Sunday, March 1, 2009

For my first official post, I want to start with my restoration process which started one year ago. Some background information that will be helpful: I became a Christ follower at the age of 13 and have been a faithful follower ever since even choosing to serve in churches as a volunteer and paid ministry positions. Most of my career was focused around teaching in the public school system. I have been faithfully married to my husband for 21 years at the time of this blog. Twelve years ago, my husband and I adopted our son through the Washington, D.C. foster care system. Ten years later, on our 17th wedding anniversary, we discovered that we were pregnant for the first time! How blessed we felt to have been given that gift! So My husband and I now have a teenager and a toddler in the house. Between my son's emotional needs and educational needs, accompanied with two years of very little sleep raising a new born, ministering part-time in a church and teaching Head Start full time I depleted all of my reservoirs: spiritual, emotional, physical and mental. I felt so empty. Even in the middle of seeking God with all of my life decisions, I was not faithful to God by seeking him personally. I was not spending enough time with God just for the sake of getting to know Him better. Because of that, I never truly knew what the power of God could do for me. I pray that by telling my story and letting you see into my heart and life, you will be able to either recover from your misery or avoid getting swallowed up by misery.

The Testimony of how God began Healing My Spirit, My Body, My Family
February 2, 2008

Today was the manifestation of God’s healing power on my life. My husband and I attended a church retreat at Crosspoint in Christiansburg, VA, a Four Square retreat and conference center. For years I have been praying for God to heal my body of diabetes, and obesity; to heal my mind of negativity and my spirit of depression and melancholy. Just three days before attending the Valley View Chapel Retreat, I stood in front of the sliding glass door in my family room over looking the lake and with tears streaming down my face and my hands out stretched to my heavenly Father, I begged for healing in my life, my son’s life, my marriage and our family life. The list of my heart’s desires included:
* Restoration of the joy of my salvation for all to see and benefit from
* Seeking God’s desire regarding my family’s needs as a whole and each member individually;

* I asked God for a spiritually led husband to be a leader for our family, one that I could show respect to and who would set an example for our children. I prayed for mental healing for my 12 year old son to be free from his ADHD and anger issues so that he wouldn’t have to depend upon drugs to learn at school and socialize appropriately with his peers & parents. I also prayed that God would reveal himself to my son as a source of power and deliverance in times of need. I prayed for the normal development of my daughter and her special gift of encouragement she is already exhibiting at the very young age of 2.
* I asked God for parental direction and wisdom to deal with the difficult and hellish episodes that the enemy keeps attacking our lives with as well as rest from the constant challenges.
* Direction for the next season of my walk with Jesus.

Little by little, I have seen this begin to happen. It started when God made it possible for my family to move to WV into a house with a gorgeous view of a lake and trees. The constant changes in the landscape and the visit of wildlife constantly reminds me that life is not in my control but rather in God’s control It also assured me that life doesn’t stay the same but changes and there is always hope in tomorrow. Healing of my spirit began here. Each day I step outside, drinking in God’s creation and take a deep breath and thank God for giving me such a peaceful place to live for now. God used a simple house and piece of land to begin healing my soul and my son’s mental health as well.

I have received affirmation about the work God is doing in my life. I can see God’s hand in everything and have thanked God along the way for bringing us this far: selling our house, preparing the perfect house for our family complete with great neighbors, finding friends for the whole family and not just the kids and finding a body of believers that we can worship and grow with. It seems God is answering nearly all of my prayers, but yet I felt incomplete and not as happy as I thought I would. For more than 30 years, God has lived in my heart and directed most of my steps. For several months, God has been breaking my heart with revelations that I need less of me and more of Him. I needed a servant heart, an obedient heart and an open mind.

To God I prayed:
As I have participated in worship, I wanted to lift my arms up to you, Abba Father, and be embraced in your love but I was so ashamed of the vessel I have become and felt so unworthy to even be in your presence, yet too proud to kneel before you and ask for cleansing. I was too worried about what others might think and lacked the confidence to be obedient to your gentle calling. So…

God provided a time and a place where I could be obedient and act on my faith to ask for help with the healing needed in my life. As is the protocol for God, He went beyond my desires and used other followers of Him to practice their gifts to gird up my courage and strength to receive what my heart desires, a deeper, more joyful and meaningful relationship with Jesus.

Here’s what God did for me during the retreat weekend:

* My husband wanted to go on the retreat (leadership)
* Safe sitters were found for our children so I didn’t have to worry (rest)
* I didn’t have to drive (unexpected more rest)
* All my meals were prepared for me (even more rest)
* I had fun with my husband and our friends (joy and laughter)
* God’s message was made plain through the speakers and his word (revelation)
* I received healing from the oppressive melancholy and depression that repeatedly
darkened my heart (healing)
* God provided a spiritual mentor for my husband and I (healing, restoration)
* I was showered with affirmation that God is working in my life and he will use other people to show us the way (healing and restoration)
* Hearing someone pray in tongues is not as scary as we Baptist were led to believe (healing of my spirit and revelation of God’s will)
* God cleansed my heart to make room for joy. (restoration)

“You are the stone on the path” in a picture hanging on the wall in the meeting room. (God is using me as the bridge for others to get to the path that leads to joy)
Vision of an Alter with Jesus to the side calling me toward a beautiful green path (I am to lay down ALL of my burdens on the alter and walk with Jesus down the path)
“God knows you are tired and will restore you”.
“Joy, God wants you to have joy”.
“We’re glad you are here and a part of VVC”.
"We will receive wisdom to deal with our son’s issues and God will also prepare his heart."

What was celebrated today began a long time ago and will continue to unfold for months and years to come, but now I have the courage and faith to continue on the journey. My direction: read God’s word and be under it’s influence. Have FAITH not fear.

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