Faith | Mamahood | Reflection

The End of the World

It was almost the end of the world.

At least, that’s what they said. In May of 2011, I was living in Oklahoma, where talk of the Rapture trended on social media, on billboards, and even at work. A founder of Family Radio, a Christian network, predicted May 21 as Judgment Day, claiming it would be followed (months later) by the end of the world.

Surprisingly, the prediction gained some momentum. I don’t know how many people believed the end was near, especially when Christians are usually more inclined to believe that “the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night” (1 Thes. 5:2, NLT). But I do remember a growing sense of unease as mid-May approached, not least of all within me.

It bothered me deeply that I was afraid. It wasn’t how I was supposed to feel.

I fought sleep on the night of May 20, eventually succumbing to the exhaustion. And that’s when I experienced something that I suppose we could call a dream.

* * * * *

I sat in an outdoor swing, rocking peacefully, on a dark, cloudless, starry night. I watched, amazed, as the stars began to dance. And then I realized that those stars were moving to create distinct shapes in the sky. The shapes turned into faces of people I had known and loved. I saw my lineage in the darkness above me. I focused on my beloved grandpa’s face, which beckoned me with a sweet smile.

Unexpectedly, I felt my body lift from the ground. The darkness slowly disappeared, transforming into a warm and brilliant light. A light that felt like pure love. A gentle force continued to hold me, to pull me upward, into the heavens.

In that moment, I felt a joy that is still indescribable. It was a joy I’d never felt on earth before — and a joy I’ve never felt again.

Believe me, I don’t say that lightly. I’ve been blessed with a happy life, full of love, laughter, and companionship. But nothing I’ve felt in my physical reality has ever matched that brief spiritual moment. It was more real than real has ever been.

Because I was going home.

I basked in that feeling of awe, elation, and euphoria. But all too soon, I woke up in tears. And there is no other way to say it: these were tears of bliss. I was able to hold tight to that extraordinary feeling of unparalleled joy for just a few more moments, and then it slowly faded away.

I sobbed.

I pleaded.

I begged God not to let it be over. I asked Him to make it more than a dream.

I prayed that I could go back home, where they were waiting for me with open arms, and with love that was deeper than an ocean, wider than a universe, and sweeter than that smile that I had missed for so long.

But it was not my time.

And, of course, it wasn’t time for the world to end, either.

It’s been very difficult for me to share this experience. Maybe I needed it just to be mine. Maybe I worried for those who have been hurt by religion. Maybe I knew I would never have the right words to describe it. Maybe I recognized that many wouldn’t believe it at all, while others give no credence to dreams.

And if that’s all it had been, maybe I’d have taken this with me to the end of my life. But today, close to a decade later, I feel compelled to tell you what it was like. Because, for me, it was more than just a dream. It was more real than anything I’ve ever felt or experienced. It was the most amazing gift I’ve ever been given.

The kind of joy I felt in those brief moments — that kind of HOPE — is precious, and I’ll cherish it forever. I know now that the timing doesn’t matter, whether it’s tomorrow or in a thousand years. I know that I never have to be afraid. And neither do you.

The God Who IS LOVE is holding you. And in your time, He’ll be there to bring you home.

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