About 17 years ago in 2004, I was in a serious health crisis. I had trigeminal neuralgia (aka “the suicide disease”) and was on the couch in terrible pain for about a year and a half. I had brain surgery, facial paralysis due to complications of that surgery, and a host of other issues with my eyes, ear and mouth. The list goes on.
So many faithful friends prayed for me and came to my home to help during that time. It’s true that when it’s pitch dark, the Lord sends his many bright lights to illuminate the path. I am forever grateful for that.
The pain was almost indescribable due to a deteriorated myelin sheath on my 5th cranial nerve (trigeminal nerve). It repaired slowly, but I think that the healing was accelerated by prayer even though it felt like forever. The day came on July 15, 2005, when there was finally no more pain. Two dear ladies took me to their mama’s church in the Ozarks and their pastor and congregation prayed for me. I was on the floor during that prayer time and when I got up, there was no more pain. Praise God!
Then came another couple of months of weaning off of pain medicine. During that time I experienced waves of grief that felt really overwhelming. One night during that time I watched the movie Finding Neverland. It’s the story of how the story of Peter Pan came to be. The mother in the story is Wendy, married to Peter, and the boys are of course, the lost boys! In the movie, when the story was completed they acted it out on a stage. Wendy, their mother had a terminal illness and was unable to come to the performance, so they acted it out for her later at home.
The staged a beautiful set for Neverland that reminded me of what heaven might be like. You could see as Wendy watched it she wanted to be there, in heaven, more than anything. She fixed her gaze there, and as she went to bed that night, she passed away.
That night as I went to bed, I sobbed and sobbed until I couldn’t cry anymore. I told God that what I wanted more than anything that night was to be with Him in heaven. It was so hard to be in my broken body that what I wanted most was to be free of it and be in my permanent home in heaven.
That night I dreamed that there was a rope in my heart that was now anchored in heaven. I saw a literal anchor on that rope that instead of going down under water to secure a boat, went upwards to secure my heart in heaven. The phrase “You have weighed anchor in heaven” was in my mind when I woke up that next morning.
I went on a walk and along the path I found a plastic boot for a 12 inch G.I. Joe. I picked it up and as I looked at it the Lord spoke to me, “Now let’s get your boots on and get back to work!”
His meaning was clear. I wasn’t finished with my life here on earth yet. We still had work to do! But the purpose of that whole experience was so that I would weigh anchor in heaven. Ever since I have been tethered to heaven in a way I wasn’t before.
All through that intense couple of years of my life I had never despaired of life. Even in this particular experience that evening watching Finding Neverland, I hadn’t despaired of life, I simply was very honest with God about how I felt. Because of that honesty, He led me into that experience that was so utterly priceless.
All through the times of intense pain I was aware that the devil’s purpose was to cause me to despair of life to the point of taking my own life. There was never a day that I ever entertained that idea. Suicide is never an option. I simply understood how a person could do it. I was determined that the enemy would never have that pleasure. Jesus was with me every moment of the way and led me deeper in relationship with him than ever before.
Now I am grateful! I can’t say that I was totally grateful during those years. I did get really really honest with God, just as Job had. And I learned by the end of it what Job learned.
“I know that you can do all things and that no plan of yours can be thwarted…therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know…I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42: 2,3,5 ESV
Whatever trial you find yourself in, rest assured that Jesus is there with you always, and that He wants to draw you closer than ever in friendship with Him through this trial. The desperation that sufferings produce is a gift from Him to cause you to cry out for Him like never before. He wants your utter, complete honesty. He is there to pour HIs love in your heart in the midst of that circumstance, to be the light you need, to carry you through in His strong arms.
I wanted to share this with you today in case you too may be in need of weighing anchor in heaven. I pray this will encourage you to do so.
With love and prayers,