A few months ago, very inconveniently during the Prayer time at a West Wight Churches monthly Committee meeting, God gave me a vision.
In the past, if I have received a picture- a mental image/ vision- it has most often be here at the Priory, and more often than not at the Mid-day prayers- and it is a safe place in which to share.
The picture I received that evening was of a donkey (at least a beast of burden) and it was carrying two heavy baskets – they were made of a natural fibre- and there was some red decoration on them.
What was absolutely clear was that the baskets, one on each side of the animal were so heavy they were almost touching the ground. As I understood it, the animal was at breaking point.
I felt I should share the image at the end of the Prayer-time because it could be for any of the church representatives that evening, or perhaps for the West Wight Churches together.
Weeks later, if not a couple of months, that vision became clear to me:
I was struggling with a number of things I was reacting to in my life- at work, in Church, in all sorts of places- things that were causing discomfort and concern out of all proportion to the event.
Sometimes this is referred to as behavioural or cognitive recognition- when current events and the way we respond to them, throw a light on past hurts. I knew:
1) That I needed to get some help and support, and
2) that God was probably saying something to me
Things had actually become very stressful as everywhere I went and every person I met produced some anxiety.
So one Tuesday morning I came to the Priory fairly early and shared a little of what had been happening with Colin and Marija.
We discussed who may be the best person to talk to, and we prayed about it.
As I walked down the drive, I sensed God saying that these things were happening now because Russell and I had just completed on a buy-to-let property and to some extent had made ourselves a bit more financially secure- as neither of us have work pensions.
It seemed that at an emotional level, the increased security, allowed other insecurities- those deep down, to come to the surface- like a set of scales- and this was what I was registering.
I was due to take a residential home group in Cowes, and I had arranged to go and see Jackie and eat my lunch there.
When I got there, we had about an hour to spare, and I began to tell her about the last few weeks, and all the things/ people I was reacting too, and specifically about something I had been loaned which had been damaged in my care despite all my best efforts to protect it.
As we talked- as we have many times over the last fourteen years- we concluded that my pain came because I wasn't able to protect something that was very precious ie my unborn child that I miscarried- despite all my best efforts.
Also, the “double burden” of the donkey vision, tied in with my own twin being miscarried.
It was me carrying this double burden which threatened to break me in half.
The well of tears broke, and I sobbed and sobbed from the depths of my being, in a way I had never really cried before- and with understanding, that at some level I felt I had been unable to protect these two people that I loved most in the whole world.
What a weight had gone- and I just had enough time to have a cup of tea and get to the home for a two-hour group. I was extremely tired for a few days, had a very minor cold, but was just so happy-
in part because God should take such care to bring about this healing.
Ten days later I went for a walk along Brook Beach, and despite my best efforts to find someone to go with me, I went on my own- not something I have ever found easy.
I normally turn left when I get to the beach, but that day I was prompted to turn right.
Part way along I looked at the cliff and I could see that a small amount of water had over a long period of time cut a new chine.
Some of you know that I like geography and geology, and I looked at how this water had cut down through the various layers of rock- the strata- and formed this “V” shaped chine.
When I got home, I thought about how dinosaurs had once lived along that coast- and how the chine was cutting right back to the time of the dinosaurs.
So I coined a phrase in connection with my recent healing- “Dealing with your Dinosaurs”.
Like the water that has created the chine, so the Holy Spirit slowly, steadily and surely acts in our lives, and with the support of friends in prayer and counsel, in vision and through observation, God had shown me my hidden “dinosaurs” - in order to heal this deep two-fold pain.
I am sharing this today to encourage you to continue to allow the gentle water of the loving Holy Spirit to work in each of our lives over time, so that these deep pains- these “dinosaurs” which lie buried can be revealed and healed in God's timing.
Since then I have spoken to at least two people in whom God is clearly at work and they too have been able to bring their hidden dinosaurs to the surface for God to heal- both connected here at the Priory- so His healing is continuing, and will do so even more as we allow Christ to set captives free.
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