Category Archives: Healing

Open Minded

God Rewards All Who Seek Him 

 I’ve prayed with believers and unbelievers alike. Both have heard truth that has set them free and usually if a person doesn’t believe in God before their healing, they know He exists when they are done and have a very new view of Him. 

 “Unbelievers getting healed? How can this be?” you might wonder. Well, there are lots of reasons. God is bigger than we know. He is better at communicating with us than our limited understanding can comprehend. He loves us more than we can imagine and rewards all those who seek Him. 

 Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” When someone gets the truth, they have access to the Father should they decide to go through that door because He is the truth. When they get truth, they are accessing Him. He knows that it is not a part of our natural inclination to go looking for Him unless we need Him, so He reaches out to us and this is one of the ways He does this. 

 Here is an example of someone who did not know God but heard His voice anyway. It happened in the past year. I needed help with my car at home and someone suggested I call a mobile mechanic. The fellow came within the hour of calling him. Seeing as he was going to be working on my car in my garage, I stuck around to see what he was going to do.  

 The guy (I’ll call him Sean) was friendly and got to work right away. He had no trouble finding the problem and showed and explained the problem to me. He was able to fix it right away. He kept an ongoing conversation with me back and forth telling me about his life of forty years and how he ended up doing this for a living. 

 He asked me what I did and I told him I prayed for people and he stiffened saying, “Well the big guy and I don’t get along so good.” 

 Soon though he relaxed again and continued on with the story of his life. As he chatted, he talked about his disappointment with his divorce and how he felt afraid of himself. 

 Curiously, I asked him why. This is a bit of the story as I remember it:  

“My mother-in-law was a piece of work. When she came to visit us, we were always on pins and needles. We couldn’t do anything right. We didn’t cook the food right. We didn’t hold the baby right. We didn’t do ANYTHING right and I mean anything. She was so toxic my wife would get sick and couldn’t sleep.” He sighed deeply. 

 “I tried to keep my mouth shut. My wife didn’t like it when I argued with her so I tried really hard. Sometimes I’d go outside to cool off. Well that wasn’t right either. I wasn’t supportive enough of my wife.” By this time Sean was well into his story. He was finished working on it and kept wiping his hands on a rag from his pocket. 

 “One Christmas, she came and within an hour she was at us. The tree wasn’t in the right place and she was mad about how we put the ornaments on or something. “Blah, blah, blah” he said. “And she was mean. I mean she didn’t just whine, but she cussed and then one day I just had it. She was staying for three days and my wife was running to the bathroom to cry every five minutes. I was holding our daughter and she came running at me yelling about something. She had some kind of pot in her hand and I thought, “Man, she’s going to hit me with my baby in my arms.” I jumped up sideways to protect the baby and she was yelling at me.”  

 “I just snapped.” He looked stricken as he was remembering the day. “I put the baby down in her play pen and I just picked her up by her arms and I kicked the door open and I put her into a snow bank. She was yelling and I yelled louder.” His voice raised as he repeated his speech to her. He said, “‘You are the nastiest woman I have ever met. This is our house not yours. If you cannot be nice in our house you are not welcome here. Go home.” I went back into the house, got her purse, her suitcase and her coat and I took them to her.” Sean looked at me embarrassed. “She left, cussing all the way.” 

“I left my wife and the baby after that. I’m afraid that I will hurt someone. My wife cried for a week after her mom left. She wanted me to make up to her mom, but I couldn’t.” He sighed. 

The Truth Speaks

After a pause, I asked him. “Would you like to know the truth about that situation?”  

 “How would I do that?” he asked.  

 “Well, I’ll ask the “Truth” to tell you more information. There is something in that story you don’t know.” Then I asked Sean, “What did you believe about yourself that day?” 

 After some thought, Sean replied, “I believed I lost control. I was just like my dad who always lost his temper and beat on us.”   

 “So then, I’ll ask “Truth” to tell you what He knows. Let me know what He says, ok?” 

 “Sure,” he said, closing my hood and wiping away some dust from the top of it.  

 “I ask Truth to reveal more to Sean than he now understands.” Then I waited. 

 After a minute or two he looked at me. 

 “So, did you get anything?” I asked. 

 “Well…” Sean hesitated. 

 “Well?” I asked. “Just spit it out and we can evaluate it together.” 

Turning his face away from me he said, “Ok, I got that I did show self-control that day. There were a lot of things I could have done that were way worse. I didn’t hurt her. She was just so nasty and I couldn’t stand it anymore. She kept telling me I wasn’t a real man. She was always calling my wife names. I wanted to do a lot of things, but I didn’t.” Then he ducked his head and looked at me again. 

 “Is there any other truth?” I asked. 

 “I’m not sure what this means,” he said. “I’m hearing, ‘I’m not disappointed with you either. You are forgivable.’ What’s that all about?” 

 At that point in the conversation I explained to him that the Lord Jesus Christ was the one speaking to him because He is the way the truth and the life. The conversation continued for a short while and Sean had much to think about. It would be wonderful to know that he made a decision for Christ right then and there, but he didn’t. That’s between the Lord and him. His phone rang and he left shortly after. I paid him and blessed him on his way. 

It is my prayer for you that you keep an open mind. Maybe the Lord will reveal truth to you as well and you will know more than you once thought. 

 

A Hair Raising Experience

A Simple Walk to the Park

I talked a couple of weeks ago about healthy and unhealthy fear. Earlier this week I had a hair-raising experience which refers to both kinds. See what you think.

I’ve been playing nanny to my three little grandchildren. On the way to the park I had the eight-month-old in the stroller, the two-year-old in tow right behind it between me and the stroller, and the three-year-old was hanging on to the front right side. We’d had a pleasant morning and going to the park was a joy for all of us. I’d taken the family shelty along on a short leash.

Just a few houses from the park entrance, I saw a middle-aged man approaching us with a German Shepherd dog. The dog looked young and untrained since the man seemed barely able to control it. As they approached we halted and moved over to accommodate them.

The fellow did not give us a wide berth as they approached us. He was too close and his dog was too strong for him. The shepherd came alongside of the stroller, snarled and lunged open mouth at our dog, with the two-year old in between. Using my legs as a shield, the two-year-old bumped into the back of the stroller. Our dog, Thor, met the challenge with his own snarls and snapping rage. The three-year-old stayed where he was, hand on stroller. The dog’s mouth brushed my legs and the stranger yanked hard on his leash, and no one was hurt. The potential danger passed and I stood frozen in shock and distress.

The three-year-old broke me out of my freeze mode when he asked, “Can we go to the park and play now?” We were all back in motion and the boys romped along to the park as though it was just another day.

When I arrived at the park near the play zone, I was shaking. I attached Thor to the park bench, checked on the baby who was content in her stroller, and let the boys play in front of me on the slide and climbing structure. At that point I melted in tears and called my praying friend.

The Prayer Time

My prayer friend, Karin, is a gifted compassionate woman who prays for the healing of many. She has been trained in many methods of healing prayer and has more experience than most as she works as a full time missionary to the inner city. When she picked up the phone that day, she heard the distress in my voice and excused herself from where she was and took herself to a private place.

As I was blubbering about the dog into the phone, she was praying for guidance and listening for clues about what the problem was. With my eyes wide open on the boys playing in front of me, I managed to get the story out. In and of itself it was a shocking situation, but I’d been bitten by a dog only a few years ago and the memory was still vivid and I had the scar to prove it.

As we prayed through the former incident, I saw the Lord push me out of the snarling dog’s reach. It had only snagged my calf and drew blood. It had not gotten a grip of my leg. That would have been much worse. Then the Lord told me that the occurrence was over and would not happen again. I gave the Lord my fear, my shock and I forgave the owners who allowed that to happen. I released every part of the pain to the Lord to carry for me and He gave me peace about it.

From there we looked at the apparent attack by the German Shepherd. Again, I saw the Lord push me between the child and Thor (our dog) and the stranger’s dog. One angel grabbed the man and his leash and yanked his dog back from us and sent them on their way. Another guarded our back. Again, I forgave the man for not controlling his dog and for not giving us enough space as he walked around us when we were stopped to let him pass. I gave the Lord my fear, my shock and confusion. He gave me peace.

At that point I saw something new in the spirit. It’s like God just pulled back a curtain and there were angels playing with the boys. There were guards all around. There was even an angel cooing to the baby, and the Lord sat beside me on the bench. He reminded me of the first time I saw angels. At that time, I asked why they were there as I saw many in and around my home. He told me that they were there to protect His interests in my family. What a wonder, that God should have an interest in our family. I felt safe and secure and loved.

By then I was ok and very grateful for Karin’s availability and we said goodbye. I continued to talk with the Lord about our family and I had a sweet time with Him. During the entire hour we were in the park, only one person walked through it and did not glance our way. The boys were both ready to return home at the same time and none of the children seemed the least bit perturbed by the earlier incident.

My Prayer for You

Would that everyone had a friend like Karin. It is my prayer for you that as you go through life, you will find Jesus to be your best friend and that He will add people to you who are so much like Him that you feel very safe in their presence knowing that they are connected enough to the Lord that they can help you to hear from him when you find it difficult. May you be able to find such a friend that you can call on in a time of crisis who you know will seek the Lord’s guidance and then pray for you. I pray too that you might become such a friend as well.

The Doctor and the Nurse

Career Choice

Somewhere, years ago, I read that 80% of all those in the healing professions need healing themselves. Psychologists, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, chiropractors and the like apparently go into those occupations because they look for ways to help others in order to sooth their own pain. I don’t know how accurate that information is but I know many people in the healing careers who are indeed wounded people. 

 When I chose my first career, I went into nursing. During my time at school I experienced a number of deep wounds including sexual assault, betrayal and manipulation. I opted out of the RN program and chose to become a Licensed Practical Nurse instead. The responsibility of an RN was too daunting for my wounded heart when I was nineteen and in hindsight, I can see that it was a good choice. Years later, as I matured and experienced healing in Jesus, I would have been able to handle the responsibility of a Registered Nurse. Had life been different, I might have returned to school to become an RN, but I chose to be a full-time stay-at-home mother. It was when my youngest children grew older that I was able to explore healing at a deeper emotional level. 

 Hindsight is always clearer than foresight. I can see that I was too wounded to help anyone on a deep level. Most of my nursing career concerned taking care of seniors who were very sick. They were undemanding and all they needed from me was tenderness, compassion and general patient care. I had it in me to give that. 

The Path and It’s Results 

I learned the pathway to emotional healing, little by little. I read lots of books on the subject and practiced with the help of others who were good teachers. I learned to seek the help I needed from wherever I could find it.  

 I can be helpful with Jesus in me, guiding and directing me, and because of how He has equipped me. My experience with pain and healing makes me uniquely qualified to be compassionate and hopeful for others. I have accepted the training and mentorship of others so that I can pass on what I have received to as many people as want to receive this kind of help as well. 

 I have grown in confidence over the years in my ability to lend a hand, but I never stop relying on the Lord to lead. It’s not so much in what I have learned that brings people into their own healing, but far more importantly, it is the Lord’s ability to help us live a life He intended for us to live. 

Jesus the Great Physician 

Jesus really does love us. He came to earth to let us know that, and to bring us back into a love relationship with Him. One of the ways He does that is to tell us the truth about our circumstances and to set us free from the power of sin and death. It’s not just a good theory. He is very practical in the way He applies the truth to our lives. 

 I know the Lord is the Great Physician. I’m glad I get to help as a practical nurse, but I am very thankful that He heals. He knows exactly what is hurting us and He knows precisely what will heal us. All we have to do is go to the Right Doctor. 

 It is my prayer for you that you will seek the healing you need in Doctor Jesus. You may need a nurse to help you connect with Him. I pray you will find what you are looking for in your journey. As you heal, you too can be uniquely qualified to assist The Great Physician in the healing of others. 

 

“What’s All That Crying About?”

When I was a child, my dad said things that many dads say. “Stop that crying or I’ll give you something to cry about”. My dad passed away many years ago and I can still hear his voice and the way he said it. At the time, those words evoked fear in my heart. I was always terrified of my dad as a little girl. I know I wasn’t the only child to hear these words.

I now have four wee little grandchildren and although each one is different, they all have one thing in common. They cry. When they cry a lot, they distress their parents to no end. Crying is a child’s non-verbal way of expressing their needs and desires, like pain, boredom, hunger or fear. There are lots of reasons a child cries. Parents in their humanness sometimes react in ways that are not helpful or healthy.

How People Respond Matters 

Some responses to a child who cries can cause the child in their immaturity to interpret their caregiver’s tone of voice or reactions in a way that may not be intended or even considered. Sometimes this can create a core belief in the child that becomes a theme or framework for their entire lives.

I know now that my dad was a tender-hearted man who loved his three children and was very proud of us. I didn’t always believe this. When I was growing up, I saw him as a mean man who was too quick to strike and too slow to listen. I never felt secure around him, especially when I was alone with him.

My perspective changed several years after he died. I had a load of memories of him reacting to my tears or my other childish “flaws”. During my early years as a Christian, I was taught the need to forgive others. The Lord’s prayer reads in Matthew 6:12, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” It further states in Matthew 6:14, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

I learned to forgive my dad for every negative memory I had of him. I released him into the hands and care of my heavenly Father and asked God to bless him. I then asked the Father to forgive me for holding those negative actions against him and asked the Lord to wipe the slate clean between us over those events. It took several years and loads of memories to go through, but over time it became easier and easier to remember some of the good things about him. As I cooperated in this process, God met me along the way.

After Practicing Forgiveness   

About fifteen years after my dad’s funeral, I woke early in the morning before anyone else in the house stirred. Not wanting to leave my comfortable bed, I decided to just thank God in my head for all the blessings I was enjoying at that point and time. As I did, I entered into what seemed like a daydream. I “saw” the Lord walk into my room with another fellow. I knew it was Jesus and he told me that this gentleman had asked permission to talk to me and He had decided to grant permission. Now it was up to me to decide.

Because I didn’t recognize him, I wondered who he was even though I’d said yes to letting him speak to me. I saw an old picture of my dad in my hand.  It turns out that this person was indeed my dad and he wanted to tell me how sorry he was for not knowing how to raise me well. He apologized for a long list of faults and failures and asked me to forgive him.

Astonished, I forgave him immediately. The confession was so sincere. My dad proceeded to tell me all the things he loved about me as a little girl. From there he went on to affirm me as a woman and a mother and to let me know how proud he was of me. Years of fear washed away. Any list of sins I had retained against him were forgotten during that conversation except what I needed to remember for this testimony. He bestowed upon me a father’s blessing and assured me that I would recognize him in heaven when I got there as he had been healed of all that had deformed him as a man on earth.

The conversation went on for many minutes. I cried during a lot of it and still cry today in the memory of it. These tears are not negative in nature. They are not a sign of need or pain and they are not full of regrets either. These are tears of gratitude for the encounter I had in a day-dream where the Lord revealed something to me in a way I could receive and accept. Now, I can hardly remember the negatives of my childhood with my dad.

I do remember him getting on the floor with my brothers and me playing arm wrestling with him and hearing him laugh at our vain attempts to beat him. I remember playing checkers and washing the dishes with him. I remember how he used to boast about my brothers to visitors after they left home and I am sure he boasted about me too when I left.

I remember the many hours he, being almost illiterate, helping me with homework by dictating the numbers I had to copy out of the text book to help me get it done faster. I remember him bringing my mother breakfast in bed when she was really really sick and bringing her plastic flowers on her birthday.

I remember reading the Bible to him as he lay dying of cancer at home. And I remember being there when he said his last word to God, and I know that I will see him again.

May you, my reader, learn to forgive those who did not react to your crying well. May you practice that act of forgiveness in the presence of God and may He lead you to the full healing you need so that you in turn can react well to those who cry around you. And may your tears become tears of joy and gratitude in many times and in many ways.

Why Affirmations Don’t Heal Us

What Are Affirmations?

There is a lot of talk about affirmations. There are whole industries based on telling yourself who you are and what you will become as if it has already happened. Many famous people have asserted that this is how they became successful and I will not dispute their claims. However, I have discovered that many more people can tell themselves these mantras again and again and never seem to change.

Why is this? Is it because they never tell themselves long enough? Maybe they don’t talk loud enough or enthusiastically enough. Maybe they forget to do the routine regularly or often enough.

May I suggest that it may be because they really don’t believe what they are saying and cannot convince themselves that what they are trying to tell themselves is even remotely possible. When I was a kid, I remember my mom telling me that when a person hears a lie often enough he will eventually believe it. I saw ample evidence of that over the years.

You would think that the opposite would be true and perhaps in some cases it is. Yet spending a year or more telling yourself things that go against your core beliefs about yourself seems to be a waste of time and produces whole heap of guilt and condemnation while you wonder why you can’t overcome your resistance to success.

My perspective is that if we could be all we can be by our own effort, then we really don’t need the help of God. Then some of the scriptures would be either an outright lie or a misrepresentation of God. Bible verses like Genesis 12:2, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”

If we could talk ourselves into greatness we would all be good and avoid evil. We would all live healthy happy lives and our relationships would be full of love and joy. Only good things would come our way because we declared it to be so. I’ve taken classes that promised me this if I just learned to clear my mind of all negativity and chanted the right words. I spent countless hours trying to keep at this and by appearances, I was the epitome of a healthy happy woman in a perfect marriage raising a bunch of amazing wonderful children. Outside, my facade was quite amazing. Inside, I was grieving and wondered if I would ever be happy or healthy or wise.

I continued in this struggle of pretence versus truth for more than ten years. Then I was introduced to the Truth and it was the Truth that set me free to be my true authentic self.

The Problem with Mantras 

Mantras are a group of self-elevating affirmations that one might repeat to oneself over and over while in a state of induced relaxation. These words are often directed by someone other than yourself like a life coach or a guru who tells you what you should be saying to yourself.

The Solution 

Jesus told his disciples to follow him. After three years of teaching them and training them, He performed the ultimate sacrifice for them so that they could access Him and His Father through the Holy Spirit by dying on the cross for them (and the whole world) to pay the way. Then He resurrected from the dead and spent fifty more days with them to fill them in on the rest of the story. He commissioned them to go and make disciples, teaching them everything they’d learned to build His kingdom. We now have the same access to Him and His Father through the Holy Spirit because they did what He asked and left us a living record we call the Bible.

Jesus opened a door of access to the all knowing, all present, all powerful God. Because of this open door created by shedding His blood on the cross for us we have access to the whole truth which is greater than anything we could make up on our own. He knows just what we need to know to overcome our pain, our weaknesses and our greatest fears.

In my healing journey, I have discovered again and again that the truth trumps the facts which can be misinterpretted and the only one who knows the whole truth is God. He has a perspective that can completely overturn our core beliefs. When this happens, we can turn in a new direction with much more ease and the need for repetitious sentences is reduced sometimes to zero. There are times He simply puts the facts into perspective in a way you could not understand before. AFTER the new viewpoint is received, then repeating the new understanding can be helpful to retain what you have learned.

One example of this in my own life came when God gave me a new perspective of my marriage. I felt like a failure even after trying consistently to make my husband happy by trying every idea I could manage to no avail. I still felt like a failure even after all the prayers of repentance and all the forgiving prayers I’d prayed and following all the formulas for a happy marriage that I found.

I felt I had completely failed until I heard that inner voice I’ve learned to recognize as God’s. He said, “You did not fail. Nor did you make a mistake in marrying him. I gave him as a gift to you and you were a gift to him. What each of you did with your gift was up to each of you. I know that you did the best you could considering your limitations and I am satisfied that you gave it your personal best and grew up along the way. Now, I am a God of choice and your husband made his. Will you please let him go?”

One simple statement can erase years of torment. That single conversation made it possible to release my ex-husband to his own choices and close the door to a thirty year relationship. It healed many hurts and made forgiving him for the many years of pain I felt during our marriage so much easier. I was freed from the need to compel the man to believe that I’d loved him and to prove my worth as a wife even when he’d made it clear that he didn’t want me.

It is my prayer for each of you reading this that you would find such truth from the One who is Truth. I pray that you will learn to hear that voice and recognize when He is speaking to you and that The Truth will set you free.

Start Dealing with the Poverty Spirit

I know that there are lots of people who feel poor whether or not they are. Many people my age are the children of those growing up during the great depression of the 1920’s and 1930’s. At that time if someone got paid one dollar a day they were doing well, especially if they could keep that job. Those children grew up feeling very poor. There was no money for “extras” like ice cream and fancy clothes. Many families were larger then and hand- me-down clothes were common from older siblings to younger siblings.

When my parents had young children, families were smaller yet my mother still believed we were poor as well. She went out to work for most of the years we grew up and worked past the age of sixty-five saving and saving in Guaranteed Investment Certificates. Financial security was very important to her. I grew up in that environment and during my entire married life, felt that we were very poor even though my husband made a very good wage as an accountant.

One year while I was apprenticing in a healing prayer ministry, it was my turn to have my own healing session as a requirement of the program. As I asked the Lord what He wanted to heal in my life, the issue of poverty came up. I’ve always loved being generous and found all kinds of non-financial ways to give. I grew a big garden to share produce, shared clothes, food, and even furniture I built. I shared my time and talents and knowledge base with scores of people, but I never felt free to share money. My husband had control over our finances and had budgeted our giving and so I never gave much more than change in the Salvation Army pot at Christmas time or the penny drive at school.

As I mentioned this to my prayer partner, I felt a flood of emotions flow over me. I felt shame and condemnation. It felt like I was in this prison of poverty and I would never be free. By this time, I had given up a career in nursing to become a full time stay-at-home mom. I actually had no real income; only a couple of hobbies that paid for themselves.

I found the source of these feelings of poverty and shame to be a theme throughout my lifetime. There was no obvious beginning event to this feeling of being poor. It seemed it had always been a part of my life.

I asked the Lord for His perspective. I heard a scripture from Psalm 37:25, “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.”

“But Lord,” I protested, “surely some of the righteous since that writing have starved to death. Look at all those who starved in concentration camps?”

Then I heard Him ask me, “Has anyone in your mother or father’s family starved to death?”

Thinking of my family history I said, “No, I don’t think so.”

Fear Passed from Generation to Generation

“Then why do you think they were afraid of poverty?” I wondered about this for a few minutes. It occurred to me that perhaps this was one of those fears passed on from generation to generation. During the great depression, some people probably did starve to death. I had certainly heard stories about my grandparents handing out mashed potato sandwiches for lunch at school and being ashamed of their poverty.

I felt led to ask God to forgive me for not trusting Him to provide for me. I asked God to forgive anyone in my family bloodline who may have had the same problem. I asked God to break off all shame from our family for being poor at one time or another. Symbolically, I put Jesus and His cross between me and any spirit of poverty or related shame. In the name and power of Jesus Christ, I cast off of me anything that would make me feel poor.

I did feel lighter after that. I can’t say the whole issue was solved in that one set of prayers, but I no longer felt that I could not give money and I began giving more than just pocket change.

At that point I was able to trust the Lord more. I found God able and willing to provide more than enough. There were other points of prayer about the poverty spirit to come. Yet it was a good starting point for me. Since then, I’ve seen supernatural provision of money on more than one occasion and I know that God is my provider as it says in the Bible in Psalm 68:10 “Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.”

I have been in poverty and I have been in monetary wealth, but abundance is of the Lord. It is my hope that if you have a feeling of always being poor or not having enough to keep let alone share, that you will find your way on your own healing journey.

More on Growing Fruit

Making Room for Fruit to Grow 

The Bible names nine fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5: 22 & 23. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In my early years as a Christian, I had few of these character traits in my life. I was a deeply troubled young lady. As I learned the Bible, I learned about God’s character and found out that He has all of them. 

When I got to the Book of Galatians and read about the fruit of the Spirit, I tried really, really hard to grow in love and patience especially. I tried for years. The harder I tried the more difficult it seemed. I had this verse on a plaque over my stove so that I would be reminded daily to try harder.  

One day I had one of those “God moments”. I thought I heard His voice in my head having a conversation with me telling me that the fruit of the Spirit was not the fruit of Muriel but of the Spirit. From that day on I began to ask Him to grow more fruit in me and He did. 

 Stumped 

One day it seemed that I had stalled. It seemed to me that although there was evidence that I was more patient and perhaps more self-controlled, even kinder and gentler towards my family, I had not increased in the production of this fruit for some time.  

I went to my quiet place late one evening when everyone was in bed to seriously think about why this was. I was looking for sin in my life and asking the Lord to examine my heart. I took care of some business repenting and confessing sins that I was aware of. I asked for help correcting some of my attitudes and forgave everyone I could think of that may have hurt or offended me. I thought it was all good between God and me and I think at the time I was as thorough as I could be. 

Breakthrough 

Yet even though I tried very hard to keep a short list with Him, I still did not see an improvement or increase in the growth of these fruit. It was around that time that I was introduced to the work and teaching of Neil Anderson. He wrote several books: The Bondage Breaker and Walking Through the Darkness among others. I met him in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where he taught us how to be free from bondage that restricted our growth spiritually. I took every course he had. That began a new phase in my journey. I realized that there was more to the spiritual life than just forgiving others and then repenting and confessing my own sin. 

Learning and practicing what Dr. Anderson taught me got the growth of the fruit of the Spirit growing again. Cutting soul ties and renouncing the practices of my ancestors really helped me to see that life was not just about me and I was able to move out of old habits more easily. 

After learning that, I also found out about Transformational Prayer Ministry by Dr. Ed Smith. That was a real eye opener for me. The idea that the enemy plants lies into our lives that can hinder us from ever enjoying the new life Jesus paid for us to have with His blood on the cross was totally radical to me. The idea that the Lord would be willing to nullify the lies we believe with His truth was revelatory.  

Since learning about these methods of being freed from the plans and schemes of the enemy, not only have I grown more fruit in my life, I’ve also grown in my relationship to God as my Father, and Jesus as my closest companion. My life has gotten richer with the Holy Spirit being my helper  and I’ve navigated some of my most difficult seasons with the Lord in ways I couldn’t have imagined. The learning curve was steep sometimes, but it’s all worth it. 

My Prayer for You 

I wish you the best on your journey. May you discover the keys of growing more love, joy and peace in your life. May you enjoy an increase of patience, kindness and goodness. May those around you notice how faithful, gentle and self-controlled you have become. As the Bible says, “There is no law against these things.” 

 

 

How Emotional Healing Aided a Physical Healing

The Experiment

Over the years I’ve had opportunity to experiment with the connection between emotional pain and physical pain.  Sometimes the results have been astounding. One of my earlier trials of this kind of connection came when I was staying with a friend. I’ll call her Betsy. When I first arrived, she greeted me warmly and quickly put the coffee on so we could settle down for a nice long chat. I noticed she was limping around the stove and asked her about it. 

Apologetically, she told me she was not able to stand long and showed me her knee which was swollen to double its normal size. It was stretching her pants. Her other knee seemed fine. She was very discouraged by the pain.

I asked her if she had the time and energy for a bit of prayer. She nodded her head. I explained to Betsy that sometimes our physical pain is connected to something in our history and I’m going to ask the Lord to reveal where the source of your pain is coming from.  Then I prayed, “Lord, where did this pain and swelling begin? What crack in her history did it slip into?”

Then I asked her if anything came to mind. Her response was, “Well I thought of something right away, but that was years ago. What would that have to do with today?”

“I don’t know,” I replied. “What did you think about?”

“Well, I was thinking about our first year of marriage, about thirty years ago.” Betsy continued, “We were so in love and so poor, and I was so happy then. When we found out we were expecting our first child, my husband decided he should get a better paying job because he didn’t want me to have to work while we were raising our children. His job took him out of town a lot and I hated that he wasn’t always home every night and I missed him so much.”

“How did that make you feel?” I asked.

“I felt lonely and abandoned. I was so scared during my first pregnancy. You couldn’t just make a phone call and talk to someone back then. He had a travelling job. I didn’t always know where he was when he was on the road and we couldn’t afford a phone in those days let alone long-distance charges. We only called in an emergency from the neighbour’s house and had to pay them back for the extra charges on their bill.” She moaned a little as she spoke.

“What did you begin to believe during that time when you felt so lonely and abandoned?” I asked.

She looked at me and barked, “Well, what do you think I believed. He didn’t love me anymore. He was running away from me.”

Gently I asked again, “What did you believe at that time…about yourself?”

Her tone changed as she reprocessed the question. “I thought I’d become ugly or unlovable like I felt when I was a wee little girl and my dad was at war and my mom went to work leaving me with my grandmother. I felt abandoned then too.”

“What truth would God like you to know now?” I asked.

After a long pause I heard Betsy sigh. “Ahh, I was not abandoned. He did that because he loved me and wanted to take care of me…of our family just like my mother did. Ahh, wow,” she said. “All these years have gone by and I never knew he loved me.”    

At that point she began to think of all the ways he’d shown her he loved her over the years. We figured out that his love language to her was mostly doing nice things for her. He built them a beautiful home. He built her beautiful furniture and made her a lovely garden out back. He had made toys for their children and helped each one build a house of their own.

After the reminiscing, she got up to refresh my coffee. I asked her how her knee was. She was astonished as she realized that the swelling was gone and she could hop up and down on that foot without pain. Neither of us had noticed when it got better.

Now when people ask me to pray for physical healing, I start by looking for the crack that allowed it in. Sometimes there is a connection. It never hurts to look for it.

Behind the Anger

Behind the Anger Veil

In my last blog, I talked about anger and how it could mask the real problem and the real hurt in a person’s life. Following is a story about how I experienced this very thing in my own life. See if you can identify with this experience and follow the story to find the path I took to gain your own healing.

I was mad. I believed I had been robbed of my dignity and my character had been attacked. I was told that if I just stopped whining and complaining so much, all my problems would go away. I wondered if this was how Job felt when he was suffering.

I went home fuming. I replayed the conversation over and over again in my head. How could I have explained my concern with my brother without getting such a nasty response? I was hurting, looking for help to resolve an issue, not just whining and complaining to hear my own voice. I didn’t think I had rights that were more important than my brother’s. I had a problem that needed wise counsel, not just judgment and criticism. I had risked being vulnerable to someone I trusted and got nothing helpful to go home with, only more hurt. I wanted to tell the one I had tried to get help from what I thought of him and his “wise counsel”. I began a tirade to the Lord about this “servant of His” who was supposed to be a spokesperson for God and had done a terrible job of it. I wanted God to deal with him ever so severely and set the guy straight.

It Helps to Have Strong Friends

When I got home I called up my girlfriend. Thankfully she was not in the mood to hear my story and interrupted me. She asked me if I was willing to put my anger aside for a moment to see what the Lord wanted me to know. I was stopped in my tracks. I knew from my training and my years of practice that this was the right thing to do. I momentarily struggled with the decision to comply or continue my rant.

I complied. I put my hand on my heart and in an act of agreement, I pulled the anger out of my heart and symbolically put it in a basket. I put the basket at the foot of the cross and asked the Lord to take it.

After the Anger is Put Aside by Choice

Immediately, I felt the anger drop off and the pain behind it surfaced. She then guided me through the steps of finding what the real problem was and presenting this before God for His perspective. 

I’d had a fall-out with my brother. I really loved him and admired him. I was really hurt by the harsh words he had spoken to me. I knew the whole thing was over a misunderstanding and I did not know how to fix it. I believed I’d messed up and that our relationship was broken beyond repair. I had no idea how to correct the misunderstanding and restore the relationship.

Beyond that, when I went to a staff member at my church to try to sort it all out, he too misunderstood my conversation, became impatient with me and dismissed me with a remark like, “Women like you need to learn to stop whining and complaining. Then you might start getting along with others.” I was crushed believing that there was something terribly wrong with me. Outwardly I was angry. Inwardly I was decimated.

  

As I put the anger aside, the Lord gently took me to the first time I felt so crushed. I found it in my very first year of school when a boy told me that if I was a friend of the “retard” (Down’s syndrome child in our class), that I was retarded too. I loved the boy with the round face and was hurt to be put in a category that somehow made me feel less than the bully. I believed that there was something wrong with me. I remained friends with my friend but was taunted along with him every day as we walked home from school together.

The Lord revealed to me that there was nothing “wrong” with me and asked me to forgive the child bully, which I did immediately. The Lord also showed me that He loved my compassion and open heart towards those who were different from everybody else. He also showed me many other truths throughout the situation.

In the end, I was able to forgive the person I went to for counsel and received help from the Lord for my brother and me. He worked in both of us.  We are getting along very well today. 

In many times and in many ways the father of lies embeds lies into our lives. This is especially true while we are very young and unable to process the things we hear and experience in light of the truth. Once those lies turn into beliefs they can cause us to self destruct over the course of our lifetime. 

Letting God bring truth to those false beliefs can be life saving. The truth can open the door to restoration of precious relationships, peace in our hearts and the ability to help others so that our world can get better rather than continue in its natural course towards destruction. I know this experience was a life changer. It set me on a path that made my response to people who did not understand me much more compassionate. I gained an ability to forgive more quickly. I am not nearly so easily hurt or offended and there is room for more joy in my life than ever before. My prayer is that this will happen for you the reader as well.

How Anger Hinders Healing

 

One of the Biggest Hindrances to Healing 

 

Can we hinder our own healing? We sure can. There are many things that can block the process, but one of the biggest things that will prevent us from accessing the provision God gave us for our healing and restoration is anger. 

Anger is what has been referred to as a guardian emotion. When we feel hurt or vulnerable and we do not want to get run over by “weaker” emotions, we may choose anger. Our anger may seem to be so automatic that it doesn’t appear to be a choice, but I’ve seen people choose to put anger aside for a moment and allow themselves to dig deeper into what their anger is covering up.  It’s important for our healing that we recognize that anger can be a learned behaviour or a more socially acceptable emotion than crying. 

 

What does Anger Do for Us? 

 

Anger does many things for us. Anger covers our vulnerabilities when we feel threatened. It makes us appear stronger and tougher than we feel. It masks the fear we are feeling and gives us a sense of personal control over a given situation. Anger can be expressed both actively through outbursts of angry words and violence or passively through distancing, ignoring and punishing silence.  

 

Most psychologists now agree that anger is a symptom of wounds people carry. Without going into the many books on the subject of passive and active forms of anger, suffice it to say, they are well known among the hurting. Anger allows us to blame someone else for the pain we feel and removes us from any responsibility. 

 

There is a common phrase I’ve seen in recent months: “Hurting people hurt people”. If we use anger as a way of dealing with our pain, we may well be managing our pain but in the end, it doesn’t help us heal. Anger will hurt us and those closest to us in a perpetual cycle of negativity that prevents us from healing. 

The Bible says, Eph. 4:26, “Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” Righteous anger is a legitimate emotion, but it is a rare thing among us mortals. Righteous anger is not about us. It is about what offends God and hurts others. Anger hinders healing and personal relationships when used as a coverup or reaction for offenses or hurts.  

In our anger we are often blame shifting. Sometimes we judge others for things they said when it is not what they said at all but what we think they meant. God is the only one who knows the whole truth, understands motive and sees every side of an incident.  It is not uncommon to be angry when we have been wronged, but prolonged anger leads to bitterness which can be hazardous to our personal health and relationships. Bitterness also does not lead to healing but rather can destroy more and more in our lives.  

Using the anger we feel as a signpost to help us turn to the healing process can make the emotion useful rather than harmful. The Holy Spirit can help us to control our reactions to anger when we ask Him to grow the fruit of self-control into our lives. 

 

Putting Anger Aside 

 

In many of the healing prayer sessions I’ve had with others the presenting emotion is anger. I will ask them if they are willing to put it aside for the moment because anger focusses on another person rather than oneself. What we are looking for is what’s behind the anger so that the recipient of prayer can find healing. When they get their healing, anger is no longer needed to protect them. 

 

Sometimes we can simply put anger into an imaginary basket for the time being. Sometimes we have to find out what they think might happen if they give it up. Then we look for truth to deal with that so that we can move on. 

 

I believe that if you are willing to put aside your anger for a short period of time, you too will find healing for yourself. When you gain healing, you are able to make room for some of the more positive things in your life, like love.             

 

1 Corinthians 13:5 says about love, “It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” It is a wonderful thing when we can love like this. Healing our hearts can lead to love that gives without pain.