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                       I share with you the following to demonstrate the grace,

                   love and power of my Savior, Jesus Christ!

              

                 The Locked Door

                             The road was narrow  with many twists and turns. 

                                     In the stillness the crunch of the gravel beneath my feet sounded 

                                  unnaturally loud. Towering trees lined each side of the road, 

                               overhanging branches making the dusky twilight seem 

                            more like the darkness of night.

                          

                         Suddenly I stopped short; ahead

                           of me loomed a large rock building. 

                               This building was structured more like a castle than a house. 

                             Turrets adorned the left side, and the heavy wooden door

                                    appeared massive. The house itself was encompassed by swaying trees, 

                                     branches sinisterly reflected in the over-abundance of windows. 

                                   The huge branches had the aspect of tentacles, reaching out to

                                 ensnare the unwary, while conversely appearing stilted.

                                    Reluctantly I began to walk slowly toward the house, drawn yet repelled.

                             
                                   I awoke with a start, heart pounding, pulse racing. I was drenched, 

                                        yet the room was cool. My feet could almost feel the roughness of the gravel, 

                              and my room felt unfamiliar. I lay back down, knowing I would

                              be unable to sleep again. I wondered what the dream could mean, 

                               and why the house frightened me so.

                        

                                So began disturbing dreams that would occur for many years.

                                  Foreboding dreams of an unknown house with a mysterious room 

                                 with a locked door. Invariably upon awakening from these

                                     dreams I was aware of a heaviness I could not dispel.     

                                  

                                Growing up in a small rural town on a farm, my childhood 

                                    was anything but normal and happy. Deprived of love, affection  

                               and discipline, I often felt lonely, insecure and unwanted.

                                         It was difficult for me to make friends because I was very shy and insecure,

                                  thus I had no real friends I could turn to.

                                 

                                    Unfortunately, I carried these attitudes and insecurities into adulthood. 

                                          I was constantly searching for love and acceptance, driven by            

                                  an inner void to seek, yet not knowing what it was I was seeking

                                      I often accepted a poor substitute for love, for I felt it was all I deserved. 

                                          My own parents could not love and accept me, so how could anyone?

                              

                                           When I was almost 16, I married a man who I thought loved me. 

                                            It did not take me long to discover he didn't. A few weeks after 

                                            we married, he began to have affairs, and he didn't stop 

                                             all the time we were married. Of course, not having known love, 

                                          I did not know how to love. Existence during those years was 

                                              a series of seemingly hopeless days, followed by night of escaping into

                                                   fantasies of a life that was  uncomplicated, happy,  and full of love.

                              

                                                              I was not a good mother to my children: I was still a child myself          

                                                           emotionally. I did not know how to be a mother. Eventually we           

                                                   were divorced, and I became a single mother.

                                             I still was hungry for love and acceptance, and I still searched 

                                              for it. I fell in love, was hurt when it didn't last. I promised myself that 

                                               I would never let anyone hurt me again. In a relationship,

                                              I always ended it. To be sure no one would ever left me again, 

                                                  I would always leave first. I erected a barrier I allowed

                                                         no one to penetrate. I lost touch with my real emotions, crediting

                                                      myself with good feelings I wanted to have but could not.

                                            I felt lost, lonely, afraid, and so unhappy.

                               
                                              This was the pattern of my life when the disruptive dreams

                                                  began to occur. Always the same dream, always the same house,

                                        always the walk on the gravel road. Actual entry into the house

                                         did not happen until I had experienced the dream for 

                                             many years. I became very 'familiar' with the large house through 

                                                my "night visions." Each visitation of the dream would reveal more 

                                                 of the house and its surroundings. I was still fearful of this house,

                                      seemingly without reason.

                                 

                                            Meanwhile I sensed a different longing; a longing for something

                                              different, an inscrutable yearning for "meaning" to my life. I was

                                                    compelled to search, still not realizing what it was I was searching for.

                                                    After trying different things, I decided to go back to school. I had quit 

                                               school in the middle of the tenth grade, unable to cope with the

                                                     teasing and being  'different' from the other kids. I did get my high school 

                                           diploma. Having a diploma was good, but failed to make 

                                             the difference I had envisioned. I was unsettled in both mind and 

                                            emotions, and needed healing on the inside.        

                       

                                                I enrolled in college, but had to drop out because of a situation with my

                                               oldest son. Still unhappy, still searching for love, still searching for meaning,

                                         I lived life with a hopeless attitude, thinking nothing would

                                        ever be better, for me or my children. 

                      

                                                     The dreams kept many nights in turmoil. I would advance closer and 

                                                          closer to the house. Ultimately, I felt drawn to venture inside the house. 

                                                      I was terrified of what I might find within, yet driven to "know."

                                                       Finally, I explored all the rooms except one. This room was always

                                                        locked, with the key inside the lock. This room filled me with dread 

                                                      as I tried to hurry past it. On the surface, this was unexplainable, for 

                                                            I had found the house to be beautifully and tastefully furnished,       

                                                      and not one to invoke fear. Be that as it may, I was totally 

                                                  frightened and totally alone!

                                             

                                                     The dream progressed until I was standing in front of the door, not 

                                                   trying to hurry past it. I would stare at the door handle, part of me 

                                               wanting to reach out and turn the key, while fear held my arms immobile.

                                             One night my dream came to it's culmination. I was standing 

                                                   before the door as usual, held in an icy grip of fear. A wave of weakness

                                               enveloped me as I slowly reached for the key to open the door.

                                           Some power almost beyond my control bade me enter, darkness

                                               surrounded me as I tried to resist. What mystery lay beyond that

                                            locked door that had dominated so many of my nights?

                                             What change in my future, and the future of my children would 

                                       occur when I opened that door?

                            

                                            Finally, I gathered the remnants of my diminishing courage,

                                       turned the key and stepped into the unknown.

                                       Caught totally by surprise, I was astonished at what met my 

                                             unbelieving eyes. I turned slowly around the room, almost in a daze.

                                      Windows covered the entire room, the largest one in front,

                                         a huge telescope pointed towards the heavens. The windows 

                                      were all opened, and a myriad of stars twinkled and danced

                                      in the clear night sky. The moon was full and

                                       luminous, and shone with a brilliant radiance.

                             

                                              I was enveloped with the purest love in invisible arms of acceptance! 

                                       I was heady with the sheer joy of this new experience,  and I never 

                                          wanted to wake up! HERE was the peace and love I had sought for 

                                               so long, how could I have been so frightened by the very thing         

                                       I had so desperately searched for and so desperately needed?

                           

                                   I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior soon after. 

                                 The dreams ended, but they are still a part of my life; I do not 

                                     ever want to forget them. God has shown me that the "locked door" 

                                  was a symbol of the 'door' of salvation that I had felt was locked to me. 

                                 I had felt that God could not possibly want me, that I was too

                                  bad and I did not deserve salvation. Satan kept me bound with 

                           this lie for many years; I blindly believed him.

                                     However, God helped me realize that although none of us 

                                         'deserve' salvation,  He has given it as His free gift. Genuine love 

                                   and acceptance is ours when we accept the Source, Jesus! 

                                       His is the unconditional love we all seek. I now can say that 

                                  I have accepted His free gift of salvation, and I have never 

                          been sorry. I have failed Him many times, but 

                              He has never failed me, nor will He ever.

                                     My relationship with Jesus is the center of my life, from

                                                   which all other things revolve. Christ has opened many doors for me;

                                             this web site being one of them. He has also worked in the

                                       lives of  my children, who are all serving Him.

                                       He has truly turned "ashes into beauty!"

                             

                                           If you are reading this and you feel the things you have done

                                            in your life are too 'bad' for God to forgive, don't believe

                                           that lie from Satan! God loves you, and He wants to make

                                       you His own, give you a new life, an abundant life lived for Him.

                                              Your part is to believe that He is, and that He died so that     

                                           your sins could be forgiven. You must accept His gift of

                                      salvation, invite Him into your heart and live for Him.

                                    He is the only thing that truly satisfies! You can search and

                                  search, but you will never find what you are looking for

                                   until you meet Jesus! Let Him unlock that door for you,

                              He's waiting inside to give you love,

                            peace, joy, and everlasting life!