Pondering Great Things in my Heart
A testimony from an attendee at the 2014 Wheaton MPCS:
I am writing to say thank you for things that are too great for words – things too holy and sacred. Like Mary, I have been pondering great things in my heart.
I am not sure I will be able to communicate fully to you what all has happened. In fact, I know that is actually impossible, as I am well aware that there are hidden things I have yet to see and understand. How could I possibly communicate them?
June 2014 was my first experience of an MPC school. I will forever be thankful to my therapist for sending me Leanne Payne’s book Restoring the Christian Soul last November. I was at a very critical point in life – actually a life and death point. I had exited a same-sex relationship a few months prior and had hit rock bottom, as the saying goes.
I had lost all hope as I tried everything from reaching out to my church, counselors, isolation, work, and other addictions. Of course, nothing works without addressing root causes. I love what one of the speakers said: “God doesn’t heal you of same-sex attraction; He heals the wounds that caused the behavior.”
I resonated completely with the statement, and a whisper of hope permeated my soul. In that moment I thought, Is it possible, God, that there is truly hope and help here? I would find out by week’s end that there was.
The week started with confession, where I was free to confess and repent and receive forgiveness. The prayer ministers were loving and kind and yet spoke only truth, not appealing to my feelings. The sin went to the cross, and the cross was enough. I began to experience Jesus, the lifter of my head.
I continued to absorb the teaching and the practice with each session. Moment by moment I was receiving things that will continue to be unveiled in the days, months, and years ahead. There is a saying: “You had to be there,” and truly that would be appropriate in this case.
But the moment that has had deep meaning for me was the desire-of-the-heart prayer. I closed my eyes and began to walk toward the boat with Jesus. He asked me to come with Him. I got in the boat, and He rowed us out a bit on the beautiful water. When we were a ways from shore, He stopped and pointed down into the water. I looked and saw a treasure chest on the bottom of the ocean. Excited, I swam down to see it. The top was open, and I looked inside. There was a big, beautiful gem in the shape of a heart. It was quite large and had a chain attached to it so it could be worn as a necklace. I immediately thought of the valuable necklace in the movie Titanic, but that was only a movie, and this was real! I took it and swam up to the boat. Excited, I showed it to Jesus, and He put His hands under mine as I held it. He was as excited as I was! We both rejoiced over how precious and beautiful it was. I then gave it to Him, and He gently pushed it back into my hands and smiled. He said, “It is your heart; I have been keeping it safe for you.” Somehow I knew it was mine. I took it and placed the chain around my neck. The heart seemed to melt right into my body. Jesus rowed us to shore. I got out and began to walk inland. Jesus stayed in the boat. He just smiled as I walked. He was so proud of me.
The dream was so meaningful for me that I could hardly contain it all! I live in San Diego, and I spend a lot of time at the water. When I am overwhelmed, it is to the beach I go to find solace. I understand why now. My heart has been in the ocean. God has been keeping it for me. Though prior to MPC, I was not ready to have it back, after so much healing, He gave it again to me. The picture of Jesus staying in the boat also has great significance. I believe Jesus trusted me to go forward in life, knowing that He is always with me. He is present in my heart. I am never without Him. That may sound small to some, but as one who has experienced abandonment as a child, I found much deep meaning in it.
The final prayer for healing of memories is something that I will only try to put into words. Who could ever explain how God met you in your mother’s womb and healed you in a mysterious way? But that is what happened. I do know that during the prayer, I was very aware of being with Jesus and visiting myself at different stages of my life. I saw the womb, the hospital, my first years of life, and more. And as Jesus and I journeyed, He healed me of many sins. I know because I was there and with Him. Yet even now I cannot tell you the mysteries I saw or how it all happened. I only know it did happen.
The experience was so profound that I remained unable to talk the rest of the day. I had a late flight, and God provided for me as I found a prayer minister waiting for a late flight as well. Together we found the chapel and sat and prayed. She covered me, and I felt safe to simply be.
Arriving at home, I am finding that I feel like a foreigner. I have never felt so at home in my heart as I do now; yet I feel like a foreigner with everything else. Gina (a prayer minister) told me that is how we should feel. We are not of this world; our home is heaven. Yet we are called to work while it is day.
So I am finding my way by holding on to the truths I received at MPC. I know that my understanding is really quite small right now regarding what has been done in me, and I know not to push or examine. My spirit tells me to trust and allow Him to be the revealer. So that is what I am doing. Yes, it feels odd. Some days I feel quite out of place. But I am home, and I never have to be split off from that again.
Thank you, Gino, Cesli, Sarah, Lori, and all the other ministers. I will never be able to fully express my gratitude. I hope this testimony strengthens your resolve to continue the precious work you do.
Work while it is day.
In His love and with all my heart,
2014 Wheaton MPCS Attendee