Known and Loved

April 9, 2013 at 5:53 am

My father has been a mental health professional for the vast majority of my life. For a considerable amount of time, he worked as a counselor to survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Many of my immediate family members are, in fact, survivors. During my growing years, my dad spoke often of the great spiritual gifts and experiences of his clients. I have come to believe that survivors of sexual abuse are among the most noble spirits on this earth.

My dad once told me of a client who had several guardian angels who came to her often during the years she was sexually abused. On several occasions, while she was being assaulted, her guardian angels had to be restrained from intervening. One, in particular, wept in agony as he tried to break free from his angel companions to stop the abuse.

Almost a year ago, I was reminded of this story during a spiritual morning jog. I had been feeling myself slip into depression and despair for awhile and feeling sorry for myself. I wrote a bit about this experience here. After the memory of my dad’s story had been brought to my remembrance, my mind was flooded with flashes of images, realizations, and epiphanies. On April 19, 2012, I wrote about some impressions and revelations I received during that powerful morning alone-time:

And it hit me that my angels, my loved ones in the spirit world, have been with me in my suffering, they have watched as forces of evil have tormented me, and while I believe that they have protected me at times from those evil influences, I also believe they have, at times, been restrained from protecting me–in order for me to experience the fulness of the trials and lessons I need to fulfill my missions here.

And, as I ran, crying, this morning, I could see in my mind, those loving friends in spirit, those angels, weeping as they watched Satan’s servants beat me and torture me, feeling themselves desperate to come to my aid but unable to do so–for my eternal welfare and God’s purposes for my growth.

All of this occurred just three months after my “Rescue Mission” dream and just a couple of weeks before our book, The Gift of Giving Life, was in print and available to the public. Those two things ignited the fury of hell or, as I sometimes say, “put me on Satan’s black list.”  I know that some people don’t believe in Satan or devils, but I have come to learn over this past year just how real evil is.

It was only a few weeks later that my beloved grandmother passed from this life to the next. I had lost the woman who had served as my foundation of love for my entire life. That deep loss weakened my spiritual defenses, leaving me open and vulnerable to the exploitations and torments of unseen evil influences. I soon plunged into anxiety and depression, lost my passion for the beauty and gift of giving life (certainly no coincidence given the things that put me on the “black list” to begin with), and eventually lost my will to live. Sometimes I say that Satan was literally trying to “take me out.”

During the height of my period of darkness, I had occasional days of respite. On one of those days, I had gone to the Mesa Temple in an attempt to re-inject some light into my heart. I felt so peaceful and rejuvinated while I was there. But almost as soon as I left, my unseen tormenters began to attack me once again. But for the first time I refused to let them. I commanded them to flee my presence. And the fearful, painful thoughts that had been filling my mind disappeared for the rest of that day.

I wish I could say that was the end of my suffering. Unfortunately, I would go on to experience three more months of fear-filled darkness with only brief and occasional moments of relief. But in that powerful moment, I felt I had experienced a monumental triumph. I was reminded that I was strong enough to overcome this trial… that the crumbled failure of a future my tormenters had been telling me was inevitable was their own fantasy, not in the least bit prophecy. I had important work to do, and I was not going to let them stop me.

After I returned home, we went for a walk as a family after dinner. As we walked and arrived at a park, I felt like I was floating… full of light. I felt like I could conquer the world. As I watched my children play at the park, I was filled with an overwhelming sensation that I was in the presence of numberless angels. So many angels. And they were rejoicing with me. They were everywhere around us, cheering and singing and clapping and smiling and weeping. They were so happy, and they were so proud of me. It brought me to tears myself.

I think if I could imagine what ecstasy would feel like, that moment is probably what I would call to mind. Sometimes I can’t help wondering to myself… was that even real? Did that even happen? But I can’t deny what I felt with every fiber of my being.

Tonight, I received a strong impression about who those angels were and why they were rejoicing. Some of them were my deceased loved ones, I’m sure. Perhaps some of them were children I will someday bring into my family? But there were so many more present… thousands? Part of their joy, I believe, came from the fact that I recognized they were there. After feeling abandoned by God and heaven and lost in darkness for so long, in that moment I knew that the spiritual realm was real and aware of me, and they were so happy that I knew it!

But the bulk of their joy, I believe, came from their knowledge that I had triumphed over Satan that day. I had proven to myself and those evil forces that I could fight back and prevail. I believe they rejoiced because it gave them hope and assurance that I would survive, fully recover, and then begin my rescue mission on their behalf.

The thousands of angels weeping with joy all around me were the aborted ones. They knew and loved me, and they knew that it wouldn’t be long before I would know and love them back.