When I left off last week from “Do I Trust You, Lord ~ Part 1” I had just shared the beautiful music of Twila Paris and how that song “Do I Trust You Lord Medley” got me through some very difficult times once I had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorder.
I was homeschooling my children the year of my diagnosis and the fatigue was so great that after I gave my boys their assignments each morning, I had to lay down on the sofa. My littlest was not school age yet, but we had a program for her to do as well. It was a comfort to me to have them with me and getting to share all of our time together, but I had to be realistic and I had no idea what the future held, so the following school year I put them back in the Christian School that was a part of our church.
I was attending a traditional denominational church where expression of any kind was just not done. We stood up when told, sat when told and answered responsively and sang our hymns…except when we sang some of the newer songs as well.
One Sunday morning a lady raised her arm up way over her head during a song we were singing and anyone who was in front like the choir, music minister and pastor could all see it. It was the talk of the day the next morning at work. She didn’t say a word. It had just been that one silent movement and it made such a huge impact on all of us.
I remember my boss saying it didn’t do a thing for him and I agreed.
All I can say was once that agreement left my mouth, God was after me in a way I had never experienced before. Eventually I came to realize what God was after. Every sermon, a song, a Bible verse all telling me to worship the Lord with all that I am, clap and sing for joy. David and the Psalms were brought up over and over and lessons based on his worship. I just kept hearing it but what I didn’t know was this was priming the pump and a test was soon to come.
I lived in the same town as Joyce Meyer and she had meetings all around the area. I had thought often about going because I listened to her on the radio and had several of her tapes. Finally one January she was going to be about 5 minutes from my home for one of her conferences. The Battle Belongs to the Lord was the name of it.
I was meeting a friend there but I could not find her. So with about 1000 people in attendance I just finally took a seat surrounded by strangers.
Then I was shaken to hear a band come out and start playing. I mean this was never on the radio or the tapes, I just didn’t understand what was going on. I was very uncomfortable to say the least.
Next, people were raising their arms all around and shouting out things too like Hallelujah, Praise the Lord, Amen! OMG I looked around nervously thinking I needed to leave because if anyone from my church saw me there I would most certainly be in trouble. But at the same time I was hearing something else. God was impressing on me “to humble yourself and worship Me.”
I knew from the moment I heard those words in my head what He was wanting from me. Honestly it was with great fear and uncertainty that I started to raise my arm. I looked hesitantly around trying to see how to do it. I mean how high, how long, which arm I had no clue.
Finally, worship was over and Joyce Meyer came out and gave her message.
When the meeting was over I finally saw my friend and I will remember these words until my dying day. I held up my amplified paper back Bible and said I am so hungry for this. The words surprised even me! I was raised in the church. I knew the Bible stories. I memorized Scripture but I had never been hungry for it. It just had never sunk in because it was like history and didn’t apply to me…until now.
We left that evening with plans to meet for dinner before hand so we would not run into the separation issue again on the following day. That night I was a little afraid to tell my husband what had happened. I thought he would say something to make me feel bad or suggest that I better not go back. But he didn’t.
So even though I was extremely uncomfortable about what I had done the night before, I went back again. This time I knew that I would be raising my arm in front of another person who knew me. Yikes! But she was the second lady who had come into our church and raised her arm during worship so she was not going to judge me for that.
THE NEXT DAY, I was ready this time. I wanted worship to begin so I could try this expression again. I was still uncomfortable but one of Joyce Meyer’s quotes was and still is “do it afraid.”
We were singing and worshipping and I was getting more practice at being comfortable with raising my hands when all of a sudden Joyce Meyer walks out into the middle of the stage and moves her arms to make everyone in the band stop. It was quite a disruption.
She said I just can’t shake this. All I keep hearing is pray for backs, you have to pray for backs. I guess it was such an urgency she felt that she could not wait until it was time for her to speak she just had to interrupt the worship. So with the band stopped we all bowed our heads as she began to pray.
She prayed for back pain, scoliosis, slipped disks, I can’t even remember all of the back injuries and diseases she spoke and then I thought “oh! MS is a disease of the back maybe she will say that” so I just kept praying along with everyone else. But Joyce never said that disease, so I simply thought in my mind “Lord, if You want to heal me You can.”
IMMEDIATELY I began trembling in my abdomen/trunk area. My arm was interlocked with my friend so she could feel it as well. Joyce was done and we all sat down and I said to her “what was that?” and she said “that was the Holy Spirit honey”…something else our church really didn’t talk or teach about.
Then Joyce Meyer began asking people for testimonies. I had never heard anything like that. People would raise there hands and say I came in with severe back pain and now it is gone. Several people gave their testimonies and I sat there wondering and thinking maybe I had just been healed.
As I lay in bed that night I told my husband I thought that I had been healed. Again, thinking he is going to call me crazy, but no, he said he hoped it was true.
THE NEXT DAY at church we had a student pastor preach. His message was “Answer the Call.” He was a really great preacher and his message really stirred me up. I couldn’t wait for the call so I could answer it whatever it would be.
I didn’t have to wait long. 🙂
That evening I got a phone call from the president of the church telling me there was going to be this building campaign and would I write a Testimony for it. The theme was “Forward in Faith”.
So in two days I had heard the word Testimony used and it was nothing they every talked about at our church. And btw, why was the president calling me? I have no idea! I was just a mom of 3 in her 30s. But hey, I was being asked and I said, “how can I say no after the sermon today?” So I committed not knowing what I would write that yes I would do it.
THE NEXT DAY was my scheduled 6 month visit to my neurologist. He asked me how things were going and I said “well in September I got out of bed and had no feeling from the waist down and fell.” He said “why didn’t you call me?” I said like most of my symptoms it just lasted a short time and then went away.”
My doctor held up my MRI results and pointed to three lesions on my spine and where they were. He decided I needed another MRI that day.
Within the hour I am being put into the machine. Then I come out. Then back in. Then back out. Then back in. Then back out. Then back in. Then back out and they said to me…”are you sure you were here before?” Now they have my records in front of them so as they put me back in again I am thinking “either I am really really bad or I HAVE BEEN HEALED!”
All in all I was put in and out of the MRI 7 times.
As I was driving home I got a phone call from my neurologist. He said “not only are there no new lesions, but the old ones have disappeared and I don’t need to see you anymore.”
WoW! It was true. I had been healed. Miracles do happen and I just received one. Guess who had a TESTIMONY to write!
So I wrote it. I wrote about Joyce Meyer who had been a member of my denomination until they kicked her out because a woman was not supposed to be a teacher like her. But my church published my testimony Joyce Meyer, Healing and all…truly not the normal kind of thing to have out there. Until this moment I never even realized how that kind of step of faith may have impacted our church as a whole. Our church went on to grow to over 6000 members. Not that numbers mean everything but it was making a difference.
Remember in Part 1 I wrote MS was not enough? Well, it worked in reverse as well. Later that summer as I was preparing to go off to a Christian Songwriters Workshop in Colorado, my psychiatrist asked me “who are you going with?” I said “no one.” He said “who do you know there?” I said, “no one.” He said “you can’t go.” I said “why not?” He said “because you have anxiety disorder off the scale.” I said, “I’m going anyway.”
I had told him way back in January about my healing but he didn’t believe it even though he claimed to be a Christian. Well, seeing what was happening that didn’t fit my disease of depression and anxiety, he said we will talk when you get back.
Suffice it to say. He weaned me off of my anxiety and depressive meds and told me I didn’t need to see him any longer.
I thought, wow, when I was healed in January, God healed me of everything!
What happened from there was an incredible journey. People told me I had a tangible Joy about me. Within six years I was invited to dance at a worship conference…God has a sense of humor doesn’t He? I mean here is someone who judged someone’s expression of worship merely lifting their hand and within those years I was now dancing for Him like David did!
I went on to lead an expressive worship ministry called HOLY SMOKE MINISTRIES which I am currently the sole director of. I spoke at conferences and danced since 2000.
My Scripture: John 10:10 “The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy but I have come to give you life and to give it to you abundantly.”
When I was healed, I could have just lost the depression but instead I have Joy unspeakable. I could have just lost my anxiety disorder but instead I am a public speaker. I could have just lost all of my symptoms but instead I have the legs and energy to dance!
I share all of this to tell you that God still does miracles today. I didn’t go looking for one, I was wanting to know Him in a deeper way. I was listening and obeying despite it being out of my comfort zone. I also want to emphasize how important it is to be where God is calling you. I so easily could have not gone back to that meeting the next day because it was not easy but I knew what God wanted from me. Over and over in that little weekend there were opportunities for me to respond and others to respond to me. Making decisions to say what I hoped was true. Hebrews 11:1 “Now Faith is confidence of what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see.” It made me realize how every decision we make whether answering a question, deciding when and where to go or spend our time should all be determined based on our impression of what God is wanting from us. Sometimes our way is the easy way but the reward is nothing compared to what He had planned for us if we had done it His way.
I am so grateful that God did not judge me for judging someone else’s heart felt worship. He then gave me this gift of dance that is even more out there than people lifting their hands. I have been judged and rejected over and over for it, but just as when Michal judged David for dancing for the Lord, his response to her resonates in me…”“It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.”
It is my heartfelt prayer that no matter your circumstance that this message speaks to you in a positive way. I will always say that I was closest to the Lord during the year of MS, Depression and Anxiety because I needed Him so desperately. I communicated with Him all of the time. Once I was healed and I needed Him less just to get through the day my prayers were not as constant.
May God bless you and speak to your heart that you hear His voice clearly and eagerly follow after His invitation to follow Him.
If you have questions or comments, need prayer, or want to know Jesus, please share with me, I am eager to of assistance.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.