Early in the morning of October 6, 1998 my saintly mother went home to glory.
Here is my tribute to her.
This page will tell you how she fostered
the faith in me which shaped my life.
Updated February 19, 2006.
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NOTE: More stories of spiritual and emotional healing can be found at: Healing Hug
Learning to Hear God's VoiceExperiences from my life.
It is my prayer that they will inspire you to learn to hear God's voice clearly.
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Conversations with My Heavenly Father
I am not satisfied just to talk to God. I expect him to talk to me, in fact, I expect him to talk to me first. He is my father. My earthly father talked to me long before I learned to form words.
I did not know at the time that my mother herself had not yet experienced that intimate relationship with her heavenly father. This would indicate that it is possible to teach something which you yourself have not yet learned.
When the hospital saw that I had no chance to survive the onslaught, they allowed my parents to take me home to die. They called a homeopath who was known to have saved many lives, but by the time he arrived, I had stopped breathing and my body was already cold. He nevertheless undertook a treatment which had a slight chance of reviving me, procided that my heart was still strong enough to stand the shock. He sent my parents out of the room to spare them the agony of the drama. He dipped me in very hot water and then wrapped me in cold towels. And the shock treatment did revive me.
My mother has told me countless times about those anxious moments of waiting, talking to God, committing my life to him. She asked God to restore me to her only under the condition that I would live my life serving him. She gave God her consent to take me home at that time rather than allow me to live an ungodly life.
Does that remind you of the story of Hannah who dedicated Samuel to God's service? It is told in the first chapter of 1 Samuel. There is one big difference: My mother did not hand me over to an ungodly high priest for spiritual training. She undertook it herself.
For the first six years of my life, I spent almost every waking minute with my mother. She was a seamstress and while she sewed, I would sit beside her on my little footstool listening to her songs and stories. Sometimes, she visited the homes of rich families to sew new outfits for the ladies. I would usually tag along, but if I was sick in bed, I stayed at home all by myself. That is when I first started listening to God in the same way I had been listening to my mother. And God did not disappoint me. All I had to do was listen.
We had fled our burning city in the most eastern part of Germany with little more than the clothes on our backs, but we had saved two books which I considered to be treasures, a Luther Bible and a Singvöglein (=little songbird), a Sunday school hymnal. For five years, that Bible was the only book I had. I used to sit on a little stool and read from it to my mother. The Bible knowledge I gained in those five years has been invaluable to me all my life. I also used to sit in a garden with my Singvöglein, singing all the songs I knew over and over. I still know them by memory. My favorite hymn at that time was "Harre meine Seele, harre des Herrn" (Wait on the Lord, oh my soul). The text appears much too deep for a child that age, but desperate times can produce unusual maturity.
Oh yes, my father had great, big bear paws and my hands are still small. What a beautiful parable for trusting my heavenly father! But this parable is a true story.
I walked into the class ready to watch the Lord perform a miracle, when my classmates informed me that they had already written the test during the previous period. The geography teacher had switched time slots with the French teacher, and French was the only course which I did not share with the rest of the class. I do not remember that any teachers ever switched classes before or after that one occurrence. I was the only pupil in that class who did not get to write the test. My year-end mark was therefore not affected, because it was the average of all my other tests.
I was not surprised by the occurrence at all, because I had trusted the Lord to take the problem in hand and I had left it up to him how he would solve it. And by the way, I had chosen to drop French because I just could not relate to that teacher and was unable to learn from him. I got to learn French through immersion courses as an adult and excelled at it.
I had almost finished grade XII, and still had no idea where I was going after that, when one Sunday evening a missionary teacher spoke to the young people at church. She showed us slides and shared with us her work as a teacher to the Native Indians in Northern Canada.
That evening I became aware that I was to be a teacher. I was so sure of myself that I did not even bother discussing the matter with anyone in my family. First thing the next morning I marched into the principal's office and told him that I was going to teacher's college the next year. He informed me that the deadline for applications was past, but that he would see what he could do. Sure enough, on his recommendation, an exception was made and I was accepted.
Again, I had no doubt that I would be accepted. If it had been necessary to apply earlier, it would have been up to the Lord to let me know his will sooner.
Later, when situations in teaching got tough, I would always remind the Lord that it was his idea that I become a teacher and not mine. It was therefore up to him to see me safely through any trials. And he never let me down.
Neither of us accepted his verdict.
The following Sunday, a visiting minister spoke on Mark 11:23
Whoever shall say to this mountain, 'Be removed, and be cast into the sea,' and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith.
The first exam was mathematics which normally was a give-away for me. This time, however, I looked at the exam paper and was unable to read a word. I suddenly felt very sick. I put my head on my arms and passed out. After a few minutes, I woke up and must have started writing. I have no recollection of the rest of the day except that I went straight to bed as soon as I got home without eating anything or talking to anyone. I had a high fever and my tonsils were infected to the point where I was not able to swallow.
Every day, I got up to go to my exams at the right time without anyone waking me up. Even immediately after the exams, I had no recollection being in school except for the first 5 minutes of that math exam. I later saw the exam papers and none of the questions on them rang a bell. I have no idea how I got through them.
My teachers suggested that I take the books with me for the summer so that I could study for rewriting the exams at the end of the summer, but I saw no need for that when I was convinced that I would pass. God had told me that I should have whatsoever I asked and I believed it.
Yes, I did pass every exam without reread. The other German girl in the class did not pass her two English exams, but her marks were so close to passing that she received a passing grade on rereads. And our homeroom teacher was mighty pleased that he had taught the first immigrant children who had passed the departmental English exams. He was a great teacher and everything I know about writing, I learned from him.
The very next day, I received a letter from my brother Gert telling me that he had deposited $150 in my bank account. He did not even know what my plans were and he did not even claim to be a Christian at that time, yet God used him to put his plan into action. That day I remembered Isaiah 65:24
One sweltering afternoon, I was dragging myself up a mountain trail. I chose that trail to take advantage of the shade of the tall evergreens. I had tried a sunny trail the previous day and found it just a little too oppressive. Halfway up the mountain, I heard a voice telling me, "Get off this mountain." I knew the voice to be that of the Lord, because I had heard it before, but I hated to give up. " I will, Lord. Just as soon as I get to the summit." I kept on moving. The voice repeated the same words, but I still kept on moving. By the time I heard it for the third time, I thought I had better get moving in the opposite direction.
Within a few minutes, I heard an enormous noise which I was not able to interpret, but it made me lift my heels and run all the way down the rest of the way. I got to my vehicle and drove to the highway immediately. Looking back at the mountain, I saw it ablaze in a huge forest fire. Every time the flames reached a cedar tree, it burst into a fiery explosion. It was a great spectacle, especially after dark.
I was later told that a lightening bolt had hit that mountain. It must have been that proverbial bolt out of the blue, because there wasn't a cloud in the sky which I could see. If I had not listened to the voice and had stayed on the trail even a few minutes longer, I would not be here to tell the story, because that bolt of lightning struck at exactly the point of the mountain where I happened to be.
From that day on, I have been suffering not only physical, but also emotional pain, something which had been foreign to me till then. I withdrew from the world and felt myself falling into a bottomless abyss of black hopelessness.
Throughout all this ordeal, I never once doubted God's love for me, because my faith in him had been established on a solid foundation of trust. I was no longer able to hear his voice, and carrying on a one-way conversation seemed meaningless. I tried reading the Bible, but my lack of concentration did not let me follow a sentence from beginning to end.
Then one day, two years after the accident, while trying to read a Psalm, one verse suddenly jumped out from the page, enlarged and illuminated. I had no problem following the sentence. It was Psalm 37:24
That was the beginning of my recovery.
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