Sunday, March 8, 2009

THE HEALING (Feb. 3, 2008)

In last week's post, you read how my restoration journey began. This week's post gives more details about my healing experience. It is significant to me because it validated my weak faith and has a happy ending.

On Saturday morning (February 2), the last morning of our retreat, I woke up knowing that God’s work needed to be done that day. With tears in my eyes, it was clear in my mind that I needed to ask Alice to be my spiritual mentor to help me find my way back to God’s will for my life and help me with the healing that God wanted to do for me.

Wouldn’t you know it God placed Alice and George at our breakfast table. After enjoying a delicious breakfast and intriguing conversation about all of our personal lives, I carried my dishes to the collection point and as I was turning round, Alice put her arms around my neck and told me how much she loved me and appreciated me. I knew it had to be then. I took Alice by the hand and led her to the lodge common room. There I asked her to be my spiritual mentor.

As I began to share my story of pain with her she began to pray for me. One of my other friends also came and prayed with us. Other people from our church who were attending the retreat drifted in including my husband who stayed for a while, but soon left with George to attend the worship service. I told Alice of my desire for healing in my life. I couldn’t even articulate the pain in my heart all I could do was sob on her shoulder. God knew. Alice placed her hands on my head and began to pray for the depression and melancholy to leave me. She rebuked the demons that had a hold on me in Jesus name and told me to say “GO!” I did.

As I sat there listening to the words of her prayer, I could feel warmth starting at my toes and moving all the way up to my head. Then I felt a since of lightness, as if a heavy weight was removed from my shoulders. Alice shifted in and out of English words and her prayer language as she continued to pray for me and received the message of “joy”. It was affirming to me that God was at work by the choice of her word “melancholy” in her prayer because that was the very word I used three days before when I begged God for healing. That is not a word I use very often, nor had I used it in our conversation.

Afterwards we sat together on the couch talking more about some of the issues that were weighting me down. I also expressed the sadness I had for missing my mother who had died 6 years ago without being able to say goodbye to her and how I allow myself to “pity party” about all these things. She said the pity party is of the enemy and that the enemy wants me to feel sorry and depressed. God wants me to have joy. She was right.

After this miraculous event, we both went to the last worship service of the retreat. Everyone was worshiping God in song and as I listened to the words being sung, I wanted to throw my hands up and join in praising God, but they just wouldn’t go. First I had to kneel before the king. This time I was obedient. Several times at church, God had revealed this to me, but I ignored it because I knew it would be an emotional display and I didn’t want to draw attention to myself or scare my son by being so sad. But here, in this service, I was on the back row and it didn’t matter to me anymore about what others might think. I turned around and knelt at my chair alter before God with my face covered and asked his forgiveness for being disobedient.

I don’t remember the song that we were singing, but I do remember that the words to the song were written just for me and my confession and forgiveness. It was the forgiveness that I needed to move into God’s presence. My confession before God was not as emotional as it would have been at church because God had already healed my spirit and was washing it with his mercy, but I did feel nauseous, as if something else needed purging.

The tears did fall and continued to come forth for the rest of the morning when I would reflect upon all that had transpired. While I was still on my knees, God began to pour on the encouragement. Mae, the speaker’s wife, came and knelt beside me and said God had a message for me which basically said, “God was pleased with my humility and wanted to restore my joy.” I said thank you and began to rise to my feet in time to sing my praises to God. Remarkably, Creaston and Mae (the speakers for the retreat) were not planning to attend the last service because of another speaking engagement, yet they did pop in just minutes after I arrived and left a few minutes after she spoke to me. She was there when God needed her to bring me his message. She had no knowledge of what had transpired just minutes before in the common room.

Then, as my pastor began to speak, he challenged us to take up the gifting that God has placed in us and to listen to see if God was speaking to you to deliver a message to another person. I received several messages, all with the same theme: Joy, lay my burdens down and walk the path with Jesus, and be the path for others. At one time I was just sitting in my chair watching a gentleman pray with my husband and even though they were several feet away, I could hear his prayer. When he began to pray for my son, and my husband’s relationship with my son, I physically gasped. I got up and joined them in prayer and embraced my husband as I cried tears of joy instead of tears of sorrow.

When this sharing time was over, the pastor asked if anyone had a message for the group. I received the same message I had received at the meeting on Friday night but didn’t act upon. Teach everyone the song, I’m Gonna Sing, Sing, Sing. After another woman shared her message with everyone that we are the core to take the message God’s love to the world, I got up and taught everyone the song. It was a silly song but everyone participated and it brought joy to those in the room. Already God was using me to bring his joy to others, just like I asked him to.

Well, today is the first Sunday, after my healing and I must say, it was a pleasure and delight to be in God’s house and presence today. There was no sorrow, no shame and no tears. We all got up and I led everyone in the silly song which apparently touched the pastor as an out of the box approach to ministry.

Now I want to begin to read God’s word and focus on only him until he tells me what to do next.

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