February 17, 2013: Recently at my church here in Nashville, TN, my Pastor was speaking from Luke 9: 28-36 in the Bible. If you aren't familiar with the story, it's one of my favorites about Jesus. It's the story of the transfiguration. In verse 34 something the Pastor brought to my attention was the cloud that envelopes Jesus, Peter, John and James. It tells there how the disciples were afraid at first until they heard the voice of God saying "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him." (NIV) The Pastor asked if we'd had any "cloud" experiences like that in our lives and it started me thinking about the "cloud" experience I had twenty years ago February 17th, 1993.

Alone, cold and scared in my little car parked in front of my house, I was crying, mad and disappointed to the point of despair. You see, my biggest income source, a modeling client I had worked for over many years had just informed me that I wouldn't be working for them anymore. I never really found out why this was, in fact I went back to work for them several months later. But on that rainy winter's day in 1993, it was as if I had a punch in the gut. As I sat there in my car, I started to pray to God, not in a silent respectful prayer but in a rage. I cried out to God reminding Him, I was a single girl who had been blinded twice for Multiple Sclerosis and didn't really know what I was going to do or how my health would be from one day to the next. The doctors couldn't guarantee me anything and this job was the only thing I thought I could count on.

Out of my anguish I began to cry out in a very loud rant, "God, I just give up". I must have said that, what seems like a hundred times; long enough my voice was getting weak and I was noticing the cold temperature. As I reached to get my stuff to take into the house to continue this tearful breakdown, I heard a voice. I heard the voice so distinctly that I couldn't move. It said to stay in the car and pray. I heard it so clearly that I even argued with it saying that I was tired from the crying and I wanted go inside. I heard it again say the same thing. I took my hand off the car door. I knew this was real and this voice was from God. I began to pray. I prayed honestly and as hard as I had ever in my life. Suddenly in the midst of my prayers I began to be engulfed with such joy that I was laughing through my tears. Then I was speaking to the Father in words I knew only He could understand.

I finally did go into the house and continued this blessed experience with God and His presence. I fell in front of my sofa, continuing to pray and then the "cloud". I closed my eyes and it was as if a white cloud surrounded me. It was so beautiful and all I could say was "Holy, Holy, and Holy". I knew that I was safe and in the presence of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Then to my shock, a horrible face appeared in front of me in a sort of a dark tunnel and I knew also that this was the face of evil. I was amazed at my bravery because I immediately knew I had to face it down. I looked it in the eyes and watched as it was taken away in the tunnel. Then the beautiful light reappeared then the cloud left.

When I stood up from praying, I heard the voice again. This time it kindly said to me, "Denise, forgive yourself, I forgave you a long time ago. Now get on with it".

As I have gotten on with it for these twenty years, I have had some hits and misses. I do know this, that day I changed forever. Now I know that no matter what I face in my life, He's aware and with me. I wrote on a "things to do pad" that day, "Please Him" and the date, February 17, 1993. I have it framed and look at it daily. It reminds me to keep moving forward, be quick to forgive, give up daily to Him, trust Him and pray.

Keep praying,


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