BY SHARON NETZER - 1993
THE FRUIT OF THE FIRE
This story was written in a spiritual aspect of the original story of my experience in Des Moines, Iowa. The times and experiences are put in a supernatural fashion. After so many years and learning to live with all the pain and hurt that I went through while in that cult, it has changed my life to the better.
It wasn't easy to write. It was hell and much pain and sorrow. A part of me died and a part of me came alive each time I wrote. There was much pleasure derived from each line. Then sadness crept in when completion came. Each time I felt a relief, and emptiness. Yet, every occasion brought more and more from within me. Consecutively they came, with each joy, each experience, and each sorrow.
Through a need or desire, maybe both, yes, definitely both, I became aware of a life within me, an infinite life which is and will never die. It became the greatest truth I have ever known. It was the greatest experience I had ever come through. It is a powerful and great source and I could never comprehend its fullness all at once. It is over a period of much learning and growth we can attain to the perfection of it. It is something, which was and is a part of me. A part of every man which I did not know even existed. I thought I knew, Since childhood I had been taught about God. He must have truly heard my heart's cry for love and truth, and a chance in this life for me to know who I am. It is one great miracle to know the greatest mystery on earth. "Who we are" but it is the hardest and saddest, and most terrifying quest to attempt to conquer. I know I was in a fantasy world. Endeavoring to conquer each petty problem, which really did not exist at all. It all seems so trivial now, insignificant. It seems the past few years have been packed with life, love, and emotion.
It has certainly been a challenge to investigate. A challenge, which seemed so precarious at times, but it has always proven to be the strongest source, and the most secure source I have ever known. I believe in this life with all I have within me. It is my life, it is a way of life to surrender to it. To trust in it and let it live in me, to let it shine, is a joy.
It does not always work the way we plan. It is mysterious, but it is sure. It is sure of the way to lead us into. For it has experienced all the pain and all the joys we will ever experience. That is why we can surely have faith in the word of God. For he has the authority to teach us, because he has been through it all. Truth is experience. The things we have come through are truths to us. Then and only then can we pass it on to others, the advice or consolation they may need. The thrill of it all is to know there is a part of us, which is already complete, already perfected, free from man's power or concepts. To truly know that, is the greatest security a human being can have. Yet, it was not easy on my part, for it took much suffering and inward breaking to fully realize I could not make it without something greater than my own fleshly strength. I was weak and sick and confused. I had no one to turn to at this most crucial time in my earthly existence. I knew there were people all around me, but they could not begin to understand. No one could reach me. It must come from a spiritual source, which knew my heart and understood my emotions. The love and hate which I felt at the same time. The pulling and tearing of the innermost part of me, my soul. At the lowest ebb I have ever known, I was asking God to help me, to really help me. The most earnest prayer I ever prayed. He came forth in a matter of seconds and I felt a surge of life and confidence I never felt before. I was stunned at first. I couldn't believe it was there. But, I know there was a change within me and I have never been the same since that hour. It is the power I needed in the months to come. If it had not been for those few seconds with that precious spirit, I could not have endured what lay ahead of me.
Things began to happen, everywhere I went, everyone I saw seemed to tear at me. Everything was different. It was like stepping into a new world. I was in a new realm, a spiritual realm. It was terrifying, yet glorious. It was supernatural. The Holy Spirit had resurrected within me. I began to feel so many changes, my attitude, my concepts, my whole way of thinking. I began to walk in a new light, a reality of being. I began to write poetry. Poem after poem came forth. I was never so lonely in all my life. Then songs began coming from my heart. The truth I had been blessed with was, wanting to give, wanting to share. It had been suppressed for so many years. I must live and love, and share. Seemed it wasn't time though. All these things must lie for some time, they must wait for a season. When can I give them? Where is the source to receive them? I became lonelier, emptier. All the drawing seemed futile at times. The spirit said, "Be patient, my child, I will reward you openly."
I felt rejection from the ones I loved deeply. It was so hard to accept. Could I ever accept it? Yes, I could, and I did. For we all have our wilderness to conquer. If I could conquer mine through the spirit, they could too, by the very same source. It is the same in all creation. For we are all children of God. We cannot say to the unseemly soul, "I have no need of thee." Each day we must lend a helping hand to our brothers and sisters. The Infinite life of God dwells in all men. No matter how abject their situation or how splendid their environment, they have a purpose on the earth. There is a time and place for each of us to become aware of the life force within us. We're not ready until that time.
Where do I begin? I don't really believe there is a beginning. As anyone, I can remember a lot about my childhood. I was somewhat reclusive. Maybe more than normal. I was unable to express my true self. Therefore, I was shy and self-conscious, unable to accept myself. I was always eager to please. My true emotions always pent up. But, the day I became aware of my inward ability and strength, my whole life changed. A day I'll never forget. The day I was born again.
I am a different person now. Seems I don't really remember the person I was a few years ago. (When I was in Des Moines, Iowa) Everything inside has changed so much. I don't understand; don't even pretend to. All I know is how I feel now. My children mean something different to me. Before, I looked upon them as my babies, my children, my security, and I devoted much time and energy on them. Now I see them as human beings with a soul and an ability and strength within themselves. They must not depend upon my devotion entirely because it doesn't exist in the intensity as it once did. I love them more than I ever have, but they must learn to depend upon the source within themselves.
Yesterday is gone, no more to be again. I must move on, and I must excel in what I feel. I know the potential lies great within me. Yet, I am not certain which way to go at times. I can only live one day at a time, searching and deriving from anything and anyone I encounter. The more challenges I attempt to conquer, the more incentive I have to live to the fullest. Petty obstacles cannot get me down. Oh, I fight fear and depression. Many times I have to crawl out of my dark place and reach for the light. And the light soon brings joy to my heart. It never fails. It will never fail. Nothing can put out its glorious brightness.
It was a supernatural experience, which I couldn't comprehend for quite some time. It was like a new life was taking over my physical body. I talked about it incessantly. Only convincing myself as I spoke of it. It constantly possessed my mind. Gradually it became a way of life for me. I became aware of the life within me, and I began to walk in the Spirit of Christ. I cannot totally express the experience to anyone. This way of life I live in today was not easily obtained. But it is blessed peace and serenity, which I cherish above anything this world, could offer. It was enough that I knew; and no one else had to be convinced anymore. This truth is a priceless treasure to me.
Rejection is a hell or wilderness I had to come into to obtain the consciousness of the reality of an infinite life within me. No one else may ever understand its impact on my emotions, yet, I felt the pain, endured the agony, and suffered the scars. But, I also felt the serenity, the peace, and the faithfulness of Christ. I thought of how Jesus was rejected, of how he suffered to do the right thing. I wish I could vision his place in God. For it is truly behind the veil I want to be, in the realm where the light never goes out.
Seems strange I should be so hungry for something I didn't know existed. Yet, there was a hunger within my soul, which could only come from God. I cannot question the way he worked in my life to help me see the things, which lay within me. Things I was not aware of, strengths, weaknesses, powers, temptations, and most of all my true emotions. They were there all the time, but it had not been time for God to deal with me until this moment. It took a great stirring of my soul for me to be conscious of my inner being. I had been suppressed for so long. The tears and hurt had built up a very high barrier.
God sent me to a place where this process could begin in my life, a place where I could finally become aware of my true feelings. A place where I finally could see what was inside of me, finally, acceptance. We must accept ourselves before we can ever know God, for God dwells within and is a part of us. So, not accepting oneself is not accepting the Father. This place was a literal place on this earth, but in writing this story I will affirm it as a realm within my emotions. For we are the Kingdom of God. We are the house where the Infinite life dwells.
The literal seems so superficial now, because it has merged with my emotional realm, and my experience has become me, totally different, totally aware of life, no more living in an unperceiving realm of falsity. Sometimes I cry within of the rawness of truth. It is so scarce in human acceptance. It betrays the humility of seekers.
What makes us seek for truth? A desire for more than what we have is an inscrutable pleasure. Nothing can take away a yearning within and the authority to obtain more and more truth. It is, and always will be available, an abstract treasure of power within.
This latent power to see through a veil of darkness came forth and set me free from a never changing being. Change has been my lot since this hour of supernatural deliverance. I'm no more afraid of a changing, or moving plane. No more afraid of tomorrow, for today is so beautiful. Making every second count today depletes me of tomorrow's fate. Today is full of greatest potential for a betterment of oneself; for the betterment of our fellowman.
If we cannot do a great work today, why do we think we can master it tomorrow. For today is full, today is the day of salvation. Today is all there is. Yesterday is a shadow. Tomorrow is a dream. Only now is reality. Now is eternity. Now is all there is.
This way of life, to truly believe in an Infinite power, a living God, has brought me peace I never had before. It has developed a serene state of being, of moving, of living. How I ever existed before, I'll never know. The auspicious will of God that will take place in our lives by truly seeking and desiring the truth, no matter what the cost.
This place was full of enchantment and tangible fulfillment. It was a wonderland full of excitement. I reached, and I was fed from its bountiful table. I absorbed of the richness thereof. Like a child, I played in the midst of it all. Not knowing there was darkness lurking all around me, Not cognizant of anything beyond this place of my dreams. I had needed a rock to stand upon, and I thought I had found it. But, it began to grow dark and all the beauty was fading away. I began to cry out, "Why must it be taken away from me?" I want it, yet I cannot stay. I had to go. Go to another place, another realm, another time, another me. So I went away. I was unaware of what I would face, unaware of anything except the pain inside of me, the tearing down of false hopes and dreams. Not really wanting to face reality, I trudged along day by day. Reaching deeper and deeper within, growing closer to the Father by every thought and deed. He was leading me to a greater light, a richer life in him.
It wasn't easy depending upon only what I felt, but it kept growing and kept leading me. I never knew what another day would bring my way or how my days would be. But the reward was much greater than the waiting, much greater than the patience wrought in my life.
Looking back I can truly see. I can see the way he penetrated my innermost self. I know now he had to tear down walls, perpetual falsities of hope. The truth is exceedingly stronger than false hopes and dreams, once we concede to accept it. Nothing can change truth. The truth came when I asked for it, but how it came was terrifying. What it took for me to accept it. But I changed not it. Yes, I can see now what a privilege I have in seeing just a glimpse of the Infinite life, which is, and will always be. Truth is a surprise to oneself. We do not know ourselves as a whole. It comes little by little. We are constantly surprising to ourselves. Growing is changing. To change is living and dying simultaneously. Like a flower, it is living and dying at the same time, the cycle of life which every living thing must experience. To experience death is as essential to change as experiencing life. This is real truth. I have experienced this. It is not easy to let go of things, which were a part of me for so long. Something new always takes its place. God has created a prolific creation. Always living, always dying, always changing. I am a part of this cycle of living and dying, just as you are.
There is a purpose for our existence. A particular place for each of us. Something within me dominates my mind and lets me see higher places, stately places of fulfillment. Like the butterfly, first, it isn't very beautiful, but when it springs forth into its ultimate source, that is fulfillment. This process is a painful one, but it is a virtuous one. Without a process, there is no gold. The fire is hot but it makes us pure. After the fire comes the beauty of it all. It seems I was stripped of every concept and belief that was implanted in my mind. I came out with nothing but a chance to obtain everything. I REACHED FOR A STAR—I MISSED, SO I WILL ACCEPT THE SKY. It is mine, the richness of eternal power and wealth. I know the potential was struggling to come forth, but a falling (burning) away had to come first. I'm glad of the fire, glad I went through it. For it was my choice. Yet, it just happened. It was a flow of the Infinite spirit, which nothing can quench. I was ready to go. If we desire the truth, nothing can deceive us, if we don't, nothing can keep us from being deceived.
Now, I am living with this vast potential within me. I walk in the way of striving for eternal truth. I will not be content with less. I know I have all the power and truth within me and it will come forth when I let it. It isn't easy, but it is true. I have to stop and say incessantly, "I am, and I can, and will master whatever I'm doing."
The road of life is increasingly long. The ultimate destination seems so obscure at times. It seems there is no end to the learning. The overwhelming portions of knowledge within our grasp if we could or would let it seep though the veil of flesh. For it is there for us to claim and use and be fulfilled by. This is truth, for I have felt it surge within me. I cannot explain why the flesh is such an obstacle, but it is there to protect us. I suppose from the potency of truth. Truth will set us free. Nothing is greater than the reality of knowing an essential essence of life, of eternal truth.
The inscrutability of life becomes clearer, yet more complex as each experience envelops me. I am seeing deeper and deeper within, and I can sense more of me than any spectator may see. I know I have many personalities. I am much aware of three predominate ones.
Maybe it is an escape of things, which I cannot understand or accept. But, I can go to these realms whenever I want to. It is the safest way I've found, and it leads me to see the child person I am. My desires and needs seem insignificant to others. Thus, making me seem more like a child. Yet, these needs are very real to me. Each part of me expects to be loved and accepted. One person may not be capable of loving all three. But it will be as it should be. Knowing this is the reliever of any guilt, which would ordinarily tear me apart. I have conceded to be glad that I have this knowledge about myself, to let each part function to the betterment of my soul. For the soul cannot be marred by the actions of the personalities surrounding it. Experiences of these realms, of these persons within me can be of help to the perfection of the most important part of me...my soul...my true self which suffocates at times by the battles which go on around it. Yet, it is much alive and aware of the indecisiveness of precarious situations. It is the center, which holds us together in times of war and sacrifice. It is peace and serenity. It is the lock to the concentric entity. Until all is made one, I will fight these wars within this piece of energy. To be one can be a terrifying quest. A tearing or pulling away of concepts which have been a part of our being for centuries.
Yet, I have sensed these unique persons which have come forth from my innermost being. I have talked things out among "my selves". I have seen these three different sides of me. Yet, I feel we all have merged in some way. The soul person keeps drawing us together. To be one is imminent. A hopeful solution to end the tearing and pulling.
What goes on inside one's self is all that is real, all else is a delusion, a deceitful mirage. What we really feel is true. I find joy in knowing the Father, the true life within. He is merciful and understanding. He knows all there is to know about us. Complete knowledge of what lies within our sub-conscious mind would surely be more than one could bear. Therefore, we strive towards it gradually. The Father with his omniscience is ever with us.
There is no other way for me, but to keep going forward. I shall not be tempted to live retrospectively. It is what I'm feeling and experiencing now that is real. Yesterday is gone, now is when I'm living and growing. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Now is the most beautiful part of me. I love this very second. I feel the spirit surging inside of me because of the acknowledgment I give it. Yet, why is this force sleeping at times? Why don't I understand the dormancy of this life I have within me? Is it a certain phase or age which enhances its growth? I do know I'll never forget the moment it forced its way through my emotional realm and set me free. Set me free from the bondage of knowing my flesh is weak. At that moment another entity was born (born again). My flesh houses this entity. It is my true self. I'm aware that it stays concealed at times. Concealed from the world, but I know it is there...It is all the power and strength I need in any kind of stress. Through any kind of heartache, or any situation.
I long to see this life being set free in my fellowman. I ache at times to see Christ being manifested in the sweet Spirit of God. I long to love my brother as myself.