Victoria Ann Bjerke
Born in 1959, Victoria received Christ as her Savior in her early childhood, and this love has influenced every facet of her life. Victoria grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota where she attended college and met her husband of more than thirty years. Together they raised three beautiful daughters, and have two wonderful grandsons. Victoria renewed her commitment to Christ at thirty-three while attending God’s Grace Church in Phoenix, Arizona, which deeply impacted her understanding and walk with the Lord. Victoria has a love of service and volunteering, and was active in all areas of their daughter’s schools, sports, extracurricular activities, as well as in her church and various missions and outreaches in the Phoenix area. Victoria has been involved in Women’s Ministry since 2000. She and her husband now live in the Huntsville, Alabama, area. As an inspirational writer for many years, she was encouraged by her family to begin sharing her work. This website is dedicated to that effort, and this is my testimony.
Victoria is the author of Little Weed, the first in a series of books soon to be offered through this website. Little Weed is a simple, but powerful story from the Lord that ministers to the deepest parts of our inner-being, where our identity is formed. It is an award-winning work taking First Place in the Poetry division of the Southern Christian Writer’s Conference.
To understand this website, Words From the Garden, I need to tell you about the vessel the Lord rescued, transformed and fashioned in order to pour out His Love and His Words of Life.
My name is Victoria Ann Bjerke. I am no different than anyone else born into this world. I grew up believing in God and His Son, Jesus. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at a young age. But, I did not know what that really meant. To me, God was too far away and could not really care for someone like me. I could not believe in a loving doting Father-God, I had no example of that kind of thing in my life. I knew authority figures that you obeyed without question. I knew rigidness. I knew that I was not valuable. I felt rejection and poverty of spirit. All of this, I believed was limited to me. I thought I was the only one who felt these things. I knew paralyzing fear. I thought no one else felt what I did. I was prideful in my exclusiveness to the things that plagued my heart and mind and soul, even as I was basking in the fellowship of bible studies with my friends in grade-school and throughout high-school. I was twice given experiences that astounded me and testified to God’s notice of me as a teenager. Yet I discounted them because, “Why would He show Himself to me? Who am I that He should notice me? I am nothing and I am no one!” That was the truth I “knew” according to the sound-track that played non-stop in my head. And, I “knew” that if anyone really knew what I was like (according to the sound-track) they would not be my friend, and my husband would not want anything to do with me!
This lie kept me from close relationships. This lie kept my eyes averted. This lie kept me in constant fear of discovery. This lie kept me from joy, peace, security, love, and feeling anything! All my feelings were stuffed within me so tightly that I became a stone. I felt almost nothing for myself, and did not even know who I was; nor did I really think to care. If you asked me how I felt, I would not have been able to answer you. I never gave much regard to “her.” Not really. I only knew what I was told, and if it was anything good, it was rejected by the inner voices that perverted and twisted all things regarding myself. I was a prisoner; chained to despair and loneliness and rejection. It did not have to be true as long as I believed it. And, until LOVE Himself, broke through, I did!
As much as I read my bible and loved to speak of Him, Jesus, my assurance that I was saved was never, in my mind, secure! I constantly was seeking to renew my vow, and yet feeling that I was failing every single day. And I did not seem to be growing any closer to the Lord. Intimacy frightened me, and I really did not seek God, because I thought Him too harsh and remote. But, I was drawn to Jesus! Him, I desired to know. And I always sought to find a place of fellowship like I read about in the New Testament, where the Holy Spirit was alive and moving and healing and encouraging and people spoke openly about the Lord and taught how to grow. I searched. I settled for churches that had wonderful choirs and at least spoke about Jesus. I did not see or experience acceptance or the fellowship, or what I was seeking. I could not tell you what it would be like anymore than you can describe what your husband will be like until you meet him and finally KNOW that he is the one; or the love of a baby of your own! You cannot know it until you find it. I was seeking and settling.
Then I was quite literally dragged to a small church in Tempe Arizona. I was almost 33 years old. I was settling at a church that was supposed to be “Spirit Filled” but aside from some speaking in tongues, there was no fellowship, or the “something” I was seeking. I was convinced that I just had to work harder. I needed to do more… be faithful to where I decided I needed to be, and I was close to concluding that the problem was with me…I knew I was different, and I just needed to accept that what I thought I was looking for was not really there anymore. So when my friend called and told me about this church and it’s Pastor, I felt I would just be disappointed. But she insisted. I relented.
I walked into God’s Grace Church on a Wednesday night with my three daughters, the youngest being three. I was introduced to Pastor Al and the wide smile on his face was not only genuine but had a different joy to it I did not understand. He reached out to shake my hand, and welcome me by name, and looked into my eyes, and I Knew before I even heard him speak that “this is the first man of God I ever met!” The confirmation was that my three-year-old daughter who was cautious of men, was clinging to his legs in a hug. He gently knelt down to hug her back.
This was the first day of my coming alive journey! In this small and humble church I was re-baptized. I desired more and more of what I learned was the anointing that rested in this place. I eventually was there seven days a week, usually with my children in tow. I volunteered to clean the church every week, just to get another day around the sanctuary, to feel the presence of the Lord that inhabited this place. I sang, I learned to intercede, I learned that there was healing of the mind, soul and spirit in this place, and there were gifts that were distributed in some capacity or another to everyone! It was all I had dared to believe existed in this world. I felt loved. I felt I could be loved. I learned to believe that maybe I could also have value to the Lord and maybe, I could also learn to hear the voice of the Lord through His Holy Spirit.
After I was re-baptized at the age of 33, I began to come alive. The stone of my heart was being softened by the washing of the Word of God, given to me through His servants and my Pastor who I adored and imagined was a representative of what God the Father might be like. This, I could accept. As a young teenager, I had asked God to not “make me speak in tongues, because that terrified me!” Now, I wanted anything and everything He had for me! Almost immediately after my baptism, I was given a prayer language. I loved the idea of the Holy Spirit praying what I needed, because I knew so little about “Victoria” that I did not know what to pray. As I learned to pray and trust, I also noticed that I never thought about my salvation “not taking” again. I never doubted my salvation again! I also began to have “dreams” that were so vivid they were like movies and the memory of them would last until I finally decided maybe I should write them down. I had very very little understanding of them, and would sometimes share them with Pastor Al or other friends in the church. I was astounded to realize that when I shared a dream about a person I really did not know, they knew exactly what it was about, even though I had no clue!
Still, I was frustrated and impatient! It seemed so easy and natural for my Pastor, and others more spiritually mature, to give me a word from the Lord. They were so accurate and I knew they were absolutely from my heavenly Father, because the words brought me to my knees in the exquisite pain that comes from knowing that I am known! I had never experienced that before… to be known! And His words to me were never once condemning! They were always of His love, and His assurance that I would be used by Him for His purposes. My great frustration was that I could not hear Him myself! Why? How could I ever be used by Him if i could not hear Him speak?
As long as that tape recording was still playing in my head, I could not hear Him. All this time, over the course of years, He delivered me. He gently and yet very persistently delivered me of the fear, the rejection, the lies that have never ceased… and one day I realized I had not heard them for a long time!
It was now that I began to ask questions as I recorded the dreams and night visions He poured out to me almost nightly! I now had peace in my heart and silence in my soul and over the course of years, I would learn to listen and record what His silent voice spoke spontaneously to my spirit. His words had to be recorded immediately because they are Spirit and like a mist… they did not come from my head, and they were not spoken in my ears, they were just a “knowing” that poured out all at once as I was writing and seeking answers and understanding to the dreams and visions that had been stored up and the ones that He was still pouring into me. Again, for a long time, I had not the understanding or maturity to see what they were about, but I recorded them anyway and put them in binders for…I did not know why.
That was another great source of frustration for me. As He began to speak to me more frequently and clearly and He led me back to dreams and visions from years earlier, and explain astounding things I dared not believe… for many times I had to get up and leave, because I could not comprehend why He would reveal these things to me! Who am I that You should tell me and show me these amazing things? They need to be shared and I am no one! Who do I tell and how? And again, I was still so conscious of the many flaws that remained within me. I was not yet a fit vessel for the distribution of these precious Messages. Yet over the course of twenty years they piled up. I began to despair! I felt like I was the servant who buried the talents given to him by the Master! I have this treasure, and it sits in binder after binder!
Then one day my husband asked me if there was a book in all those writings that are piled up? I was stunned! In an instant I knew that was what it was for. But again, how? What platform? Then, the Lord gave me the dream of “Little Weed”. I got up from the dream and wrote it down, and I knew it was a story, a word, to share, and the first book I published. The Lord then urged me to begin to share the things He has stored up in me.
I am who He says I am and nothing more or less. I am the work of His hands and for His glory. I am His adoring servant. I am finally able to begin sharing the things He stored up in me for His children.
That is what this is all about. His Glory. His Work. His Love.
1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters,
And he that hath no money;
Come ye, buy, and eat;
Yea, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?
And your labor for that which satisfieth not?
Harken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good,
And let your soul delight itself in fatness.
3 Incline your ear, and come unto me;
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
Even the sure mercies of David.
Isaiah 55: 1-3 (KJV)