I had known about Jesus my whole life, & I had loved him. I learned about his love, growing up in the Catholic church. I had also heard about the wrath of God. I thought about God as a stern man sitting on a throne in the sky. He was watching us intently, not really feeling a lot of love towards us, but rather waiting for us to mess up & sin. When we did, he would put a red check mark next to our name in his big Book of Life. If we got enough check marks, he would send us to Hell. I often found myself counting up my sins, wondering if I had enough check marks to go to Hell yet.
Later, as an adult, I was fortunate to read Embraced By The Light by Betty Eadie (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553565915 /moondancecelebra.) She had met Jesus through a near death experience (NDE) and told about how kind and loving he had been. What a relief to read her writing! I saw Jesus through new eyes, and I felt at peace.
Several years later, I started to think about what Betty had said. Suddenly, I wanted to know Jesus better. Not just to know about him, but to know him personally
. I started to read everything I could on NDEs over the internet. So many people had met him through NDEs, and they each described his love.
I then read about Sister Faustina and how Jesus had told her to paint his picture with the words, "I Trust in You, Jesus." Knowing these words were important to Jesus, I began to pray several times a day: "I trust in you, Jesus."
I also read about a woman on the Betty Eadie web site, who had had a dream about Jesus. He took her for a walk on the beach, and finally he laughed and told her to look down. When she did, they were walking on water. I thought, How wonderful to walk on water with Jesus! When I went to bed that night, I prayed, just asking Jesus to let me see him in a dream like other people had. I prayed about it for two nights, always adding, "I trust in you, Jesus."
On the second night of the prayer, I had a dream: I was walking with Jesus. He was holding my hand. I remember him vividly, long brown hair, a little past his shoulders. He wore long, white clothes and sandals like in his pictures, and there was a red heart on the outside of his clothing, on his chest. He looked exactly like the pictures I had seen of him.
He started to lead me into a building. I felt happy to be with Jesus, walking with him and holding his hand, but I wasn't in awe of him, as one would think. I didn't feel the need to bow down to him and such. It felt perfectly natural to be with him, like he was my friend.
As we walked deeper into the building, I noticed that it looked like some sort of a museum. There were figures of people in there, but it wasn't the same kind of museum I was used to seeing. The figures were not standing, but were suspended in the air, just hanging there. It was eerie. Something about them began to frighten me. I suddenly thought, They are dead.
I looked over at Jesus. He was still walking next to me, still holding my hand, and he didn't seem the least bit concerned. In fact, his steps were hurried as he led me deeper into this frightening place. The further we walked, the more panicked I felt. I thought to myself, This place is scary! I don't like it here. I want to leave!
I looked at Jesus again. He continued to walk as though he were on a mission. He didn't even seem to notice how deeply frightened I was. Meanwhile, the panic in me continued to rise. The place seemed utterly evil. I thought to myself, I want to leave! I need to get out of here! I wanted to tell him, but I was afraid to tell him. I struggled with my thoughts. What if he ignores me, and keeps on walking? What if he says no? I'm not sure if he will do it. He may not do it.
After I struggled with my doubts and pure lack of faith, my fear got the best of me. Finally, I summoned up my courage and spoke out loud: "I want to go back!" On hearing my words, he stopped suddenly, as soon as I had spoken it. He turned and looked at me. I had also stopped, and we stood facing each other. I looked into his eyes like a frightened child. My heart stopped in my chest. I couldn't even breathe.
I just stood there, waiting on his reply, yet fearful of what he might say. Those few seconds of silence were pure agony for me. I wondered, Will he help me or not?
He had never let go of my hand the whole time. Without a word, he turned and started leading me out of there. Talk about relief! I let out one huge sigh as I felt relief wash over me. My heart started to beat again, and I could breathe. The minute I had told him that I wanted to go back, he had stopped instantly. I did not have to beg, plead, or persuade him. He just did it! It was as if my wish was his command!
As we walked, I thought to myself, That wasn't hard at all! I had gained new confidence in him, thinking, He is good and kind. In fact, he would do anything I asked of him. He is that giving. I felt these things about him, and I knew with certainty in my heart that they were true.
On the way out, he led me to a wooden door. We stood in front of the door a few seconds. I was scared of the door, but he didn't attempt to open it. (I don't understand that part of the dream.) Then we turned away from the door.
We walked down a short hallway, and when I looked up, we were outside. The birds were singing, the sky was clear and blue, and I saw lots of green grass and trees.
He had delivered me safely to a peaceful place. When I had prayed to see Jesus in a dream, I had wanted to walk on water with him, but I got something totally different. I had prayed: "I trust in you, Jesus," and he had shown me just how weak my faith in him really was. I had not trusted in him at all, but he showed me that I really could trust him.
He didn't let me walk on water with him like I had hoped, but he knows what is best for me far better than I do, and I needed to know I could trust him.
A few days later, I had a second dream: I was in an old building like back in the Bible days. The architecture was exquisite, and inside, I saw a domed ceiling.
Suddenly this building became frightening like the one in the first dream, but it was worse!
I saw evil beings with swords, and they were sticking people up on the dome shaped ceiling with their swords. I don't know if the bad ones with the swords were human beings or demons. I only saw their arms sticking the bodies on to the ceiling, and the people were alive and bleeding all over and squirming in pain. The whole ceiling was covered with the bleeding bodies!
I looked away, feeling pity for the people on the ceiling, and fearful of the ones with the swords. When I looked back, the entire ceiling was gone along with the bodies, as if it had all been blown away. I looked up through the gaping hole in the top of the building. The sky above was cloudless and gray. The stillness I saw was stark and eerie.
A sudden and very real realization struck me, and my heart stopped in my chest.
I don't know how I knew it with such certainty, but I did, and I was in awe:
I said, "Today is the end of the world, right here, right now! I can't believe this is happening! I can't believe I'm seeing it!" My first reaction was panic.
Suddenly, I had a calming thought. I need to get Jesus. He will handle it. He knows what to do. He will take care of me. Even though it was a frightening experience, I felt suddenly calm. I knew with certainty that if I called Jesus he would come, and he would save me, even from the end of the world. My faith was strong. I trusted him completely without a shred of doubt, and nothing could be more frightening for anyone than to face the end of the world! He had given me the biggest test of all, the most frightening thing imaginable, and I had passed this time.
Karen Templin lives in Florida with her husband of twenty years and three children. Says Karen, “I wasn't overly religious before these experiences happened to me. I didn't even attend church, but I had a strong love for Jesus. Later in my life, I felt a strong calling to know him better, and I started praying to him several times a day, and he came to me.”