It was very early in my childhood that I sensed a difference between myself and other children. The ability to run and play was never there because of heart problems that had plagued me since birth. As a result, I gained a strong interest in reading. While the others played, I read. The ability to acquire knowledge became my entertainment. This labeled me among my peers as strange. Adding to that, I also had an ability to see things and know things that others never saw or knew.
My religious upbringing was strongly Pentecostal, and in that environment back in the 60’s you dared not speak of or challenge anything that was supernatural. At the age of 16 I had my first experience in a church setting. I remember being slain in the spirit and immediately seeing a light so bright and peaceful that it seemed to draw me in. But after a week the experience faded, and my questions returned. Why am I different? Something’s missing but what is it?
Don’t get me wrong; the teachings were sound and based on biblical scripture. However, as a child that had not made a commitment to Christ, I was warned that people would think I was strange or practicing witchcraft. At that point I made the decision to keep my experiences to myself. There was an emptiness, a void, an unexplainable hole in the innermost part of my being, and nothing that I did seemed to fill it. The desire to “know” or “understand” what was happening to me was stronger than my desire to keep secrets.
So began my quest. Having always been a self-starter, I thought this to be the perfect opportunity to visit the libraries and bookstores and find all I could on meditation. This was the answer that I sought. I grew not only in age but also in experience. During my search I found classes on Transcendental Meditation and Astral Projection; finally, I was around others with the same heart cry.
As I began to learn the intricacies of the mind, body, and soul connection it empowered me to no longer be afraid or ashamed of the things that I’d already experienced as a child. This was my mindset contrary to being raised to know this was against the teachings of Christ. The desire came to become a student of Yoga (Hatha for my body and Mantra’s to increase the focus of my mind while increasing my spiritual awareness). All was practiced to bring me into the fullness of my oneness with God. I remember sitting for hours facing the eastern sky in lotus formation meditating while projecting my spirit to far away lands. Daily I recited from a list of affirmations that I produced to further propel me to my higher self.
I began to finally understand the workings of the supernatural realm. I fully believed that through guided focus there was nothing that I couldn’t obtain, including my desire to know and to be whatever I wanted. Not only could I make things happen for myself but for others as well. One of the affirmations that daily crossed my lips was from the poem “Invictus” written by William Ernest Henley, I chanted,
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
How interesting, “Invictus” is a Latin word that means “invincible,” this had become my imagined state. I truly felt that I was invincible. Whatever I wanted, I thought I was able to obtain. I even had a strong following of others that believed in my abilities. The meditation seemed to increase my ability to know things. Then there was a new addition included in my repertoire; a friend introduced me to Tarot cards. Soon thereafter came an influx of drugs. My popularity soared. I had a group that met for Yoga and meditation and yet another that came for readings and personal insight from me. Everything was easily justified; the drugs were natural, they seemed to intensify the oneness with my god-self and the people really needed me. Well, the combination all of these elements coupled with the feeling of superiority gained while listening to the accolades of those who were my followers, really made me feel that I had it all together.
I thought I had it all. Then one day I realized the void had not been filled, but only camouflaged by busyness and the flattery that came with fulfilling the desires of others. Everyone wanted what I could do and be for him or her. Once again I turned even more into myself, more meditation– more affirmations. Seeking to find the God in me in the totality of who I am. I remember telling a friend of mine that “this is really getting old, there has to be more to life than this.” The following morning, I arose to my routine of speaking out my affirmations. I’d repeated them so often that they were now a part of my memory. But this morning was different. As I opened my mouth the words that came out were:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalms 19:14)
This was a passage of Scripture that I learned as a child. No longer could I remember my affirmations. I didn’t understand, “Where is this coming from?” I asked myself. Then suddenly I heard from within me, you need to find a church. I called a friend and told her what had just happened. I felt she would be able to help me understand since she attended church frequently. She was planning to check out a new church herself that weekend and asked that I join her. As we sat in the service the person speaking came forth. He began to speak a general message of how God was trying to get our attention and directed us to this place just to hear his word today. I felt as though he was speaking to me, just then he took a stance directly in front of me. “God wants to fill that space and he’s waiting for you, he said.” When he finished, I left because I felt God’s power drawing me out of deception. This type of conviction was something I had never experienced before.
The following week another friend invited me to attend church services with him. As we listened to the sermon the pastor ministered on “The Benefits of Thanksgiving.” He made the statement, “God has given you everything you’ve asked him for. He has always been there for you and when was the last time you told him, “Thank you?” From that empty space within my innermost being I felt a pulling, a tugging, a knowing over took me that said “this space had been reserved for an infilling that only Jesus could give.” As I went to the altar to answer the call, I began to feel a warmth and an indescribable peace that still resides in me today. All that I have sought has been found in Him.
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
Today I have new desires. My goals are still to help others. Only now, it’s not to make myself feel good or to attempt to fill my personal voids. To lead others into an understanding of the truth is my mission. I hate deception even in its lowest form. Through my life experiences I am now able to teach others how to avoid paths of misdirection and deception. I have started a women’s ministry named Vessels of Honor. We minister to those who are hurting, confused and in need of deliverance and direction. The awareness that we are not masters of our fate or the captains of our own souls must be realized. As a result of my research and in-depth study through meditation of the Word of God, I have found the true Captain of my soul—my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and he’s here for you today.