Last week I had coffee with a long time theatre friend and fellow sister in Christ, Taffy Geisel. We shared jokes, laughter, high times, and even our low times. All with colorful cups and hand made place mats that her kiddos made her long ago…that she just can’t part with.
Taffy is a theatre director has directed various shows in the area for different companies, several of which she has written. She is the mother of Joey and Caroline Geisel and the wife of Howard, and they are all amazingly gifted in the arts. I know them because of the shows that my husband has been in with Taffy and Joey, but they hold a deep place in my heart for the love and encouragement they have always given Kyle. The Geisel family holds a very special place in my heart….they are a treasure.
Me: First of all I just want to honor you. I just want to say thank you for just being wonderful and ministering to both Kyle and I as a couple but for ministering to Kyle and just loving on him. You are such a great encouragement and genuine. When you say that you are praying we know that you are praying. It’s real. We can trust you. So thank you for having coffee with me.
Taffy: Do you need a refill?
Me: Oh, no. So, if you could have coffee with anyone dead or alive who would it be? And why?
Taffy: I have no idea…Lord, who would I have coffee with? Jesus is the trite answer.
Me: You can answer Jesus.
Taffy: Man! I sure would love some face to face time with Him. He is very real to me and the older I get the more real He is and the veil really is thinning…now…that I am past 60…the spiritual realm is becoming much more real…sometimes more real than the physical realm. So yeah…it would be Jesus…I feel Him all the time, but I want to SEE Him. I want to use the senses in my body and see and touch and know Him. To have that one on one contact with all five senses…
Me: That would be awesome.
Taffy: It would. Do you mind if we pray?
Me: Yes…I meant to pray but forgot.
Taffy: Lord, we bless your name. You are holy and You are good. You are awesome and kind. Lord you promise to be here where two or more are gathered in you name and that you are there also. So we know that you are here. So Holy Spirit and Lord Jesus and Father God we invite you to be among us. Would you speak through us, with us, around us, beside us…would your purposes be accomplished today. Would your word go forth today. Would everything we say and do honor you, build you up, and lift up your name. Would it be truth. Lord would you bless Megan today…mightily. Holy Spirit just hold her close. Holy laughter would you come upon both of us….because that is one of your sides Holy Spirit and it is one that I really love to operate in, so you are welcome. We love you Lord and we thank you for this precious time of being together. Bless her babies and thank you that you are always there with them. You are always their protector. Thank you…in Jesus name. Amen.
Me: Amen. Alright, what is your story?
Taffy: Of coming to the Lord?
Taffy: I grew up Methodist. My dad left when I was 9. My parents divorced when I was 10. He raped me before He left. That night was the last I saw him for months and months, so you can imagine the trauma that that left behind. Of course that effected me…mightly…from that point on. I was ugly and unwanted…I had a spirit of rejection. I didn’t know that they were divorcing…I didn’t know where he went…so I had to assume that it was because of me. So that was tough. Went through regular school. Went to college…then became sexually active trying to find that male approval. Broken men were the only ones that were ever interested…so that heaped rejection upon rejection. I came to saving knowing of Christ in college….my freshmen year. I said, “Yes, Jesus, I want You to be Lord.” I went to Baylor…God got me a scholarship there. It was exactly where I needed to be because as a Methodist I didn’t know anything about being SAVED. I went through with my 20’s…I was saved but I didn’t know what to do with it. I taught drama…worked mega hours…80 hours a week. Went back…got my masters…I went back to Baylor…came back here and got a teaching job and ran in to a friend of mine from high school that had come to know the Lord and was Spirit filled. She just started pursuing me. For me…to have a fellow actor…that knew the Lord is what turned the trick. Oh..there is somebody like me….not just Jesus as Savior but Jesus as Lord. Through her I was able to say yes, Lord, I surrender….You are my King…You are my Lord. Then I was filled with the Holy Spirit…spoke in tongues…found Shady Grove. Had an incredibly vivid dream that was two sided. One of it was just the words, “chapter 61 is for you.” Well the only book in the Bible that has 61 chapters is Isaiah…”The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” Then the list of things to do which is what I desire to do…don’t know how I walk in the “heal the sick” “bind up the broken-hearted.”…but I desire to.
Me: That is my verse lately. The Lord gave me that verse too.
Taffy: AMEN!!! (laughter)
Me: AMEN!!! (laugher)
Taffy: High five sister!!! Powerful stuff because it is for all of us. Because we are like Jesus and that is what He came to do. That is what we are to do. This whole new world of…people could be healed? And delivered? It was a foreign language. So…then Howard came along. I know that we had gone to the same church so…um..I was doing a play back at my old church for the summer. It was a play God gave me called “Holy Fire”…it was the first play I wrote. He came to know the Lord and got baptized in the Holy Spirit…we got married and started going to Shady Grove…and have walked with the Lord through hard and through good. We will be married thirty years in December.
Me: That’s a big one!!
Taffy: Yeah. It’s huge!
Me: Y’all should do it up big this year.
Taffy: We should! But neither one of us has been able to figure out what to do. I just need good ideas.
Me: That is amazing!!!
Taffy: It is. Also, God has healed me of the rape.
Taffy: Through the Set Free Ministries. When I was going through I found an envelope of pictures from High School and I realized that I thought I was ugly but I wasn’t. I was cute. That for me was stunning revelation. God has given me new eyes to see myself. Wow…I was okay…I am okay…I am more than okay.
Me: Did you ever have reconciliation with your father?
Taffy: No, but He did come to know the Lord in the last few years of his life. But yes, the Lord has healed and delivered all of that. He CAN heal from traumas as big as that.
Me: Ah man…He is so good. So I asked the Lord…”What do I need to ask Taffy?” And some of these questions are weird…but the Holy Spirit said, “When did she begin to see me?”
Taffy: It happened after I said that you are my Lord. I then stepped into this spiritual realm where I see angels, I see demons…or images of them. Not necessarily their whole face.
Me: Not physically in the room.
Taffy: Right. But sometimes I see them…physically in the room. More frequently I see angels as balls of light.
Taffy: I have a wedding picture somewhere…that has balls of light with us on the stage. It was just incredible because I knew that the angels were letting themselves be seen. They were saying hello we are here we are around this wedding of husband and wife. A real affirmation to me.
Me: What gives you hope?
Taffy: The goodness of God. More and more He is revealing His goodness and His kindness. I think that being so wounded in childhood it was very hard for me to believe that a father could be good. I think that is true for everybody. If you have had a difficult relationship with your father to believe that God is good…and that He is safe…and that He is not going to hurt you…when you have been devastated…it is very hard. It has been just with in the last two or three years actually saying…oh…He really is kind. All of these things in my life have been “kindnesses” because they show me more about Him. But that is the advantage of old age…I have more track record to look back on. I can see why He allowed this…hard thing in my life…because the fruit is here. The fruit is infinitely better than anything I could have created…or anything that would have happened had the hard thing not happened.
Me: I love that.
Taffy: Yeah…aging is wonderful. (laughter) The body thing not so much. The knowing Him more and more…
Me: Yeah…your knower.
Taffy: Yeah…it’s only been in the last 6 months that I have begun to realize that I am a well-loved child of the King. It awes me more every time that it pops into my head.
Me: Man….it’s gonna be a party in Heaven when you get there. It is gonna be awesome!!
Taffy: Yes…It is going to be AWESOME! Have I told you my most recent well-loved child of the king story?
Taffy: I had a show open on Friday. The costumer on Wednesday tells me that I need a wig. I don’t shop well with my physical limitations so I went online…found a wig…ordered it and said…Lord, I am a well-loved child…and you can send this wig whenever you want to, but opening day is Friday…so Lord because I am your well-loved child would you please get it to me on Friday so I can wear it to opening night?…but I will be fine if not if you have other plans…we are good. I really meant it…instead of the stress stuff. And at 10 o’clock Friday my phone dinged while I was at work and said that the package has been delivered. When I got home from work there it was on my front porch. It was just a sweet Abba Father saying “I love you, you are my well-loved child…and I am in control of UPS.”
Me: (I cackle laugh.) We need to remember that during this Christmas season. Jesus is in control of UPS.
Taffy: (still laughing) He IS in charge….He could have said you need to wait a week to get this thing.
Me: And that would have been fine…He would have been working a character issue in you. (still laughing)
Taffy: It would have been fine. But to be able to wait in peace was a tremendous triumph.
Me: That’s my next question…what gives you peace?
Taffy: Peace is the resting in Him. The more and more I know that I AM the well-loved child…that He IS safe….He is NOT going to hurt me. Life may hurt me…but there will be good. He promises to work things all together for good. He stands good on that promise. I can testify.
Me: Life hurts all of us…believers and non-believers.
Taffy: Life is going to hurt. Nobody told me that! (laughs) I’m going to tell my children that….sorry guys…life hurts.
Me: I had a revelation about that the other day. I just said it is hard to be alive here on this earth…and I was like…man…how do you approach that to your kids? I thought…if they can make it…if they can be conceived…make it through the womb…they have already been created strong enough to handle this life. It’s hard…but they can do it. They had strength knit into them. I don’t know…anyways…I have to munch on that one a little bit longer.
Taffy: I like that. You’ve lost at least one baby.
Me: Yes. And it doesn’t mean that that baby wasn’t strong.
Taffy: Right. We have no understanding.
Taffy: I had four miscarriages, and a still birth. The still birth was the hardest thing I have ever walked through.
Me: How long was it?
Taffy: She was full term. The placenta tore on delivery so she suffocated on the way out….it was so hard.
Me: How are you with that now?
Taffy: I am still sad about it but it doesn’t rip me apart. I spent three years in terrible grief…poor Joey. Thank Heavens God was there because I could barely function for three years. Terrible grief. Threw my Bible away…”If that’s the kind of God you are, I want nothing to do with you.”
Taffy: I went and got it back before the trash went out (laughs)…and thought…oh…I can’t do this without You.
Me: What brought you out of that?
Taffy: A couple that prayed for me. They said the grieving has gone on long enough. I was able at that point to say…okay…let’s move on.
Me: (silence)….that just gives me another perspective on that. Maybe what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me was that there is another level….kids are strong no matter how the Lord has knit them together…some are purposed for here on earth and some are in heaven praying.
Taffy: They are serving in Heaven…that I know.
Me: They are just up there interceding, praising….just this little army of baby saints…praising and worshiping.
Taffy: She would be 25…and she was a red head.
Me: What is her name?
Taffy: Eliza…which means consecrated to God. I had the name before she was born.
Me: I’m sorry you had to go through that. A miscarriage was hard enough but that is…
Taffy: It was beyond words. (begins to pray) Lord, would you help us to deal with those that are grieving. That we would come along side them and not wound them…in Jesus name.
Me: What would….because I like to make people laugh, and find that often times I put my foot in my mouth…and for me personally…traumas in my life…they will throw a scripture at it and walk away.
Taffy: Right…scripture band aids.
Me: Right…scripture band aids. Yes! I am trying to learn, so…what Do I want in times of grieving? What would have helped you?
Taffy: One of the things that saved me was a friend…named Wynne. Who every week would invite me over to her house. She had kids the same age as mine. She would just let me talk…and didn’t have a comment…no judgement…no scriptures. She just let me talk.
Me: That has been the best thing…validation.
Taffy: What you are going through is hard.
Me: It’s hard and you have a right to cry your guts out…if you don’t it will make the grieving process longer. You just bottle it up.
Taffy: And God worked all those things for good. Since I couldn’t have anymore children we adopted Caroline. God brought tremendous good to us through her. Did you have a name for your baby?
Me: I didn’t. We found out and then miscarried the next day on Kyle’s birthday. It was a rough weekend. It was about two years ago this past September. We had just found out and had gone on a celebration date planning how we were going to tell our families and the next day I went to a meeting…a theatre meeting…it was in Saledo…long drive. I was by myself and I started miscarrying at the meeting. I drove the whole way just pleading with the Lord to please stop it…please stop it. I was shaken and I was calling people that I trusted. The next day I knew that it was official. I was like…I am not going to let the enemy steal my joy on this. I was not in denial. I wasn’t saying…no this isn’t happening…I’m going to go to church…and be righteous. It wasn’t going to church to be righteous…I was going because I wasn’t going to let the enemy keep me down…so I went to church…and worshiped as best as I could. I would say that in the grieving moments worshiping the Lord that there is something very intimate and sweet. It is just like the Lord is saying, “Baby, I know you’re hurting yet you are still loving on me.” And it is just beautiful to Him…that was a very face to face day. I felt the Lord just holding me up that day…it was great….I mean…it wasn’t GREAT. It was a bad day, but it was a beautiful day too. So…anyways…speaking of beauty. This is a weird question but…..What is the most pleasant sound to you?
Taffy: (prays) Lord, what is it?….The thing that pops into my head is my children’s voices. If I looked out in the back yard I could still hear them on swings. I can hear them at various ages…from babyhood all the way to adulthood. Yeah…because I never thought that I could have children…having muscular distrophy. They were miraculous to me. I LOOOOVVVEE being a mom.
Me: I’m sure they would say you were a great mom.
Taffy: …um…no….they would tell you all flaws. (Begins laughing) They survived in spite of me…because of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Laughs again)
Me: What makes you happy?
Taffy: Laughter…..well…kind laughter.
Me: What makes you sad?
Taffy: Seeing other people in pain…and still bound and not set free.
Me: What is the greatest lesson that you have learned and how did you learn it?
Taffy: One of them would be that I can’t live without Him. I learned that through Eliza’s death. Even after throwing away the Bible I thought…oh…I may be furious with You…but I cannot live without You. I can’t take another breath without You…I can’t get out of bed without You. That has proven true. I can NOT live without Him…contact everyday.
Me: For me, multiple times a day. Especially when I am folding clothes….I don’t like folding clothes. Okay, this is the last question…Can you tell me about Jesus?
Taffy: Jesus…best Friend, Lover, Listener, Hugger…the Way the Truth. He really IS the Way…He really IS the Truth…He is ALL truth. He really is life. I don’t know how anybody does life without Him…without His comfort and strength. He is always there…in the dishes, and the laundry and the toilet scrubbing.
Me:…and the diapers.
Taffy: Yeah, and the diapers. (In a sing songy kind of way) I don’t have to do diapers.
Me: Go ahead…gloat. (laughter)
Taffy: I did my diapers.
Me: You did your duty?
Taffy: I did…my duty. (we have a good laugh) Would happily change some more.
Me: I will bring Levi to you about three times a day….So…Jesus. He is in everything….
Taffy: Yes…I talk to Him all the time. I guess it is a little odd because I will start talking to Him in the midst of a conversation with somebody else. I know that I am talking to Jesus…the other person doesn’t necessarily. He is just that real to me. I know that He is there all the time and that He listens all the time. It is the advantage of being older.
Me: Well…and you get away with it too because it looks eccentric.
Taffy: I know…I can get away with so much more now.
Me: I think I might adopt that…just talking to Jesus. Oh man Taffy…thank you so much for having coffee with me.
There is so much to glean from this coffee date but what has dropped into my spirit is this…”I am a well-loved child of the King.”
I am a well-loved child of the King. I AM a well LOVED CHILD of the KING!!!! During the days following my coffee date with Taffy I would repeat it to myself. I would hear the voice of the liar say things like, “He won’t hear or answer your prayers.” “You aren’t worthy of meeting with these women of faith.” “You have nothing to say.” “You should be ashamed of yourself.” “There is only death in the future.” “You aren’t a good mother….you are ruining your kids.”
Quickly, I would stop…SHUT HIS MOUTH, and say….NO….I AM A WELL LOVED CHILD OF THE KING….BE QUIET!!! It is our heavenly love note that Christ daily gives us. He is so sweet; However, we MUST speak it over and over ourselves daily….and remember who we are and who He is.
Here I am talking about identity in Christ again. It is our foundation…it is our soil. Whatever it takes….break up that soil. Let your identity get rocked in who you thought you were and replace it with your true identity….His child. From this place of revelation and rawness…the real work can begin and we can actually be used for the kingdom and reflect His glory. Christian, if you don’t let your identity get turned up side down, healed, renewed, and rooted in a firm identity of who He is and that you are His….then chances are you will never be truly delivered from sins that plague you, wounds that hurt you, and you could possibly be very religious….in order to earn your righteousness or feed the hurts.
Repeat…”I am a well loved child of the King.” Repeat it until it breaks your heart and the Lord comes sweeping in……because He WILL show up.