Sandy Sasser

"Sandy's Rescue!"

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A Story of the love of Jesus in 2006, towards sister Sandy Sasser.

Introduction by Pastor John:

With Jesus’ help, Sister Lou Finch persuaded her friend Sandy Sasser to start attending our home prayer meetings in early January of 1989. The Lord had spoken to Sandy on New Year’s Day and had brought enough conviction on Sandy to get her serious about surrendering her life to him. Knowing Lou’s wonderful testimony, Sandy called her and told her what she had heard from the Lord. After attending our meetings for a few months, Sandy was filled with the Spirit on April 23rd that year. Afterwards, she served the Lord with gladness for fourteen years, and then a remarkable event took place. On February 20, 2001, the Lord took us all by surprise during what we expected would be an ordinary mid-week prayer meeting. Over the space of more than three hours, Jesus poured out a fullness of the Spirit on this little body of believers which can hardly be described. Waves of mighty glory passed through our souls, laying out on the floor virtually the entire congregation three separate times. To this day, if one of us mentions “February 20th”, everyone who was in the meeting that night knows what is being talked about.

Two people who were especially touched in that meeting were those two close friends, Lou and Sandy. For at least an hour, they lay on the floor under the power of God, unaware of their surroundings and unconcerned with anything but the place Jesus took them. One of the first things Sister Lou said when Jesus gave her back to us and she came to herself was, “Y’all, you can leave this world!” And after she had testified to what Jesus did for her, Sandy came to herself, too, and she added a sobering message from the Spirit.

After that experience, God began to use Sandy in special ways to convey messages to the body. Like the prophet Agabus, who acted out a message before he delivered it (Acts 21:10-12), Sandy would yield to the Spirit and at times, do something unusual during a meeting, but then would give a message in the Spirit which would reveal the meaning of what she had just done. One example that meant a lot to me was the time the Spirit had Sandy silently walk forward and then backward for a good while, with the style and effort of a professional long-distance walker. Fast forward, and then fast backward. Over and over. Finally, she stopped. And soon, she gave a brief message about how backward from God’s ways the thinking of mankind is. It is a lesson that I have used many times since then to explain to people the right ways of God. The word of the Lord that lived through Sandy made her a very valuable part of our assembly. Her child-like willingness to let the Spirit use her any way it wanted endeared her to all who had a mind for Christ. I was thankful that she seemed to feel a special tenderness toward my ten-year old son, Elijah, and they shared some happy times. Our children need all the holy influence they can get, and I thank God for the good people my children have known.

Sandy’s story, however, took a sorrowful turn, and strange as it may sound, by 2006, Sandy had lost her intimate connection with the Lord. She still attended every meeting, but she contributed almost nothing. Some among us, sad to say, did not even notice how dead Sandy had become, but to others, her worsening spiritual condition was cause for great concern. Much took place that is not in the following account of Sandy’s rescue by Jesus, but there is no way that all of it could be recorded – on earth, anyway. Some of the events that took place were so miraculous that they would fit into the Bible, and we thought that, for the glory of God and His Son, we should tell of how Jesus “the great shepherd” sought for and revived Sandy, one of his little lambs.

Pastor John’s account:

The night of July 21st, 2006, I was in my office, which is in my home, and Sister Sandy came in. After years of being close to her, it had become unusual for her to come visit us. I had actually been so burdened about her that I was about to suggest to my wife, Barbara, and my secretary, Amy, that we should go see Sandy at her house when I heard someone come in the front door and saw that it was Sandy. I was hopeful that the Lord had put it on her heart to come so that we could help her. But we soon realized that she had come to my house to tell us about a “revelation” she said God had given her. After she had talked for a while and it became clear she had no real “revelation” from God, I interrupted her and said, “Sandy, don’t you want to be happy and free the way you used to be?” To which she answered, “I am.” But we all, including Sandy, knew that wasn’t true. And I said to her, “No you’re not.” And then she said, “I’m happy, but I am not free” (which made no sense at all). Then without giving another thought to what had just been said, she continued as if it had never been said at all, “I just came over here to tell you what I got from the Lord.” Then she went on to teach us the things she came to teach us. I was left stunned and disappointed.

Sandy’s dullness and lack of fear of God frightened me for her. I knew that if in time past, I had pleaded with Sandy and given her the warnings from the Lord that I had given her over the previous six months, she would have taken it in and sought the Lord. But now, my words rolled off her heart as if they were not worth considering at all. The next night, Sandy returned to my office, and it seemed that everything had changed. In just a few minutes, she was on her knees weeping and confessing that she was far from God. She told me that the things I had said to her on previous occasions had been right and that she had mistreated Amy’s parents, Brother Earl and Sister Betty, and so forth. She seemed to be sincere, and I began to feel some excitement for her. Amy was in my office, and Amy thought that Sandy was sincere also. She even began to cry, hoping Sandy at last was repenting. Barbara came in, and I asked Amy to go downstairs to ask Brother Gary Savelli, who lived with his wife in our downstairs apartment, to come help us pray for Sandy. When Amy and Gary came back, we all prayed for Sandy, but while we were praying, I began to feel that something was wrong. Sandy stopped praying and started talking and talking about her situation over the past two years, about how she had been wrestling spirits, etc. etc. She talked so much that I began to wonder why she had really come. And after a while, I had to get up and step away from her because things weren’t feeling right. I wanted to find a way to get her to leave so that I could hear from Jesus about what was happening. Jesus gave me the idea of suggesting that she go next door to see Brother Earl and Sister Betty and talk to them about the way she said she had been treating them. She was very willing to do so, and quickly left. Gary, Barbara, and Amy left also, and I was alone in my office.

When I learned that Sandy had come to visit us, I walked into John’s office and I saw Sandy crying. But then, when we prayed for her, it didn’t help relieve the burden that we all had been feeling for her. I was glad when John gave her a reason to leave the office because I felt that if she left with something to do, she would feel better.

After we had prayed for Sandy and she was gone, John came downstairs and told us that Sandy had an ulterior motive for acting as if she was repenting in the office earlier that evening. He said that Sandy was trying to persuade us that she had repented so she could get us to invite her on our trip the next day. When he told us that, I couldn’t believe it. I laughed and said, “No way! . . . Really?” Pastor John was so sure of it he even wondered if we would get a phone call from Earl and Betty saying that Sandy had asked if she could go. But that didn’t happen.

The next day, on our way to the beach, my mom and dad were talking in the car about their visit with Sandy, and they told me that Sandy had said to them as she was walking out the door, “I wish I could go with you to the beach.” Earl and Betty themselves had been invited, so they could not invite her, besides, Pastor John had just rented a big enough place for a few people to work on his new book. When I heard that, I grabbed my phone and immediately called John and told him. I was astonished. He said “I told you so.”

Pastor John:
When any of us wander out of the way of holiness, we do things that are disgraceful and embarrassing. A chief benefit of being a part of a close-knit family in the Lord is that if we go astray, they can see it, even if we don’t, and they can work with Jesus to get us on the right track again. This part of Sandy’s story may not be pretty, but it is not included to put her down. It is included so that you can see how you look, and how I look, when we wander off the right path and become confused. What we witnessed in my office on the night of the 22nd was a special kind of evil. Not many of God’s children

could act as humble and desperate and repentant as Sandy acted that night because not many have ever been as close to God as Sandy has been. Sandy was using her knowledge of God, her knowledge of how true repentance sounds and looks, to deceive us and get what she wanted; that is, an invitation. It gave me a very bad feeling when Jesus helped me see what she was doing.

Some time in the Fall, probably in October, someone gave me an old Kathryn Kuhlman video, and I invited everyone to come to my house to watch it. Sandy was among them. When Sandy watched this video, we later learned, it awakened some deep feelings in her heart that reminded her of her own personal relationship with Jesus, which was now gone. But in the meantime, she continued to wander like a child lost in the woods, drifting further from Jesus all the time. By November, Jesus began to really stir the body up to pray for Sandy.

Token Embry (Pastor John’s daughter):
On Sunday, the 12th of November, I dreamed that Granddaddy (“Preacher Clark”, Pastor John’s father) was in a meeting at our old house in Henderson, NC. And he stood up and said, “How much do you hate sin?” Some people there didn’t feel like it was right to hate. Other people really hated sin. The feeling was basically like, “Raise your hand if you hate sin.” He paused long enough for everybody to decide their feelings, and then he said, quietly but very seriously, “That’s how much you love God.” I didn’t tell anyone about this dream because I kept debating whether it was significant enough to tell.

Amy: (Tuesday morning, November 14th)
Brother Ray Lawson had cleaned out his closet and sent us some old cassette tapes that he had no more room for. We placed the boxes of tapes by the door in the meeting room for people to pick through. I was looking through the box of tapes again before we threw them away, and I found the tape of the incredible February 20th, 2001, meeting in which Sandy began to be especially blessed by God. I took it and held on to it. Several weeks went by, and the Lord put it on my heart to listen to the whole tape. When I listened to it, it was so good to me that I sat down and typed out everything that the Lord had said to us all through Sandy and Sister Lou Finch. I gave the tapes to my parents, Earl and Betty, to make a CD of just that portion of the meeting because I wanted Sandy to hear how she used to sound.

The next morning, Tuesday, November the 14th, I carried the CD and the typed message of that meeting to Sandy. As I was walking out the door that morning, I asked Gary to pray for her that being reminded of that experience would do something for her. I took the CD to Sandy that morning and told her I had something good for her, and to please listen to it. That day, we waited and waited for some response from her, hoping that something from the February 20th meeting would touch Sandy. We heard nothing. Everybody was concerned, and the Spirit was putting Sandy on several people’s heart and keeping them awake during the night praying for her. By now, it had become obvious that Sandy’s spiritual condition was getting desperate.

Barbara: (Tuesday evening)
Julie Prater came over to visit and we had a discussion about Sandy’s poor spiritual condition, and I felt that I had something good to tell Sandy. I tried to call her at 9:30 pm, but Sandy was not home. I was excited when I called Sandy that night, and it was disappointing not to be able to talk with her. It’s much easier to pass something on when it is fresh from the Lord. After that, I felt even worse about Sandy’s condition and spent much of the night awake, crying and praying for her.

Then, the next day, Token told me her dreams and my mouth dropped open because they went right along with my feelings as I was talking with Julie. Jesus chose this way to communicate with Sandy what I had wanted to tell her, but more perfectly. Here is Token’s testimony of what she was feeling the night Jesus gave her these series of dreams. Token had not been involved with the events concerning Sandy up to this point. Here is her account and the rest of the dreams from that night.

This night in my bed, I was not praying for Aunt Sandy and not aware that others were during this time. I was seeking God to hear from Him. I wanted to live and function for Him. All I can do is stay ready and available in case He condescends to touch me/us. So, I humbly told Jesus I missed feeling him close by and I felt like He was a thousand miles away. Never really thinking He would really do anything more. But He DID that very night!!

This next dream Jesus gave me had Grandaddy in it again, but this time, with a very serious warning, expressly for Aunt Sandy. It woke me up and it was such a serious warning for someone that I looked up to as an elder in the faith that I was afraid to tell the dream. Then, Jesus immediately gave me another dream in which he let me know I was to tell the dream I had just had.

I found out the next day when I told my mother the series of dreams that I had, that she had been up praying in the night for Sandy. When I heard that she had been praying for Sandy and others were too, I was relieved to find out the dreams I had that night were from God and right on with mama’s feelings! I feel like Jesus, “got me on the team” so to speak, by giving me these dreams. Here is my account of both of the dreams: Night of 11/14/06 I dreamed again that we were going to our old house for another home prayer meeting, but no one was there yet except my husband, Jason, and me. This time, Granddaddy was sitting in the front room in Uncle Joe’s recliner, and Jason and I were sitting on the floor. Again, he began to talk about sin, and his message was out of this world! I couldn’t wait to wake up from my dream and tell Daddy because I knew this dream was significant enough to tell. Then, in the dream, Aunt Sandy walked in and sat down between Jason and me. Granddaddy looked at her and said, “You are like N----” (a mother Sandy knew who always put her child before God). Aunt Sandy replied, “Yes I am. I even get up on a pedestal like she did, and feed my flesh like she did by thinking, ‘Well, they didn’t give me a hug when they saw me, [so they don’t love me].’”

I woke up about six that morning, and grabbed a notebook, and wrote the above down, hoping to remember the part of Granddaddy’s message about sin, but I couldn’t. I laid in bed, thinking, “Who am I to tell a dream like this?” This dream was so big for Aunt Sandy, and I just didn’t know how it would look for a young person like me to tell such a thing. Then, I fell back to sleep and dreamed again.

In this dream, I was in like a shop or art gallery. Aunt Sandy walked in, and when she walked up to me, we stood face to face. The same piece of paper on which I had just written down my previous dream when I woke up appeared between us! And then, the ink on the paper ran off the paper into a glass. The liquid in the glass was light purple, and Aunt Sandy took the glass into her hand. We both understood that she was supposed to drink it all.

At that point, I woke up, stunned. I knew then that Jesus was insisting that I tell Aunt Sandy this dream….but I was praying for us both. 11/15/06 Wednesday AM I emailed my father, Pastor John, the dream and he forwarded it to Aunt Sandy.When I told my mother the dream, she was amazed that the dream was conveying to Sandy what my mother had wanted to tell her the night before when she couldn’t reach her. She was also very thankful that God had heard her prayers and the prayers of others that night for Aunt Sandy. We waited all day for a response from Aunt Sandy about my dream but there was nothing.

Pastor John: (Wednesday PM)
After our home prayer meeting that night, Barbara and I went to see Sandy and took my sixteen-year-old son Elijah hoping that Sandy and Elijah’s former close relationship would stir up old feelings in her. Elijah was concerned about Sandy, too, and wanted to go with us to see her. When we arrived at her apartment, Elijah sat on the couch beside her, and in spite of how close she had been to him since he was born, Sandy was so consumed with her own life and troubles that she hardly spoke to him at all. She had not been around him for many months, but didn’t even ask him how he had been doing. She rambled on and on about carnal things, especially about some of her relatives, with whose self-inflicted troubles she had become entangled. When we tried to speak about things of the Spirit, what she had to say was empty. We didn’t stay long. All three of us left even more burdened for her.

Barbara and Elijah went out ahead of me and I had a few moments alone with Sandy. She seemed to have no idea how much she needed to be rescued by Jesus. The Lord had given me a picture of Sandy; in it, she was a little girl, lost in deep dark woods. She could hear my voice, but she could not understand what I was saying. This lost little girl could not even tell which direction the voice was coming from. My last words to her when leaving were from the Lord. I said, “Sandy, Jesus is not going to give me your answer. He wants to give it to you himself. It would make him jealous if your answer came from me, or from anyone else. He loves you too much to let someone else be your hero.” I could tell she did not know what I was talking about, even though she would nod her head and say, “Yes, that’s right.”

The night John, Elijah and I went to see Sandy, I was filled with hope because we were carrying so much love into her house! Then after we sat down and talked, things were so “flat” that our love just couldn’t penetrate. I did talk to Sandy about a separate issue, and she confessed that she had told a little “white lie”. So maybe that was a small breakthrough. I knew John was saying good things to her on the way out, and as it turned out, what he told her laid the ground work for the day Jesus came to her. As for Elijah, he was so quiet that it made me sad because the visit was no relief for him. How can you explain to a young person why he isn’t loved anymore by someone who used to love him very much?

Amy: (11-16-06, Thursday afternoon)
Feeling the burden for Sandy after Pastor John, Barbara, and Elijah came home from their visit with her, I stayed up most of Wednesday night reading through Sandy’s old emails and dreams. They were the ones that she had sent to Pastor John for everyone to read during the years after the February 20th meeting when she was so full of the Spirit. I had printed them out and kept them all. One of her dreams in particular struck me, and I sent it to Pastor John. When he read it, he forwarded it to Sandy with this note attached:

What are you going to do, Sandy? You are sleeping, and you are almost gone.

Subject: Volunteering to go back to Egypt - March 25, 2003
Bro. John:
I had a wonderful, sobering, thankful dream last night. After visiting with my mother on Sunday, I came home with a little bit of a heavy, but very thankful spirit from the visit.

After going to bed, I dreamed that I had volunteered to be “put to sleep” (as you would do a pet). It was not revealed in the dream why I had volunteered for this. Nevertheless, I was rearranging things and making ready for that time. I had made arrangements for all my possessions and was getting ready for that day. In the dream, I was walking down a sidewalk (I could feel and taste the fresh air blowing). I was looking around and feeling all the beautiful things in my life. I was looking at each and every thing as it passed by and saying over and over about each thing, “Oh, I love that.” But as I looked at all my surroundings, I realized that I would never see any of it again if I took the step that I had volunteered to do (be put to sleep). I could feel the LIFE or DEATH feelings. There was a woman in my dream that represented a mother figure (it was not my mother) but a mother figure. When I realized how much I loved all the things around me - the feeling of LIFE - I put my arms around this person and I said, “I can’t do this. I can’t give up LIFE!” Then I started rearranging everything back the way it was supposed to be. And I woke up. I went to take my morning shower and while I was getting dressed, the Lord opened up that dream for me:

This is what He told me: When we keep going back to our “old past”, we are “volunteering” to die, to be put to sleep. Jesus is serious about grafting us into the family of God and giving us a “new past”, and that is where He wants us to live! He warned me that when we do go back to our old ways, we take on all the old feelings and thoughts that go with that old past. And that it is a dangerous step not to stay full of His Life in us. It can “put to sleep” the LIFE feelings of God. And if we stay asleep too long, it can become permanent. Our joy, our peace, our LIFE will fade away. Oh, what a wonderful thing it is that Jesus has done for us! Given us His Life! Given us a new past! I do not want to “volunteer” to go back to Egypt. Why? Why would anyone want to go back? We are obligated to God and He has done great and mighty things for us. Misery is not part of His new past! Death feelings are not part of His new past! Just LIFE, sweet, sweet LIFE!!

I do not want to go back to my old past or anyone else’s. I just want LIFE and Jesus! Thank you, Jesus, for everything! Thank you.

Sister Sandy
(Sandy did not respond to Pastor John when he forwarded her this old email.)

Pastor John: (Thursday night)
A small group who were very concerned about Sandy went to visit her, but Sandy was not home and did not come home that night. Pastor John called her cell phone after 10 o’clock and found out where she was. The tone in her voice let him know that she felt ashamed about where she was and what she was doing. Sandy told Pastor John that she would come visit him the next night, Friday night. Some people stayed up most if not all of that night crying and praying for Sandy, including Sister Lou, Brother Gary, and others. At the same time, others were having troubling dreams or feeling concern without knowing that Sandy had gone astray, mainly because she was always at the meetings, even though she was not contributing much.

11/17/06 Friday afternoon
We learned that Jesus had given a sister in Louisville a dream about Sandy. This sister knew nothing, as far as I know, about Sandy’s poor spiritual condition or what we were going through with Sandy.

She dreamed that she was rolling across the floor under the power of God and she asked a brother there, “Don’t you want to roll?” And he did. A lot of people were rolling, and as they rolled, the spiritual problems in their lives were falling off them. And she asked Aunt Sandy, “Don’t you want to roll?” But Sandy cowered away. So, the sister asked her again. But again, Sandy cowered away. Then, the sister asked Sandy a third time, and that time, Sandy cried out, “I can’t help it!” And she began to roll. Jesus was trying to encourage us to believe that he was going to rescue Sandy. In Token’s dream, Sandy was going to drink the answer to her problems, and in this sister’s dream, Sandy resisted the answer but still gave in to the love of God and did what she needed to do. In about twenty-four hours, she would do it.

Friday evening
Several people who loved Sandy were waiting at my house for her to come because she had told me she would stop by for a visit that night. Some of these people had just arrived from out of town, and they, too, were concerned about Sandy. We waited for hours, but Sandy did not come.

At about 9:30, I decided to drive the short distance over to Sandy’s house to see if she was okay. As it happened, she was just pulling into her driveway. I talked with her for a few minutes and asked her if she still planned to come over to visit and that there were people at my house waiting for her. She admitted that she was not planning to do that. So, I told her goodnight and went back home, and told everyone who was still there that Sandy was not coming. Here are several accounts of what happened after that.

Betty, Sandy's dear friend:
That night in the apartment when we were gathered around, feeling deep hurt and sorrow for Sandy and us, I felt that even though she had changed her mind and decided not to come to John’s house, she needed to be here with us while we were feeling these feelings. It felt as though if she didn’t get a touch tonight, we would lose her forever. Our hearts were breaking at the thought of not having Sandy around anymore. She was such a big part of our lives! We loved her messages from the Lord and her innocent child-like nature. Life just wouldn’t be the same without her. How could we live this wonderful life in Jesus without our sweet Sandy enjoying it with us?

At one point, half-serious, Pastor John said, “Somebody ought to go get her and bring her here.” I asked Pastor John if I could go get her, and he said, “Yes.” I shot out the door as quick as possible, taking Brother Billy, who was visiting from Louisville, and my husband, Earl, with me to bring Sandy over. As we drove up to her house, my heart was pounding. Once inside, I told her that some of us were at Pastor John’s house and that she needed to be there with us. So, after a few minutes of waiting for Sandy to get redressed, we brought her over. What took place after that was amazing.

There was no small talk, and we were soon gathered around Sandy, praying for her. After praying for a while with no breakthrough, John was down on the floor in front of Sandy. He took his hands and placed them against her cheeks and looked directly into her eyes and said to Sandy, “Believe me, or die!” The whole room got quiet, if I remember correctly. We all gathered around her, and the Lord speaking through Brother John was wonderful. I can’t remember in detail too much after that except Sandy went home and came back to John’s the next morning. That day was to be a story within itself.

When I needed rescuing in 2001, Sandy had been there for me. On the weekend, in 2001, when God healed my heart, Sandy was singing a song, and when I had heard it, I felt like it was an invitation from God to leave everything behind that had troubled me and follow Jesus. But then, sometime between 2001 and 2006, Sandy drifted away from God and was not the Sandy who had sung the song in 2001 which touched my heart so greatly.

The Friday night in 2006 when I was visiting Pastor John, we were sitting in his house wondering where Sandy was, and how she was doing. Pastor John said, “We ought to send someone there and get her over here.” I replied, “I’ll go.” Then Sister Betty said, “Come on, Billy, take me over there.” I didn’t have a car with me at the time, so Brother Gary said, “Take mine.” Off we went . . . Sister Betty, Brother Earl, and me to Sandy’s apartment in Gary’s car.

We pulled into the drive at Sandy’s apartment, and I had my hand on the door handle when Aunt Betty said, “Stay in the car, Billy. I’ll go up myself and try to talk her into coming back with us.” The hot air balloon I was riding in to help Sandy turned to a lead balloon, and it crashed in the car’s floorboard. It was like God saying to me through Sister Betty, “Hey rookie, this is too big for you . . . just drive.” As Sister Betty got out of the car, I looked at Brother Earl, who was in the backseat, so I could learn how to behave in a situation like this. He was as cool as a cucumber; “iceman”. I could tell this seasoned vet had been in situations like this before. Sister Betty finally came out, with Sandy, and said to me, “Let’s go!” Off we went to Pastor John’s house . . . Commander (Sister Betty), Iceman (Brother Earl), and water boy.

Pastor John:
When Sandy came in, there was no small talk. People’s hearts were hurting too much for that. She sat down on the couch, and I began telling her again that her spiritual condition was growing desperate. I told her that Jesus was not going to allow her to function in the body with the gift he had given her on February 20th as long as she continued on the road she was on. It was a precious gift and we loved it and missed it. I told her that it was time for her to grow up, that Jesus was demanding it. I told her that the little “white lies” she was always telling were not acceptable to God. And that He was demanding that she stop manipulating people just to get what she wanted. Everybody was telling Sandy how much they missed her and loved her, and we began to cry and pray and pour out our hearts to God for her. Sandy also knelt on the floor and was crying and praying.

Debbie T.:
I was seated on the couch near Sandy as she “collapsed” on the floor, avoiding looking at anyone in the eye. Pastor John was praying, and talking to her, and she was avoiding him, too. Finally, Pastor John picked her up from the floor, made her look right into his eyes, and said: “Hear me, or die!”

What a powerful moment that was! I could see her, as well as Pastor John, and it was as if the very Lord Himself was looking at Sandy through Pastor John’s eyes, and speaking through him, “Hear me, or die!” That was Friday night, and Sandy went home.
Donna N.:
On Friday night, the question, “Where is Sandy?” was on many people’s hearts. It was so heavy in the air that many people were feeling it who knew no details about Sandy, and couldn’t help but ask the question.

Sandy came into the downstairs apartment at Pastor John’s house where everyone was gathered, but she was a lost little girl. Even though John talked directly to her, she could not hear what was being said to her, or even begin to understand the importance of it. It was as if he were trying to talk to someone that was in a very deep sleep, and she just couldn’t make herself wake up. At one point that evening, we and Pastor John prayed for Sandy. She still couldn’t come back to life. Pastor John told her, “Sandy, listen to me or die!” Even with that stern warning, she could not make herself wake up spiritually.

On Friday night, I just couldn’t feel as hopeful as I had on Wednesday because it felt like Sandy was running from her help now. When we realized that, contrary to what she had promised, she never intended to come over that night, I was very disappointed and afraid for her. It was a relief when I knew she had agreed to come with Earl, Billy, and Betty. The prayer that night was very serious as John told her again that she was lost and only Jesus could find her, and he pleaded with her to get in touch with Jesus. Then, when he told her, “Believe me, or die!” it had an authority from God with it, and I felt like time was running out for repentance. It was hard to see her leave that night, but it was comforting that Lou was going home to spend the night with her. I asked them to come for breakfast the next morning, using food as a reason to stay in touch.

I remember missing the real Sandy, week after week, as she sat in the meetings, knowing that although she was physically there, her heart was clouded and confused. I missed hearing her testify about God and what He was saying to her.

The night that Betty and the others went to Sandy’s apartment to bring her to Pastor John’s house, I was one of the ones downstairs waiting for her to get there. Pastor John was describing her to us as a little girl who was lost in the woods, and my heart was touched by how Jesus was calling to Sandy through Pastor John. I will never forget Pastor John and Sandy being face-to-face, and him pleading with her to listen. Whew!

Lou, Sandy’s oldest friend:
I remember going to John’s on Friday night, where some of us had gathered to try and help Sandy. I remember each one telling of how they felt Sandy was lost so deep in the forest and would never find her way out without Jesus. I can’t remember the exact words that were said that night, but I do remember how strong the Spirit was speaking to her that night through John. One thing I remember John saying as he looked straight into her eyes was, “Believe this, or die!” I can’t remember much else that was said. When we got ready to leave, Barbara asked Sandy and me to come back Saturday morning for breakfast.

That Friday night, Sister Lou took Sandy home and spent the night with her. Elijah was so moved by the prayer that night that he went upstairs and wrote a song for “when Aunt Sandy gets better”.


Pastor John – 11/18/06 Saturday morning:
On the weekends that we have our scheduled prayer meetings, it is not unusual to have thirty or even forty people at our house on Saturday morning. Some are there to eat breakfast with us, but most come in right after breakfast to sit and talk about the things of the Lord. This Saturday was no different. Before many people came, we were eating breakfast, and I had to get up from the table to answer a phone call in my office. It was Sister Natalie Embry from Louisville, KY wanting to discuss a private matter with me. Before our conversation was over, I turned to see Lou and Sandy coming into my office. When I saw Sandy, my heart sank. It didn’t feel right for her to be there because, as I had told her a few days before, Jesus was not going to give me her answer; she was going to have to get it from him.

Lou walked out to go eat breakfast, and I suppose that Lou left Sandy with me because she didn’t know what to do with her, either. Sandy was like a “Jonah” on our ship and we were not going to get any relief while she was with us. Sandy and I talked, but it was awkward. I was resisting a pressure I felt to give her spiritual counsel because I knew Jesus had not given me any counsel for her, and I did not want to get in trouble with the Lord by trying to be Sandy’s hero. Eventually, we got up and went on into the dining area. People were starting to come in. When I sat down to finish eating my breakfast, the food was cold, but it didn’t matter because I didn’t have an appetite with Sandy there. It just wasn’t right. But what was I to do?

About that time, Brother Darren had come in and wanted us to pray for his hand. Darren’s hands are very important because he is an anointed musician. We were very willing to pray for his healing, but when we tried to pray, there was no Spirit in it at all.

Disappointed, Darren went on downstairs and I thought he was leaving through the basement door.

People were in my living room and dining area, enjoying one another’s company, but there was something about Sandy’s presence that put a feeling of awkwardness in the room. About that time, the phone rang in our little library beside the living room. I got up again from the table and answered the phone. It was Sister Natalie again, but this time calling with a message for me from Jesus.

Natalie’s experience with Jesus – Saturday morning in Louisville KY:
I woke up that Saturday morning feeling – how was I feeling? It was one of those days you wake up feeling like you need to get alone with God. I had called Pastor John earlier that morning and told him an experience that God had given me, and I had asked about Sister Sandy and how things were going. We didn’t really talk a lot about Sandy, but he did tell me that people were starting to gather at his house, and things felt so odd that morning, that he didn’t really want them there. And so, in that first telephone conversation I just told him about my experience with Jesus and I was feeling really good in the Lord and just wanted to get alone with him. So, after we hung up, I went out into my shop and started giving God thanks. I guess just having a thankful prayer is the right way to say it. I was not praying for Sandy. I remember a brief thought passed through my head, and I said, “God help Sandy,” but I was not really praying for her. Then, a spirit of prayer fell on me, and I was so much enjoying the thankfulness of the Spirit. It was really strong, and I was just giving thanks. And then, my prayer – oh, how can I say it? What happened is that the Spirit changed, and it started shaking my body. The spirit of prayer changed, the language I was praising God in changed, all of a sudden, and I became afraid because I knew what that type of Spirit was. It had fallen on me before. I told God, “I’m the only person here,” because I knew this was for somebody’s correction or warning. And then, God starting speaking to me. And He said, “Tell John Clark that he is not to get in my place, between me and Sandy.”

It was as if I was seeing everybody sitting around at Pastor John’s house as they sometimes do. I was there in Spirit, seeing this picture when God starting speaking to me. And then, He added this, “You tell Sandy that she is to go home and get alone with God.”

At that point, I became even more afraid because I didn’t think I could call and tell Brother John that. And so, I said at first, “God, I don’t think I can do that.” And then I said, “God, I CAN NOT go and do that” because He kept speaking to me. As soon as I said, “I CAN NOT do that,” God stopped the Spirit from flowing!

It was absolutely silent. I could feel no Spirit. God had left me. I remember saying, “God, what just happened?” I shook myself and was talking to myself, saying, “God, what just happened?” And then I realized that I had said, “I can't do that.” Then I said out loud, “Ok, God, I’ll try this out.” I mean, when the Spirit stopped, it really stopped!

Nobody can know what that feels like unless it happens to him the way it happened to me. It just stopped. So, I picked up the phone and called Brother John, and I timidly said, “Hey, Brother John.” (Oh, I remember this conversation.) And he says, “Yeah?” And I said, “Something just happened. I want to tell you about it.” So I started rehearsing what had just transpired. And so, after I told him what had happened, I was still feeling afraid because, how can you call your Pastor to say things like this? But, when I managed to get out the words that Jesus commanded me to tell Brother John, I slowly said, “Brother John, was that the Spirit?” To my surprise, Brother John excitedly answered, “Yes, it is!” And then he told me he was going to take care of it immediately. After I spoke with John, I sat there and pondered for a minute. Then God told me that I wasn’t allowed to be afraid of anybody but Him. We don’t get to choose. When God chooses to visit us, it is not our choice. He just shows up, and we must do as He says.

I just went and put in a CD that had Brother Darren’s song on it, “I Can Make You Move”, and the Spirit of thankfulness returned and stayed on me a long time, and God made me move! Later, Amy P. had called me from Pastor John’s house, and it felt good to be able to tell somebody about what had happened to me. The next night, I also talked to Sister Lou, and in our conversation, I realized that even though I hadn’t obeyed God right away, God never made me feel bad about it. I learned that God can turn the Spirit on, and He can turn it off. How do you explain it? How do you say that in words? He can start it up, and He can stop it. But He never beat me up. I didn’t know before then how kind God was. It wasn’t a hard thing. I had disobeyed him for a moment, out of fear, but He still blessed me and didn’t make me feel bad because He knew I was afraid. I was not used to having a pastor that you could talk to like that. And another thing I learned too, even more than I already knew, is that Pastor John knows when God speaks. Pastor John listened to me, and he really believed my experience was from God. His doing that has given me more confidence to not be afraid of when the Spirit moves me. It truly is a fearful thing when God speaks and shakes your body that way.

So, there we were, in a room full of people at Pastor John’s house when God spoke through someone from another city, telling Sandy to go home and seek Him. He was jealous. There was nothing any of us could do or say to help her; that was God’s place. When Pastor John hung up with Natalie, he said, “It’s just like Brother Junior says, an answer is better than a question.” Then, John told us we all needed to go home, and Sandy needed to go home and get alone with God. When John told us this, Sandy bowed her head and started to pray, right there at the table. When Pastor John saw that, he said, “No!” Several people joined in and told her she needed to go home. I was standing in the living room behind Sandy emphatically pointing at the door as if to say, “Here’s the door. Here’s the door. Go home!” Lou helped Sandy up and took her back home that morning, and everyone left.

When I took her back home, Jim and Diane saw us come back and asked what was wrong. Sandy was crying. Sandy told them she just wanted to come back home and that she didn’t feel well, and something about Darren having a new song that made her cry. I was provoked because this is one of those little white lies that she was always telling. I said, “Sandy, that is not true!” Then, she told Jim and Diane that John had sent her back home and told her to wait for Jesus to show up.

Donna N.:
I remember coming in to the Clark house, and it was much quieter than normal for a Saturday morning. Sandy was there, along with several others who had come over, but there were not as many as usual. I felt like I wanted to know how Sandy was doing, but yet I felt very out of place. Pastor John did not have anything from the Lord for Sandy, and there we all were. Not long into the morning, Natalie called Pastor John, and she told him the message the Lord had given her while she was alone praying in her shop. Sandy needed to go home. The Lord was waiting on Sandy at home, and He had her answer.

John was greatly relieved, and as soon as he got off the phone, he told Sandy to go home because the Lord was waiting for her. But to our surprise, Sandy did not get right up and go. I don’t remember exactly how, but Pastor John and Lou got Sandy to go home so that she could get alone with God.

All that day, people would ask, “Have we heard anything from Sandy?” “No” was the response. But that was a good thing. That meant that she really was being quiet, and she was alone with the Lord.

When Lou and Sandy came in to eat, I watched, and there was still no breakthrough from the Lord for Sandy. Then, when it was clear that she needed to go home, I had to question myself if I had done the right thing by asking them for breakfast. The Lord quickly comforted me, making me realize that they had to come so that Sandy could be told to leave; Sandy needed to be at home alone. That was hopeful!

Pastor John:
As soon as we got “Jonah” off our boat, to my surprise, I learned that Brother Darren had not gone home. When I saw him at the bottom of the stairs, I called him up, saying, “We are ready to pray for you now.” A sweet Spirit of prayer for Brother Darren fell on all of us who were present, and we were able at last to pray for Darren as we wanted to. It was obvious to me that as long as Sandy was in my house, Jesus was not going to bless, but when God got her where He wanted her, He gave Brother Darren what he needed. Everybody got relief when Jesus got Sandy alone.

Nobody heard from Sandy the rest of the day or that night. Jesus, at last, had her.


Amy (11/19/06 Sunday AM):
I never will forget this day. When Sandy walked in the door of the basement room where we have our home prayer meetings, there was an immediate relief. She told us with tears that Jesus had brought her to the meeting that day. What sweet relief it was to see our Sandy restored to us! I remember the only thing I could do was sob from the depths of my soul. Sandy fell into Pastor John’s arms and I heard her telling him some wonderful things Jesus had said to her, but all I could do was feel and cry. It was a moment we had all been waiting for.

At one point, I remember being on the floor beside Sandy (I wanted to be close to her), with my face buried in the carpet because what was happening with Sandy was so holy, I didn’t feel as if I could look at her but only feel the feelings of relief and joy to have such a wonderful event happen to us. I began to speak in tongues in a language that I had never spoken in before, or since. I felt as if I was on holy ground, watching holy events. I could see how the elders in heaven that John saw in Revelation could not stay in their seats, but continually fall down and cast their crowns before the Lord because of the holiness they feel. It was a marvelous event.

On Sunday morning, I was in the meeting room in Pastor John’s basement, waiting for everybody to come in. I didn’t even know that Sandy had walked in the door. But all of a sudden, there was a feeling of something happening in the Spirit. I turned, and there was Sandy, walking into our gathering, just at the edge of the circle of chairs, when the Spirit of the Lord fell on her in a very real and overwhelming way. She didn’t even make it to where she usually sat before she was on her face on the floor. From that point on, all I could feel was that this was a very holy thing happening. It felt as if we were all in God’s court, and He was showering down His great loving mercy on Sandy, and it was a holy place to be. It just poured and poured with such a powerful feeling. God was restoring our Sister Sandy. Several of us on the far side of the room fell on our faces before the Lord. What was happening was holy. It was so holy that you didn’t even want to raise your head to look around. It felt like rain pouring down out of heaven. I don’t remember any words that were spoken, but we all knew Sandy and Jesus had made a connection, and it was glorious. I thank God for His mercy on all of us in restoring our beloved Sister Sandy.

When Sandy left our house Saturday morning after breakfast, I had another solid day and night of prayer in my heart for her. At the beginning of the Sunday morning meeting, I kept watching from across the room for Sandy to come in the door. Finally, she was there! And, she didn’t have to say one word because I could see all over her that she had heard from Jesus. It was a beautiful sight to behold. The whole room felt a relief. Sandy made it just to the first row of chairs, and John came over to hug Sandy, and the scene between the two of them was very special. I heard John repeat what the Lord had shown Sandy: “It’s not hard-seeking; it’s heart-seeking”, and I knew that Sandy had gotten in touch with the love of her life, Jesus. The Spirit was so strong that Sandy had no choice but to fall on her knees and then on her face. I went down on my knees, too, beside Sister Donna. What was happening was so holy, I couldn’t even look very much. Jesus had granted Sandy repentance.

On Sunday morning, when Sandy came into the meeting, I happened to be standing at the basement door, and I opened it for her as she came in. We looked into each other’s eyes, and I said, “Jesus came to you, didn't he?” I could see life in those eyes! She answered, and said, “Yes, he came!” She hugged me, and it felt so good. Later as she was on the floor testifying to all Jesus had done for her, the feelings of holiness were so real and present that I remember closing my eyes and not being able to look at her. It was such a deep experience that she had had. It felt so holy.

Pastor John:
While Sandy was on the floor, Elijah surprised us all by picking up a guitar to sing a song that he had written during the night. He told everyone with a very humble and loving attitude that he had written the song to sing on the day “when Aunt Sandy gets better”. Then, from across the room, Sandy, with her face still on the floor said back to her dear Elijah, “Sandy’s better.” The song was so full of the love of God that it took our breath away.

Barbara’s account of Elijah’s song:
When Elijah sang this song to Sandy, I heard my son singing in a sweet little voice, slightly shaky, and his heart so full of the love that he has for people. It made me feel very still on the inside.

It’s Morning Time Again
by Elijah Clark

It’s morning time again
The flowers in the broken dew
Are opening for me and you
Because... It’s morning time again.

Verse 1
By the shining
Of God’s only Son All but lighted
Is the darkened horizon.


Daytime is time created
For our eyes to see with
For our hearts to feel
The warmth from the shining Son

Verse 2
A little voice calling
From the sky so blue
Said that voice, “My child,
I’ve been looking for you.”

Alternate Chorus:
It’s morning time again
The Spirit’s moving through
Opening me and you
Because... it’s morning time again.

Verse 3
And I looked up
To see the King
Smiling down
On crying me...

(Chorus except last phrase)
(Alternate Chorus, repeat last phrase 3x)

Little Girl Lost

(A Story of Rescue and Restoration by the Love of God)
by Sandy Sasser

In Deuteronomy, Moses tells the children of Israel before they cross over into Canaan’s land, “. . . . beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage”. And in Revelation, Jesus says this, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” So how do you “forget the Lord” and leave “thy first love”? It happens not all of a sudden, but gradually over time, just as it did with the children of Israel. Sometimes it is as simple as too much time spent on the job, or more emphasis on a hobby than the Lord, or the “cares of this life” that cause you to trade sweet fellowship with Jesus. By forgetting the LORD and following after other things, God’s children leave their first love; they forget the God who led them out of bondage and made them free.

In November 2006, I found myself lost in a place where my feelings and I were dying . . . and I did not know how to get out. I could not “hear” and I could not “see”. The details of how I got there are not as important as the love story of how Jesus rescued me. Suffice it to say, I had forgotten the Lord that brought me out of bondage and had made me free; I left my first love and the sweet feelings that are found only in the arms of Jesus.

I had been drifting for a time. I was present with the saints in body, but I was not functioning in the place that Jesus had prepared for me. I was not aware of how many of my brothers and sisters felt burdened and were praying for me. Jesus even sent dreams and visions to some. They each have wonderful testimonies of how Jesus was using them at that time, but for this writing, I will tell of my story of God and how Jesus restored my heart and brought me back to my “first love”.

Friday, November 17, 2006
I had been at work that day and had gotten home late. I had picked up some Brunswick stew to take to Pastor John and Barbara’s house the next day because I had heard some folk from Louisville might be coming in, but I had not planned to go down and visit at Pastor John’s that night. Around 9:30 p.m., as I pulled into my driveway, Pastor John was riding by and pulled in behind me. He asked if I was planning to come down to the house, and I told him that I was tired and probably would not. I believe I gave him the stew at that time to take home with him. I had no idea that folks had been praying for me and wanting to rescue me that night! As I mentioned earlier, I was present in body but spiritually I was almost gone. Just a short time after Pastor John left, I heard a knock on my door. It was Sister Betty, and she was there with the news that Brother Billy from Louisville was in town; she asked if I wanted to come down to Pastor John’s and visit with him for a while. When I went downstairs with her and got in the car that was waiting, Brother Billy was sitting in the driver’s seat and Brother Earl was in front with him. I still didn’t realize that Jesus had sent them to “take me hostage” and bring me down to Pastor John’s house.

When I arrived, they took me into the downstairs apartment living room. As I walked in, the first person I saw was Sister Lou. I didn’t know she was coming into town, and when I saw her, I knew that this was going to be more than just a visit. Still, my feelings had become so numbed over time that I did not know what to say. I remember feeling a real soberness in the room that night. I sat down on the sofa beside Pastor John. Everyone began to tell me how much they missed me and loved me, but I was not able to take in the sweet love they were pouring out to me. Then Pastor John loved me in a way only the love of God can – he gave me what I needed. He told me, among other things, that I was “almost gone” in the Lord. I did not have enough life in me to even understand what he was telling me. I felt numb. But, I will never forget what he told me before he left the room that night and the look in his eyes as he spoke. We were both on our knees facing one another. He took my face in his hands and looked straight into my eyes and with sobering judgment said: “Believe me or die!” At that moment, I felt the seriousness of it all and knew it was Jesus talking to me. But still, I did not know what to do. I remember feeling that it was not time to hug everyone but time for me to realize that my soul was in the balance and that I desperately needed Jesus. But, still I was so lost in the woods that I did not know where to go or what to do. After all was said and done, and my brothers and sisters had prayed for me, Sister Lou took me home and spent the night with me. As I now look back on that night with the saints, it was the greatest outpouring of God’s love a family could ever show to someone in my spiritual condition.

Saturday, November 18, 2006
Sister Lou and I went to Pastor John’s for breakfast. I felt no relief, but I still wanted to go to breakfast with everyone. Looking for an answer that was yet to come, I went into Pastor John’s office that morning. He told me that he did not have my answer. I was going to have to seek God for the answer. The others were sitting around the table eating, and I joined them. Trying to be polite, I just sat and listened. I was really hurting inside. I did not know where I was or what direction to go in.

Sister Natalie in Louisville called Pastor John as we all were sitting around the table. At that time, I had no idea of what the Lord was doing with Sister Natalie, but when Pastor John hung up the phone, he told me that I needed to go home; Jesus was waiting for me! Jesus had visited Sister Natalie with a vision. He showed her a vision of me sitting in a room full of people, but he wanted me to go home and seek him. When Pastor John looked at me and told me that, I bowed my head and began to pray! But they would not let me pray, they wanted me to obey God instead. Everyone responded by ushering me out the door to go home! Sister Lou took me home and left. As I walked up the stairs to my apartment, I was so burdened in my heart. I knew I needed Jesus but I did not know how to get back to the love I had left. But the beauty of the story is, he knew how to get to me!

As I came into my living room, I started to get down on my hands and knees on the floor and cry out to God the way I used to do in Christianity. But Jesus would not let me do the “hard seeking”. So, I just started talking to him, I started “heart-seeking”. What do YOU want, Lord? I wanted to be sure I was pleasing him in everything I was doing. The conversation went like this:

Me: “Lord, I’m hungry. Is it alright if I fix myself a sandwich?”

He softly answers: “Yes, that is alright”.

All I knew to do was keep asking from my heart what he would have me do. After I ate my sandwich, I remember asking from my heart what I should do next. He told me to reread my testimony from February 20, 2001. Earlier in the week, Sister Amy had brought me a typed copy of my testimony from that amazing February 2001 meeting where God had visited us in a glorious way! So, I sat down on the sofa and began reading it. Oh, the feelings that were there! Jesus knew how to take me to those places where once we had walked together! I read the whole testimony, and when I had finished, I sat there quietly waiting for the next instruction from the Lord. And it came. He told me to read Song of Solomon. I began to read, but about half-way through, I became tired and again, I talked to the Lord.

Me: “Lord, I am so tired. Would it be alright if I just take a little nap?”

Sweeter than sweet, He replied: “Yes, that would be alright.”

When I awoke, it was now approaching dusk, just a soft light coming through my living room window, but enough to continue my journey in Song of Solomon. As I again began to read, my heart was aching to find my Jesus. He was leading me down all the paths of feelings and experiences with him over time. As I reached each little place in that beautiful love story in Song of Solomon, I felt the Lord saying to my heart, “Remember this place? Remember this experience and how you felt with me?” Tears were streaming down my face as I felt the sweet feelings of Jesus coming back alive in me. Then, the most miraculous and wonderful thing occurred. I felt the presence of the Lord sit down beside me on my left. As I turned towards him, I heard him say, “Let’s fall in love again.” I did not have to consider my answer to him. I felt my heart melt as I fell into the loving arms of Jesus.

How do you tell of such wonder? My words here can’t express the glorious feelings that were there in that room that day. All I can tell you is that I felt the greatest love, forgiveness, and mercy I have ever felt. Jesus came. And that is what this story is about – that Jesus came and that his love covered me like a warm blanket; that Jesus came that day with no mention of my sin but with enough love to cover over all, and with an invitation to fall in love again. His love led me back to him. What a Savior!

I remember later in the day asking him, “Lord, what exactly did you do?”

His reply: “I conquered that part of your heart that did not believe the love of God.”

Later, I remembered what Jesus had said through Pastor John just the night before: “Believe me or die!” Not only had Jesus restored me to Life, but he had restored my heart’s feelings to love!

Sunday, November 19, 2006
Homecoming! What a wonderful day! All I can say here is that I did not come alone to the meeting that morning – Jesus brought me! And I enjoyed him – we enjoyed each other! – and the feelings were restored to a love story worth telling over and over and over again. Feelings flowed into a beautiful song from my walk with Jesus down the Song of Solomon path.

Fall in Love Again


Awake, my love, awake!
The day begins to break!
Reach out and take my hand
Why don’t we fall
In love again

Alone through streets I cried
I sought but could not find
Until I heard you say
Away, my dove
Oh, come away!

Rise up, my love, and come
The clouds and rain are gone
The shadows fade away
Why don’t we fall
In love again

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

David was speaking of humility in Psalms, and I had to humble my heart before God. I was lost and could not find my way out, but the love of God, the love of His saints, and the love of my pastor brought me back home to Him and the sweet fellowship I had left. Peter said: “Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” What I love about my testimony of Jesus from 2006 is how he used so many hearts to heal one. And he will do it again for his name’s sake and to keep the unity of the Spirit. It is all for his glory.

I received grace from the Lord that November 18, 2006. I desperately needed him, and he came! There is a verse from an old hymn, “Then Jesus Came”, that speaks volumes to what Jesus did that day:

When Jesus comes, the tempter’s power is broken
When Jesus comes, the tears are wiped away
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory,
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay

Thank you, Jesus.
Love, Sandy

Pastor John:
When Sandy came in the meeting on Sunday morning, and wept in my arms, I heard her say, “I found out that it’s not hard-seeking that gets you to God; it’s heart-seeking.” Sandy had her face buried in my chest as she was talking and crying, and I didn’t know how many could even understand what she had said. So, still holding Sandy, I said out loud to everyone, “Sandy said she has learned that what gets us to God is not hard seeking; it’s heart seeking. Our Sandy is back.” She was back with Jesus; she was back in her place; and she was back with us, where she belonged.

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