The Gift of Discernment

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Jacquita and me in April 2012.

I call it as I see it or should I say feel it.

Some people call it the gift of discernment or intuition.  Others may call it hindsight bias.  For those who don’t know, hindsight bias is the tendency people have to view events as more predictable than they really are. After an event, people often believe that they “knew it all along” or knew the outcome of the event before it actually happened.

What I’m about to share is not hindsight bias, I promise you. I want to share my experience with the gift of discernment. I don’t like to talk about this subject a lot because I find that others who talk about it are boasting about themselves or come across as “know-it-alls.” I just can’t with those people. I also don’t want people to think I’m crazy. Oh and just so you know I’m aware it sounds crazy, but it’s the truth.  I felt a push to share my experiences because I believe we all have different gifts from God. Also, the anniversary of Jacquita’s death is next week so these memories are fresh on my mind.

In general, I’m a very logical person who analyzes everything. It’s kind of ridiculous. However, there is an exception to this that is hard to understand if you’re a logical person. I get these, “feelings” about people or situations that are undeniable. One thing is for sure, that “feeling” has not been wrong yet.

It’s quite interesting because the feeling I get is actually a physical feeling. It is kind of like having someone firmly press on the center of my chest.

I have experienced many situations of meeting people and instantly sensing that they were up to no good. Unfortunately, I have lost some friends because I shared this information with them.  Seeing as how it was about their significant other, they didn’t really want to hear it from me. But then, maybe don’t ask my opinion if you want to live in a lie 🙂 .

They chose not to believe me and why would they? I totally get it, what do I know? I know nothing of their intimate relationships; I don’t know how that person truly is behind closed doors. So how could I possible predict anything about their relationship or know what kind of person their significant other is in general?  Unfortunately, what I said would happen happened, and they were exactly who I said they were.  Our friendships ultimately paid the price when I shared how I felt, which made me question if I should have said anything at all.

Up until a certain point in my life, I thought this was nothing more than my ability to accurately identify the truth in others. I grew up with mental illness and addiction in my family. Let’s just say it’s given me the ability to see through the facade when interacting with others.  The problem is it’s so easy to logically explain away God’s gifts to us.  It wasn’t until Micah’s mom got sick that I was able to understand that this was much more than the ability to accurately assess a situation.

Oh no, now I sound like a crazy person. Just bear with me.

You see, when Jacquita was starting to get sick we really didn’t know what was wrong. She had fluid around her heart and lungs and some days could barely walk. Other days, she was just fine.  In these cases, no one thinks to check your brain for metastatic breast cancer simply because it usually isn’t the cause. So, we really weren’t sure what to think. I remember one night in October of 2012 I had such a strong urge to read my favorite book of the bible; the book of Ruth.  My two favorite verses in the whole Bible are from Ruth 1:16-17 (NIV):

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

When I read those verses, it hit me…Oh God she’s going to die soon. The feeling was so strong I could barely breathe. I began to sob. My mind filled with questions: How are we going to get through this? We just got married, and I’ve only known her for four years; it isn’t enough!  How am I going to deal with this and how am I going to help Micah?

Breathe, you have to breathe.

I began to pray for what would come. I prayed for a lot of things that night. I prayed for us to have strength and patience through her illness. I prayed for Micah to be able to emotional process this in a healthy way. I prayed for Jacquita and Brad. Two months later, they found 9 brain tumors. She had a terminal diagnosis of stage IV metastatic breast cancer.

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Brad and Jacquita in December 2012.

A while after she was diagnosed, I had another incident. I had the day off from work. I remember I was excited because I was going to relax and sleep in. Except that day I didn’t sleep in. I got up and felt overwhelmed with anxiety. I started reading another favorite, Psalm 92:12-15 NIV:

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

I tried to read psalm 93 but I couldn’t gather my thoughts. I started to have this thought of Jacquita. “Jacquita is not okay! “I started to cry and was in a panic. I tried to pull it together and text her to ask if I could come see her that day. I didn’t get a response so I started to quickly get ready. As I ran into the bedroom to change something stopped me; something calmed me down. So I stopped rushing and took my time. I waited for her response instead of leaving.  She finally responded 2 hours later so I headed off to see her. When I got there, we were talking and I shared what had happened earlier. I felt stupid because she seemed to be doing just fine.

After I told her about my morning, she went to check her phone and burst into tears. Earlier that morning she had a severe headache. It was so bad that she thought she was going to die. She was experiencing this at the same time I texted her. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who felt that something was happening to Jacquita that day. One of Jacquita’s best friends came right over to check on her and found her writhing in pain. She was able to get help and her pain meds were adjusted.

Admittedly, it was hard to prepare for her passing. The diagnosis she was originally given was any moment to 2 weeks. She greatly surpassed this expectation and lived for 5 months. I didn’t have a feeling of when she was going to die for the longest time, and then I knew. It was the middle of March and she was still alive. That’s about the time I knew that she would pass away at the end of April; specifically, the weekend of the 27th. Micah had a trip planned to go to the Tail of the Dragon on that weekend and I felt that it would happen then. I decided to share this information with Micah and asked him if he wanted to still go on the trip. After thinking about it he decided to go. After all, it was something he had been waiting on all year.

She passed away on Sunday April 28th 2013.

I have not shared this with anyone other than Micah and a few close friends. It’s something that is very dear to my heart so you can understand why I haven’t been too eager to share with others. These memories will not leave me and frankly, I’m grateful that God gave me the heads up because I’m not sure I would have handled everything as well as I did with his help.

Has anyone experienced things like this? Do you have a different spiritual gift from God? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences!

2 thoughts on “The Gift of Discernment

  1. Thank you for sharing this experience that is so close to your heart. For years I’ve had similar experiences about people on and off and, like you, tried to think of some logical explanation for it. It wasn’t until recently that I finally just thanked God for allowing me to have such experiences.
    I also have been told by the Lord that I have the gift of discernment, though it is hard not to doubt this at times and wonder all about it, wanting to know more and fully understand it. Of course that takes time and patience, something I’m not very good at. Not only have I sometimes gotten a “gut feeling” about certain people or places but over the last year, upon coming back into my walk with the Lord after years of ignoring His calling me, I began to perceive and feel demonic presences in the world around us. It was something incredibly terrifying and confusing to deal with. Over time I’m having to work on trusting the Lord and having confidence in Him when dealing with these situations. Of course I tell Him often that I would much rather see things that are of His will and His purposes and it can be difficult to discern between what He wants me to see and the enemy trying to harass and hinder what God is working on around us.
    Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for sharing this. I don’t know many people that are willing to talk about discernment in any more depth than “knowing right from wrong.”

    Like

    1. Thank you for the encouragement! A lot of times, if you look to the scripture for answers you will find what God is trying to tell you. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to look which is why asking a spiritual leader (in the church or someone you know) is a safe option. I find it helpful to talk to someone about how I’m feeling and often, the truth reveals itself that way. Again, thank you for the encouragement and take care!

      Liked by 1 person

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