NORA KASTEN / MAY 21, 2014

Spiritual Bio & 2013 Spiritual Phenomena

The spiritual journey started for me in 1945 as a little girl, eight years old, sitting on the front row pew of our neighborhood Methodist Church in Terre Haute, Indiana.   A wonderful lady and servant of God, Miss Bartruff, had heeded God's call and her mission was to bring as many children as she could to Sunday School.  She went throughout our neighborhood, knocking on doors and asking mothers if she could be permitted to pick up their children and take them to Sunday School every Sunday morning.  My mother was happy to send us to Sunday School and several other mothers were too.  My girlfriends and I loved Sunday School and our teacher, Mrs. Dooley.  We sure didn't like it though, that we had to stay for worship service, sitting in the front row, before Miss Bartruff could take us home.  Other children from my neighborhood were seated with me and none of us wanted to be there.  We loved going to Sunday School and to do that, we had to stay for morning worship service too. That was the deal  . . . .  and we did it.  

One Sunday, while sitting on that pew, I felt Jesus speak to me and my little girl heart opened wide to receive Jesus Christ as my Savior.  I did this without a word to anyone but I was sincere and God's LOVE never left me throughout the years.  Remembering Miss Bartruff has made me aware once again how very serious and important it is to heed the Still Small Voice we hear from within ourselves.

After receiving Christ into my heart at the age of eight I always knew and felt He was taking care of me, watching over me and protecting me.  I didn't actually hear a voice within but I always felt that somehow guidance was given to me.  Church was not part of my life during the teen years but I was always living the Christian life as I could understand it. . . . how naive I was.

At sixteen, into my junior year of high school and a straight A student, on a whim, I got married to get away from home.  There was no good excuse for getting married so young.  I was mature for my age but that was a foolish thing to do.  By the time I realized this grave mistake (the next day) I knew I would keep my promise.  After all, I had taken the oath of marriage before God and it was a serious matter.  I had vowed "until death do us part".  Jerry and I remained married for twenty-nine years.

We were  married a little over two years when our first son, Jeffrey David, was born, the first of five sons.  As I said before, Christ was always a Presence within me.  I didn't hear but I always knew Spirit was with me.  That day in Union Hospital, Terre Haute, Indiana, when the nurse placed my precious little baby in my arms, my heart overflowed with Love for him.  I was so happy, holding him and so thankful.  I remember saying over and over "Thank you, Lord.  Thank you, Lord".  . . . but my joy was short lived.  For the first time I heard and I felt words.  Those words were, "He's only yours for a very short time".

When the doctor came into my room later that morning I begged him to tell me what was wrong with my baby.  He would only try to reassure me that my little boy was just fine, he was healthy and there were no problems.  Of course, I hadn't shared with the doctor or the nurses the words or intuition that I had received.  I did tell Jerry and he said it couldn't be true.  The six days of hospital stay after his birth (it was October, 1955) found me worried and anxious.  Always when little Jeffrey was with me I was praying for him and begging God to let him live.  While still in the hospital, I would often walk down to the newborn nursery and stand for long periods of time, silently praying as I gazed at him through the glass.  After we came home from the hospital, the fear gradually began to fade and I was experiencing great Joy being a new mother and caring for my baby.  I had prayed and I had asked God for us to have this baby.  My prayers had been answered and I was so thankful.

When little Jeffrey David was almost three months old, while giving him a morning bath, I discovered the first lump.  (I must write very matter of fact now to keep my emotions in check)  It was lymphoma.  Though he was given many treatments, the doctors gave us no hope from the beginning that our precious little boy would live.  Jeffrey took his last breath on Earth shortly before he was six months old.

While living in such tormented agony and just two weeks before his death a neighbor asked if we would let her pastor pray for our baby.  OF COURSE!  We went that day to their parsonage where the pastor and his wife, both, laid their hands on our baby and prayed.  I remembered that sometimes they were speaking in another language but I wasn't alarmed by it.  My thoughts were only "PLEASE, GOD, LET MY BABY LIVE".

It was after the baby's death that I learned we had taken him to the Assembly of God church for prayer.  They were very good people and so kind to us.  I was told the other language they spoke was scriptural and was called "speaking in tongues".  I became aware of the word, Pentecostal, for the first time in my life.  One month later I would be nineteen years old.

While in despair after my baby's death, several church members told me the answer was to seek being "filled with the Holy Spirit", speaking in tongues.  Today, it is called the charismatic experience.  I went to The Assembly of God church every week and sometimes more often but it appeared the experience was not to be mine.  My husband wanted no part of that religion but it was ok with him for me to go to church without him.  That was the beginning of many, many years for me praying, pleading and begging God to "please save" my husband.

Our second son was born three years after our first and again, the same joy with my new born son was mine.  No one in this life takes another's place and each of my precious sons have their own special place in my heart.  Always, I am so thankful and Blessed to be their mother.  With the birth of each son, it wasn't until they were each six months old that I could breathe easier and not be so anxious.  

Before our third son was born I had received the gift of speaking in another language.  I was home, alone when I received it and it is still mine today.  The speaking in the other language is for me, letting Holy Spirit pray through and for me.  That occurs at times when I'm praying for a loved one or myself and not knowing exactly what to ask for or what to say.  It's a very personal experience for me.  At twenty-three I wanted this because I was told I needed to be "filled with the Holy Spirit" and I believed what the church said.  This was not just a Sunday walk with the Lord, I was totally committed.  I am still committed.  During my early forties I learned and I knew without doubt from listening to the Still Small Voice that I should not attend the Pentecostal church any longer.   

Note:  I must tell you that I don't believe today what I did then.   I Am a Spiritual Being with a human body here on this Earth and the Christ Spirit is within me.

"The happy and peaceful life promised to me after "being filled with the Holy Spirit" did not happen.  Though my faith continued to grow as I read and reread the scriptures, attended bible studies and took my children to church every Sunday, our home was not as happy as it should have been.  I loved my husband but he was not faithful to our marriage for most of the twenty-nine years we were married and I was naive enough to believe it was my spiritual duty to remain, to fix it, to make it right.

The years of heartache and stress eventually took it's toll and I became physically ill.  The appointment with a marriage counselor was a final effort for me to save my marriage.   Within ten minutes of being in her office, the counselor said "you must separate yourself from this man".  She was able to explain to me how and why my life was such as it was . . . .  and with her help, I began to make plans to end the marriage.  Two years later I had the courage to end it.  The marriage vow was not easy for me to break.

God has bestowed many Blessings on me throughout my life and I am most thankful.  I have felt Holy Spirit always directing me.  Without a college degree I have held positions of employment that only God could have made possible.  Holy Spirit always went before me, leading the way, even to owning and operating a successful business.  Becoming a talented and successful artist in my fifties is a most cherished gift, received from God and I am most thankful for this gift.

My church had discouraged any spiritual study other than what the church said was right (here is where mortal sin, hellfire, damnation come in) and I honored that.  Holy Spirit did get through to me though when I read Napolean Hill's book "Think and Grow Rich".   I was in the bookstore, in Terre Haute, Indiana, looking for a good book to read that would help me in my business and this book practically jumped off the shelf for me.  In one part of the book he mentions the help of Guides and it really caught my attention.  It was during this time before the divorce that the writings of Robert Collier came into my life also.  I was really taking a chance by stepping out and away from the teaching of my church but I had the confirmation that Holy Spirit was making the way for me to CHANGE.

God is Love!  If God is Love, why was I expected to live like this, was one of my questions.  The great love I have for my children is the love I was comparing to God's love.  It didn't make sense to me.  God's love should be greater than even a mother's love, shouldn't it?  That isn't what I was experiencing in the church.  I KNEW I was a child of God and I knew this without doubt.  Little did I know then that it was God's great Love, greater than we can fully understand yet, bringing me to a much higher spiritual realm.

The divorce became final in October, 1982.  I was forty-five years old.  The details of the divorce are not important to this writing but I was terrorized and several months went by before the nightmares ended.  Since reading in those "forbidden books" about meditation along with prayer, I practiced daily during the months leading up to and after the divorce.  I even attended the Unity church three different times because Napoleon Hill had made mention of it in at least one of his books.  My church that I had been so faithful and loyal to all those years berated me for divorcing and I was without their help.  More and more I found faith in God within myself, not the church.  I was listening to the Still Small Voice and I was being led out of that wilderness.  I trusted God completely . . . .. even when there was no hope, I TRUSTED.

Two months before the divorce was final I was awakened at 2am one morning feeling overwhelming anguish with no hope and I began to pray and read the bible.  I heard The Still Small Voice within me say, "Well, what are your desires, your goals?  Write it down".   There was a steno pad on the night stand and I got up, sat on the edge of the bed and I began to write.  There was no thinking ahead of what to ask for because Holy Spirit was revealing my desires to me, one after another.   I still have the original sheet of paper with my list of "Desires & Goals" I wrote down that night.  There are eleven desires or goals listed but the first and most important one that heads the list isn't numbered.  It is:  To Know And Do The Will Of God.   That is still foremost in my life.  I wish that I could share my list but it is much too personal to share here.  I have shared the list with a few special people in my life through the years so they too, could know that God did answer and provided for me everything I listed.  To this day, thirty-one years later, I am still reaping the rewards of that list.

Also, during the months before the divorce I read about The Law Of Attraction that is valid for each of us.  Being instructed by my intuitive voice within, I wrote down my affirmation and these were the words I wrote as near as I can remember them.  "I, Nora, do firmly believe and I fully accept my soulmate, the good man God is bringing to me now.   Because I have been taught to ask in the name of Jesus,  I ask for my soulmate in the name of Jesus.  Thank You.”

Although, I had asked for and received many things in the past, this was my first experience to ask according to the Divine Law Of Attraction.  I was free of the old man-made rules and religious dogma that had governed my life for so many years.  Spiritually, I was expanding!  Faithfully, I read and reaffirmed my affirmation each day.  I believed, I knew and I expected my soulmate to arrive.  

Less than four months later, two months after the divorce was final, Karl Kasten, my soulmate and I were together.  Our meeting truly was by divine appointment and we were together for nearly twenty-eight and wonderful years.   We were married for almost twenty-six of those great years.  Karl transitioned on August 13, 2010 and I am still learning how to live without him being physically here with me.  Grief and all it's agony is just that . . . agony.

The feeling is very good for me as I recall those wonderful twenty-eight years with my soulmate.  I don't believe that a day went by during those years I didn't thank God for Karl.  Intuitive prayer was always my daily practice but I wasn't seeking more spiritual enlightenment then.  I WAS LIVING HAPPILY EVER AFTER!  . . . . .  Am I getting an insight here?

There was always a "knowing" between us.  Thinking back, I believe we were both on the same Energy level spiritually.  Karl was the intellect and I was the spiritual.  We were totally different personalities but we both had the same high moral values.  Conflict was not part of our union.  Differences could be met with humor and even endearment.  Karl certainly did not dote on me but his giving to me was without measure and it was always my great pleasure and privilege to do for him too.  Together, we were experiencing unconditional Love and life was Good!  When life dealt out the blows that come to all of us, Karl was always my secure shelter in the storm.  Karl was my rock, he was my hero. . . . he still is.  

It was eight months before Karl's Spirit left his body that Eckert Tolle's book, "The Power of Now", came to me in a divine way.  Though I didn't know it then, I was being prepared for Karl's departure and then my life on Earth without him.  I remember as I was reading the book it dawned on me that "Karl already lives his life like this".  His life was not lived in the past or the future, he was a wise man and he lived in the present moment.   Karl was truly a GOOD man but he wasn't religious, didn't want to be and yet he had tuned into a Higher Realm without knowing it.  I had never told Karl about my charismatic experience and the reason was that I knew most of the world perceived the Pentecostal people to be ignorant.  Right or wrong, I did not want to be recognized as part of that group.

Congestive heart failure was Karl's illness.  It was causing such weakness and labored breathing for my Beloved during the last weeks of his life here on Earth and yet there were many times we were still able to talk open and freely with one another.  Because of Karl’s words, shortly before taking his last breath and the words Holy Spirit channeled through me for both of us, I know without doubt Karl's Essence, his soul lives on eternally.

After Karl took his last breath that evening of August 13, 2010, I stayed at his bedside for as long as I could which was an hour or so. I remember feeling numb and sick at the same time.  I knew Karl's Essence, his Spirit was still alive and he was alright.  Nora wasn't alright though, and I just watched myself drive home and walk into our beautiful home, alone.   It was then that the agony and despair took over my life because Karl really was GONE!  Our life together was over and nothing else mattered to me.

There was a "knowing", the Still Small Voice, telling me that I would be okay but physically and emotionally it was almost impossible to function.  I certainly couldn't pray or meditate but Holy Spirit was showing me anew how to let go and to let God.  Also, I practiced trying to stay in the present moment.  During the first year and even the second year after Karl's transition, I wasn't thinking about my spiritual journey.  I didn’t want to be here on Earth without him and yet, here I was. I was living, simply because I was still alive.  Grief took it's toll on me and on those I loved.

In January, 2013, two years and five months after Karl’s transition, I couldn’t exist in the misery any longer. I certainly had been trying to help myself for over a year but it had been to no avail. It was a “last ditch effort” for me to survive that I embarked on a Spiritual Quest. Although I knew I had been a Spiritual Being all along, nothing was working to bring me the Peace I so desperately wanted. I decided to listen only to The Still Small Voice for guidance.

First, I was led to go to Unity of Naples Church and attend a workshop, studying the book, “The Artist’s Way”. Julia Cameron had written this book several years earlier but I had not read it. The participants taking the workshop were required to write three “Morning Pages” each day. I had never journaled and I didn’t want to journal so I was balking about doing the writing. Three weeks earlier I had taken a fall down one step on a cruise ship and broke my ring finger on my right hand. I had thrust my hand out to break the fall. Though I have a dis-formed finger now, I am so thankful for that being my only serious injury from the fall .  .  .well, my pride did take a pretty big hit from that fall. 

Okay, I used my broken finger as an excuse not to write the pages for the first week or so of class but then the Still Small Voice within said "You want to do this, Nora".  So, I put the brace on my finger and began to write.  It was January 14, 2013.  I poured out on those pages all my pent up feelings of disappointment, hurt, grief, sadness, loneliness and also the unhealthy situation I had created for myself since my husband, Karl’s, passing.  Obviously, I wrote more than three pages that day.  It was like talking to a professional therapist.  As I wrote I began to see my life clearly and logically, not blinded by my emotions and I even experienced a tinge of HOPE that day.  Each day, the writing brought me into more awareness and I was receiving answers too.


The Phenomena Occurs

The fifth day of writing, January 18, 2013, I was prayerful and meditating as I was writing and I had a vision. I saw a small group of men with one man in front wearing a multi colored striped robe and then I saw Karl stepping forward.  He was wearing LL Bean khaki pants, shirt and a baseball or fishing hat.  I kept writing and looking up at the vision. I wrote, "Oh, Karl is coming forward.  What does he say?"  Then Karl spoke, giving me ten sentences. I was able to write what he said after each sentence.  Karl said:  

Wait upon The Lord, I say wait.  
There is so much to learn.  
Take it in good stride.  
I am with you.  
Write! that you will be patient and trusting.  
It will be revealed to you.  
You are my beloved, Nora, and I will take care of you always.  
Pay attention.  
I will guide you.  
Thank you, Nora."

There it is.  It was Karl I saw, it was his wonderful voice that I heard and it seemed like a most natural occurrance. A door opened for me into the spiritual that day and I know that I am Blessed!  This gift is from God, Holy Spirit and I am in awe.  I am humbled and so very thankful.  Only one day has gone by the past year and four months that I have not written the "Morning Pages".  I have received many messages from The Other Side now that include Karl but also Guides and my own Higher Being.  That was the only vision I’ve received and I can never doubt because of that vision. I don't question this gift now and I am assured that it is authentic, it is true.   I wonder if others writing their "Morning Pages" have had such a phenomena as this occur to them.

Going back, recalling my life's spiritual journey, Holy Spirit has revealed these Truths to me.  
I believe that I Am, we All are, Spirit Energy.  I believe each one of us is a Divine Spiritual Being.  I believe I Am One with God and hence, the Christ Spirit dwells within me.  God is LOVE and this LOVE of God is far greater than any human Being can define.   Since I have learned that everything is energy and energy cannot be created nor destroyed, the spiritual Truths that have been revealed to me make even more sense.  Albert Einstein proved the theory of energy years ago and it is an accepted scientific fact.  My own experience is when my spiritual energy is at the high level, I can connect with my Loving Guides and other Beings on "the other side".  There is nothing magic about the experience and I am most thankful to have awakened.

By continuing to listen to and heed the Still Small Voice within, I have discovered the Peace of God. God is LOVE and the LOVE is All in All. We don’t have words to truly define It.