Anna’s Story | Interpreting Experience (117)

In this episode John and Gregg connect with long-time listener “Anna.”

Anna was the first Untangling Christianity listener to respond with feedback to John and Gregg and has been listening for over 2 years now.  Anna explains how she was listening to many podcasts about Christianity at that time but responded to John and Gregg because she found them to be “approachable.”

Anna describes her own Christian situation as having had some remarkably intimate and compelling experiences of God’s presence, and yet finding other Christians unable (or unwilling) to accept that Anna’s experiences are valid.

More difficult still, Anna explains how these experiences have stopped, and how she longs to feel re-connected with God in this way (and lonely because of this absence).

5 thoughts on “Anna’s Story | Interpreting Experience (117)

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  3. Mary

    Thanks for having Anna on your podcast. I found her story very compelling. Personally I don’t understand why her friends would so completely reject her vision. Her vision revealed so beautifully how Jesus cares for us in our sorrows and hard times and invites into a wider space of grace (symbolized by open door). Seems biblical to me! And I have had the same experience of crying uncontrollably while driving when I realized how much God loves me. In full disclosure, I have had a few waking dreams/visions. Some I have shared. But I have never been rejected like Anna—though some have been less than enthusiastic. My former pastor never seemed to know what to say to me. However no one has been able to make me doubt they were real. Others have shared similar visions of God’s love. Other visions may contain a revelation that only time can confirm or deny. Not a prediction of the future but an underlying truth(supported by the Bible and God’s character) that isn’t always apparent at the time. Those kind of insights I usually share with other Christians for confirmation if I wasn’t sure. Why do I believe waking dreams/visions are possible? Firstly, the prophets! Next, Peter in his first big sermon affirmed that God continues to pour out His Spirit so that men and women would experience dreams and visions. Also Jesus explained in John 14 that he would leave his followers a Helper and Comforter that would reveal truth to us and dwell in us. So isn’t the Holy Spirit our credential? Test the spirits of course! And no I don’t think we always get it right but we also don’t get it wrong if it lines up with God’s truth and love. Also there is a quality to a profound truth that really sticks with you. For example, Anna’s vision had a healing effect on her life. Some of my visions have filled me with a supernatural peace. I do not share personal visions with just anybody. I have only a few close friends I would share with and I am grateful for them. But it has taken a long time ( probably 27 years) to continue to be brave enough to be that vulnerable not only with these visions but my own “crazy emotions and beliefs.” And I am still learning how to speak both truth and love with them. Took me at least 3 tries on one subject alone! Thank you, Anna for being so brave and sharing with us—virtual strangers! I am going to go out on a limb here and say that God spoke love into your suffering so don’t let anyone take that from you! You are a treasure! And I mean that in the best possible way.

    Reply
    1. Gregg Monteith Post author

      Hi Mary,
      Thanks so much for your feedback–I’m really glad that Anna’s story resonated with you. I’m going to link your comment here to our private, Untangling Christianity Facebook page so that Anna can be sure to see it.

      I’m also glad that you have not experienced the rejection that Anna describes. Also, you raise a few points that I think are helpful / about which I would like to know more. For example, I value your point about visions may not simply relate to predictions of future events but may instead offer some truth that is not yet apparent. I also appreciate your emphasis on such truths being open to biblical confirmation. What do you think such visions might contain or “be about”? How do you think that such visions relate to a prophetic role, and how do you think that someone would know that a vision is “prophetic”? Also, if a vision is thought to be “prophetic” then what implications do you think that this has for the one having the visions? Lastly, if our visions can be biblically “confirmed” (or in some way legitimized), can they also be biblically criticized (and perhaps disconfirmed)?

      Be glad to know your thinking on any of these points / questions.
      Gregg

      Reply
      1. Mary

        Hi Gregg.

        I haven’t thought about visions for a while. It’s not a subject that was encouraged. I’ve learned to mostly keep them to myself except for very close friends. I either don’t know how to share them or others don’t know what to say when I do. kind of awkward. I think visions are first of all about God. They are God revealing Himself or parts of His plans. I don’t necessarily think that visions add new information but perhaps something more to what we already know. Otherwise how could they be biblically confirmed? And yes, they can be biblically criticized too—which is a good thing to remember! I’m always questioning the meaning of a vision even sometimes when they are happening. I’ve always thought of prophesy as more encouragement than foretelling of the future. Although sometimes when I look back at visions (and dreams too), it seems they helped prepare me for a future event. Does this help answer your questions? I know I am generalizing here but I am not sure how specific I should get at this point. I have more questions than answers but I have learned to trust God and the process as I try to get to the truth. Thanks again for asking questions so I could sort out what I believe. I welcome your perspective on this subject too. I’m still learning too.

        Reply

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