We went to Toronto Airport Fellowship in January 2007 with a group of people from the Healing Rooms here in Nashville. We were there for a week during the leadership conference. What a blessing it was and what an eye-opening experience too.
But that is an entirely different story – I want to tell you about soaking instead.
While we were there in Toronto, Paul joined Catch the Fire Soaking Prayer Rooms so we could have an affiliate here in Nashville. It was a big deal in those days. We would have soaking sessions once a week at the healing rooms on Sunday evenings. We would all bring our blankets, pillows or whatever else we felt was needed to relax so we could soak in God’s presence and experience Him.
Paul (or I) would get a playlist of soaking music that would last an hour or so to help usher us into a place where we could be attuned to what God wanted to say to us. When the “session” was over and the music had come to an end, everyone would share what they encountered or what they saw, etc.
It was always very interesting what other people shared. Many went to heaven and received revelation about things going on in their lives. Others would have angels or even Jesus Himself minister to them. Everyone experienced something. That is except me; I never saw or experienced anything. I couldn’t even be still without fidgeting and changing positions a dozen times or so.
After several weeks of trying to still my thoughts or even my physical body without any actual results, I gave up – I was done trying. Instead of lying down with my eyes closed, I started sitting up with my back against the wall on my blankets and read my Bible. Sometimes I would be so frustrated I would only pretend to read, those were the times I would get angry and wonder what was wrong with me, why couldn’t I be like the others and see God or have some heavenly experience?
During these frustration times I wanted to quit going altogether but it wasn’t possible. I had to be there because it was mostly women who went to the soaking sessions and Paul needed me there for accountability sake, etc. which didn’t give me much of a choice about whether to attend and didn’t help my grumpy disposition very much – actually it only made me grumpier! Yes I know I was being ridiculous and not exactly helping my “lack of encounter” situation.
About four or five weeks into these soaking sessions, I remember putting my blankets as far away from everyone as I could possibly get. I wanted to have my pity party all by myself, thank you. Once everyone was settled and Paul had put the CD on, I picked up my Bible and tried to read, having no plan to soak at all. After a few minutes of being so distracted that I couldn’t read, I began to cry – I couldn’t stop. I tried taking deep breaths and physically willing myself to stop but, to no avail. I must have cried silently, with tears pouring down my face for at least twenty minutes or so when suddenly, I wasn’t on my blanket anymore.
I kept blinking away the remains of tears from my eyes, trying to figure out where I was. And then I saw Him. He was standing with His back to me. I didn’t see His face but I knew it was Jesus. I began looking around the room and I saw that I was in a large silver and white ballroom with soft, peaceful lighting. Large columns were space throughout the enormous room but I wasn’t looking around too much because my eyes were glued on the scene in front of me…
I saw a small girl – she was dancing with Jesus. She was wearing a pale blue dress with black Patent-leather shoes and was about 2 or 3 years old. She looked familiar somehow but I didn’t know how that could be. As I said, I didn’t see Jesus’ face but I did see Him from about the neck down. He too was wearing black dress shoes and very formal attire. He had the little girl’s feet on top of his like I’d seen before with daddies and daughters. As they twirled past me, I realized the little girl was me and I suddenly remember a picture of me at that age wearing the same outfit.
Once I realized the girl was me, I was suddenly on my blanket again – back at the soaking session. I then heard the Lord tell me, “See I was with you then, just like I am now. We danced together in heaven and can do it again.”
He had taken my present self to see something that had occurred many years before. Whether it was a vision or I really went to heaven to see Him dancing with me as a little girl, I can’t really say. And it doesn’t matter which it was to me. What mattered was that I finally had an experience!!! I was suddenly crying again but this time, it was out of joy, not sadness. I didn’t share this experience with everyone even though I had been longing to share something but this was too special. I needed to cherish this by myself for a while.
After that experience, I didn’t have trouble soaking anymore or experiencing heavenly encounters. I think maybe I had to get over “me” and simply trust Him and His timing. I needed to not compare or measure my experiences, (or lack of them), with others. He has plenty of experiences waiting just for me.
(Photo found here – https://stocksnap.io/photo/0LKVSMU3AF)
This is the picture of me I remembered while I was in heaven. Every time I see this now I think of dancing with my King.