Rebecca West: Words & Music

Our Online Romance
by Rebecca and Bob West with the Holy Spirit

Chapter 1

The Way We Were


From Bob's Journal...


November 2003. "Our children, Suzanne, David, and Robynne, mailed a beautifully designed invitation to our family and friends with the following information...


"'On December 1, 1953 in West Palm Beach, Florida, Robert Alton West, Jr. and Sylvia Norma Buteau exchanged vows committing themselves to each other and agreeing to share the rest of their lives together. For 50 years they have been Bob and Sylvia West. Please help us celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary by attending a party in their honor Saturday, November 29, 2-4 p.m.'


"It was a joyous occasion! Those who were not able to attend sent cards, letters, and/or photos that were compiled into two large binders for those in attendance to enjoy and for Sylvia and me to add to our treasures.


"With the Lord's help I was able to surprise Sylvia with a gift that I had worked on for a few months. I designed and produced a book full of our family history and photos. After I presented it to Sylvia during the party, those who came to help us celebrate enjoyed looking through the book and remembering as well.


"The title was 'PRECIOUS MEMORIES of our first 50 years together.' But I only had time to put together photos and family history of our first 25 years. I intended to add to it and finish it later, but I had no way of knowing at that point how quickly our lives were going to change." -- Bob



From Rebecca's Autobiography...


"May 2004. I finally agreed to sign the divorce papers that Gary was demanding that I sign." -- Rebecca ("Sunshine on the Mountain", Chapter Nine, p. 43)



From Bob's Journal...


"June 5, 2004. Sylvia became very sick. During the following weeks she refused to go to the doctor because she was sure that she would get well on her own... Sylvia had been healthy and very active. She had always been health-conscious regarding her diet, vitamins, etc. She has never smoked, drank alcohol, taken drugs or participated in any high-risk behavior. She had always been the caregiver. Now she was so sick she couldn't take care of herself... On July 6 Sylvia finally agreed to see a doctor. He put her in the hospital. During the weeks that followed a rare, aggressive, deadly lung disease almost took Sylvia's life several times. After three and a half months in the hospital, most of which was in ICU, she made an amazing recovery. She came home on October 16, 2004, and became very busy. I stayed busy too, trying to keep her safe." -- Bob



From Rebecca's Autobiography...


"November 2004. Marla Stuart, a close friend of mine, was asked to be a special speaker at a ladies' retreat at World Overcomers Church in Carol Stream, Illinois (Chicago area). Jim and Joni DiPalma are the pastors there.


"Marla asked me to go along with her and sing at the retreat. I accepted this great opportunity, but I was still carrying the heavy weight of pain and heartbreak of my divorce. I sang at the ladies' retreat on that Saturday night.


"I was asked to sing in the Sunday morning service. Benny Hinn's brother, Henry, was the special speaker that morning.


"At the end of the service, Jim DiPalma was praying for people and I was one of them. Marla was standing beside me and Joni DiPalma was standing next to me also. Jim came over, prayed for me and spoke these words given to him by the Lord specifically for me. He said, 'I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten -- the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust -- My great army which I sent among you.' I recognized this as the scripture from Joel 2:25, and I felt his compassion for me as he prayed. I will never forget it.


"When Jim laid his hands on me, something broke inside of me and I fell to the floor, weeping profusely. I was so weak in spirit and physically as well. Some of the ladies gathered around me and continued praying for me. I am sure that some of those ladies had been in the same heartbreaking situation. I felt great compassion from them as they prayed.


"God knew that I would be at World Overcomers Church in November 2004 and He gave the words that were spoken over me that day, giving me hope for my future. I held those words in my heart, for they were the promise that I desperately needed."
-- Rebecca ("Sunshine on the Mountain", Chapter Nine, p. 43-44)



From Bob's Journal...


"August 2, 2006. The past two years have been very physically, mentally, and emotionally stressful for us as Sylvia has had one near-death experience after another...


"The good news is that during her hospital stay this time her spinal pain subsided enough for her breathing to return to normal...


"The bad news is that Sylvia has been diagnosed as having Wegener's Granulomatosis (vasculitis), which attacks important body organs, but especially the lungs and kidneys...


"After placing everything else on hold for the past two years to take care of Sylvia, I have become completely exhausted and have been struggling with depression. Our doctor gave me some medication, but that made me feel so much worse that I quit taking it. Sylvia is getting good care. She has a very positive attitude (which is inspiring and encouraging to me), and it is obvious that the Lord is using her to minister to others in the health center...


"Our Lord has taken us this far. We trust Him to take us the rest of the way through this dark valley, and in the process we know that He is changing us and others for the better."



"Thursday, February 8, 2007. We signed on with Hospice. They are helping with pain management and in other ways. Even in her weakened, painful, and drugged condition, Sylvia continues to encourage all whom she comes into contact with. God is still using her to minister to others."



"Sunday, March 25, 2007. This morning at 4:15 two angels who had been waiting at Sylvia's bedside for 12 hours took Sylvia to Jesus. She left me with 54 years of precious memories and a wonderful family..." -- Bob



Sunshine on the Mountain


May 2008. Rebecca's dream...


"I had tennis shoes on and I was running in water that almost covered my shoes. Then I came to a field of tall thickets. I was running so hard that I was out of breath. Running faster and faster and faster! All of a sudden I looked up. Right in front of me was a large mountain covered with beautiful green grass. Directly behind this mountain was the biggest and brightest sun I had ever seen! The sun was so huge it filled the sky! Glowing! Brilliant! Magnificent! I stood in amazement looking at the sun.


"When I awoke from this dream, I was literally out of breath, as if it had actually happened! But this dream gave me hope. I knew that one day I would reach the mountain where the sun would shine on me again. It was in my thoughts constantly, and even now as I write about it, it is as clear in my mind as it was the night I had the dream. I will never forget it. I think we all need a dream to hold on to.


"Although my journey to this mountain has led me through troubled waters and fields of thickets that brought me pain, it has led me to my God-given destiny."
-- Rebecca ("Sunshine on the Mountain", Chapter One, p. 9)



Also from Rebecca's autobiography...


"In 2008 my friend Bette Yates invited me to go with her to North Carolina to visit Bob West. Bette is the widow of Bob's cousin. For some reason I declined. I had traveled to Florida, Ohio, and Missouri to see friends, and I wanted to stay home for a while. I had no desire to travel at that time. (I know now that it was not yet God's timing for me to meet Bob.)


"Bette went to the North Carolina mountains alone to see Bob. After she returned home, she told me that she and Bob were great friends, nothing more. She planned to go see him again the following year in May and she invited me again. This time I agreed to go with her." -- Rebecca ("Sunshine on the Mountain", Chapter Nine, p. 44-45)



Sylvia Returns with a Message for Bob


June 2008. Sylvia had been in Heaven a little over a year. I, Bob, told God that I did not feel at home on earth anymore and I wish He would go ahead and take me to Heaven. Then I quickly said, "Never mind, Lord. I don't want to get there and have you tell me that You took me because that was what I asked for, but You really wished that I had wanted to stay and finish the work You have for me to do."


Then God sent me this dream...


The whole scene seemed to be dingy and drab and a little on the dark side. Not much light it seemed. Nothing seemed to be happening. I was sitting on a bench and just staring straight ahead. A woman I did not know was sitting beside me. She gradually slid closer until she was leaning against my side with her head laying against my shoulder. I did not look at her, but kept staring straight ahead. It was as if I did not know she was there. In retrospect, considering the depressed way I had been feeling at the time, I think she may have been an evil spirit -- the spirit of death.


Suddenly a beautiful young woman came down from above and gently landed on her feet in front of me. She was facing the same direction I was so that I was looking at her back, but she was turned slightly to her left so I could see some of that side of her face and body. It looked like Sylvia, except she looked different. She was young, healthy, and vibrant, and appeared to be 18 years old again!


It wasn't like a light shining from within her, but her flesh color and the colors of what she was wearing was bright and pure and clean, which made her stand out over the drab colors of the rest of the scene. Her skin was pink and her hair was brown. The top part of her dress was red and the bottom was green. Both were bright and unusual, but attractive. The top part covered from above her breasts to her waist (her shoulders were bare). The bottom part covered her waist to her knees. Both were loose fitting. Both seemed to flow in the gentle breeze that surrounded her. And her feet were bare. No shoes.


As soon as she appeared in the scene, I stood up quickly and said, "Sylvia?"


The woman who had been leaning against me flopped on the bench where I had been sitting.


Sylvia turned to face me and said, "Yes."


I don't remember what was said or what happened in the rest of the dream, except one thing. And I strongly remember that one thing. No words. Just Sylvia looking at me and pointing to a big empty area on a book shelf, sending the clear message, "There is more work for you to do, Bob!"


More words to write. More illustrations to draw. More light to shine...


So I continued working on my weekly episodes of "Our Father's Children" (my series of sequential illustrations which provide a fresh look at world history with a glimpse of the unseen forces of good and evil, who are in our midst and affect our lives) and publishing them for the world to read on the internet at http://www.ourfatherschildren.com.



Now Back to Rebecca's Autobiography...


"January 1, 2009. Marla Stuart gave me a word of prophecy at 12:20 pm on this day: 'My daughter, this year revenge is mine, saith the Lord, on all of your enemies and those who have hurt you. I will reward you and restore all to you. You have a faithful heart towards me and I will restore and reward you this year!'


"And then on February 12, 2009, I 'just happened' to e-mail Bob West for the first time and thanked him for inviting Bette and me to his home. I realize now that it was divine destiny.'


"February 22, 2009. 'On this night I dreamed and actually felt the Holy Spirit go all the way through my body! Then in the dream I broke into dancing and shouting in the Holy Spirit! It was powerful and real!'


"February 23, 2009. 'At our church leadership meeting at River of Life Family Church a dear friend of mine, Marilyn Pruitt, gave me a word from the Lord. She said, 'This year, 2009, is your year. God is going to bless you and give you every desire of your heart. You have been faithful to Him. This is your year for all of God's blessings.'" -- Rebecca ("Sunshine on the Mountain", p. 45-46)




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