A long time ago, I had a “the-more-friends-in-the-spirit-world,-the-better” approach to spirituality. I figured that as long as I stayed close to God and Jesus, that I could call upon anyone in the spirit world and be protected. After all, I wasn’t worshipping them, I reasoned – so I was obeying God’s law.
Well, I later discovered, that’s only true if you first carefully pray for God’s guidance about who to associate with and then put on the “armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11). I didn’t realize that it was vital to “test the spirits,” as the Bible says (1 John 4:1-6). I had an open-door policy, and unfortunately the open door can invite in unwanted beings.
The prayers I said each day, and that I wrote and spoke about at workshops were always to the Holy Trinity. I would also call upon (not pray to, as prayers and worship only go to God) Archangel Michael and a few saints with whom I was familiar. I never felt the need to go outside of this circle, as they provided so much. Yet, I didn’t speak, write, or teach about the Holy Trinity as much as I wanted, for fear of offending those who didn’t follow a Christian path.
That all changed while I was writing my Loving Words From Jesus Cards in 2015. For the first time in my life, I carefully read all of Jesus’s words in the gospels. I’d previously read parts of the gospels, but this was the first time I read the entirety of the gospels. My impression of Jesus had always focused upon his healing and manifestation teachings such as, “Ask and it shall be given,” and, “Knock and it shall be opened.” The always-positive teddy bear cuddly version of Jesus.
Yet while reading the gospels, I encountered Jesus’s assertive side. He taught strong guidelines and boundaries that struck a chord within me. For example, Jesus said that if we’re embarrassed to talk about him publicly, then he won’t acknowledge us either. (Matthew 10:32-33, Mark 8:38, and Luke 9:26).
Well, I had been reluctant to talk about Jesus in my writings and at workshops, because whenever I did so, some audience members objected. They’d say he was “too patriarchal,” that he was a myth, that Constantine had changed the Bible, that the Bible was misogynistic, and that religions were filled with hurtful hypocrites. Wanting to avoid conflict, I left Jesus out of my teachings. This always bothered me though, as I wanted to share my love for Jesus with others. Yet I admittedly allowed my fears about conflict to steer me in the other direction.
So when I dug into Jesus’s words in 2015, I realized that I needed to share openly about Jesus – even if this risked offending some people. Needing support and seeking further Biblical study, I joined and began attending a Foursquare Christian church each Sunday. The next year, I felt guided to change to the Episcopal Church, which offered biblical teachings, charitable giving opportunities, open-mindedness and non-judgmentalness.
Then, in early 2017, I had a giant spiritual wake-up call that forever changed my life, including my spiritual beliefs and practices. I was at an Episcopal Church service, and a woman was introduced to the audience and honored for all of her volunteer work. I was struck by her purity, generosity, and humbleness, and then suddenly she disappeared. Standing in her place was a bigger than life vision of Jesus. Everyone and everything else faded away, and all I could see was Jesus standing about 6 feet tall. He wore plain linen clothing and his arms were open toward me, as if inviting me to embrace him.
He was as three-dimensional as any person, and not just a faint vision. He was a real living breathing person who was in front of me purposefully. The light surrounding him glowed in beams as bright as the sun, as did the beams of light coming from his heart. I believe it was the brightest light that I’d ever seen!
He didn’t say a word audibly, yet I received a knowingness from his presence. First, I knew that he was real, and that Jesus knows who each of us are. I instantly knew that the stories in the Bible were true, all of it! The virgin birth, the miracles, the crucifiction, resurrection, and ascension. Stories about Jesus that I’d wrestled with – were they real? Myth? Contorted? – were instantly settled for me. Jesus was and is real.
The rest of the church service was a blur. I couldn’t tell you who was at church with me, or how I drove home afterward. Yet the moment I was home, I went online to research what I’d just seen. I typed “Jesus sacred heart lights” in the search engine, and immediately saw paintings called “The Divine Mercy” of a vision of Saint Maria Faustina. My vision of Jesus was similar, except the golden light rays shown completely around his heart, instead of the downward-pointing red and white light rays of Saint Maria’s vision.
I was filled with questions by this vision. Was this Jesus healing me? Inspiring me to be more like the woman who was introduced at church that day as being a mega-volunteer? Was he calling me to follow him more closely? As I prayed about these questions, I felt guided to share my vision by creating a little Youtube video of my vision.
Then two weeks later as I was falling asleep, I had another vision. I saw Jesus hovering above a darkened earth. He was sending golden light from his heart to awaken and protect everyone on the planet. The vision seemed simultaneously metaphorical and literal, as if it represented dark energy covering the planet and also perhaps some prophetic message about a worldwide power outage. In both cases, Jesus was and is helping us all.
I began reading the Bible each morning and praying more than ever to be led as God willed. After all, I’d mostly surrendered my willfulness in 1995 after it almost got me killed in an armed car jacking when I hadn’t listened to God’s warning. So I was accustomed to praying for and following God’s will . . . most of the time. I confess there were times when I didn’t ask God for guidance before making choices and taking action. And those were the times when I had to run to God later to fix the mess I’d made!
It occurred to me that I’d never been baptized, as the Unity Church I attended in childhood didn’t offer baptisms. I’d never even thought about being baptized before! An inner knowingness, perhaps from Holy Spirit, guided me to rectify this. So I asked my Episcopal Church priest Father David if he’d perform the baptism, and he agreed. I attended two meetings with him to prepare for the ceremony, and to know what to expect.
The church holds their baptisms at the ocean, and on February 25, 2017, the day of my baptism, the sea was churning with strong waves and currents. I gulped, but Father David and Michael assured me that they’d hold onto me. Wearing a long white dress, they walked me into the ocean at sunset and Father David began the ceremony which culminated in me being immersed three times for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I had imagined having an epiphany or a divine revelation during the baptism. Instead of having insights, though, I had a sensation of a spiritual detox. I felt myself being cleansed of attachments and lower energies.
After we walked out of the ocean, Father David drew a cross on my forehead with oil that had been prayed over by the Episcopal Bishop (an amazingly humble and learned man who officiated my confirmation a few months later). As the cross was being drawn, Father David looked me in the eye and pronounced: “You are now sealed by the Holy Spirit, and marked as Christ’s own forever.” His words made me gasp, as I realized the eternal commitment just made. The permanency of this spiritual shift was unlike any other agreement to which I’d ever entered. And I took the commitment to heart.
The baptism changed everything, as promised in scripture, “And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience.” (1 Peter 3:21). I’ve always been sensitive to energies, and I felt that strong presence of Holy Spirit and heard his teachings (I realize that some people experience Holy Spirit as a feminine energy, while I sense Holy Spirit as a male teacher.
I continued to hungrily study the Bible, including reading it from Genesis 1 onward and attending Bible study groups. The Bible is filled with messages that are essential knowledge for our modern age, as well as comforting messages, and inspiring stories.
In this book, I want to share with you the wonders that God offers to us, as a reference book and as inspiration. My prayer is that this book will answer some questions for you, and be a part of your even-closer relationship with God.
With Love and Respect, Doreen