The Story I Never Told-The Before and After-Part 3

Slowly, God revealed a different plan for my life. I was led to write for His glory, and into more intercessory and healing prayer.

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I was reaffirmed about who I was…I’m a beloved daughter of the one True King.

Why was I reluctant to let Him work? Why was it so scary or unreal at times? Do I still talk about the Holy Spirit in word, but not cooperate fully and let Him give good gifts? There’s so many beautiful gifts He wants to give us, and do I say, “No thank you, I don’t want them?”

 

Several of my illnesses went away over time. My painful gut which was unexplained by doctors and tests disappeared, my plantar fasciitis in my feet went away, and other things improved. I still have Tinnitus-it’s there 24/7. I do get exhausted after being in situations where I have had to work to hear others. I’ve learned to cope and compensate. I still love to sing, and just hope that I make a little better than a “joyful noise!”  Now I’ve made peace with my ear, and we’ve called a “truce.” The first year or two I had it, it tormented me. I’d go to bed crying many nights, praying it would stop.

As one friend commented, “It does get better.” When I’m busy reading, working on the computer, or doing life, I don’t “listen” to the screaming sound. There are times when it bothers me, such as when I’m in a restaurant, because that is one of my favorite things to do. Background noise makes it very difficult to pick up individual voices. I get in “people’s space.” I try to place myself so my good ear can pick up as much as possible. When I’m in church, or a show, I miss quite a bit. Those under the breath jokes go right past me. But I’ve learned to smile and nod a lot.

Sometimes I miss total silence. I try to remember what that was like.  I take solace in the fact that I will have a perfect body again in heaven, and that  includes my ear.

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Sometimes, when I’m with my kids, I just have to sit back, read the faces and enjoy watching the banter between them and their dad. I don’t think I can read lips, but I’m very in tune with people’s body language and emotions by observing. It teaches me to listen well, and that is something I certainly needed work on. The Lord may choose to heal me physically in this life. In the mean time, I choose to trust Him.

 

I joke around about a down-to-earth truth…that I’m already experiencing some of heaven, because I get to hear the “rushing wind” of the Holy Spirit in my head ALL the time!

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I thank God for the Tinnitus because the searching caused me to receive much healing in my soul. The healing that I received, made me desire to share that gift with others. God has granted me the gift of praying for and with others for healing. Other gifts of the Spirit have also manifested themselves at times.

The Lord assigned other work for me to do. I have discovered that I’m energized by writing. I love to communicate and tell stories. He’s brought me full circle into a life of peace that I am so thankful for. I love to be with people, but then enjoy long hours of writing, reading and praying. That centers me with the Holy Spirit again.

He is the three-in-one God, the great I AM. God the Father, Jesus the Son who died for our sins, and the Holy Spirit who is our protector, healer and guide.

He did miracles thousands of years ago, in the Old and New Testament, and He does them today. I’ve witnessed His work with my own eyes, not just in a Bible story.

 

So you might say, this was about Tinnitus, the Holy Spirit, and Spiritual Gifts…that’s because it’s all so intertwined. It’s all His work, it’s all part of me, which is part of Him.

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I want the whole God along with me every day. He is faithful.

Posted in God's faithfulness, healing, healing prayer, Tinnitus, Holy Spirit, Spiritual gifts, gifts of the Holy Spirit | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Story I Never Told-The Before and After-Part 2

A friend told me about healing conferences. When I first began going they confused and scared me. One pastor said many of us may have grown up knowing the Father, the Son and “Holy Scriptures!” Hmm…that seemed to fit me.  And he is a church planter, speaker, author and church development director for the Reformed Church in America.

I can’t give you a specific date or time when I became a Christian. It happened slowly over the course of my childhood and teen years and I grew into it, growing up in a Christian home. I thought I knew all there was to know about life as a Christian. You know… love Jesus, go to church twice every Sunday, read the Bible, go to Bible studies, try to have a quiet time each day, pray when you can, be nice, and strive to be a moral person. Follow the rules. Check. Check.

I came to the first healing seminar very naive but as time went on, I gained more clarity on what the Bible really said on the topic of healing and the Holy Spirit. Some are healed on the spot-sure the Lord can do that when it’s His plan. But many times, it is a process, or it is in combination with doctors, forgiveness, counseling, and other therapies. After all, God made doctors and uses them in His healing processes. For others, it may be God’s plan to wait until they reach heaven to be completely healed.

I kept learning more and more about the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. I only knew Him as this scary ” Holy Ghost” out in the distance, which we called Him in the Apostles Creed. I didn’t realize He was an active living part of the trinity of God. In my church upbringing, the Holy Spirit was talked about, but I didn’t know Him.

I knew God, I knew Jesus, but the Holy Spirit? Could I really know Him?

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Whenever I could, I attended Christian conferences through P.R.M.I.(Presbyterian-Reformed Ministries International) and learned more about what the Bible said about the Holy Spirit. How did I miss this for the first 47 years of my life? There was so much more.

Much much more.

My heart cry and sicknesses led to the search, which led me to healing in many areas of my body and soul.

Slowly the scales fell away from my eyes. I have seen people healed in many ways-Inner, Physical, and Spiritual healing.

Now there is no fear. I want to soak it in as much as possible. I don’t just read verses which say that the Holy Spirit is our comforter and guide, but feel it. I don’t just read about putting on the full armor of the Holy Spirit, but do it. I don’t think that it is a strange or weird thing to listen to the Holy Spirit, although I long to continue to hear Him better.

I don’t think that it’s just for those crazy charismatic types. If someone rests in the Spirit, it is a beautiful thing. If someone raises their hands, they are worshiping God. Another person might be sitting reverently. Someone might be healed, or pray in tongues. Others could have their chairs in a circle of prayer. God tells me, “Let it happen according to the Spirit. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or what they do. It’s OK. It is real.”

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Now, I know the difference. I know what it was like before. I finally know what it is like to walk with the Holy Spirit-as real as a person holding my hand.

No, I don’t have it all together. I have not arrived. I long for more discernment. I still sin and do stupid things.

Life is a process. We’re all just children learning.

 

Romans 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 14:12  “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

(I decided to make this a series…Part 3 is coming.)

 

 

Posted in God's faithfulness, healing, healing prayer, P.R.M.I., Spiritual gifts, Tinnitus | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Story I Never Told-The Before and After-Part 1

Rewind six years.

I’ve never told this story publicly. Best friends and family slowly learned of it, but I avoided telling most people. I still quiver as I revise this story, left as a “draft” in my blog for over a year. I still don’t know if I have the courage to press “publish.” I sit here and pray over it tonight.

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But I sense that it will help someone. That it is finally time.

The school year came to a screeching end on a rocky road. It was as if my vehicle was teeter-tottering on the edge of a cliff and I had to climb gingerly to the back window of the car. On my hands and knees…slowly…slowly…creaking…Ohhh!..I think I’m falling into the abyss!

Crash! The car tumbled down into the endless valley, but I was left laying on the dusty ground, gasping for breath. Staring at the sky, I wondered what would be next.

I had been frantically trying to survive days and weeks. Just reflecting back to that time still makes my stomach churn nervously. Teaching elementary school while the Tinnitus sound was rushing like Niagara Falls in my ear with it’s high-pitched scream. One ear was supposedly good, but I sure couldn’t hear much. We’re made to hear in a stereophonic fashion, not monophonic.

I felt unbalanced in many ways.

Trying to hear individual children was nearly impossible. Everything was noise–loud noise! It was so physically exhausting just trying to hear people. I missed what was said at meetings or over the intercom. I wasn’t sure which direction things came from. I struggled just to hear one child in a quiet room, sitting right in front of me while performing a reading test.

Everything was confusing, and actually, frightening.

I didn’t have any idea why I got this condition of Tinnitus and no one else did either. I kept going to doctors, and searching the Internet, desperately trying to find something that would help.

The noise of tinnitus doesn’t come from the outside, it comes from your brain. It’s a phantom noise like when people have a leg that itches after it is amputated. No one else can hear it, not even the doctors. Yet millions of people suffer from it. People naively still ask me, “why don’t you just plug your ears?” Plugging your ears doesn’t help this problem. Sometimes the cause is known, and most times it is never conclusive.

Hearing devices all ended in disappointment. Coming home totally exhausted at 8 or 10 p.m. many nights. It seemed I could never get ahead of the paperwork and planning. Lack of ability to concentrate made it take much longer to accomplish anything. Things I can’t go into to now…I was very hurt… Pressure from all sides…Finally throwing in the towel, I retired much earlier than planned.

I didn’t know who I was. I had always been a teacher and a mother in my adult life. Now my boys were finished with high school and in college. I felt unneeded.

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After a busy summer of selling, throwing and giving away almost all things teaching, fall settled in. I was groping around for what was missing in my life. My body rebelled from the sudden change and I was plagued with a myriad of strange, non life-threatening illnesses for the next year. I was a mess. I went to doctors of many kinds.

I set out on a search for healing. That journey taught me unexpected things.

 

 

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The Promise

This week, I witnessed the manifestation of a promise God made to me a long time ago. He began to confirm to me years ago, that I would write. It was a dream that had been put on the back burner for 30 years. I actually felt in my late teen years, God told me I would write a book some day. Well, life happened for 30 years and I didn’t even think about it much.

He kept telling me I would write and I kept telling Him I wasn’t sure and doubted. I was anointed and confirmed many times and still doubted. I was shy to call myself a “writer” for a long time. I hid it from family and friends. I began this blog way back in 2012 and the following has been very slow and remains small. I kept asking God, “are you sure?” He would often reassure me to keep going. I kept attending writing conferences, a writing group, and had a close circle of prayer warriors and writing friends who believed in my writing and that God wanted me to write.

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Words of Hope is a daily devotional booklet. It is put out quarterly.

I had been working on various projects thinking I was going to write a book, when I asked about the opportunity to write for Words of Hope. I had never written a devotional in my life, but they accepted me and gave me a chance. Not only did they want me to write one, they asked for 15! So over a period of a year, I worked on them and had edits done by my writing group and friends, then later by Words of Hope. From the first inquiry, to the date of publication was about a year and a half. It took a lot of tears with inadequate feelings, loads of prayer, and this week, I finally saw the finished product!

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On the left, you’ll see the introduction of all the contributing authors in this booklet. On the right, you’ll see my mini “bio.”

 

The promise of my first published, in print work, was in front of my face. It finally came to be. God had different plans and timing than I did.

I was going really well on some book ideas, but God decided that the devotionals would be first. They were very good practice for me. They taught me how to depend totally on Him because I had no idea what I was doing, how to be more concise, how to accept help from editors with humbleness, and mostly how to gladly accept prayer from others.

I have had health problems now in the last few months and it is intensifying. I don’t have answers yet and it will be a process. Tonight I’m sneaking in this blog post when I have a few moments of feeling better so please excuse my mistakes. I just wanted so badly to share this with my readers.

I was working on a book and going strong on it, when health issues struck me down to doing almost nill in the last month. I’m not sure when, but I’m hoping to get back to that book again. Also Words of Hope has asked me to do more devotionals, probably in about a year. So, I think that the evil one wants to keep me down.

Thank you to all who have walked this road with me. I love you, my dear church family, community, family, extended family, friends, prayer warriors, my Bible Study Fellowship friends, writing groups, and fellow authors. Yes, I guess I finally “dare” to call myself an author. I even got my first speaking request from a fellow writing group! God, it’s all in your hands.

I need His healing and helping hand. All glory to God. He will get ALL the honor and glory for any writing I do. He will also get all the honor and glory when I am healed.

Ways to obtain Words of Hope: at https://woh.org/ by mail, on Facebook, or if you want a copy from me, let me know. They can be found at many restaurants and grocery stores across the nation.

 

 

 

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Roses and dropped petals

It’s all roses, cards and heart-shaped candies…..

Not always. Not for everyone. Not every time.

Today, as you enjoy those you love, be sure to think about how much you can give to someone, not what you get.

And think of those who have just gone through a death of a loved one, a shattered marriage, an accident, sitting at a bedside, or one of those “invisible” sicknesses.

So love with all you have. Love with all your heart. Give with all ya got. Enjoy your family, husbands and wives. Don’t feel guilty about being happy.

But if you can, just even for a moment, take a look around with your eyes, your heart, your mind… Think about what someone is dealing with. Even just one. They may have some dropped petals laying dead on their tables.

Send a real card or letter. Send a bouquet of flowers to a grieving friend. Pay it forward for someone in some way. Give more than necessary. Sneak a little something into their bag. Give a hug. Send an email instead of just a quick, “I’m praying for you!” on Facebook and then forget all about them. I know, because I can be guilty of that too.

What is a neat way to show love to a friend going through a hard time?

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Mr. Scott

He shared with our entire congregation tonight. “You identify yourself with what you do, and when you can’t do that anymore, you feel like you aren’t anything.”

So true. Been there. It took me a couple years after I was done teaching to know “who I was.” I was always a teacher and a mom. I didn’t know what else I was, or could be. I’m very thankful the Lord began showing me the writing life.

Mr. Scott also shared Psalm 29…Read it here.https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2029

I love the evidences of God’s immense power in this Psalm. Also the last verse where it says that he will give his children strength and peace.

Our series is about “Bravery.” Thanks for trusting the Holy Spirit tonight Mr. Scott. We all love you, and appreciated your story of how the Lord restored your health. Thanks for your honesty, transparency, and inspiration.

Have you experienced huge life changes, and what got you through them?

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The Sweetness of Life and Death

This may sound strange. Life can be sweet, but how can death be sweet? I have seen several examples of this from friends just in the last few weeks.

One example: A couple who I was doing respite visits with… she went on to heaven before he did. Married 67 years. Witnessing the celebration of her life and faith, I saw four generations and heard testimonies from grandchildren. One granddaughter gave a simple three-pronged approach to knowing the Lord as your Savior. That grandma’s prayers for her grandchildren was evident.

Another: A friend’s mom recently died, and she knows she is in heaven. She shared she taught her the most important things in life, loving God, and loving others. I say that mom left a sweet legacy.

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Here’s one: A mom, who lost her 15 year old son, got up in front of thousands of people and gave the ABC’s of accepting Christ. She wanted all those high school kids to know how to be in heaven like her son is. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

Get this: A friend who lost her 18 year old son 7 years ago, said she wants to have enough faith, to make sure she sees her son again someday. That’s beauty.

One more: A dear couple we just visited yesterday…the husband died last night. They took care of each other for over SEVENTY years. She has the word of God in her hands today. I am sure of that.

Do you know a story of legacy, or sweetness even through death?

 

Posted in Death, faith, faithful members of our community, Grief and loss, love, Marriage Commitment | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments