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Walking A Fine Line

By Trish Briggs

There is a general acceptance that you pick your physical family while you are in the spiritual before you are born. My brother says he remembers viewing several different families and choosing our parents from the spiritual perspective. Unlike my brother, I don’t recall this choosing. I know my mother prayed a lot for the gift of children because she had multiple mid-term miscarriages. Knowing the power of prayer firsthand, I think the choosing was happening on multiple levels when it came to my immediate family.

As I learned about the family that I was part of, I became aware of the extremes that existed within it. This gave me pause to wonder why I was part of this specific family and what was my life’s purpose. I had a knowing that the two questions were somehow connected, but I was not sure how. I don’t think my brother had the same questions because he came in knowing that he chose this place and time.


I also had a feeling that I was walking a fine line between the light and dark, and things could go either way. This put me on the alert for many years.

In my early years, I feared the dark, until I learned to embrace it (when I was ready physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) because it is within the darkness you find the light and within the light you find the darkness. There is lightness and darkness within each of us.


Back to my family. My mother was very religious and brought my brother and I up knowing the church. My mother’s faith was unshakeable. When I questioned her about the possibility of being fooled by an anti-Christ, she told me that she would recognize the difference immediately. She said that she would have a knowing. I remember questioning myself if I would be that sure. My father was the complete opposite. He denied the teachings of the church, but at the same time believed in the concept of Satan. He was unshakeable in his own way.


I would spend part of my summer vacation on my maternal grandparent’s farm. My grandparents’ families both immigrated to Canada from Poland; after marriage, my grandparents immigrated to a farm in the USA. My grandmother was intelligent but could not read English. I recall her crocheting complicated doilies from looking at the picture of the final doily in the matter of a few hours, while watching TV in the evening.


During one of my summer visits, my grandmother shared with me her spiritual experiences. She always prayed to Mother Mary daily. One year, she had a visitation from Mother Mary and soon after started developing bleeding wounds in the palms of both hands. She was very embarrassed by this and kept her hands hidden and wrapped up in linens. As she told me the story, I don’t think she even then understood that she was describing stigmata to me. She was focused on what happened next and not the significance of the wounds.


When it happened, she didn’t understand and felt that she had done something wrong. It was also not an easy thing to have happen when you lived on a working farm; you need to be able to use your hands. So, in response, she prayed for a healing and her focus was on how prayer healed her hands. Even in the telling of her story, I got the impression she was still embarrassed years later that it happened to her. I felt special that she chose to share her story with me; I immediately recognized its significance. I held it in my heart quietly over the years. I never asked my mother if she knew about it.


My paternal grandmother was very spiritual also, but in a different way. She had been a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse and passed on her love of reading to my brother and me. She read her Bible every day. So, by the time, she died in her nineties, she had read the entire Bible several times through. She made sure that all her grandchildren and great grandchildren had Bibles and were familiar with the stories within the Bible.


Her father, my great grandfather, was very spiritual and led revival meetings on Sunday. I never met him. My grandmother was part of his revival meetings every Sunday. This is the same great grandfather who encountered what he believed was Satan one evening on his way home from work. He was offered many treasures but refused. According to him, his refusal allowed him to escape from Satan’s clutches, but what scared him was the fact that he was tempted. The experience of feeling tempted shook him to his core. The thought of his near-miss was always present in my mind and contributed to my sense of walking a fine line between darkness and light.


The other significant thing that stood out about my family line was that every one of the spiritual heavy hitters instantly recognized the person that they were destined to marry. It was almost like it was pre-ordained that the family line was moving in a certain direction towards a specific point. I was not sure if that point was a specific person and/or time, but I knew it wasn’t happening randomly. When I look around me now, I can clearly see that the groundwork for something had been laid down meticulously through the generations and I am part of it.


When I was younger, I didn’t feel so much a part of the groundwork as I do today. I know that I am a part of something bigger here. My family is being brought to specific point in time for a specific reason. I suspect there are more family lines where the same thing is occurring simultaneously if one were to look.



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