In college, hundreds of miles from home, I was working on a routine assignment for my freshman speech class. I recall it was a Wednesday evening after dinner and I was hidden away at the top stairwell platform trying to find a bit of privacy. Suddenly, as I was reciting my lines, I fell to my knees overcome with intense fear, perspiration beading up on my forehead. I felt a cold draft. I shook my head trying to make sense of what had just happened. I knew I wasn’t sick, instead it felt as if an emotional thread had been suddenly cut. The face of my oldest sister came to mind and fear she was involved in a serious accident. She was more than an older sister to me; she was like a surrogate mother. But with only a hall phone, calling collect was my only option to reaching out for assurance. And alerting her to my hyper-sensitivities without just cause may give her a story to rib me about for years to come. ‘God, be with her wherever she might be,” was my passing prayer, and I returned to practice my speech. Perhaps it was nothing more than the pizza I had for dinner?
On work scholarship, I was cooking in the dining hall later that week. Two well-dressed men came into the commercial kitchen and spoke to my supervisor. All the student workers looked to see what was going on and then they called my name. They whispered I had to make an emergency call home. Immediately, I thought of Wednesday night. On the other line, my step-father told me my mother (not my sister) was in a serious car accident around 8pm Wednesday night. She was hit head-on by a drunk driver and it’s a miracle she is alive. Tears ran down my face. This was the moment I fell to my knees. And it came out of nowhere.
As Christians, we cannot peel back the veil of the spiritual world that surrounds us. I often place God is a very limiting box, and this shook my spiritual paradigm. What I have gathered since I have had several of these type experiences is as follows:
First, we don’t need to fear this type experience. God through the Holy Spirit continues to speak to us and if it is the enemy taunting us, we have the Spirit to direct and protect us. But a premonition is cause for seeking direction, asking for discernment, and renewing a desire for God’s will to be done.
Second, the Bible gives us glimpses and confirms there is a spiritual world, yet it is less forthcoming about our journey to heaven. My assurance comes from I Cor. 13, “For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face…” We so easily compartmentalize our spiritual life and these type incidents confirm there is a world beyond our present reality, our relationship with God is more than devotions and church attendance, but about yielding our being into His hands. He holds us in the midst of this spiritual reality.
Third, do a bit of introspection when he reaches out to get your attention. I had some unfinished business regarding my mother. She was living in an abusive marriage and we had to leave her home early, in essence she chose my step-father over her own children and I was angry with her. God was rattling my world. It began with a whisper that something had happened in a stairwell.
Lastly, stay logical. Often the hyper-sensitive who affected by these experiences can be overcome with emotion, but logic can help us remain steadfast and not over-react. The spiritual world is active and though there may be evil forces at play, we have the Holy Spirit and His angels ministering to us. “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” My mother and I have enjoyed 20 plus years of close relationship and it began with that call. God spared her that night on a back road and I am grateful for the fear that threw me to my knees because forgiving her was a step in my spiritual journey.