The past few weeks have been life changing and completely insane.
As I write this, I am listening to the song by Fireflight called "For those who wait." It is a song that brings me great hope and peace in the midst of this depressing, stressful, and dangerous season. Yes, dangerous ... always remember that this life we are living is a battle and though the enemy tries to beat us down, we are not defeated. Christ is our strength and He will restore what has been stolen and broken.
The line in the song that keeps ringing in my ears and has been getting me through this week is: "when you are fighting to believe in a love you cannot see, just know there is a purpose for those who wait."
Though my soul is weary, He is with me. Though my eyes pour out tears, He is my comfort. "The pressure makes us stronger, the struggle makes us hunger, the hard lessons make the difference and the difference makes it worth it."
It was Tuesday night, June 22nd. The day had been long. The war in my mind exhausting. The migraine had been continuous for the past seven days. I knew what must be done to bring freedom, but my spirit was so weary and my body was so weighted, I could do or say nothing. But despite my exhaustion and all that told me to stay home, I was not going to loose this battle. I knew that if I could just get to life group I could get the prayer I needed to be free. I knew that my dear friend and pastor would see right through the lies of the enemy and I could be free from the bondage that had been holding me captive for longer than I could remember. So I said to my dear husband "I know you are tired, but we must go tonight." I felt like the woman with the bleeding disorder who knew if she could just reach out and touch the hem of his garment, that she would be healed. I was reaching and He met me there. Just as the woman was astonished that he would speak to her and how she wanted to run away and hide, Jesus called me out and set me free. He brought the deeper healing.
We were reading through Luke. This week was about casting the nets into the deep water. Luke 5:1-11. The question came: why should we cast out nets again ... we've been doing this all night long and caught nothing, but because You say so Lord, we will do it.
How many times have I asked for healing from migraines. How many times have we prayed and seen nothing. I did not have the strength to ask again but I did not have to. My friends held up my arms and interceded for me. They prayed and the pressure grew stronger. The pain became more intense. Then silence. Then the word "something must be released. do you know what it is?" I broke. Tears came. I shook my head. I thought "yes, I know, but I cannot speak it. I am not strong enough" But I felt their strength. The hedge of protection from those surrounding me. As I spoke, I felt the chains... and the pain... lift from my body. "Before I married my amazing husband, I was spiritually bound to another man. Although I have broken physical ties, I am still under the spiritual bondage of his influence." I told them I did not have the strength to do this on my own. With Matthew behind me and Nathan in front of me holding up my arms, we prayed and declared freedom and release from this man's influence in my life. The pain released immediately. After the prayer Nathan declared "It is finished. You laid this down here tonight and the chains are broken. It is finished!" He has known me long enough to know that the enemy would try to lie that it is not finished and try to beat me down through the lies. But in community and in God's presence, I find freedom and peace.
Since that day, I have only had one migraine. I knew that this was from the stress of what is going on with my family (a whole other story for another day). I prayed over the situation and went to the doctor to get relief and have not had a migraine since then. (For those who don't know my history... in summer time I usually have 2-3 migraines per week and this summer they have been almost daily.)
But the healing journey does not end there. On Friday of this same week, I met with a wonderful Indonesian woman who has moved to Redding with her family. My spirit was so encouraged and my homesickness was eased by her presence. She encouraged me to seek healing for the endometriosis that has caused me nearly constant and intense pain since November. She told me of the healing room at Bethel that is available on Saturday mornings. I could not say no.
After waiting in line for an hour, I finally was allowed into the healing room. There I stood in the front of the sanctuary while people all around me were prayed for and experienced healing. After another hour, I wondered if I was invisible. It was as if intercessors would look right through me to pray for someone else. But I could not move. How could I leave when this may be the day that God brings healing to my body and fulfill His promises. I went further forward with a large group (maybe 30 or 40 people) who had not yet received prayer. After 10-20 minutes of waiting and feeling invisible, I turned around to see that everyone who had gone forward with me was gone... they had all received prayer and I alone was standing waiting. But just then I saw Matthew had come into the room and was searching for me. (He had stayed home that morning to sleep after a long and trying week at work.) I started to walk toward him when the intercessor next to me grabbed my shoulder and said "wait. don't leave." He had been praying for a man next to me. I told him that I was going to get my husband so he could pray with me. The intercessor stopped praying for the man and looked in the direction of Matthew. At that point Matthew saw me and walked towards us. The intercessor said "I'll be right with you." And I told Matthew what I had experienced with feeling invisible. Then the intercessor brought another man to join us in prayer. He asked a few questions and then they began to pray. As soon as they spoke the word "endometriosis" I felt something leave my body. They prayed again and again each time I felt something exit my body. I did not feel the constant pain any longer. Hope was ignited in my heart. They then spoke words of encouragement over both of us. They prayed for Matthew and told him that he had the authority to protect his family from these spiritual attacks and the authority to ask for healing for me and him. They told me that I am a beautiful daughter of the King and they prayed that my eyes would be open to see myself the way God sees me. They told me that the only way that I would remain pain free is by taking the time every day to ask God what He thinks of me and to see what He sees.
I have had some pain since that day, but it has not been the constant nagging pain that I had experienced before. However, we have not yet become pregnant. This has been the greatest discouragement to me. If I am healed, why have we not conceived? The emotion has been too much for me. My days have been wrought with tears. As I work with the children in my home, my heart grows cold towards them. Jealousy. Pain. Longing. It is a help to hold the little one-year-old and to feel her love and to love her, but she is not my own.
The comfort came in the form of a song on the radio. "Just know there is a purpose for those who wait." Now the tears come more freely, but they are tears of healing. There is pain in the waiting, but I know that God has a perfect timing and a way that is beyond what I can see. So I wait. I do not know how long. Each day is a battle, but He is good. And I am reminded that " "The pressure makes us stronger, the struggle makes us hunger,the hard lessons make the difference and the difference makes it worth it."