This is my wife's true "born again" testimony. I have a rather mystical testimony too, but nowhere near as profound. Nine months after this event Dr. Christian (who "happened" to be on call) delivered Grace on a Sunday at the Baptist Hospital!!!
This submission is more about content than presentation; really, a journal rather than an article. Please review it carefully.
November 7, 2003
I was on my way to the bank after rushing home to pick up some checks to deposit before the weekend would begin. I was thinking of how my day went at work. My meeting with my boss, the files I would need to pack away in storage when I returned to work and other occurrences that happened during my day. I went through the intersection and turned left to pull into the drive up lane closest to the window. I filled out the deposit ticket and put my ID in the shuttle that brings such items to the teller. As I waited and watched the teller, a woman with a meek appearance; straight bangs and shoulder length hair pulled back in a pony tail, I had seen her look like that many of times before. When I started to think of her face, of how it was not so in form to the beauty standards of this world, I pondered for a moment of how beautiful I thought she was and how much I liked her. She was such a kind and loving person. Kind to all she greets all day long. She was suddenly the most beautiful creature I had ever seen, and I thought she was so pure and lovely. Then, I could see a flame over her head. Somehow I knew it reflected the purity of her being, her soul. It was a nice, fairly large size flame. I knew she was a wonderful person and I truly loved her as another soul that would be with me in heaven one day. Then I looked at the beautiful tall woman behind her in the background and she turned my direction and began to walk across the room. I think she was the Manager of the bank. I saw a flame above her head as well, not as large as the teller’s, but still a good healthy size. I thought for a moment about this woman’s family and her husband and children; how they must love her for working so hard in her life to achieve. She seemed happy and fulfilled. I thought she was lovely too. I loved her spirit. It was going to be in heaven too. I thought, “So this is what Jesus sees when he looks at us, no wonder He can love each of us. He can look right into us.” It was so beautiful to me. I thought for a moment, “What an imagination I must have to see and think such things.” I wondered if other people had such outlandish thoughts. Then I pushed the button to speak to the teller. I asked when the funds would be accessible. She replied, “One minute Mrs. Totman.” I watched her as she looked at the other ladies to talk with them. I leaned back in my seat and knew we would have to wait several days for it to clear. At that moment, I remembered I would have to call my cousin and cancel on this weekend’s trip to meet her and her family for the first time in 28 years. See, this cousin lives here in Florida and when she was a baby, less than 1, her parents divorced and she was moved away and the extended family hasn’t seen her since. From “out of the blue” she calls me the other day to introduce herself to my family and I. I could not have been more delighted that she called. Turns out we have a lot of things in common, such as both of us giving our hearts and lives to Jesus on the very same Sunday, two weeks ago. Well, I needed the money from these checks to be able to take this trip. It just wasn’t going to happen. So I made a mental note to call her when I got home.
Then I hear the teller say, “Don’t worry Mrs. Totman, I won’t put a hold on them. You can withdrawal cash right now.” I replied, “Thank you.” She sent me a bank receipt and I began to drive away. I approached the red light and stopped. It just came to me, “Thank you Jesus. We will get to meet one of my cousins.” She’s a twin. I haven’t met her sister either and would love to. I have always wanted to meet them again because I could remember them. I was four or five when they moved away. I felt so happy. The feeling got stronger and I realized what was happening. I loved that teller with my whole heart and Jesus influenced her actions because of my pure love for her. Without those funds we would not have been able to afford to take the trip. I began to be overjoyed with Jesus and His kindness to me for allowing us to take this trip that I knew I would never forget and would cherish as long as I lived. I started to cry, thinking of His love for me. To have this connection with someone I have wanted to know since I was a child. I instantly felt Jesus’ presence with me in the Jeep. I knew that moment He was in the truck with me. I was feeling His love as a spiritual washing all through me, in every cell in my body. I could feel Jesus touching my soul. I was weeping and gasping for breath.
My heart was pounding, the thought in my head was Jesus’ face, it was all I could see in my mind and he was giving me thoughts and feelings. The feeling in the truck was so heavy of Jesus everywhere as I felt my soul being washed with His love and the thickness of His Holy power. I knew He was holding back because I would black out if He really let me fully feel His presence. I began to speak to Him, just as I am telling you of this event. I was certain, with no doubt whatsoever, that Jesus was sitting in my backseat with His hand on my shoulder. Not my flesh shoulder either, He was touching my soul, I could see it in my mind and feel it in my heart. Just as I live and breath this is the God’s honest truth, He was there with me. I mean physically…in spirit. I was visited by Christ himself! Now, had anyone ever said this to me about themselves I would really be wondering about them, but how can you deny what YOU YOURSELF are experiencing! I’m not exactly certain of the order of what I was saying, but it was something like, “Thank you Jesus for coming to visit me. I love You so much. I’m so glad You are in my life. Please never leave me.” I felt a feeling and thought of His seal of approval of me. I was going to go to heaven and so was my family. We had been chosen to be His children. I knew we would touch as many lives as we could reach with His words and love, because He showed me that. We would take as many Christians to heaven with us as possible. I was over taken by the thought of Him. I was still weeping with all my heart and gasping for breath. I was so happy and excited I could hardly believe this was happening to ME. I was still talking, “Jesus, thank You for loving me and for forgiving my sins.” I felt Him affirm His acceptance of me, flaws and all. He loved me so purely and I was perfect for Him. I started to pray for my family, “Jesus please protect my family, please protect my family, please Father don’t let anyone in my family or anyone I love be hurting or in pain.” I knew this was the most powerful, awe striking, electrifying event that I would ever experience on this earth. Really, words can’t describe the wholeness of the power of Christ that I felt washing over me, through every cell in my biological being, and through the essence of my soul. Then I joked with Jesus saying, “Now You have to make sure I get home safely. You can’t do this to me and not let me live.” I was stunned with the intense power of His pure love for me. He knew it. I felt everything would be all right. I was frightened to even look in the back seat, but I did, and of course there was no physical person there. But He was still in the back seat, I could feel His presence. It was so heavy and rich that I was still gasping for breath and weeping profusely. It was extremely powerful!! The love I have for my children (which on this earth until that moment had been the deepest and purest love I had ever felt) and even the rekindled love I deeply feel for my husband, paled in comparison to the magnitude and overwhelming love I received from Jesus Christ in these few minutes that Jesus showed Himself to me. I don’t mean with my physical eyes either. I am forever changed. You cannot get that close to Jesus Christ and not be profoundly moved. I cried the rest of the way home, still gasping for breath and shaking. This drive took about 15 to 20 minutes. I felt like I had a visit with Jesus for 2 or 3 hours. His power was so intense! It was a constant flow of images and feelings. Not to mention I was talking to Him as much as I could get out. It’s not every day Jesus comes to have a one-on-one visit with you. I felt like I received so much from Him. I asked Him, “Please never leave me, I always want to know You, don’t give me more than my heart can take,” joking with Him again. I had been in the hospital close to 3 weeks earlier for my heart that I realize is/was weaker since a 1994 attack of acute paracarditis. I was 24 years old. He was still with me even when I got home, so He did get me home safely. I called Robert and he was having a hard time with the children and was coming to drop them off with me. He was helping his mom move and the kids were underfoot. I was a little scared to tell him what just happened since he was in a less than joyful mood. So we hung up and I thought I couldn’t wait for him to get home, I have to tell someone Jesus just visited me, for real! I called him back and started a casual conversation, “How far away are you, have the children had dinner?” He began to answer me. When he finished answering, I said, “I have something to tell you, it can’t wait until you get home. I was on my way to the bank and I was thinking about work, got to the bank, saw the teller.”
I went on to describe the teller so he would remember her, then I told him how I saw her, and before I could give the chain of events I blurted out, “I saw Jesus tonight. He came to me on my way home.” I imagine he was a little taken back to digest what I just said, but he responded with love, comfort and care. He suggested I call Father Gary. I said, “I can’t.” I was so excited that I was shaking and gasping for air again. He said, “Okay, I’ll call you back.” I was just having random thoughts and full of the Holy Spirit. It felt like I just rode the world’s most incredible roller coaster at a thousand times the speed of light and now I was standing still. I let my dogs out to potty, and then swept the porch real quick. When I opened the door I heard Father Gary on the answering machine saying, “Robert just called, he was concerned.” I picked up the phone and before he could say 5 or so words I was professing that I had just seen Jesus on my way home from the bank. Words truly can’t describe the power. They really can’t describe the power of His presence. Nothing would describe the drenched feeling. It was as if I was drenched in the Holy Spirit, completely saturated, amazing, just…Godly. We are TRULY loved, flaws and all. We all don’t have to follow the perfect mold of what a Christian is. Of course He wants us all to have a large flame (be good Christians).
I always felt like I wasn’t good enough, or perfect enough….this event made me realize that I am perfect for Jesus and He does find great favor in me. And also in you!
Susan K. Totman
Postscript, May 13, 2004-
Only AFTER this encounter with Christ did we learn about Scriptures that describe what was witnessed, and written about, in this testimony. The Holy Bible is TRUTH. Here are just a few:
“…I think she was the Manager of the bank. I saw a flame above her head as well…” (Act 2:3, “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.” NIV)
“…I was feeling His love as a spiritual washing all through me, in every cell in my body…Really, words can’t describe the wholeness of the power of Christ that I felt washing over me, through every cell in my biological being, and through the essence of my soul…” (John 7:38, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” NKJ)
“…I knew He was holding back because I would black out if He really let me fully feel His presence…” (Exodus 33:20, “...no one may see Me [fully] and live." NIV)
“…I felt a feeling and thought of His seal of approval of me. I was going to go to heaven and so was my family…” (Ephesians 1:13-14, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession- to the praise of his glory.” NIV)
“…We had been chosen to be His children. I knew we would touch as many lives as we could reach with His words and love, because He showed me that. We would take as many Christians to heaven with us as possible…” (John 16:13-14, “…he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” KJV) "shew" = declare, reveal.
Postscript, May 14, 2004-
After time has passed I have a few after thoughts to add to the experience of November 7, 2003. I realize now that seeing the teller at the bank and the manager the way I did was the beginning of Jesus’ presence with me that evening. It turns out it was the manager and she did have a family. I saw them that way because the Holy Spirit was upon me. At the moment Jesus’ face filled my mind’s eye, when I became totally aware He was present with me, I not only could only see His face in my entire mind but also was taken with a rush of His power and might. I was so small and fragile next to this giant of strength that was taking me over at will. When I felt the washing of my spirit, it was as if I was standing under a waterfall and I could feel the water passing completely through me. Every bit of my essence was alive with this sensation, from my hair to my fingertips, to my toes. I would describe it as living water flowing through me.
While I was driving and eyes wide open, I was consciously taken to another place with Jesus. It was as if I were taken far, far away from this existence (this realm of earth, as we know it). Life here was as distant as the stars we see twinkling in our night sky. I would even say I could reflect that my life and existence here was a twinkling star in the distance far away as I stood with Jesus in open space surrounded by nothingness, with His hand on my shoulder exposing His mighty love and power to my soul and spirit. His love was so strong and powerful that I was totally absorbed by it and I knew this was the greatest and most powerful feeling I had ever in my conscious mind felt about anyone or anything. I knew the love I had experienced with people in my life, my mother, my father, my siblings, my husband or even my children was a flicker of the power of love that was blazing in my heart, soul and spirit while Jesus was near me. I was certain this was more feeling than my human heart would ever feel on its own. I was certain that without this experience my mind, heart and soul, was incapable of knowing this amount of power and love in the measure of true deep PURE love. Even the air in the vehicle seemed heavy and thick, almost rich to breathe it in. I felt like I was next to a point of power that was so powerful it was rippling out intense waves of love, thought, emotion; feelings which surpassed my minds understanding of what those words mean. I remember gasping for air, trembling and weeping with all of my might. I felt like I was dripping with a thick coat of Holy Essences (thick like honey).
Then, I could see Jesus and myself; as I looked down upon He and I, I rotated around us 360 degrees. There were not words spoken, except me being grateful, but I did understand and simply “knew” what He wanted me to know. It was as if my essence knew exactly who He was and that what He was sharing with me was truth. I was with my Creator’s Son and my DNA make up recognized it, as a child would know the voice of their parent instinctively, I knew I was being touched by God.
We each will exist beyond this lifetime; it is up to us where we will spend forever, determined by how we live our lives here.
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”