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Whenever she opened the closet door, she imagined stepping into another world. It felt safe there. It was one of the few places that she ever felt safe. To most people this room would have had no appeal. The floor was covered with cracked, dirty linoleum, but she imagined a fine, plush, golden carpet. The air was filled with dust and the smell of moth balls, but she imagined spring flowers and fresh air. The walls were made of a pale, pink plaster which was cracked and peeling. But she imagined that there were no walls. The only companions in this room were the raincoats and the sweaters which were in storage, but she imagined that she was surrounded by God and his angels, and every time she entered this closet, they would be there to meet with her. He would reach down to pick her up and hold her, the way that she saw other kid’s parents pick them up. He would whisper in her ear that He loved her and that it wouldn’t be long before He gave her a new home. He told her that one day she would be free to run and play like the other kids and that she would have a Mom and Dad to love her. She showed Him her scars from her beatings, and imagined that He showed her His.


The paragraph above is a snapshot of my early childhood and of the spiritual formation that was taking place in me, even in the midst of some very traumatic and painful circumstances. God revealed Himself to me at a very young age, even before I had any exposure to church or Sunday School. I knew that God was there with me and I talked to Him often.


In this prayer closet, I learned to believe in what I could not see; to listen for His voice, no matter how quiet or still; to sing to Him with the voice my heart gives; to receive comfort & hope from His presence, and to allow Him to heal my heart. I asked Him to remove me from this home and He did. Two days before my seventh birthday,my prayers were answered and He rescued me from years of abuse and neglect. The years that followed were not easy, but God’s presence and protection remained with me, and though I never returned to this prayer closet, I discovered my own “Portable Sanctuary of the Heart” (Reference from Celebration of Discipline—Richard Foster).


“Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.”    Psalm 22:9-10

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Comment by Jenni Biegler on May 18, 2011 at 10:08am
Thanks Vijay.  I'm so thankful that He made me aware of His presence and that He is a relational God.
Comment by vijay kumar on May 18, 2011 at 6:38am

hi sister !!!

    i am impressed by the special place that you have with him , and your own world of God < Bless you

Comment by Jenni Biegler on May 1, 2011 at 9:51pm

Yes, Lewis.  The best part is that with a sanctuary of the heart, it's portable, doors are always open and there's an audience of One.

Comment by Lewis Turner on May 1, 2011 at 9:12pm

Jenni,

 

I like your words, 'sancturary of the heart

 

'.  To me, that is the best closet we can pray in.  Too many distractions are often found elsewhere.

 

 

 

Comment by Frances L. Dorsey on April 26, 2011 at 10:05pm

What a story of courage and hope.  .

 

Comment by Joan Hershberger on April 25, 2011 at 11:43am
A great testimony of faith in the darkest hours. Thanks for sharing.

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