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A Guide to Love, God, Prayer, Meditation, & Peace Within You—Right Now

Return to Innocence

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When God Spoke to MeThe following story was written by Shelora Fitzgerald several years ago and submitted to me to be include in When God Spoke to Me. I had originally accepted the story, but when my publisher asked me to cut the number of stories from 101 to 70, I went through the arduous task of eliminating a lot of wonderful stories. This was one of them…

“When I was a little girl, the world was a wonderful, safe, magical place. I lived in a fairy-tale world, filled with stories of adventure and romance. One summer’s day I found myself dancing through the woods, pretending I was Maid Marian in Sherwood Forest. In a shaft of golden light shining through the towering evergreens, I saw two white butterflies dancing over my head. Transfixed by the beauty, I stood incredibly still as the two butterflies landed on my head.

It was a moment so full of grace and innocent wonder, that I didn’t notice the teenaged boy watching from behind the trees. Saying there was a dead squirrel there, he took me by the hand and led me behind the bushes where he pinned me to the ground.

Looking into his eyes, somehow I knew that he was a poor, frightened boy and he did not really want to go through with it. As if there was a power guiding me, I found my voice.

“I have a father who is very rich. He loves me very much. If you let me go, he will give you money.”

The knowledge I had my father’s love saved me. The boy released me. I fled to safety in the arms of the park supervisor who rocked me while I sobbed out the question I have been asking God ever since:

”Why? Why? Why?”

When two policemen brought the boy in handcuffs for me to identify, I saw reproach in his eyes. I had promised him a reward. Instead he was going to jail! I began to shake with terror. I was had lied and broken my promise. I should be punished, not him.

A few days later, my mother informed me that the boy had done it because he had been trying to get into a teenaged gang. He promised he would never do that again. My parents did not want me to suffer through the trauma of a court case. So, without discussing it with me, they had decided to drop the charges. Instead of comforting me, and assuring me that it was not my fault, my embarrassed, frightened parents seemed to distance themselves from me, as if there was something tainted about me. In my child’s mind, since they had not stood up for me, that meant they did not love me. I decided there must be something wrong with me that made me unlovable. I was on my own.

The effects of their decision, and what I decided it meant, reverberated throughout my life. The upset child inside me thought someone should make it up to me for what had happened. My life subsequently became a series of inappropriate relationships as I started looking for comfort in the loving arms of the powerful, protective father figure I longed for, the one who would love me and stand up for me, no matter what. Inevitably I felt betrayed when they could not live up to my expectations, and I made them pay when they abandoned me!

Many years later, after my first divorce, I became entangled in a relationship with an abusive man who repeatedly beat and humiliated me. To escape from him I moved twenty times in the space of a year, but he always found me again. No one, including the police, could stop him. I felt powerless to save myself.

Finally I found myself in a parking lot at 2 a.m. screaming desperately at God, “Why? Why? Why are you letting this happen? What have I done to deserve this? If you are there, why don’t you stop him? Please help me!!” Since silence was my answer, I decided there was no God.

One day this man burst into a rehearsal and threatened me in front of everyone. The director asked him to leave, then slipped me a note that said, “When you are through with this self-destructive relationship, you have a friend.” Though I took another beating from this abusive man for receiving that note, I never forgot the director’s act of kindness. But kindness wasn’t enough. What I needed was a miracle.

On Christmas morning, it arrived. Exhausted from running away, I was sound asleep in the wheelhouse of an old tugboat I had purchased to hide in. Suddenly a majestic voice shouted my name as clearly as if there was someone standing right in the room, commanding me to wake up.


I jumped out of bed, my heart pounding, afraid the bad man had returned. But it wasn’t his voice. It was much more powerful than that; a clear authoritative voice, loud enough to wake me from a deep sleep. Shaking, I peered around the dark room, but there was no one there. I looked outside the window at the dock. No one there either. It was eerie. I was living in a houseboat under a bridge, and I was hearing voices. I thought I must be going insane. I dressed, got off the boat, and spent Christmas day in the reassuring presence of friends.

When I returned that night, I found the roof of my tugboat floating beside the dock. My boat had sunk. I realized that if I had stayed asleep, I would have drowned alongside my cat. I felt as vulnerable and alone as that little girl in the woods. Yet, surely someone or something was looking out for me. Perhaps this was my miracle. Deeply grateful, I realized that the Voice awakening me that morning had saved my life.

That night I dreamed of a jaunty riverboat gambler, dressed in a black hat and a silver-trimmed black shirt, smiling at me. The next day in my friend’s kitchen, I came face to face with my old colleague, the director who had written me the note. I gasped. He wore a black silver-trimmed shirt and black hat!

Gazing at him, I heard a distinct, audible Inner Voice state,“This is the man who will be the father of your children.” I recognized the same firm, protective Voice that had warned me to wake up and get off my boat before it sank! Since this omniscient Voice had saved my life, I trusted it. Astonished and elated, I immediately told the director what I had heard. He smiled and said, “That’s O.K. I like kids.”

Sure enough, that brilliant, kind and creative man did become the father of my two beautiful girls. But after thirteen years of marriage, we divorced in a bitter custody battle over those same lovely children. Deeply disappointed in love, I found myself alone again, a single mother fighting for survival, still longing for someone to watch over me.

Thirteen years later, my children raised and on their own, I heard that familiar prophetic Inner Voice speak to me once again. In a conversational tone, like that of an old friend, the Voice suggested I go to Spain!”

Minutes later, I was astounded when I met a beautiful woman in the farmer’s market and she asked me “Are you going to Spain?” She proceeded to tell me how I would meet the love of my life in a café in Barcelona. Holding her hands cupped in front of her she told me he would “hurry home so he could hold me in his hands and we would bask in the warmth of our love.”

I believed this was a message from God, so I flew to Barcelona and waited in cafes for my dream lover to show up. He didn’t. Dismayed, but undaunted, I decided that if he were meant to, he would find me. Never one to miss a chance for adventure, I decided to tour Spain. In search of adventure and romance, I crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco. I secured a guide and a camel and set out into the Sahara Desert. On my third day, I was so filled with joy at the sight of the sunset over the dunes that I burst out singing in a language in which I only knew one word “Yerusalem.” I truly felt it was the Voice of God, singing through me, guiding me on towards Jerusalem. I felt an exquisite sense of finally being Home.

That night as I lay in the desert sand counting the shooting stars, a wave of sudden energy coursed through my body. Goosebumps erupted in its wake. In that moment, I realized I was looking at the Face of God. I had finally found what I had been looking for ever since that day in the woods. Here was the joy, the beauty, the grace, the peace, the stillness, the safety, the wonder, the innocence and the freedom I had been trying to recover ever since that magical moment when the butterflies landed on my head.
The realization flooded my entire being that I do have a Father who has always stood by me. He does love me very much, and he is truly wealthy! That was not a lie. It was a fact. I felt deeply blessed in that moment as I realized that I have never lost my innocence. I have never been abandoned. I have not been betrayed. This truly loving Presence, this strong protective Father, has been there all along, just waiting for me to “Hurry Home.”

“Now, when people ask me, “Did you find the love of your life in Spain?” I answer, “Yes, I found my Beloved. I fell in love with God.”


Shelora Fitzgerald attended the National Theatre School of Canada. She holds a Bachelors and Masters of Education from the University of British Columbia. She is a registered clinical counselor and teaches high school English and drama. She can be reached at www.shelora.com.