It's been about 23 years now that Jesus and I have had a relationship. I was twelve years old when I experience His true presence for the first time (Rev. 3:20). I was asked by a very good friend of mind to attend a retreat in the mountains with her and her family; I always went to church as a child. I would, periodically, go with her to her church, although, I did have a church of my own. Her mom was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, so most likely it was mandatory for me to take part in Sunday service if I wanted to sleep over my friends house, however, I really did enjoy going.
Back to the retreat, we went to the mountains and the resort was beautiful. I can remember pulling up to this white, mansion like home that had a bunch of bedrooms. The grounds had hydrangea bushes everywhere and this gigantic bright green lawn out in the back of this house. The food was amazing, homemade everything. When you walked in you could smell the aroma of some good ole southern cooking being made for the guest who were there.
During that time my parents were recently divorced, my mom remarried to an amazing man and my older sibling was kind of doing his own thing and I felt very alone. I felt like I had no one to really talk too because I felt like I had to put on this facade that I was unaffected by what was happening around me.
So, during the retreat they made an itinerary for us where they scheduled praise and worship, prayer, spiritual exercises and also free time where we could do whatever we wanted. Remember I'm twelve years old, so free time for me was a break from all that had been going on. My friend, her mom and a few others from the church and myself were sitting in the room, kind of like a common area in this house, and one of the woman (to this day I have no idea who this woman was) from the church said that she want everyone to stand so we can pray, cool. We did just that, we stood in a circle hand and hand and she began to pray. She then started to say "there's someone here who is feeling lonely and feels overlook..." "enter into His presence, you can see His glory," and at that moment I was experiencing everything that she was describing. In my mind I was thinking "is she talking about me" and that's when I felt her arms wrap around me and tears began to fall down my face (Rev. 21:4). I felt this big ball in my throat and my body beginning to feel weak, like as if I no longer had the power to hold myself up. For a moment, as I could remember, it was like, I can see, with my eyes closed, God's presence; I can see a figure with a brightness all around it. And before I knew it I was on the floor pouring out all of what I was feeling and holding inside. I laid there for so long that my friend's mom had to say to me, "hey come on now it's time to get up."
After that experience I felt so relieved. I had a sense that God was going to be with me all through out my life. God assured me that He knew all that I was feeling and that He was there for me, then, now and always! At the time I didn't quite understand exactly what happened but I know now, I had a visitation with the Holy Spirit. He wrapped His arms around me like I was His child and I no doubt in my mind that I am (Isaiah 61:1-3)!