Stardust.

A poem in a word.

In March of this year, I met a few friends at a women’s conference in Joplin, Missouri, and while I was there, I had the great delight of meeting Elisabeth Cooper for the first time in person. She spoke at the conference that weekend, and she was stunning in every way.

After the Saturday night worship session, the leaders invited people to stay in the atmosphere, to linger in the space created for acknowledging God’s presence, and ask for a personal encounter for ourselves.

I stayed, grateful for the time. It is not easy to find quiet spaces in the clutch of life. These spaces and the sensitive souls who cultivate them are a tender gift.

I leaned back in my chair and closed my eyes, asking God to encounter me, to speak to me, to give me living water, fuel in my spirit.

What I saw, you might call it a vision; to me, it is a mystery that I ponder in my heart.

I prayed, and I saw an image of myself as an unborn child, curled up in a fetal position, in a swirl of life, and, as in a movie, the viewpoint panned backwards, and I could see more of the picture. I saw Jesus, and I was inside of Him, as an infant rests inside its mother. I saw Him put His huge hand in mine and draw me from inside of Him in a great unfurling.

As He unfurled me from the infant’s swirl, I grew up in fast-forward, from an infant to a woman. I wore a simple white gown, and I saw Him swirling me in the air, and all my limbs were stretched out like I was flying. In the white robe, and all stretched out, I looked like a five-pointed star, and behind me, the swirl became a nebula set in the ring of the galaxy.

I hovered in His hand before the swirl of pink and purple and blue and white.

And I heard Him say, “Stardust . . . You are made of stardust.”

And sitting in that quiet church, I laughed out loud at the beauty of it.

A moment like that, hearing His voice in prayer, can carry me a long time.

And I am satisfied to let it be a secret thing from the secret place of the Most High, not something I ever need to share, something between the Lord and me, something personal to fuel my spirit in the face of all the challenges of life. Something to say to myself when the world would say otherwise, “Stardust, Amy, remember, you are made of stardust.”

And that’s what I expected this mystery to be, a secret between Him and me, kept and treasured up in my heart.

When I got home from the conference on Sunday, my family had missed me, but it was late. We went to bed and started the week on Monday morning, hitting the ground running as usual, and I didn’t have a chance to talk to my daughter about her weekend until later on Tuesday.

Lily is eighteen, and she is an artist. She sketches dozens of pieces in a week to practice her technique, and she asked me, “Hey, Mom, did I show you the drawing I did while you were gone?”

No, I didn’t think she had. I waited for her to find it in her sketchbook.

She handed it to me.

“Lily. What is this?”

I had to look again. “Did I tell you what I saw at the conference?”

Blank stare.

“No, mom, you didn’t tell me anything about it. I’ve hardly seen you since you got home.”

She had drawn a woman in a white dress, with blue and pink and purple all around her, floating in a swirl of stars. And an I.V. bag attached to her arm, filling her with stardust.

She had drawn what I had seen, and I had not told her about it. And as beautiful as it is, Lily and I had not talked about this idea before this day, that a human being is made of stardust.

We stared at the drawing. We looked up at each other. We laughed.

We remain in awe at the voice of God and at the way He speaks to us through this piece, and so many other ways.

Lily’s love language with God is stars, and she is learning how to hear His voice.

He is teaching her.

And He is teaching me.

***

Today I’m praying for a quiet space for you, out of the clutch of life. A space where you can encounter God in a meaningful way, a way that confirms your faith and amplifies His voice, a space filled with stardust.