At these events there are many people involved on different levels. I had attended the previous year as a candidate. This year I had been asked to be a table leader, which only meant that I would help guide conversation, and keep everyone involved.
In the weeks prior to the event we attended Sunday night meetings where we heard various talks on different aspects of faith and how we can apply faith in our own lives.
At the close of the first meeting we gathered in a circle, held hands, bowed our heads and said, "The Lord's Prayer." As we were praying I felt another hand over the top of ours with the woman to my right. It was gentle, but firm. I had my eyes shut and I wasn't about to open them. I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. I didn't have to question WHAT it was, I KNEW.
After we finished our prayer I looked over to her and introduced myself as she and I had never been formally introduced. Then I had to ask if she noticed anything while we were praying. Patti replied, "You mean our hands?" She felt it, too! We both had tears in our eyes. What an incredible moment. But, it doesn't end here.
You see, prior to attending this function I had felt some distance within my heart regarding my relationship to Christ. I've never doubted His existence, but I felt that I wasn't as close as I had longed to be. The day I asked Jesus to come into my heart and be born again was a day and a memory I could not, nor would I ever choose to forget. That feeling just wasn't as strong within me. In a way, I felt lost and abandoned. I knew that wasn't God's choice, it was something within myself.
I had been praying fiercely for God to show me a sign. I know, many people believe you shouldn't ask for signs but I've never had a problem asking and I never will. God has shown me many things through this.
Moving on ... the weekend of our event arrived. Over 60 candidates were scheduled to attend -- many of them for the first time. This begins on a Friday evening around 7 and closes late Sunday afternoon. We stayed in a former catholic church convent. The setting is perfect, and you can feel God's love all about.
On Saturday morning, Patti was giving a talk on Ideals. She correlated Ideals with reaching for goals. And with this she associated reaching for goals like being able to reach toward the stars in heaven.
As she closed her speech she asked that someone from each group of round tables open a cloth bag in the center of each table. The gal to my right opened ours and passed it along to her right. There were 6-8 people sitting at each table. As the bag came around to the woman on my left she pulled out the last two remaining pieces. Everyone at each table had receive a penny with a STAR shape punched out of it. However, when I was handed the last penny from our bag I looked down and mine was not a STAR but an ANGEL. (I also collect Angels and I truly believe in them.)
Later on Patti approached me. She explained that when she received her order of pennies she had indeed received in error 3 pennies that had ANGELS punched out, not STARS. She was hoping she would have enough STAR pennies to go around. So, she went to look in a small box as she had brought along the ANGEL pennies just in case she didn't have enough of the others. Guess what -- lo and behold, she found she still had her 3 ANGEL coins. She had searched through each coin one by one so as not to give an ANGEL in error. This was my affirmation that indeed Patti and I had held hands directly with our Heavenly Father and it was incredible!
I'll cherish this special moment with Christ forever. My ANGEL penny is now mounted in a coin pendant holder and I wear it often.