This is a conversation/journal entry between who I believe to be God and myself. It’s what happened after the last post I wrote (“It’s About Him”).
Okay Daddy, I posted it. What do you want me to do to help this pain?
…I’ve just got this image of myself standing at the top of Webb Hill, completely healed, my parents rushing up there in confusion, saying, “how on earth did she get up there?!” Then they seeing me standing up there. They get out of the car and they cannot believe their eyes. Then I smile and we run to each other and fall into each other’s arms, and sink to the ground, sobbing.
Why can’t it happen that way? And why am I afraid and not opening my mind to what you undoubtedly are trying to tell me?
“Peace, my daughter. Your suffering is a moment in time—just a moment. It’ll be over sooner than you think. I am here. I’m trying to teach your more newly integrated parts (you have more than you realize) as fast as they’ll go—which is quite fast—that it actually pays to trust in Me. Do you remember?”
(He then quoted a song I wrote after I finished the seventh Harry Potter book, a song I didn’t remember):
“Just Trust in Me, we will find the way, trust in Me, it’ll be okay…tears will fall, dawn will come, clouds will break through to Son…Love’s will be done. When you’re cold, and scared, trust in Me…..”
Well, I’m really really cold from all these neuropathy shocks, and I’m very, very scared, Father. I’m scared that I’m going to be in this level 9 pain for the rest of my life! And I have very, very good evidence that that will be the case. If I could but feel energy healing me or Heavenly hands I’d feel so much better. Why can I not feel that right now?
“Because one of your shattered parts has been fronting and needs to learn how to access this gift.”
Then, taking another leap of faith by watching Don’t Miss This, I gathered this quote:
“Where there is abundant grief, there will be joy. This is who God is and how He works. We can live in expectation of a fullness to come, because that’s who He is, and what He does.”
Well, after Emily Freeman said that, I felt warmth on my hands. Then she asked,
“What restoration are you longing for?”
I thought, the restoration of, at the very least, my bowels and bladder working, the restoration of my peace and faith in God, and the restoration of the Holy Spirit in my life!
I garnered a bit of faith…of expectation…of hope for the future. I tried to keep it in my mind and heart.
Then, I randomly found this quote from ACIM:
If you knew who walks beside you on the path that you have chosen, fear would be impossible!
A Course in Miracles
Later, this is what happened:
Journal entry for next day
So, this healing water from John Ellis is what woke up the nerve endings in my feet and calves a year ago—and they’ve been awake ever since, causing me unheard of pain that I’ve managed with a whole lot of medications…until now.
My Spirit has been gunning for a leap of faith. I have a friend who’s been doing all sorts of therapies to wake up the nerves in his legs so he can walk again, and the last time I saw him, he was in so much pain he couldn’t even think straight. I offered for us to go get some John Ellis water (look it up!) because he believes the only way out is through the pain. (Aka, by waking up all the nerve endings and unifying the tears in the nervous system to the point where your flesh responds to your brain’s commands.)
I felt very foolhardy (this came from not being able to urinate by yourself for a year and a half, and having a solution in this magic water dangle right before you for “just” the price of pain) saying,
“God, you’ve caught me so many times before but this part of me doesn’t remember…but I’m going to go out on a limb here, and I’m going to ask you, when I jump…will you catch me?? You have caught me before so many times, but I—this part of Nicole—needs to know you’ll do it again for me, too.”
So, we got the water, and I proverbially jumped.
…..Later, after drinking this d%^*#!d water all day, walking my nerves up to the point where burning at the stake would be equal to the experience, I begged JJ through tears and gritted teeth to give me a healing blessing to take the pain away and he couldn’t. So, I’m screaming and crying and my Dad and Mom come down. Mom gave me more pills and was crying over me, Dad put hands on my head, and I honestly don’t remember anything after that. I sorta…maybe remember him saying words but then it was all blessed sleep and blackness.
Next thing I know, I’m waking up with the morning sun coming through the shades, my heart isn’t beating erratically anymore, there’s no beads of sweat falling from my forehead because of unheard of pain—but, there is a PLEASANT tingling sensation in both of my legs—and it’s higher than ever.
I didn’t take any pain meds today. First time since I woke up in the hospital at the end of 2020.
I asked myself just now—writhing in hellish nerve pain that has traveled up to the middle of my thighs because of John Ellis’s healing water: what am I supposed to learn from all of this???!!?!?!!?!!!?!!?
Then I remembered the answer what’s-his-face taught me—if you haven’t healed from something…it’s because it’s serving a FUNCTION in your life.
So then I effing realized—deep down to my very bones, finally, the lesson I’ve been VERY aware of needing to learn but somehow, unable to learn until now: it’s not about me. It’s about Him.
It’s not about Nicole, who <insert whiney voice> jumped off Webb Hill and went to Heaven and who’s been the focal point at my proverbial coffee table ever since—it’s about Him.
And right when I realized that—just for a couple moments—the pain suddenly lifted.
For a few moments…but it was enough; I’m realizing that if something is in your life—no matter what it is—it truly is serving a function: if you don’t like it and you want to change it, you need to learn the lesson deep deep and deeper down to the marrow of your bones—then, your circumstances will change for the ultimate Good, and the ultimate God.
I realized that this is a party for Jesus Christ. He is the focus. And He is deserving of it. None of the rest of us is!! And right when you learn this lesson, He gives all the focus you need to fulfill your mission back to you. But you need to keep on giving it to Him for the rest of your life. Only then will we become like Solomon, who started out his career truly humble, who gave everything to God, and then God made everything—wrung every good drop out of that man’s destiny.
So, how do I stop this pain and even eventually stand up and walk? I need to not only have my focus on—but give the focus, and trust to—Him. Then I’ll be the instrument He needs me to be.
Narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD, is a complex personality disorder that’s often misunderstood. Narcissism is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as an excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and/or one’s physical appearance.
On PsychCentral, it says that a clinician may diagnose narcissistic personality disorder if someone has five or more of these signs:
feelings of self-importance or superiority
frequent thoughts about being good looking, powerful, or successful
beliefs that they’re separate, special, or above other people
a need to be looked up to by others
feelings of entitlement to special treatment or an expectation that others should cater to what they want
a tendency to take advantage of or exploit others
difficulty empathizing with other people’s needs, desires, or emotions
feelings of envy toward others, or beliefs that other people envy them
behaviors that seem arrogant or proud
Those with DID—and I am definitely including myself in this (that’s why I’m writing it)—may develop Narcissistic tendencies once they start integrating their more self-absorbed personalities. According to PsychCentral, these personalities developed from “being rejected, criticized, or ignored during childhood.”
Check, check, and check.
I will be the first to admit that, since integrating and “gelling together” all the parts of me, that I now exhibit every single sign in the list above. Just another badge on my “list of mental illnesses I’ve experienced” jacket I can sew on.
Why am I admitting to this, and why is it okay? Well…
Because I know what it’s like to not be a narcissist, having clear memories of being a selfless, caring person in some of my other personalities way back when
Because I KNOW for a fact that I’ve healed from so many different mental illnesses, and this is just one more hurdle on my way to complete recovery
And, because I have rock-solid FAITH that God knows the real me, and that He understands
and that the Atonement is REAL and that it WORKS—having seen so many miracles in myself before
And so, when I get that jacket with all the badges, those badges will be trophies of illnesses and hard things I’ve overcome.
Some people may say, “well, you overcame your food addiction through sheer grit and determination,” or, “you were able to forgive so-and-so simply because you are a good human being,” or “you got out of debt by sheer luck,“ or, “you overcame your panic disorder/Ambien addiction/depression through therapy or Ayahuasca or Kambo,” or, “you weren’t really gay to begin with, and that’s why you overcame that hurdle,” or, “the deepest Satanic Ritual Abuse programming was overcome through those scientific drops you took in Salt Lake City,” or, “oxygen therapy was how you got over your brain injury,” or, “plenty of people have overcome Dissociative Identity Disorder without any mention of Jesus at all in their lives!”
And to all of the people who may be thinking one or all of these things, I say one word, that I hope will resound through all the centuries forwards and back, and will ascend down below to hell and high into the heavens: BULLSHIT.
The Atonement is real. I may not know how exactly it works, or exactly how Jesus has been carrying me through even the easiest or toughest of times, but it works. The most dramatic illustration is, I was twice dead, yet now I’m alive.
Jesus Christ has been the one (I’m crying now as I type this in yet another hospital room-for my leg this time) who inspired all of the knowledge and heart in all of the people who have touched my life for good through therapies or otherwise. (Even if they didn’t know it.) Jesus Christ is the one who has spoken to me through all the blessings I’ve received and whisperings of the spirit. Jesus Christ is the one who holds the very cells of my body together and He’s the reason I have breathed in and out Every. Single. Day.
Yes, He hasn’t healed me from everything with a magic wand. But, here’s the thing: I know He can. He just chose not to. Yes, He’s let me struggle—hard—for where I am today. Why? Because I elected to go through it this way; I know that deep down in my bones. (No matter how fractured they are.)
I may complain about this from time to time, and yes, I’m always—always—searching for alternative therapies and healers to heal me from my paralysis, NPD, and DID—but it’s been this struggle, this not just rolling over and giving up, and the exercising of ACTION through FAITH, that has completely changed me and made me stronger. And, even more importantly: these tools are going to help me point the way for others who may not have the faith to be healed from things instantly but are searching, just as I have been, for inspired things to help them heal.
So, if you are struggling in life from anything—know that I am experiencing Narcissism, but that it’s okay. Because I know that I won’t be in a year or so from now. Because the Atonement works. And Jesus Christ is carrying us all.
This Sunday morning I’m here in bed, exhausted, sobbing, fatter than ever, huge incisions down my right leg, my feet and calves feeling like twisted smoking rebar, and I’m praying to God and I’m all like,
“I don’t understand, all I wanted was to be—“ and right here, I tried to say the word loved, but my true Spirit came out and quietly said, “worshipped…”
Before me flashed all the ads, the icons, the celebrities, the Pinterest boards, YouTubers, Facebook profiles, influencers—and most especially, the pictures I used to take where I could decidedly hold my own with any of them—and I realized that it was all a ploy to be worshipped in the place of God.
Exodus 20:3. One of the oldest yet most famous commandments: thou shalt have no other gods before Me. And yet what have I done my entire life? I’ve been worshipping my talents, my story, my face, my body…all the while wondering why I only have the Spirit sporadically.
I’ve been so terrified of going to my family reunion looking and feeling fat, when all the while my Spirit has been skinny.
I wish it was exactly the opposite.
Yesterday we Wheeling Warriors saw the second TopGun movie, and took a picture after. It is decidedly the worst picture of my body I’ve ever had taken.
I don’t want to show this fat-cheetah-on-wheels picture. I’m still ashamed. I want to hide myself, because I don’t want to be seen naked. But isn’t that—AND the opposite (I’m proud of my body and want to show myself naked?!)—what’s been increasingly in the air for the past 10 or so decades??
A strict requirement of stardom, especially for women, is to uncover that which is most sacred, at least in all my waking memory. And Babylon’s band beats on, shouting for more and more nude sycophantic Miley Cyruses—until even that isn’t enough. Now we must become warped as well, until the public and private vision of what’s truly beautiful has us so confused when we look in the mirror again, and again, and again, when we should be looking up instead.
You know, a line just came to me—
For true inner peace, you must look upward in worship, then look outward in love.
Nicole asked me to post a talk I recently gave in church about how Christ helps us heal from life’s traumas. At the end, I share a sacred healing experience Nicole and I had with the Savior. Few of our friends or family had heard this part of the story.
The LDS Church doesn’t allow photographing or video recording sacrament meetings but does not ban audio recordings. I occasionally record my own talks for my own purposes. This talk does not represent official doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is only my own views, which are constantly developing.
I’m now sitting in the back of my parent’s car, my leg in a splint. We’ve just come from the hospital. I have been wiping away tears which are coming—but not for the reason you’d think.
So…earlier today around 10:30 am, I fractured my femur. Della and I were going to a therapy appointment, and I took a tumble in the gravel. I immediately felt something snap when I landed crookedly on my leg—and I knew that my femur was broken. I looked down at my leg, and it was bent weirdly where it shouldn’t be. I thought: “that does NOT look right…”
I had just had an almost sleepless night where the Spirit was so strong. God was teaching me things about how He works, how to think about life, and how to be graceful in the face of adversity.
And with any new outpouring of the Spirit, adversity tests us.
Just to see what we’re going to choose: to remain steadfast in the light with ever increasing levels of faith, or to succumb to whatever the devils are whispering in our ears?
To remain Spiritually Centered during a trial is what will increase our faith. My faith is growing as, moment by moment, I just choose to trust. It’s a choice. I’m holding in my mind the vision I have of myself with my perfect body in the future, completely radiant and translated—not a scar on my body or a broken bone—laughing and in love.
I don’t think anything happens without some cosmic force guiding us. If we work with God and trust Him, I believe the power of Christ can and WILL be manifested in all of our adversities, and we can have the Spirit—that force—with us always.
To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Liana Tan and I explored the meaning and purpose of Luck. Luck can be made and it can be a gift. I’m so blessed to be alive, and I know it’s a gift from my Father in Heaven. My job’s to figure out the purpose of that gift and to make the most of it.
Have fun listening to my interview with Liana Tan! My memory can still be hazy sometimes, and I talked about driving my car to Webb Hill, instead of riding my bike which is what actually happened. But I really enjoyed talking about my experience on this podcast, and I hope you enjoy listening to it.
My Aunt Bec listened to it with me, and with tears in her eyes she said, “Nicole’s back!”
The highlights of our stories are when we triumph after a fall. That’s why we’re here, after all: for those moments. Christ brings us victory over the Fall, but it’s the overcoming where the value is. Thank Goodness for the fall.
I got up off the floor for the first time by myself. Tears are streaming down my face, and I’m so happy and grateful to Heavenly Father for helping me to have the strength to actually WANT—desperately—with all my heart to do this. And I actually did it!
I need plenty of help to get through a day, and I’m grateful for it. But my privacy pays a price. This morning I was frustrated that my alone-time was being interrupted, again. I told my parents to leave me and “LET ME TRY to do it on my own!” So they left me in bed, with my wheelchair nearby.
Two minutes later, while trying to transfer out of my bed to the wheelchair…I fell down to the floor. There has been no way that I’ve ever successfully gotten back into bed or into my wheelchair without major help from at least one other person. Being paralyzed just above the navel, my lower stomach muscles are just dead weight.
I tried everything—for thirty minutes I struggled and cried. I crawled around on the floor alternating from my belly to my butt—my legs flip flopping around behind and in front of me. I wrangled my legs together and tried lifting myself up onto the chair, the foot rest, the wheelchair, the bed. Nope. I could have called for help, but my little girl personality is growing up and wanted to do this by herself—and I wholeheartedly agreed.
What if my parents were to walk in RIGHT AFTER I had told them that I could be independent and to “TRUST me”…and then I was on the floor? This has happened at least three times before, and I had had it.
I prayed and prayed. I kept on reminding myself that—according to James B. Cox’s motivational talks—this was the “curriculum of the day”. After trying at least five different techniques, I crawled over to the side of my bed and tucked my legs behind me. Then, my alarm went off which was Lauren Daigle’s song: How Can It Be. By the words, “Though I fall, You can make me new / from this death, I will rise with You,” I gathered up all my strength and somehow got a handhold on the far side of my bed. Then I lifted myself at least ten inches off the floor. I was thinking: “I’m doing it! I can do it!” I flipped my legs over and lifted myself the remaining twenty inches, then bawled my head off as I flipped over and sat up straight on my bed.
My heart is full. I’ve got my self-respect back today.
And now I’m going to try to get to my wheelchair again.
Every frustration/enticement/adversity can actually be a spiritual growth experience. Can you have mental illness and/or be dissociating and make it a spiritual growth experience? Yes—but oh, it is hard. It’s at least 100x harder than what a normal person faces when they face adversity. I mean, how on earth are we supposed to fix our broken brains with our broken brain??!?
Those of us who have/had mental illness know that we may need mediation, medication, and meditation in order to just be able feel the Spirit again. I tremble to think what would have happened if I hadn’t turned to God in that padded cell. What started out as a major, MAJOR adversity turned into the greatest spiritual experience of my life up until that point, because I finally was humble enough to realize that I had this huge problem in this physical dimension (I had succumbed to Satan’s lies for so long without turning to God, to the point that I’d tried to commit suicide with a gun, and I’d ended up in jail all alone in a freezing padded cell), and that the solution was in the Spiritual dimension (in this case, it was to beg for a Book of Mormon and start reading it out loud).
But, I’m now realizing that I didn’t have to let it get to that point! I mean, in retrospect I’m glad that it did AND that I’d turned with my whole heart, might, mind and strength to the spiritual dimension…but what if I had consistently chosen to turn to God before…?
The power of Christ is manifested in each and every adversity. If you stay spiritually focused though the adversity or enticement, the power of Christ is released and miracles occur—either in our physical environment or within us. This occurs every time, without exception. Think about Nephi, tied to a mast, or the righteous Lamanites who faced death at the hands of their brethren…they had faced the adversity with a spiritual focus and, therefore, the Spirit stayed with them during and after the adversity was over.
I had faced the adversity (depression) with a physical focus, and I had let my depression devolve into suicidal ideation, and then I had chosen to act on those thoughts that Satan was putting inside my head.
(Then there’s the scene in Episode 1 of The Chosen (min 28:19), where Mary Magdalene returns to her room to survey with bewildered regret, the scene of destruction a different part of her had caused. I’ve lived that amnestic moment more often than I can count — wondering what I’d done and who I needed to apologize to, this time.)
Now, how were those experiences different than when I tried to commit suicide by jumping off of Webb Hill?
It was totally different. In the first case, I tried to kill myself because I was under the false impressions that my life didn’t matter, that God didn’t care about me, that I was destined to die that way—and actually, a bunch of other Satanic programs which I now realize were deeply imbedded in my psyche.
But in the second case, I know that I was spiritually focused throughout the entire ordeal. I actually had the Spirit with me when I jumped off of Webb Hill—and that’s the reason I went up instead of down! I was literally being burned to death emotionally and spiritually by the opposition. In my entire life and with all the spiritual torture I’ve been through, I had never faced such an adversity before. With that spiritual focus, I lost a battle but won a war.
So, I hear the question in some of your minds, does this mean those who commit suicide under the influence of depression or under the influence of Satan go down instead of up??
Well, I believe that we end up, after anyone dies, where the frequency of our spirit is a match. We end up where the most light is that our spirits are able to accept/receive at that time. And then we can evolve or devolve from there.
So, in answer to your question about where one of your loved ones has “ended up,” God knows. And doesn’t your heart know as well?
Always err on the side of hope. Always turn to the power of prayer and personal revelation. And always DO whatever it is that the Spirit suggests with courage in your heart. Know that God loves each of us with a perfect—perfect—love, especially during those times when we need Him the most but can’t feel Him. He knows the battles we are each up against, and an important part of our mortal lesson is to face some trials alone, temporarily. Christ can tell you how that feels; it’s something we have in common with Him.
Christ has given us the tools we each need to have fulfillment in each day—we must turn to the spiritual dimension to find them. If you don’t know what your tools are, ask God for the means to reach Him when the trials come, and He will reveal them to you. Then, try to remember them when the dark side wants you to forget.
If you are reading this, and a thought pops into your head that has the aroma of hope and work for you to do, follow that thought and actually put it into action with a spiritual focus.
I’ve realizedthat a fulfilling life is one that requires a lot of work. But if we approach the work as something we can do to show our appreciation for what God has done for us, then the work will be guided by the Spirit and it will be fulfilling. We learn to “submit cheerfully” to everything God sees fit for us to go through, because we trust Him that it will be for our spiritual growth, and (hopefully), because we hold in our thoughts what He went through for us.
But what if we can’t muster up even a grain of appreciation? This is where having a place where we keep all of the times God has been there for us written down, or videoed, or painted, sculpted, carved, modgepodged—whatever—is vital. It is vital because it’s not going to be enough to read or hear of other’s accounts of spiritual things in the scriptures or in conference anymore. It just isn’t. We are in the last days of the freaking last days!! We need to start having our OWN spiritual strength in connection to the Holy Ghost to rely upon. Strength comes from figuring it out during difficult times, as well as the good times.
Just like Moses failing to get his people to go up to the Mount to find God, or Joseph Smith failing to get his people up to their spiritual potential, I have been failing to take the Holy Spirit as my guide. I’ve realized yet again that it isn’t enough to have seen angels or Jesus Christ or to have had the gift of charity or JJ’s blessings in the past…it’s only enough if those experiences provide the inspiration for what I’m willing to do right now that the Holy Spirit dictates I should do. And that is to write and to serve while taking the Holy Spirit as my guide. Your mission most likely is different—but what I know is this: the Spirit will tell us peacefully, in the simplest terms, what work we need to be doing. None of that frantic manic energy, here.
We each need to learn how the Spirit communicates with us. It’s just like learning any new skill—it’s going to be awkward at first. But it’s how we SEE that awkward struggle that will either provide fuel for the fire, or dampen into darkness our efforts to overcome our adversities and heal with Christ.
Every suicide attempt is unique and an entirely solitary ordeal. If you’re tempted to judge or qualify someone else’s experience, please, just Stop! God only knows. Let me witness that He’s not engaged in judgement but only deep love and compassion for a dear child who cannot feel it.
I did not want to die; I knew God loved me. I was not in a depression; I was supported by family and friends and was not seeking attention. I was under an overwhelming attack of darkness greater than any worldly power I know. It was ineffably, eternally painful to my spirit, mind, and body. I HAD to get relief and would have jumped into a raging fire to end it.
In this world, bad things happen to us against our will, and at times they are, in fact, more than we can bear. Christ knows this most of all.
My suicide attempt was not an escape from my earthly mission, and I paid a terrible price for going through with it. I did receive comfort and healing in Heaven but I knew my eternal healing and role were for this earth. So much so that I chose to come back into a broken and diminished body to fulfill it.
On September 30th, 2020, I wrote in my journal, “today was one of the hardest days of my life. Back in St. George, (from Virginia), mom and I decided to do a ketamine treatment with Dr. Allen. Toward the end of it, I saw and felt Teddy Bear (my favorite dog who was killed by a car years ago), and I could hear someone crying loudly. The women who worked there surrounded me to wake me up, and it was I who was screaming. A deep well of emotion and pain was opened up about Teddy Bear, and then for the rest of the day, I was suicidal…”
The next day, October 1st, I wrote “Today I’m in RECOVERY! Getting back in the groove with my two Institute classes, had a bit of a tough time in therapy, but that’s okay because I bounced back with writing two revelations and a long talk with JJ. The best part of today was watching the new Pride and Prejudice with my mom and jokingly accosting each other saying ‘Mrs. Darcy…Mrs. Darcy!’”
The next day, October 2nd, I wrote, “Today was hard—but not as hard as two days ago. A big step for me today was the realization through the spirit that my gifts of verbal communication are improving—something I wasn’t even focusing on. Just fewer awkward silences and more genuine interest in the persons I talk to.”
On October 3rd I wrote, “Today I cried out for help during my bike ride and received a blessing. Christ came through and told me about this suffering—that the end is in sight —that every step of healing I take is permanent, and that there are messages in General Conference just for me—and there were.”
On October 4th I wrote, “yesterday the greatest miracle happened after I wrote, and I just need to recount it here. JJ told me the talk from Elder Holland’s son was the message God was referring to in my blessing. I re-watched it in a moment of dire need and an Angel held my hand.”
On October 5th I wrote, “Today, despite not sleeping well last night, I saw so many tender mercies of the Lord. I finally had that talk with Nancy that was healing. Amber came over—The Lord had promised me in a blessing I’d have a connection with a friend. I can’t believe what she’s going through.”
And then on October 6th, 2020, I literally felt like my spirit was burning to death. It’s a peculiar feeling…being driven to death—when, for once, you have finally processed all the trauma and healed your mental state, you have found your footing in this life, and you truly want to live.
I wanted to continue being a missionary. And somehow, I still believed in all the amazing promises I had received.
JJ had to give me four blessings that day. In them, Father clearly came through and answered the unspoken questions in my heart. He said things like, “Nicole, you are now called to a greater work,” “You have won the battle,” and, “this is a sacred moment in your life.” And also, “as you pass through this period, you will enter a period of peace, where you will be able to hear My own words. Your life has been very difficult, and very beautiful. It has been a life of victories…and in some ways it is just beginning. Nothing has changed or will change your path,” and, “this is where you go from Nicole the Grey to Nicole the White.”
That last line wasn’t what inspired me to jump from Webb Hill, (I didn’t make the connection until JJ was reviewing my blessings months later). I had been thinking about Web Hill for a full 24 hours before that blessing. I can’t count the number of times I’d tried to exit this life through pills, and it had never worked permanently. And there had to be an end—a permanent end—to this spiritual burning to death feeling.
So, JJ had been up all night—the night of October 6th to October 7th—on the phone with me. Besides praying with me, he had been reading to me out of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books. Anything to distract me from the tidal waves of darkness attacking me.
I can’t describe the darkness of that night. And even when dawn came, all color seemed to be muted—like I’d become colorblind to everything good in the world. All my hopes had been abandoned, save one: that JJ’s blessings were from God—and that His promises were sure.
I literally had no idea how that could be, I reflected, when I found myself writing my Suicide note on my computer for Mom to find.
I remember the awful feeling of saying my silent goodbyes. Of not being able to meet my mom’s eyes when she asked me where I was going; “A bike ride,” I said. Am I feeling better? “Yes,” I said.
I took my bike and rode the mile or so to the houses which surround the bottom of Webb Hill. I parked it, then started my “Via Dolorosa”.
I’m sorry for how dramatic this all sounds…but in a thousand years I still don’t think I’ll be able to describe the agony of every step I took up that hill. I remember thinking, over and over again, “God loves me, His promises are sure…God loves me, His promises are sure…”
I also remembered that I had written all of my important spiritual experiences down—I had finished all I needed to write just a day or so before this intense spiritual attack happened. I hoped that somehow Mom, or JJ, would be able to eventually have the strength to publish them after I was gone.
I reached the summit all too soon. I gazed at the temple one last time, then turned my back on it, and sat down on a rock.
I was shaking. I got up and peered over the edge—all the while thinking, “no one—no one—could bounce back from this. Not even me.” As I stood there looking at the ground far below, it started to have a sort of funhouse mirror effect. It looked like it was 500 feet down and then, the next second, it would distort and look to be about ten feet down—even though I knew it had to be at least 100 feet to the bottom.
Brother Kimball, I want you should get up and pray for me that I may be delivered from the evil spirits that are tormenting me to such a degree that I feel I cannot live long, unless I obtain relief.
I could feel the Satanic whatever-it-was inside of me, burning me from the inside out. I imagined Lucifer’s handsome face distorted and gruesome, laughing at me. But I also knew with my spiritual knowing that angels were up on that hill with me, too. But they weren’t touching me, and they were silent.
I sat back down on the rock. Just dying, and refusing to die, in the same horrible, sacred moment.
Then, I heard a car far away, approaching the towers on top of the hill—someone was coming. I stood up.
I looked to my left and saw my parents running towards me. They were yelling at me, but I couldn’t hear what they were saying because my ears were full of a sound like drums—I turned and thought, I love you, goodbye…and I took the biggest leap of faith I’d ever taken in my life.
I remember my heart leaping into my throat and clenching my teeth and shutting my eyes hard on the way down—which took only a second—but also, strangely, there was this sense of detachment from my body and I went up at the same time, as well…
Then I realized I didn’t have to be afraid anymore. All the fear, all the anxiety, the despair—it was all just…gone.
My eyes were still shut, and I thought, dare I open them? Do I still have eyes? But I must have…because I still have my body…or something very near to it.
I felt that I was laying on my back, there was grass underneath my fingers, and light coming through my eyelids. I opened them.
There was a willow tree waving its long tendrils above my face. Further beyond those perfectly formed leaves I could see blue sky, and I could also hear birds singing.
I sat up. I was in a little green picturesque valley, with spongy grass, and the most beautiful brook babbling on its merry way behind me. Everything glistened and shone with internal light.
I looked down at my body, the stunningly beautiful white dress I had on, I examined my hands, I felt my hair—everything was perfectly formed and I just felt so…so…healthy!
Suddenly, while lost in gazing in wonder at my perfect Galadriel-like fingernails and hands, a veritable blur of curly red fur came barreling out of the grove of trees along the river to my right, and I was tackled—yes, tackled, to the ground, by a shouting little ball of pure goodness and paws and a wet nose and brown eyes full of excitement:
“MOMMY, MOMMY! YOU DID IT! YOU ARE HERE! Oh, oh, oh! Oh my! Oh my goodness!!! Oh mommy! You did it! You did it!”
It was my beloved second dog and Labradoodle, Teddy Bear. I started to recover from my shock as he wriggled in my arms, then escaped, zoomed around me in circles with his tongue out, bounced his front paws on my legs, my chest—I looked down reflexively to see if he had left grass stains on my beautiful shimmering white dress (he hadn’t)—and he then proceeded to zoom and shout in antics that were nothing short of hilarious.
Then, out of the grove came Annie, my beloved and faithful Golden Retriever. She was very distinguished as she sat down right beside me and leaned her head into my neck. I wrapped both of my arms around her. She didn’t say anything. She just loved me—but I got the feeling that she was telling Teddy Bear to calm down on the side.
“I won’t calm down! I won’t! I won’t! This is the best day of my life!” yelled Teddy.
Then I heard the most beautiful and deep voice that both shook and soothed me to my core, call out, “Annie, Teddy, where did you run off to?”
In my entire existence, I will never forget what happened next. I drank in the sight of Him both slowly and all at once. Jesus Christ emerged from between the softly blowing willows. He is indescribable.
I don’t remember how I got to be in His arms, collapsed and weak, sobbing—but I do remember crying into his warm collarbone, his chin on my head, his strong and capable arms around me. He cried with me. He just held me, without any judgement, checklists, or places to be other than with me. I was His, and He was mine, and that was the sweetest knowledge I had ever tasted.
After we were all cried out, He tilted my chin up so I would meet His eyes, and they were the same blue eyes I had seen the entire universe in when He had teased me in a dream back on earth.
But they weren’t teasing now. They were full of empathy. Then He spoke. “Nicole,”
I can’t remember the rest of what He said…but I do remember that His words were more than exactly what I needed to hear. They were so soothing that all of my previous heartaches were healed in that instant.
We stared into each other’s eyes with mutual adoration. He loved me. He actually loved me.
Afterwards, I’d reflect that the parade, riding Modoc the elephant and seeing the beauty of the white city with confetti floating in the air couldn’t compare to the grandeur, the beauty, and the wonder of, again, staring into Jesus Christ’s infinite eyes.