Friday, April 27, 2012

Touched By the Divine - Althea Bailey, Part III

Althea contemplated everything that had been happening to her since November.

Though she hadn't made a commitment to God until December, He had already blessed her with a good job, stable finances, admission to graduate school, and a great relationship with her family. 

When she had been suffering from back pain and a broken heart simultaneously, He had provided instantaneous relief, as a supernatural answer to her prayers. 
purpose, contemplation, prayer, divine

When she was in need of comfort, after hearing about her parents pending divorce, He allowed the SUN to shine on her, through closed blinds, to assure her of His presence through her pain.

And when she doubted that He had really done that, He confirmed His signature, by leading her to a verse in the Bible that began with, "For God is a SUN and SHIELD..." (Psalm 84:11)

When she hesitated joining the church on December 25th, saying to herself that she'd wait until the New Year, the Lord directed the Pastor to say directly afterward, " I know there are those of you who are saying you'll wait till the New Year, but God wants you now. The New Year may not be promised to you".  

And finally, He had led her to a Bible study, where she had received a book on the Holy Spirit and baptism, and now her soul was opening up to a next-level experience with Him.

She remembered her words from late 2011.
"Man... all my life, you've always blessed me, and I don't even serve you.  If you've blessed me when I don't even serve you, what if I were to actually give you my life?"
It took no further thought.  Althea Bailey had finally made up her mind.  She was ready to get baptized.

faith, hope, supernatural, divine
"The week leading up to my baptism, I was skipping around the place like a mad woman", she said, giggling.  "There was this peace and this joy-- I couldn't explain it.  People were saying, 'Oh my goodness... you have this GLOW about you.  Do you have a new guy in your life?'  I told them, 'Yes.  JESUS!'

She described it as "falling in love". 

"I've been in relationships before, but this love I feel... no man has ever loved me this way.  I explained to people that, 'First, He started wooing me with His blessings.  Then He started speaking to me through the Word.  Then we got engaged on December 25th, when I joined the church.  And on this coming Sunday, with me dressed in white, we will be MARRIED!"

Her family thought she was crazy.

"You are so EXTRA, Althea...", her sister said.

When she called her cousin in Jamaica to tell her that she was getting "married", her cousin sent a text to her sister, expressing concern over Althea's unusually blissful state.

Her mother even called her grandmother to tell her that she thought Althea was exhibiting serious side effects from her acne medication.

But she wasn't crazy.  And she wasn't sick.

She was Spirit-filled.

On the Sunday before her baptism, the Pastor had announced that Bible college would be starting that week for anyone who was interested in experiencing a deeper study of the Word.  Althea didn't hesitate this time, and decided that she would definitely attend.  However, when the Pastor said that Bible college would begin on Tuesday, she became disappointed.

"Because I work in neurosurgery", she told me, "I work every Monday and every Tuesday."

Considering this, you can imagine how surprised Althea was on Monday when she called in and the charge nurse told her that she had Tuesday off.

"What?!", she shouted into the phone. " I'm never off on Tuesday!"

Althea's fervor increased all the more.

By the end of the work day, she had invited everyone in her contact list to her baptism.  She had even asked one of the surgeons if he would attend!  Then she began messaging people to ask if they wanted to hear her testimony.

People started to reply.  

"Karen", she started, with the emotion evident in her voice, "I sat down in that operating room with my mask on, and I started to cry.  This 'thing' filled me.  I was ON FIRE!  I started to cry, and said, "Father God, I am bringing them to your house on Sunday.  This is not just about my baptism.  When they come, let them know You.  Let them love you.  Let them remember you!"

When she got into her car, she continued messaging people about her experience.  She didn't leave the parking lot until 11:30 pm.

"I was so filled", she said,  "I started to scream out, 'Your will is my will!' I was so overwhelmed, my car started swerving.  I used to wonder why people would scream out, and run up and down in the church like they were crazy.  I thought they were just trying to get attention.  But now I know.  It was the Holy Ghost."

Please read the final part to Althea's story, "Touched By the Divine - Althea Bailey, Part IV" directly following this post.  


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