Making friends have always been difficult for me. My greatest fear was to be alone – without friends, so I did whatever I could to be “normal”. I was very shy and had no self-esteem. Life just wasn’t very easy on me and I was well aware that not everybody liked me. When I started attending high school, I lost a lot of my “friends” from elementary school. I was laughed at, rejected and made fun off. Not just in school but also in church. Frankly wherever I went, there was always someone who would try to make me feel worthless and often with great success.
When I was about fourteen years old I had a dream. A dream like none I had ever had before. In my dream I was at a beautiful place. Standing on a mountaintop with grass greener than I had ever seen before, I was looking at a secluded valley with a tropical rainforest in it. The rainforest was secluded by mountains, which shape one could compare to the Grand Canyon. There was no way out of the forest. The mountain walls surrounded it on ever angel in an almost perfect circle. Five waterfalls came down the cliffs. There was a pine forest at my left and in front of me was this big rock. And I heard uncountable different birds. Instantly I felt a presence and I immediately knew that God was standing next to me. I thought, this is a moment I will never forget! Somehow I knew that it was God the Father Himself standing next to me. In awe of His Holiness, all I could think of was that the Father was the Almighty Creator high on His throne, so I had to be on my best behavior. I really wanted to please Him. I could look at Him but seeing Him was impossible. It was as if the Father had put a veil over Him so I wouldn’t be affected by His Holy Light. The best way to describe God is that He was intensely sweet but also kinda strict. He started speaking to me saying, “Gineke, come sit next to me, please. I did. He paused, so I took the opportunity to tell Him how beautifully He had created the valley in front of us. He looked around and said, “I know”. This caught me a little off guard because I expected a thank you. However looking back I remember Genesis 1 where God saw what He created and thought it was good. It makes sense to me now. After another short pause the Father said to me, “Gineke, you have been through a lot already and you will go through a lot more. It will not be easy but I want you to know that I will always be with you. Promise me that you will never forget that”! At fourteen I had put the past in a corner of my mind where I would not be reminded of it, but I was well aware about what He was referring to. At the same time I didn’t quite understand what He was talking about but since I was talking to the Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth, I was to scared to ask. At the end, all I said was, “ok”. This time the Father looked at me and said, “You have to promise Me that you will never forget that I am with you, will you do that”? This second time I heard the urgency in His voice and I got slightly confused, but once again I said, “I will”. For a third time the Father said, “Gineke, you don’t understand. You HAVE to promise me that you will never forget that I am with you”! The urgency had only increased and I was only more confused. In my mind I thought that maybe He was overreacting a little bit because I wasn’t going to die, right? Not aware of the fact that God could hear my thoughts and to afraid to asked further questions, I said once again, “ok, I won’t”. The Father sighed deeply. I think because He knew that I didn’t understand Him. He saw that fear stopped me from asking further questions. In a way He even got frustrated because He couldn’t do anything about it. In order to lighten the atmosphere a little, I told Him once again how much I love what He had created but He only sighed and said, “Let’s just go”.
When I woke up I was both confused and excited. I had just seen God the Father but what He had said kept puzzling me. Soon I would come to understand how serious the Father actually was and how desperately He was trying to protect me. God the Father knew my future and the choice I would one day make. A choice He would not allow to happen under His Almighty Watch! God did everything to save me from making the biggest mistake in my life. At fourteen I could not comprehend all this. I wasn’t aware of the danger looming in the darkness. But you know what? God did not let His head hang that easily. He did exactly as He promised and stayed close by my side. And at twenty-one I would come to understand just how great the grace of God really is!