It was submitted by Katie F. (Mzpapercut@aol.com)
experience: When I was 14 years old, I was in jail for the fifth time when I decided I would go to the Bible study group that a very kind man had volunteered to lead at our jail on Sundays. It was a chance to do something different, and I was curious.
At the meeting, the man passed out New Testament bibles to each of us and sang songs. No one there took it seriously. [Katie did !!!] Each night before lights out, I would read a little of that bible out of curiosity. [Curiosity ... A saving grace ?] I read the part that said one should pray to the Lord. A few nights passed and I was still saying the Lord's prayer before bed (I don't know what motivated me to do it).
One night after I had finished my prayers, my concrete cell became icey cold and I felt a shiver. I got out of bed and looked out the window of my cell and saw a black cat under my window (I love cats and am not that superstitious). It was looking up at me, then it ran into the gutter.
Then I suddenly felt a powerful presence behind me. I turned around to see a human figure standing in front of me that glowed with light. I was scared, but shocked at the same time. He placed his hand on my shoulder and said, "My child you are forgiven".
At that moment I felt a rush of something undescribable, like energy, and then, peace. Peace like I had never known. I think I began to cry at that point, then he said, "Do not look back, the past is forgiven and you have many great things you must do, but the road will not be easy". Then he disappeared.
I felt like a crushing weight that I had never known was on me had now been lifted (boy does sin ever weigh alot!). But now I felt different, like I had been re-wired? I had a bad addiction to drugs that was now completely gone and replaced by the feeling that no matter what happened, I would be okay. Peace is like stillness in the soul, like turning the volume off, shutting off
time through a crystal-clear windshield. But so much more incredible.
Recently, I took a college class on the teachings of Jesus and we went over a section where He was healing a paralyzed man. Jesus said to the man, "My son you are forgiven" and the bystanders asked Jesus why he didn't say "you are healed". His reply was that it is much harder to forgive than to heal. That really struck me. I hope that my account will help. Please e-mail me and let me know it was received, it is painful to think that it would get lost in Cyberspace, like part of the last one. Thank you for creating a place where these events can be shared.
I came from a broken home in Bermuda where I was abused. My mother fled to the U.S. with me when I was 5. God was not a topic to be discussed in my home. It was too awkward and embarrassing.
after: Yes, but not immediately. At age 23, I am almost where I could consider calling myself a "Christian" (I continue to make really bad mistakes).
Myself I vividly recall a friend assisting me in a guided meditation where I saw Jesus and asked that he come into my life. He wouldn't come. When my guide asked my why not, I replied, " Because I was unworthy."
With her assistance, I was reminded that Jesus doesn't come into our lives because we are "worthy" ... he comes because we ASK!
before: It has now been almost 11 years since that night. The experience has given me hope and a funny new feeling that I can only call the "Holy Spirit", using it as an adjective rather than a noun. I want to do whatever I can to honor this experience.
emotions: My way of living had made me dead from the ground up. I was hopeless, desperate, beaten down by life, and on a one-way track to disaster.
There are many paths ....