There have been a few times in my adult life that I felt the whisperings of the Spirit so strong that it was undeniable. The first time was a few years ago. We were planning our Labor Day trip to Coloma Resort on the American River. We had been before and had a great time. We spend our days relaxing in the warm sun, soaking our feet and bums in the water and actually tubing down the river. This particular year we had invited my sister and her family to come with us (The Odell Family).

The week before we were planning to leave, I was attending an early morning boot camp style exercise program. I kept having strong feelings like something was going to go wrong on our trip to the river. I kept having more strong feelings that it would be something involving The Odell Family. I even felt so strong that I mentioned it to one of my fellow "campers", but didn't mention anything to my sister because I really wanted them to still come. We had been there before and I kept thinking...nothing can go wrong. Well, the feeling didn't leave me. It wasn't a "scared to death" feeling, just a strong warning that I should be "aware" and "alert" that weekend.

We all got to camp, set up, hung out, went down the river a few times and had a great time. Every evening the river damn is shut and the rushing river almost becomes a dry playground with ankle height water. The kids we were camping with have often crossed the river to the island in the middle and even crossed to the far side of the river and then come back. On our second evening there it was quickly approaching dusk. We were all just finishing up dinner, hanging around the table. A group of older kids asked if they could cross the river. Kaia was begging me as was Michael, my sister's oldest child. I quickly told Kaia, "No." She begged again and I remembered my "feelings" and told her "No, please don't ask again." At the same time, I heard Michael asking his parents. I heard his dad say, "yes, but please put on a life jacket." I wanted to yell "No", but thought...well he will have a life jacket on in ankle depth water and I am not his parent...what could possibly go wrong.

It was quickly getting darker and I felt the "whisperings of the spirit" to go check on the kids crossing the river. It actually sounded like the river was rushing a little, but everyone was still chatting at the dinner table and oblivious to the sound. I found the kids starting to cross from the island to the far side of the river and I could hear them starting to panic a little. I realized in the near darkness now that the river was up to their waist and quickly rising. The kids turned around in the rushing river, formed a line with hands clenched tightly to the youngest child out there, my nephew, Michael. I watched them get safely to the island but by this time the river was rushing and the island was disappearing. I quickly went and got the other families. We all panicked trying to come up with ideas of how to safely get these kids across the river. One man actually started throwing large sized rocks at them with a rope tied to the end so that they could hold on to the rope to cross. Well it was too dark by then and they couldn't see the rocks and I was yelling to please stop throwing the large rocks at those children. Motor homes turned their lights on to help and Kaia even ran to the front office to try to have them call authorities for a night helicopter rescue but they didn't believe her.

In the meantime, Dave and a few of the fathers decided they would have to perform the rescue themselves. The river was still rising and rushing. The men all put on life jackets and grabbed our tubes. They went up river aways, got in the river on their tubes and made their way to the kids on the island. As each man approached a child they would grab them and put them on the tube with them as we all ran down river to a place where they would be able to get safely off.

The rescue was a success. All of the children safely on dry ground. Dave had successfully grabbed Michael and delivered him into his mother's arms. There were a lot of tears from both children and mothers. I quickly hugged Kaia, who had stayed on dry ground and shared with her my experience of the warning I had received and asked her to always trust me with my decisions from that time forward, to which she quickly replied, with swollen eyes herself, that she would. We had a good rest of the weekend, completely enjoying ourselves, but I promised myself that I would never forget HOW the spirit whispers to me and what it feels like.

My most recent experience with the whisperings of the Spirit happened just this last week. I had signed Dave up to attend the Build it Green Conference in Santa Cruz. This was going to be a weekend that Dave and I would get-a-way. I had rented a house right on the Beach for Thursday night through Sunday afternoon. Dave would attend the conference on Friday and Saturday and I would sit lazily around the house those days, read a book, shop the little shops in Santa Cruz and Capitola and then enjoy dinner and beach time with Hubs in the evening.

On the Monday before the trip I started feeling really uneasy about the whole trip. I had been having uneasy feelings all weekend, had been actually praying about those feelings, and again, like the "river feelings" even mentioned to my mom that I was being prompted to stay home I thought. I guess I feel that I have to verbalize my promptings from the Spirit to have them "real" for me. Like these feelings aren't going to go away...so I will say something and if they sound stupid I can forget about them. The feelings weren't going away. I fought them...hard...this was going to be a great three days for me. I was in the shower and my mind would not give me a rest. I was feeling so much turmoil and anxiety. I decided the warning was too strong to ignore. This was not a warning of alertness or awareness...this was a warning of serious danger.

I immediately got out of the shower and turned on the computer to make a one night reservation for just Dave at a local hotel. I had decided he would drive down Friday early morning and return home Saturday night. As I waited for my computer to warm up I felt instant peace. I had listened to the spirit and was following it and the turmoil was gone. I decided I would make the reservation after I returned home from bringing the kids to school.

Well on the way to school I decided that for me NOT to go was foolish and that maybe the promptings were just my overacting mind. I thought that maybe it was just that I was anxious about being away from my children during school time, although that has never bothered me before. I decided on my way home that I would invite my parents, who were going to watch our children for us that weekend, to come join us on Saturday morning for the weekend. It would be so much fun. I called my mom and as soon as she answered the turmoil and anxiety came back in full force. I pushed it off to the side, offered the invite and she accepted with real excitement. It would be a fun weekend on the Boardwalk for all.

I instantly hung up the phone feeling sick to my stomach. I had just put my parents now in that same grave danger. The feeling was undeniable. I called Dave, told him my plans this morning in the shower, the peace that came, my plans while driving to ignore the promptings, the invite to my parents and then the turmoil that followed. I also told him that before calling him I got on my knees to pray and knew that I needed to stay home. He completely supported me, not even complaining that he would have to get up at 4:00 am to make the conference in Santa Cruz by 7:30am.

I then called my mother, who was still so excited. She heard the trembling in my voice and the tears welling up in my eyes and I told her that we could not go and that I couldn't really explain it. She remembered the feelings that I had shared with her and knew instantly that I needed to heed that prompting. She actually thanked me for listening. I felt instant peace again, peace I welcomed.

I stayed home this weekend with my children. Not once did I think about what I could have been doing in Santa Cruz. I felt complete happiness to be here at home, Dave at his overnight conference. Unlike the river experience, I do not have an explanation for the warning, but know it was undeniable and kept our family safe this weekend. For this I am GRATEFUL.

1 comment:

  1. Your stories made me cry. I am so glad you listened to those promptings. I had a similar experience as a young teenager about a concert I really really wanted to go to (and was providing the transportation for the coolest girl in school too). I hated to tell her about my feelings and it was so scary and awkward as she was older and I did not know her very well but I felt obligated not to fudge my reasons for backing out. She was amazingly cool about it, I don't know how religious she was but she was totally supportive of me. She ended up going with her sister, they had a wonderful (safe!) time. Her mom later told me thank you for letting them have that bonding time which was so nice of her. I had to endure some mild teasing after they returned safe and sound, but I always felt good about the decision. That girl died a few years later in a car accident and I always wonder what might have been for us both if I had not listened. My mom pointed out that sometimes it could just be a matter of spiritual danger, meeting someone that may change the course of your whole life perhaps. (Have you seen Sliding Doors?)

    Anyway ending my essay...apparently one blog is not enough for me..aaaaand back to you, again thanks for sharing these great stories and well done on your sensitivity and courage. So glad all turned out well!


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