Thursday, February 4, 2010

Their story... Chapter 2....

For the story from the beginning, here is chapter 1...

Chapter 2 of their story begins with my mother, now a young woman and living in Oslo, Norway, far south of her childhood home of Tromso, and in training to become a nurse...

During this time, a great revival was breaking out in Norway and people were coming from miles away to be a part of the outpouring of God in this country. My mother knew all about it, and wasn't a christian yet...

Her father phoned her and suggested she go and see what was happening in these meetings. (He was a christian). She went one night out of courtesy to him, and couldn't get close to the doors there was such a huge crowd. But even from down the road, she could hear the singing and said she felt like running away fast! She sensed that something was different here.... So she reported to her dad and hoped that would be the end of it. No... he phoned her again and said he had talked to a good friend who was one of the organizers of these meetings, and he had promised to get her in if she would come one more time, which of course, she did...

She said when they got inside the front door, the singing of the thousands of people gathered there absolutely overwhelmed her. She had never heard people sing like that and she just wanted to get out of there! Instead... her father's friend lead her right down to the front where they found a spare seat! God had already begun to prepare her heart for what was to come...

She left when the service ended, and went back to her dorm room and as she tried to sleep, she began to weep and was so full of fear that she was shaking. She said that even her bed was shaking. She was under deep conviction and she knew she had to do something. Finally, she told her room mate ( who was a christian) that she had to pray. They got on their knees, (Christina, her room mate told her later she had been praying all night for my mother...and my mother invited Jesus into her heart and her life... just like ours, was never the same again. She was filled with peace and a joy she had never experienced.

She immediately phoned her father who was way up in northern Norway and through her tears of joy told him, "I've done the same as my sister" ( her sister had been saved earlier.. Her dad said "Tell me one more time, Reidun, tell me one more time. So she bawled again and told him one more time.....

Her heart was changed that night, dramatically and instantly. One of the first things she began to notice was that 'the old and sour nurses didn't seem so old and sour anymore'... My mother felt a kindness toward them and she couldn't stop telling people what had happened. She said many of them just looked at her and rolled their eyes, as if to say 'oh no, another one who's gotten religion'... The whole country was talking about this revival. The evangelist's name was Frank Mangs. But, his name wasn't important, it was what God was doing that was different! People were ignoring the clock and were completely caught up in listening and wanting to obey God... These were not 'normal' services. When real revival comes, there is a desire for hearts to get right with God no matter what it takes. Thousands were saved during these great revival meetings that went on for months in Norway.

... after she completed nurses training, my mother went back home to Tromso, to help manage her father's general store in their town...

Tromso is built on a tree covered island, 70 degrees north of the arctic circle, on the coast line of Norway, with snow capped mountains which were the perfect challenge for skiers and climbers. Tromso is so far north that for 2 months of every year, they do not see the sun, so there are 2 months of 'darkness' in the winter, and then 2 months of sun that shines day and night in the summer. They call is 'the land of the midnight sun". During the dark months ('Morketiden') it could also be beautiful, with the northern lights, 'Aurora Borealis' that lit up the black sky. During these times, they often went skiing even during the night time, and the full moon added beauty to the snow white landscape. In Norway, they all ski... sometimes before they can walk... and my mother was a bronze medal winner in cross country skiing during the Norwegian Olympics, several times.

Their family home had a third floor, which they had named 'the prophet's chamber', since so many visiting ministers would stay there when they preached in her town. My mother began to go to that room every day, to read her Bible and pray. Her desire to know God was deep and growing. Her interests had changed, and she had a new joy and peace, and a love for the Lord that changed everything for her.

Those days in that third floor room, lead her to her life's verse: Matthew 6:6 "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly". (KJV)

She began to be challenged by God's commands as well as His promises.

... One day, shortly after arriving home, she had a letter from a friend in Oslo who wrote..."If you had been here now, you would have lost your heart"... and she went on to write about "a young American preacher' whom the Lord had used with such great blessing, and who had stayed in their family home. My mother quickly wrote back to her friend telling her how glad she was that she wasn't there, so she didn't have to 'lose her heart'. Furthermore, she added... she wasn't interested in any preacher. She had met so many preachers in their home, and she said "they were all poor, and they all wore such baggy pants"...

To be continued... (I promise, the next chapter won't be this long!)...


Cindy said...

I enjoyed reading this! Looking forward to more of your family's story.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

"The prophet's chamber..."

Just have chill bumps running up and down me right now, the witness of the Holy Spirit within. I want one... a prophet's chamber... a place I can retreat to and know that with the retreat comes the voice and teaching of God!

Looking forward to part 3 of their story. So very beautiful. Why? Because the story of "grace"--of the exact moment when our lives move into kingdom inheritance--well, that never grows old for me. I love to read about those "moments" in the lives of others.

Thank God for revelation and light piercing through our dark nights, setting us free... calling us home!

Praise Him!!!!


Deborah Ann said...

Love the funny ending to this one. Loved the rest of it too. I used to spend hours up in my room with God. But after the kids all moved out, I sit in the living room for my God time. I have found that no matter where I go to seek Him, He is faithful to show up and sit with me.

Andrea said...

Wish I had a prophet's chamber..sounds wonderful.

Just Be Real said...

Sonja, your family history is so very interesting. Thank you for taking the time to share. Blessings dear one. Thank you for all your encouragement as well.

Andrea said...

Sonja, I have been so blessed by my visit with you this morning! What an awesome moment it must have been for your grandfather when he heard your mother's voice of salvation! "Tell me one more time." Unforgettable!

And, yes, I am so moved by the "prophet's chamber." We all need that place, a closet of prayer all our own where we meet God and He searches us to the core of our hearts and souls.

Thank you for sharing your parent's faith and God's miraculous grace! It is such a privilege to know you and to know your mother and father through "Everything by Prayer" and your posts.

Blessing to you, dear friend! I appreciate you and value your friendship. Your sharing has changed my heart and life.

Much Love,


Felisol said...

Dear Sonia,
Wonderful hearing about your mother, her fight and Jesu' victory.
Frank Mangs was Swedish preacher and founder of the Pentecostal Church in Sweden. He was very charismatic, had many major revivals and looked like a well off American business man. I still have one of his books..
Your mother must have been a superb cross country skier, winning in a country where the competition is hard and the standards high.

My father and his three brothers also were cross county skier and jumpers in a lower level.
As they one by one became Christians in the thirties, they gave up athletic competition.
It was in fact expected of them.
They were great family men and also Sunday School teachers and would always take the children out for skiing and swimming.
Even held services up in the mountains around Easter time, when the hills were crowded of skiers.

Imagine, I never have been so far north as Tromsoe. Never have experienced the Morketid either.
I intend to take the most spectacular cruise of Europe sometime, along the Norwegian coast from Bergen to Finnmark with Hurtigruta.
Maybe we'll meet??
Please do inform when chapter 3 is ready.
I'm looking forwards to hearing about the young American in Oslo.
From Felisol

Crown of Beauty said...

Hi Sonja,

I didn't know you were also Norwegian, and it's such a joy to know. Your stories are so beautiful to read, and I do appreciate your having shared them on your blog. Will be surely waiting for Chapter 3.

I can hardly wait to read it.Your mom is very pretty, and Tromso where she was born seems such a beautiful place. Aurora Borealis, land of the midnight sun...these are just things I have read about in books, and now here is one more blog friend (Felisol is one whose blog I always read) who can tell me more about that beautiful land.

See you again soon!


Rebecca said...

What a heritage you have - I look forward to the "rest of the story".

GwendolynKay said...

I loved every word. You do write so beautifully. This is a love story I am so enjoying reading, the love of your parents for each other, the love of your grandfather for his daughter and of course the love of our Lord working in people. Looking forward to more.
Blessings and love ,

Lisa Smith said...

even though i know what's coming, i can't wait. i love legacies!!
and, i think God had a lesson for me in this one:
During the dark months ('Morketiden') it could also be beautiful, with the northern lights, 'Aurora Borealis' that lit up the black sky.

Lord, may I see your light in the dark, dark months. amen

Territory Mom said...

Oh my, I got chill bumps too. I love this. I want a prophet's chamber. Beautiful

Debbie Petras said...

Sonja, how did I miss this part 2 of the story? I know I read the first part. I loved reading about your mother and how she became a Christian. You know, it provides such hope to me for my loved ones as I continue to pray.

I'm so amazed at the parallels in our lives. Only the Lord would bring two blogging sisters together. :) We must be related.

My grandfather's sister became a nurse and worked for years in Trondheim. Her name was Haldis and died a number of years ago. But she loved the Lord.

I can't wait to read part 3 of your love story. BTW, love this song too. How beautiful!

Love you,

Anonymous said...

This is soooo good, Sonja. Please let me know when you do the next chapter. We have such great memories of visiting Aunt Maren. Love you lots.
Darlene and Harold

Farmgirl Paints said...

Sonja this was so beautiful. What an amazing story of how your mom met her Savior. Revival indeed! Thank you for sharing with me.