Ever have a hunch, a sixth sense about something? Seems like it guides us to do something positive, or helps us make a decision. I’ve had many instances. Most times I paid attention to the message; but, I’m ashamed to say, sometimes I did not heed the voices. Deeply touched by my friend Ann’s blog about her visions and voices, she encouraged me to share my own.
Twice I sensed something bad was going to happen and couldn’t shake that feeling for weeks, until…
Another time I had the strong sense a friend was very sad as I sat down at my work computer, but didn’t write a note then…
Many times I’ve heard a loud voice speak as though someone was right next to me…
And one time I had a heavenly vision…
When I finally shared about my vision, it was a few weeks later. I’d worried what people would think. It’s not normal to see visions or hear God speaking to us, right? Well, wait a minute… not so fast. Let’s back up a bit. I should have known better…
One of the clearest voices I’ve heard was after leaving an abusive employment situation. I’d resigned from the new job because of an unexpected inability to function and make decisions… I was hearing my former boss yelling and belittling me in my mind, and felt like an absolute and total failure. I literally could not think how to address an envelope!! Contemplating ending my life while driving, I passed the home of my Dad’s old Army buddy. I’d known him since I was a 2-yr-old toddler when my family lived in Alaska during their Army days. Roland lived out his strong faith in God, and now, driving past his house, I clearly heard the voice of God say, “I’m here for you. Your family needs you. You will be okay.”
Nightmares and flashbacks then began of abuse from my teens and by my former employer, while also having very real property and car damage, but the cops did nothing to find the likely perpetrator. Yet, like David wrote in Psalm 91:2, “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’”, God was there for me in many ways during this extremely difficult time… as I took encouragement from His spoken words to me in the car that day. Finally seeking professional help, I was diagnosed with PTSD which had actually started after verbal rape in junior high. With counseling, my healing process began…
Another time, I had the strong sense that something bad was going to happen. It was a few weeks before Christmas when our kids were little, and I couldn’t shake the feeling. Ed didn’t think there was anything to it, saying I was just being overly pessimistic. That heavy feeling stayed with me until Christmas Eve when he was taken to the hospital with severe chest pain. The doctors found he had a pulmonary embolism. A blood clot from his leg had passed into his lung, but he was going to be okay. I’d sensed something…
One morning as I sat down at my work computer, I had an overwhelming sense that Mary Jane, my friend since junior high in New Jersey, was very, very sad. Thinking about sending her an email, I decided my negative feelings were inappropriate and did not write. The next day, Mary Jane emailed me that her mother had passed away… a few hours before my premonition. I felt so badly about not writing her… if only I’d written a note of love and compassion when prompted…
I also had a strong sense I needed to visit my Uncle Pete and years later an elderly friend, Edna. It was the last time I saw my uncle before his passing. Edna was in the hospital, more serious than I knew. Taking her last breath while I was there, my simple presence meant a lot to her family…
Then came the spring of 2003. I had an overwhelming sense that something ominous was going to happen. The thought that the world was going to end that summer kept coming to mind, but just as quickly I’d push it away. It was too dark a thought, until…
We awoke on June 11, 2003 to a hot and humid morning. I considered canceling the trip to the Watkins Glen Gorge with my girls, Jenn and Em, but we decided to go anyway. Anticipating a great time, we climbed the winding steps hewn out of rock in the entrance tunnel, rounded a curve, and stood at the top… gazing out at a downpour! How’d that happen so fast? We looked at each other and laughed – there had only been a few drops when we entered the tunnel… someone turned the faucet on! As it slowed to a drizzle, we walked on, enjoying the scenery of waterfalls and pools, plants and flowers.
“We walked along, taking a few photos, as I held my umbrella over the cameras to protect them from getting soaked. I noticed the plants, telling the girls what they were, absorbed in the many varieties of ferns, flowering plants, and greenery. The girls were chatting together, enjoying the gorge, usually walking behind me, sometimes in front. As I enjoyed the plants, rock formations, and waterfalls, several times I clearly heard the words spoken loudly, “Watch them.” Each time, I’d pay attention to the girls for a while, but then drift back to observe the plants or the beauty of the gorge. I felt uncomfortable hearing those words, paying more attention to my girls for a while; but, the pull of nature was too strong and my focus would shift again. How could I have known that God was prompting me, and I didn’t heed His prodding better to “watch them…” Why didn’t I listen and watch them more closely?” (from Watch Them… A Mother’s Memories, pg. 1, by Linda A. Roorda)
About 2-1/2 weeks later, Jenn collapsed at home in Alfred, suffering heart failure as blood clots passed through to her lungs, disrupting heart and brain function. Life support was removed two days later on the afternoon of June 30, 2003, and our precious daughter, wife of Matt, entered the joys of Heaven. Having asked God, “Why? I don’t understand?”, He provided Scripture in the Rochester International Airport. Waiting for Emily’s arrival from California that morning, above us and to our left hung a plaque with Psalm 139:13-16: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
“The next morning after Jenn passed away, I sat on the bench in my flower garden in the eastern corner of our back yard. It was sunny, but still cool. This was my favorite spot, enjoying our yard from that perspective. I could look back at the house and think about my family. I could admire God’s creation in peace and quiet, listening to the chattering of the birds fluttering all around. As I prayed, thanking the Lord for Jenn’s life, praying for peace and comfort in our loss, I had a vision of Jennifer. She was at the base of a hill, in a sunlit field of beautiful flowers, near a tree, surrounded by children, and indescribably happy. I heard Jenn say, “Be Strong.” And then she was gone as quickly as she’d appeared… leaving me with an overwhelming sense of peace…” (Watch Them… pg.11)
Even Ed had a vision of Jenn with long hair, describing how she sat on the sofa in a manner he had never seen. But I knew it was for real because that’s exactly how Jenn “sat” – stretched out, feet and legs curled “under” her, while she cupped her chin in her left hand with that elbow leaning on the arm of the sofa!
I’ve had more premonitions, though I cannot recall the details. And, on two occasions, I clearly heard a voice with a message. In one, I was told to get out of a friendship, and the other time told not to reply to someone’s inappropriate words… but, thinking I knew how to handle both situations, I did not heed the words heard… later confessing to God how wrong I was not to trust the validity of the messages… learning the hard way to always be attentive to His voice, His messages…
God shows His love to each of us in many different ways, ways that are as individual as we are, and in ways we may not always recognize as coming from Him. Yet, even when we don’t give Him our full attention, He continues to reach out to us, drawing us closer to His side. Both Psalm 139:13-16 and the words “Be Strong” have continued to be precious words from the Lord that I’ve clung to. With visions and voices from our awesome God, He has held me in His hands, wrapped His love around me and blessed me with His peace, a peace beyond understanding…
The Hollow of Your Hands
Linda A. Roorda
In the hollow of Your nail-scarred hands
You gently hold my fragile life.
You carry me and protect me
And whisper words of wisdom’s wealth.
You wrap me in your calming presence
You shelter me in the raging storms.
Your comfort brings a gentle peace
With endless joy that overflows.
Your arms of strength enfold the weary
My faltering steps you gently guide.
You lift my face when tears rain down
And give more grace when You I seek.
Your voice of wisdom sustains my soul
With lamp held high You lead the way.
When You I trust, forsaking folly
The winding path You straighten for me.
In the hollow of your loving hands
You gently hold my fragile life.
You keep my soul in perfect peace
When all my heart abides in You.
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