It was the Winter of 2003 and not only was the weather cold and dismal, but that's the way I felt in my Spiritual Journey ~ cold and dismal. It wasn't that I was going through some deep or difficult circumstances. Just the opposite ~ I was a leader in the Women's School of Ministry, teaching a Women's Bible Study, visiting the elderly ~It was a good time of Ministry. And that was the problem ~ I was so busy studying, leading, visiting that I was neglecting the Lover of my Soul. I longed for solitude and quiet ~ time to just spend with my Lord. I was longing for intimacy with Him, and one night, just fell on my face and cried out I want to spend time with you Lord, but I can't find any!! When you are in the pit, and cry out really seeking an answer....He will give you one.
I went to bed that night exhausted from pleading so hard and fell into a deep sleep. At that time, beside the Church activities, I was was working in Property Management full time and got up every morning at 6:30 AM to get ready for work. At 4:00 AM on the DOT, I woke from a deep sleep, and though I didn't hear an audible voice, it could not have been any louder in my soul. "Wanda, come and meet Me at the little glass table in the corner of the living room."
And for the next 2 years, I woke up at 4:00 AM and hurried to my "Private Vineyard" where I spent and hour or so, in my "Garden" where I met and fell in love with Jesus and His Word in a way that changed my life. I no longer worship Him from a distance, but face to face every morning. Learning new and wonderful things. Finding new nuggets of truth and application in His Word. I had been given a beautiful Journal with a lavender cover and a bunch of grapes on the front, so that became the book I recorded this journey in. I also added some artificial grapes and pomegranates in a bowl and a candle on my little glass table...it was truly my Secret Garden Vineyard.
With my Worship Bible, my journal and my songbook I began a journey that changed my life forever.
Song of Songs 7:12 "Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom ~~there I will give you my love."
So I prayed this prayer every morning ~ Oh Lord, I will rise early to meet You. I will spend time alone with You, whispering the secrets of my heart. I will wait for You assurance and celebrate your presence. In the vineyard of Your love I will be satisfied. For You are the Vine and I am a branch. Abiding in You, I receive all that I require to live as Your child in this world ~ all the peace, the power, the grace, the hope, the mercy, the love. So I will rush to Your Vineyard in the early hours where I know I will find You waiting for me."
Next Sunday, I'll share the song that became so real, and part of this journey into intimacy with the Lover of my Soul.
PS. I did go back to bed by 5 or 5:15 and grabbed another hour or so of sleep!! I was always able to fall back asleep and wake up refreshed... It was a "God" thing.