Sunday, August 7, 2011

Aliens can't read your mind--God can

image from the movie Signs


Have you ever noticed my favorite movie quote on the sidebar--"Swing away, Merrill. Merrill, swing away"? It's from the movie Signs, by M. Night Shyamalan. Signs could be written off as a silly horror movie about alien invasion. But it's not--it's much more. It deals with the issues of grief, the loss and regaining of faith, and finding your life's purpose. I relate deeply with two characters, Graham and Merrill. Now, do I believe in aliens from outer space? No. In this film I'd say they are symbolic of horrible things that happen, over which we have no control. I don't want to say too much about Signs in case you haven't seen it. But I will say that God can use any medium to catch our attention. So here's my story--my sign.

When I was nine years old, I told God I did not believe in Him any more. Things had happened. Things that marked me, and not for the good. The older I got, the angrier and more reckless I became. By age nineteen, I knew a lot more about life than a nineteen year old should. I suffered from bouts of anxiety and insomnia. To comfort myself while trying to sleep, I would play this game in my mind. I would imagine myself as a little, little girl climbing the steps of a huge porch, and there would be Father God sitting on a porch swing. And when He sees me, He opens His arms and welcomes me into His lap, and rocks me until I fall asleep. This was the only time where I would allow myself to consider the possibility of His existence.

One random Wednesday evening, I was walking past a church and heard singing. Out of curiosity, I wandered in and stood in the back. The people at the front of the church were gathered together wholeheartedly worshipping. When I looked at them, even though I was within a few yards, I felt a million miles away. They seemed so clean. I felt so not. I became acutely aware that one day they would be in heaven, and I would not. The sense was so strong that I literally started screaming. Two women rushed to the back. You'd have thought they would have put me out for creating such a disturbance. Instead they tenderly put their arms around me, and I sobbed and sobbed, and unleashed all the years of pent-up pain and rage.

After I'd calmed down, one of the women shyly said to me, "I hope you won't think this is weird, but God wants you to know something. He's telling me that every night, you play a game to put yourself to sleep. He wants you to know it's not a game. He was there. He is there. He wants you to come home." I was stunned. No one knew about that "game" but me--and the God who is there.

That night I came home. My life has never been the same. Some pains and sorrows are still with me. But they are not my master. Jesus is. No one could ever convince me that God does not exist. No one ever will. I was born for a purpose. And while I'm here, I'll swing away.

Joining Emily today
Imperfect prose

34 comments:

Vicki Munn said...

i have been waiting for a post like this...
thank you for sharing this jodi! thank you. thank you. thank you. i am also quite thankful now for those women who helped you at that church.
you are a blessing for so many :)

Ostriches Look Funny said...

Jodi. This is beyond cool.
BEYOND. And the tinfoil hat means so much more now.
And you made me cry. In a happy, amazed way.

Janie Fox said...

Found this thru JoAnn. What an awesome post. Loved it. I cried too.

Nancy said...

"See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?"

One day, I clicked on a link for Curious Acorn. It was no coincidence. I love you.

Julia said...

Wow, Jodi. Just wow! How beautiful and poignant.

Nancy said...

Oh, and it was pouring this morning as we drove through the cornfields on our way to church. All I could think was, "The aliens aren't going to be happy." I heard they don't like water.

It's Just Dottie said...

So tender a heart. I weeped for you and I praise God for your salvation and courage to share your story.
Your friend,Dottie

Amy Danielle said...

Crying happy tears... oh, this! Beautiful, Jodi! {And they overcame the dragon by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony} Amen!!!

amy said...

I have read this like three times without words to comment. I clicked over from my reader, then from JoAnn's fb link, then Nancy's, and when I finally saw Amy Danielle post the link, I decided I had to comment though I had no words. I've cried all three times. I'm having a rough day and every time I come read this, I cry again. Your story, so beautiful. And this, "No one could ever convince me that God does not exist. No one ever will. I was born for a purpose. And while I'm here, I'll swing away.", this is what I need to hear. I am so glad to call you friend.

Chelsey said...

This is a beautiful story Jodi. Thank you so much for sharing it... How profound that God spoke to that woman about something so intimate to you.

PS: Do you still fall asleep that same way?

Rayanne said...

My friend Jodi... it's always GOOD to hear someones story(life) about how they came to God, I'm up early this morning and wasn't going to get on-line, but when I read your post, I had too...this touched me so. I love you friend and thank you for sharing, it's a blessing.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Dear Jodi, what a beautiful and amazing story this is. Thank you so much for putting it on your blog. I must have taken true courage to be this open and you touched my heart deeply.

Julie@One Penny Jumble Packet said...

Even though I've heard you tell this story before, it always strikes me as incredibly amazing and beautiful. Reading it this morning, I'm in tears.

margaretha said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful story Jodi!
Margaretha

Leslie said...

Oh, Jodi. First I laughed, of course, when I saw that photo from one of my all-time favorite movies. And then, I cried... your story is so amazing. And I thank you, so much, for sharing it. Because we all need to be reminded, from time to time, how real God is, and how much He love us.

Amy said...

Glad you came home--and glad you swing. What a touching telling of your story. God is amazing. And so are you.
Now I want to see that movie!

Amy Sullivan said...

Chills. Chills. What a story you have to tell and how unbelievable. It's stuff like this that rocks me. God cares enough about all of us. Yep, each and everyone.

mountain mama said...

oh, how i love this! i love how God used just the right person at the right time. i love that he can be our Father if we let Him. i love His words to you. love this post!!!!!!

Beth Stone said...

Thank you for sharing this - I had been wondering what significance that quote had for you.... I love this post...

Quotidian Life said...

What a beautiful story of God's constant and loving care of his children. Thank you for sharing this, Jodi.

monix said...

Your story is profoundly moving, Jodi. Thank you for sharing it.
Maureen x

Jennifer said...

I am reaching through this screen right now with the biggest bear (((HUG))) you can imagine! Oh, sweet friend, your pain and sorrow broke my heart but I love how God was so faithful, gently helping you to sleep every night, even when you didn't want to acknowledge Him. Such a beautiful story and even more so because it's true, because it's yoursYou bless Him, do you know that? Thank you for sharing this part of yourself :)

Christine said...

I am crying, because sometimes when I have doubt God shows me something like this to read. Thank you.

Brian Miller said...

you just gave me chills...this is a beautiful post...and love it when god does that...smiles.

Cathy said...

You've pulled the threads of just about every emotion with this post...

emily wierenga said...

oh my goodness. i am rarely touched this deeply by a post... this is powerful, friend. i'm crying, and i have shivers. God loves you so very tenderly...

Shah Wharton said...

I loved this - loved it!! Well doen. Shah from the hop. X

Kit said...

Jodi, I love your story. He is so tender and He wanted (and still wants) you so much. Amazing grace that He WANTS to be with us, wretches. I'm going to be thinking about this for a while.

Melissa said...

Beautiful, merciful Savior. I love your story, Jodi. I am so moved to think of how God pursued you in Fatherly love and drew you to Himself. Thank you for sharing this with poetic loveliness and simplicity. I haven't seen the movie, but am intrigued...Much love from here. It's been a very busy few weeks, and it's refreshing to visit here after being away.

Jenn @ Spejory said...

Jodi, this is an amazing witness! Thank you so much for sharing this. Our God is so amazing in ways words cannot begin to describe. He was speaking to you through that woman in the church, and it gives me chills! He knew you were never beyond His reach.

Johanna said...

You brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your story.

Emily said...

I love everything about this.

Sylvia R @ sylvrpen said...

Wow. What a story! Just beautiful. I had to laugh when you said you told God you didn't believe in Him anymore. The irony. Then, the progression your story took... Just stunned with the beauty of our Shepherd Savior Who keeps seeking us to carry us back to His sheep cote, so tenderly in his arms. Or, back to the porch swing.
(BTW, you are the third person I have heard tell of passing a church in a state of abject despair or desperation and getting drawn in by the singing, and utterly rescued.)

Deborah said...

Jodi its so good to visit you again..somehow Id lost track of you, but tonight I was going through all the blogs Im following and found you again..\0/
I loved the movie Signs and I dont recall ever watching any alien movies but this one was filled with so much real life stuff and faith.
Thank you for sharing this testimony of how God so lovingly touched you and called you and how He was truly there every night for you as you ran into His arms.
This blessed me so as you do also!
I'm putting your blog on my sidebar so I dont lose you again!! I missed you Jodi!

In His love,
Deborah xoxoxo

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