I felt before. But I didn't know how to express it. We went. I had fun. I was laying on the backseat of our Falcon 500, playing with a puzzle. (No seat belts or seat belt laws then.) We headed home and was stopped at what was the only red light in Kountze then, when a man who had worked the graveyard shift at some plant fell asleep while driving and ran the red light from the opposite direction, crossed three lanes of traffic and hit us head on. Daddy suffered broken ribs and a cut on his leg. Mother hit the windshield and got a U-shaped cut on her forehead and a brow full of glass. I was thrown up into the back of the front seat and apparently my mouth was split open by the ashtray embedded in it. Two teeth were knocked loose. Later, after the hospital and we were back home, Mama told me she was sorry she hadn't listened to me.
Years later. I'm a young woman in college. Mama is about to marry Polk, Jr. Sarah is driving her van loaded full of women to go see Conway Twitty at the Palace. We are calling it Mama's bachlorette party. There are me, Sarah, Alice, Mama, Mary Lou and others in the van. All of a sudden I get the strongest sense of foreboding about Sarah. Centered on Sarah. And it feels so urgent!! All the small talk in the van goes silent in my ears. I look at Sarah, smiling, laughing, smoking a cigarette, sunglasses perched on top of her head as always. And something within me says with authority "pray!" So I begin to pray, something like this. "Lord, not my precious sissy. Not now, not like this. There are too many women in this van. Too many mothers. Too many lives changed forever. Some would loose every woman dear to them. Please Lord." The feeling subsides. We go on to have an awesome, memorable night together. Before the summer was over, Mama and Polk got the call in the night saying Sarah had been bit by a copperhead and was at the Silsbee Hospital. Home from college, they told me they were going and why. I was totally unconcerned. Mama said it would all be fine, Sarah was sitting up talking and laughing at the hospital. I went back to sleep to be wakened later by Mama when they had come home. Awakened to learn that Sarah was dead.
Also, near this time, I was home from college. Polk was reflooring the house. He and Mama were living in his little rent house. As much as I was happy for Mama to have found love again...even though I genuinely liked Polk, I was disturbed that right away they wanted to make changes to the house Daddy had fixed for us. I grieved inside. Afraid they were going to erase every memory of Daddy. One night I was lying on my room in that house thinking those thoughts and crying. Not knowing what if anything I could do about it without seeming a hateful, spiteful person. (I need to preface this with the fact that the old Frigidaire stove with the cafe doors had always set in that house and was still there. And every single time my daddy had ever walked through the doorway from the dining room into the kitchen the pans in the bottom of that stove would rattle. His were the only footsteps that did it. No one else.) So I was laying there miserable and lonely when I heard footfalls coming from the back door. They sounded so familiar! And then, as they passed that old stove and entered the dining room, there is was!! That rattle! And on they proceeded, right out the front door. I felt warm and safe and loved and most of all totally reassured that Daddy would never be forgotten by anyone who knew him. That no one could erase the memories. With all my heart, I believe God allowed an angel to walk through that house that night, just like Daddy did because He knew how much I needed that reassurance and He knew I thought I could tell no one how I was feeling.
A few more years pass. I meet and marry your daddy. I tell him about these things of course. And I ask him to promise me if I ever tell him "I KNOW it won't turn out well" that he'll listen to me. He does. Just like someone who doesn't believe it will ever happen does.
Now it's the night we are in the black jeep riding up near Junior's. We had been all down in the baygall. Pipelines, mud. We were coming back up the hill and nothing would do him but to shine the clearing on the incline coming back up. We made a circle and the headlights revealed nothing. I start feeling very antsy. Very nervous. I beg him for us to just ease on home. But no, he gets the bright idea to climb the hill back up to the compressor instead of traveling the road. I'm trying to tell him "I know" it will end badly. Every fiber of my being is screaming get out now. When I can't stop him, I finally bale out on him and walk up the hill. The engine roars. He tries and slides back down and guns it and tries again. I never know exactly what will happen. So, now I watch in fear, wondering if the jeep will roll over backwards on him. I silently pray. Tears are streaming down my face. Finally, through much effort and noise the jeep crests the hill and enters the small clearing by the compressor station. He's like, "What was all of that about?" And I'm like, don't you remember? He keeps insisting I get back into the jeep. I still don't feel it is safe. He promises we'll just idle home. I finally relent and climb back in, once again silently praying. Praying that the feeling be wrong. We go less than 20 yards down the road and the front end falls out from under the jeep. On a small little road with no traffic. No major harm. No real foul. Thank God! Of course then we walk up to Junior's and you know what happened then. LOL
The next major time, it happened was when we had been married almost 13 years. It was just before Christmas. Only this time it came in a dream. I was sound asleep. A beautiful, young blonde woman came to me and started to talk to me like she was a friend. Her words I don't remember, but she was talking about your daddy. And she was saying how first she'd do this, and then I could do that, and then she began to laugh evilly and her voice started to sound more and more gradually like a hiss. Suddenly I screamed, NO! and awoke. I was so scared I literally shook. I asked your daddy to hold me. Just hold me. I didn't understand what was coming, but I knew it was pure evil. That Satan was about to sift me like wheat. Three months rock on. Our anniversary passes. And one night on the side of the road a car I chased down stops. I get out and there is the woman. And then comes the hardest time of my life. And also the grandest time of my life. For I was totally grounded in God at that time with a vibrant prayer life. I still am not sure if that dream was a warning from God so I'd recognize my adversary, or if it was a taunt by Satan because he was so cocky and sure he'd win.
Years go by. We are living in Caneyhead. I am going to Wiley Mae church. I have a habit of taking the church roll and praying for the members. I have the roll divided into equal portions, one for each day of the week. It wasn't the day to pray for her. But her name kept jumping into my mind. Okay, Lord, I'll pray for her. And I did. And tears began to fall as I prayed. I get up and get started with my housework. But over and over the persistent, urgent voice is saying "Call her." I try to say not now. I need to get some things done. But over and over the voice fills my brain and I finally relent. I whisper a prayer and dial the phone. She answers. I ask her how she is. She says through great big sobs, "Today was so hard. All I could think was how much easier to just end it all. The illness. The suffering. Just end it now. But I knew that was wrong. So I prayed that God let someone from church call. That I'd take that as a sign it was His will for me to go on. And then you called."
Roll on down a few more years. A very good friend of your daddy has come by the house hoping to visit with him. He was recently gone through a divorce. And it has been oh so very rough on him. Daddy is inside sick and doped up with medicine. So I go out and talk to him by his vehicle awhile. I just feel as we converse that this person is thinking of going home and ending it all. I beg him to come in and eat and stay on our couch. I say all the usual platitudes about how time heals all wounds and such. He finally shuts his door and leaves and I feel so certain to my core that I have not dissuaded him, and that he will attempt to end it all before the night is over. So I came inside. Got my Bible and entered the bedroom. I prayed, with tears streaming, and asked God to help me open the Bible to the right place. It opened in the Old Testament. In a Psalm. I don't remember which one. But one where David is at his wits end and about to despair. I began reading the verses and praying them out loud to God. Not as my words. Not as David's. But changing them to be words offered on behalf of the man who left. It took some time. I felt so much. It felt as if I was actually feeling what he felt. When I was through I was spent, exhausted. I turned off the light and said my own little prayer and went to sleep. Nothing happened that night. Nor anytime since. Real threat and answered prayer? No confirmation this side of Heaven, but I think so.
I have had many, many more urgings over the years, though none so demanding or intense. I try hard to be faithful to them and respond. But I am human and sometimes I am just tired or self absorbed. I've also had what I consider lesser dreams, where I actually have a conversation with someone and months or years down the road I realize I am standing there having a conversation I have dreamed and it feels all so deja vu.
I share these things so that if you may have inherited any of them, or God gifts you with any of them you'll not feel odd or ashamed or scared. As long as they do not deny the Written Word or Christ, my best advice would be to simply obey them. And always respond with a covering of prayer.