I led a very eclectic lifestyle when I was a child, traveling around the country with a vagabond family. It was a wonderful life, made all that more meaningful by a mother who possessed a natural spirituality. We may not have gone to church Sundays, but our life was naturally filled with the presence of God.

Because I feel that I know you all, I am going to share a personal, life altering childhood experience. We were camping high in the mountains, a favorite spot for my father because he could sit and look out over the valleys and little towns below. For him, it seemed to minimized the stressors of life. How could life be so bad when the people were the size of ants and the lakes the size of large drops of water? For whatever reason, he seemed to feel safe in the mountains Things were good. Things were peaceful. We were content.

One night while I was sleeping, I was awakened by an extremely loud, earth shattering noise. My body shook with such a ferocity I thought I was going to fall out of my top bunk. Although it was later determined to be a nearby bolt of lightning, I will never forget how I felt immediately when I woke up; I thought it was the end of the world! I thought life as we knew it was over. My immediate reaction was such profound joy and love that my heart wanted to burst with happiness. I was deeply disappointed when I found out it was only thunder, and not a joyous entrance into the world beyond and an opportunity to meet God.

As a child who had never read the Bible or been “religious”, in retrospect it is surprising that my first thought was not fear at the concept of the end of the world but joy! It was not something I had learned about in catechism, or had even thought of before. My first feeling was automatic and unbelievable happiness and love. And it is that feeling that I carry with me to this day. For I know that the heart of that child so many years ago experienced a true and prophetic revelation…that God lives in the hearts of all of us, we just don’t always see it. Wouldn’t the world be different if we all knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a joyous eternity awaits us? I was so very fortunate to have learned that at an early age…


Comments on: "I Thought It Was the End of the World…Really!" (47)

  1. What a beautiful remembrance! Thanks for sharing.

  2. It is so awesome that you discovered this when you were young. I didn’t come to this realization until a few years ago and now have replaced my feeling of fear with a wonderful anticipation of what is to come. Everyday I praise God for his unending love and I pray for those around me, hoping they will someday share this feeling of joy.

  3. I have said to people that every day that I wake up is a good day. The day that I don’t wake up, will be a better day! I know where I shall be for eternity.

  4. This is so meaningful. I wish that feeling of peace about passing for my children. Thank you for sharing.

  5. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing!

  6. This is a great experience to feel the joy beyond compare. Joy to you.

  7. just beautiful. building and walls and dogma are not the spiritual things that matter.

  8. As always, I have a feeling of connection with you and your amazing posts, but no more so that today. What a wonderful, joyful experience. Thank you so much for sharing such an intimate part of your life.

  9. I excited to thinking about what is to come…

  10. How heart lovely, perhaps what led to the divine ‘service’ you are engaged in, and the natural unconditional love that is expressing itself.

  11. Very touching. I too wish we could all live that way.

  12. What a beautiful revelation to have at such a young age! Thank you so much for sharing.

  13. Wonderful! In the Bible it says that God has written his name on our hearts. What a blessing!

  14. Thank you for sharing! I have felt this way from time to time. Amen!

  15. kristilazzari said:

    What a beautiful childhood memory! Thank you for sharing it.

  16. A touchstone moment wonderfully expressed. I felt it.

  17. smile breathe and go slowly said:

    amazing! love that you shared this. Reminds of a recent dream I had about the end of the world. (been having a few of those lately) As I looked out the window and watched the cloud of a bomb meant to end the world head my way, I felt calm. It was kindof an ‘oh sh*t…it really happened” but I was unafraid and looked forward to seeing those I love on the other side. 🙂

  18. Oh I totally love this post. Reminds me of the quote that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

    Warm regards and blessings Maria, Joe and FurBabies

  19. Thank you for sharing. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone could have this experience?

  20. just lovely…such truth from the heart of a child! Once at Mass, the priest asked the congregation who would be happy if the world ended that day….if Jesus came. NO ONE raised their hand. I wanted to, but was too self-conscious to be the “only” one. I hope that others there felt as I did, but also held back. However, the response was exactly what the priest had expected. I love what you wrote, and hope many of us await the Lord’s coming with that childlike joy. Thank you for sharing!

  21. When my dad was going in for heart surgery, his doctor was amazed that dad was so calm. My dad said “Hey, if it works, I’m going home. If it doesn’t work, I’m GOING HOME!”

    He’s still here, and says “God’s still got work for him to do.”

  22. Yes…”God lives in the hearts of all of us”. We are the temple.

  23. How wonderful that God spoke to you like that at such a young age! God knew that you would have important work to do.

  24. Love this. What a fantastic moment of clarity to get to hold onto.

  25. Yes!! Whenever my little old lady groups complain about aches and pains, someone always says, “Well, it’s better than the alternative.” And I say vehemently, “No! It’s not.”

  26. By the way, I love your book! I knew I would, but it was even more delightful and uplifting than I had expected.

  27. I am amazed you reacted like that to a situation that would have scared the hell out of me! Very touching story.

  28. This is a beautifuk story and reminds me of a sermon I heard recently. The pastor was speaking about how we will never be 100% satisfied because what we really long for is to be with God. And your story shows how truly we all would love to be in His presence no matter the age.

  29. Thanks for sharing this beautiful memory. When we have allowed God to reign in us fully, there is no fear (perfect love casts out our fear). How beautiful that although your family was not particularly ‘religious’ you thought of God in a potential moment of fear. Says something about the god-shaped hole within us all.
    Blessings to you this day,

    • You summed it all up perfectly…perfect love casts out fear…because that is exactly what I felt…an automatic love so overwhelming that nothing else mattered. I still carry that love with me…

  30. Beautiful story! I’m with you! Returning home to our eternal life with God is something to look forward to and be joyous about!

  31. Thank you! 🙂

  32. Hello Linda! That is a great thing you experienced! Thank you for sharing it with us.
    And on a sidenote, I just wanted to let you know that I I nominated you for the “Illuminating Blog Award”. If you’d like to receive it, please follow this link: http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/

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