Nothing casts more suspicion on a person's credibility then the words, "insane" or "fanatic." Unfortunately, it's exactly the reaction I get from many people when I tell them God sometimes talks to me through license plates.

Through what? License plates. It all began years ago, when from January 13 through August 13 I experienced the five tests of Job: loss of health (seizures), loss of wealth (uninsured fire), loss of the sympathy of a spouse (husband's affair), loss of a child (through drugs), and loss of reputation (through husband's lies). God, as usual, sent a helper to walk me through the then spiritual crisis (now considered a spiritual blessing). During troubles, God has sent Angels to me, dreams, and prophets. But in that year He sent a mystic by the name of Robea.

She held my hand, gave me strength, taught me prayers, read my incredibly bright future, and told me to pay attention to the many divine messages I would be receiving in the coming years. "How will I know these messages?" I asked.

Robea cocked her head, as if listening to some invisible celestial being. "Ah," she sighed, "it will be little things beside the roads--maybe on signs or something as you drive. You will have a tendency to dismiss the messages, but you are to trust they are real." The mystic only conveyed what her guidance told her and couldn't possibly know that I would become a License Plate Reader.
 
Never heard of a License Plate Reader before? I hadn't either. I'd heard of palm readers, card readers, and mind readers, but license plates? It seemed pretty crazy to me. Yet, shortly after Robea's message, I began to notice as I drove around that certain license plates were 'jumping' out at me. Based on my study of dream symbols, the combinations of colors, numbers, and letters found on people's plates were easily interpreted.

For instance, one of the first "messages" that jumped out at me was a green plate, "CRT 1369." Almost intuitively I read this, 'the Christ Consciousness (CRT) is growing (green) in you from the adversity begun on the 13th (the 13 on plate) and as a result you will be reborn (69 is the year I stopped drinking and drugging and is my birthday--rebirth--in recovery).

As I set about healing from the wounds of that horrible year, I marveled at the numerous "messages" popping out at me from license plates. Wherever I drove, little symbols of love and encouragement accompanied me. Sometimes, the license plate guidance suggested I forgive someone and sometimes they contained warnings that some loved one needed me. It was both comforting and entertaining for months.

However, I learned quickly that the only safe people to share these messages with were Robea and my mother. Robea was the one who had been guided to tell me about the guidance in the first place. My mother, bless her, believed in my experiences. I had been having visitations and prophesy dreams since childhood and so nothing short of Ascension would surprise her about my metaphysical experiences.

However, not so with many other people. If I chose to confide in others about my new form of communication from the bumpers of vehicles, they quickly labeled me a "New Age Nut Ball" or gave me a wide, wide birth. And as usual, when others question my credibility, I find I have to examine it too.

The first place I searched was in the psychiatric diagnostic manual. Although there is no specific label for "reading license plates," it generally falls under the category of "Delusional...that random events are of special significance." Although I do not give the psychiatric manual any credence regarding spiritual matters (after all Jesus Christ, every disciple, Joan of Arc, Saint Francis, Edgar Cayce, et al would be diagnosed to suffer from hallucinations, delusions, and grandiosity), but I like to know how I might be viewed by the mainstream.

Searching further, I found a scientific term called the "Rosenthal Effect." Henry Reed explains in "Mysteries of the Mind," that scientists have found that "our expectations are self-fulfilling" and people tend to mirror back their own expectations (p 101). Maybe, I thought, I am being a bit delusional. Whoever heard of Angels and God talking to us through a license plate? I told myself, "I just need assurances and so I'm creating my own reality here."

When my guidance seemed to turn dark suggesting that others lives were not going well because they hadn't treated me right, I became highly suspicious of my own motives. Mark Thuston addresses this in "Edgar Cayce Predicts, Your Role in Creating a New Age," when he writes,

This is a tricky and subtly misleading topic. What do you do with impressions which appear to be "guidance"? Sometimes that information comes in response to prayers asking for direction in a decision. Other times it may come without your particularly seeking it. In either case, what is needed is a delicate balance between obedience to the inner reality and plain common sense. (p 158-159)

Plain common sense was screaming at me that I was getting obsessive about this, especially after a warning that my ex-husband (whom I was still having trouble forgiving for his part in my chaos) was in danger. Was I getting these messages because I wanted him to be in danger, I needed to help him, or what? Not wanting to offend or discount my guidance, I discussed my fears out loud in prayer. "OK, reading license plates sounds pretty crazy, even to me. Warning, danger, etc. So from now on--unless it is absolutely clear, clear, clear--I am going to disregard any further 'messages', OK?"
 
I drove up the freeway from Colorado Springs toward Denver when I had this conversation with my inner (or outer) guidance. I had definitely been initially enchanted with reading license plates. But as Plato stated, "Everything that deceives may be said to enchant." And I didn't want to be deceiving myself out of anger or fear that guidance flowed through license plates when it was my own desperation or insanity creating the connections.

Straightaway, a huge truck roared by displaying a bright orange license plate with the single number '39' on it. Thirty nine is my ex's birth year. The plate screamed, "Warning, something horrible is going on with your ex." 

"What an incredible coincidence," I told myself, "right after my prayer. But this license plate stuff is getting to be too much for me."

Soon I arrived in Denver going down a one way street. Yikes, another license plate 'jumped' out at me. "GOD" it read. It was a vanity plate, and raised the hairs on the back of my neck. "Alright," I asked, "are you saying this is a valid form of guidance for me or something else?" Not two blocks later, a second vanity plate jumped out. "Light" it read.

I laughed out loud. Yes, this was valid for me no matter how delusional it may appear to others--I would humbly accept it. Within days, I learned that my ex indeed was in big trouble--he'd been shot, possibly the same day I'd seen the orange plate. Fortunately it was just a flesh wound, but the shooter or motive for the shooting was never found. The reason I had been warned of this occurrence was because ex spouses are always the first suspects in these types of cases. So my guides warned me of a coming adversity. the guidance added that  "God" would "light" the way for me.

Through communications between my attorney and the county sheriff, it was quickly verified that I was not anywhere close to the area at the time. But briefly it had been a scary and uncomfortable situation when I was accused of the crime. Worse was the fact that anyone would ever believe I could shoot someone! The upshot was an enlightening experience in my spiritual growth--forewarned and comforted through license plates.

Seven years later, I still read a plate occasionally and I still hesitate to share this with others. Today, however, there is a new man in my life, Jack. He, like me, is on a spiritual path, but will he, I wondered, understand some peculiarities of mine? In the interests of honesty and love, I did tell him about my unusual skill. Jack was polite and neutral.

"Look," I pointed out a plate to him last Sunday. It had the numbers "6917" on it. "That is a good message. Sixty nine means rebirth for me and 17 is both the day we met and your birthday. It means we will be reborn in this relationship."

Jack smiled and squeezed my hand, assuring me of his love and his delight that I was getting positive messages--but still neutral on the vehicle of the message. Then God did a wonderful thing for us. That very morning in church, the minister gave a sermon and guess what the sermon included? It included a message coming from God on a license plate!

The minister recited the story of a Presbyterian minister, Frederick Buechner, who was going through particularly bad times. He was depressed and afraid for the health of his daughter. Overwhelmed with grief and fear, Frederick pulled over to the side of the road and broke down in tears. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a car sped by and looking up, the minister saw a license plate 'jump' out at him. It read simply "Trust." Astounded, Mr. Buechner asked himself, is this something to laugh at like a joke life plays on us now and again? Or was it the word of God?

"I am willing to believe it was something of both," he later wrote, "but for me it was an epiphany."

I, like Buechner, am willing to believe plate reading is something of both--a playful joke and the word of God. And certainly now, not only Robea and my Mom, but my new man, Jack, believes in the epiphany of my personal license to communicate with God.