Do you have any idea how hard it is to describe love? God our Heavenly Father is Love. It is no easier to describe God. When I was growing up people described God as being my Heavenly Father but they said I had to obey Him instantly. My earthly father was like that, so I didn’t think that sounded much like love to me. I decided that my Abba (Heavenly Father) was not like my earthly father and over my lifetime I have learned to trust Him deeply. But I still didn’t understand His love.
Last October as I lay in bed early one morning I was telling Abba how much I loved Him and He came and put His arms around me and gave me a full-on front hug. It was gentle but firm and I melted in His arms. He took me by surprise and I was unprepared for the rush of kindness and purity and respect that flowed from Him. He planted His seed in my heart (1 John 3:9) as His mark of ownership. He didn’t just “want” me, He “owned” me. And I crushed myself to His heart. After that He came to me and I welcomed Him every morning when I awoke.
In early November He came to me again and asked what kind of house I would like. I had been reading about tree houses on the Internet, so I said I’d like a tree house high in the tree tops and He agreed. We walked together through a meadow of knee-high grass with a few tiny flowers here and there and finally came to a tall tree. We lifted up in the spirit and entered the tree house. There was a kitchen for heating water and keeping fruit for guests, and a living room with a love seat and one upholstered chair.
Jesus sat on the love seat, so I sat with Him, and leaned against His chest while we talked. He put His arms around me and I enjoyed His closeness. After that we met in the tree house every day. One day Jesus asked me if I remembered my time of teaching at a particular English Training Institute where the students persuaded the principal to let them hold a dance every two weeks. I smiled in recall and told Him the students were all young men with only one young woman in the class, and me as their teacher. I didn’t know how to ballroom dance but they said they could teach me since they needed ladies to dance with. We had so much fun, I told Jesus and He smiled. Of course, He knew. The class monitor wanted to dance with his foreign teacher but he was so intimidated that he begged me to lead. How could I lead when I didn’t know how, I asked. So with much fear and trembling, he lead me slowly until he realized I truly didn’t know anything about dancing, and he gained confidence. I laughed. Then, there was another student who was an accomplished dancer who invited me to dance. He told me to walk forward slowly and he did some special moves and made me look good.
Then Jesus took my breath! Would you like to dance with Me, He asked. Oh, my! My stomach did flip-flops. Yes, I whispered. So He gently took my hand and we went from the tree house into the grassy meadow to the Throne Room where we stood before the Father to get His permission. Then Jesus turned to me and took one hand and put His other hand on my back and lead me around the gigantic Throne Room. I don’t remember any music or any other people being there. Briefly I looked up and noticed shadowy figures watching with folded wings standing against the walls while we danced. Then I turned back to fully focus on Jesus. We danced a long time. It occurred to me that the person following is walking backward and can’t see where they are going. But Jesus could see where we were going so I didn’t concern myself with anything but His face.
Some days later when I came into the meadow, it was the Father who met me. Would you like to dance, Joyce, He asked. I dropped my head, speechless, rooted to the spot. When I didn’t answer right away, He let it go and we talked about other things. After the integration I mention farther down this post, I was able to dance with my Abba. How pure and respectful He is. And His fathomless eyes….they show His fiery love and gentleness. Yes, fiery love and gentleness do go together. But I also saw sorrow and grief in His beautiful eyes for He wants everyone to know Him and come humbly to Him. He gave everything for each one of us and He hopes that we will give everything for knowing Him.
I had been working on an autobiography and making a point of forgiving people who had hurt me, and confessing my sins when I remembered people I had hurt. Jesus came and walked with me to the tree house and I asked Him why I could forgive but I didn’t experience any healing. He pointed out Isaiah 53:4 where it says surely He has borne our griefs and sorrows. He is acquainted with our grief and sickness. If I would but ask Him to take away the feelings of being orphaned or disowned, motherless, defiled, told I was worth nothing, He would do as I asked. The healing of physical and emotional wounds was part of His plan of salvation. I had no idea that was part of the reason He gave everything to die for me.
As we were speaking, the baby I was appeared in a basket on the table by the living room love seat. She was wailing as if in severe pain or terror, so Jesus walked over to the basket and placed His hand on her bare chest and waited until she quieted. I came to stand beside Him as He picked her up and held her on His shoulder and rubbed His face gently on her body, cuddling her, speaking to her softly. Then, still holding the baby, He turned to me and firmly told me He knew when He sent me to earth what kind of home and parents I would have. Their first baby (miscarried) died from a broken heart of not being wanted. And He knew I would not be wanted, either. Because He knew what I would experience, He had never left me for a moment. Not one moment. Even when I wandered off the path, He was always with me. He dismissed the spirit of death I had carried since conception and I was set free for the first time in my life.
As a baby I was not handled any more than necessary because my mother did the washing by hand, she baked bread, raised a huge garden and canned the food, and did all the household chores as a good wife was expected to do. A year later another baby was born, and another year later, a third baby was born. A two year lapse and a fourth, then a fifth baby. I had a hunger for touch, but as I grew up there was no touch. No words of love or hugs. As infants we were spanked vigorously for crying. As we grew, the spankings became increasingly violent. Touch was only for sex, whether by girl friends or boys. So I learned to fear and avoid touch.
I continued to cancel the debts of those who had wounded me (Matt. 18:23-35) and ask for healing of wounds. Broken fragments of my spirit were integrated with my core personality and I could feel the strength and energy of wholeness slowly filling me. The intimacy with Abba and my Bridegroom was filling all the holes left and I was absolutely filled with a Love so personal…….there were no words adequate to describe our relationship.
I met with Abba and the Bridegroom every day and often throughout the day. His resources were limitless, so I didn’t need to budget my time or thirst with Them. What a luxury. One day as I ran across the meadow to meet Abba, another Joyce stood back and called a warning. Stop, Joyce. He will hurt you. I rushed to Abba and He bent to kiss me but the other Joyce became insistent. Stop, Joyce. Abba disappeared and I looked around, puzzled. There was my Bridegroom, so I turned to Him, and this time the other Joyce was frantic. Stop, Joyce He’s going to hurt you! And Jesus also disappeared. I was so puzzled.
Why did you do that, I asked the other Joyce. Because He was going to molest you, she cried. Her fear was genuine.
Why did Abba and the Bridegroom disappear? Because They were respectful of the other Joyce’s fear and didn’t want to cause her further distress. But as long as the other Joyce was with me They wouldn’t come back. And I missed them. So I went to the Bible and found the passage in Luke 20:35-36 where it says in Heaven they neither marry or give in marriage (also Gal. 3:28). That satisfied the other Joyce and she agreed to integrate with me. Abba came to supervise the integration which took about two hours of precious, sweet communion.
Apparently Fear was a very early alternate personality that had grown along with me to some degree, fear being the first emotion I had felt as a result of my parents’ violent words of cursing and vilifying each other and my mother’s heavy sobbing. After I was born that continued along with the inappropriate punishment for crying as an infant and toddler. There had been anger and bitterness, too, later, but as I had persisted in forgiveness and canceling people’s debts, anger and bitterness had become increasingly weak until they had integrated with me several years earlier without my knowing about the process.
After the integration Abba insisted on rest and He kept some distance or I would run to Him. For about a week everything was quiet. Finally He met me in the meadow one day and I ran to greet Him and press into His chest. To my utter surprise He let me come into Him. I can still see His head bowed as He opened His heart to me. Oh, how unspeakably beautiful and sacred.
To be inside Abba is to see and hear as He sees and hears. To feel what He feels. He took me to the Court outside the Throne Room where I saw throngs of people dancing and whirling in holy violent joy. The Court was about the size of Tiananmen Square or larger and it was packed with people celebrating the Bridegroom.
Another time as I slipped inside Abba He took me on a tour of the nations. He especially wanted me to see the leaders and form my own impressions without His input until the tour was finished. I saw men and women with unwashed, filthy bodies and dirty clothing. Their hair was matted and their teeth were rotting. When we returned to the meadow He looked very distressed. These leaders look polished and sophisticated to the world, but what you have seen is what I see. They are desperately needy. They need intercessors, people to stand on the walls and cry out a warning. People with the voice and courage of a lion – holy boldness. I have already called you into the Strategy Room of Heaven and told you how I want you to pray. Please accept My call to pray for these men and women that they might join the eternal celebration in Heaven.