A lot of times while talking about my Faith, people tend to want to hear some facts that can prove that what I believe in is real. That it is truth, it is unshakably honest, and without a doubt the one and only way. Well, I'm sorry. Most of the things I talk about are experiences and happenings that I cannot explain in a way that would make sense to Anyone who wants a materialistic fact.
I talk about some stories like the time I was called into a prayer circle of teenagers at the church I attended in Georgia. A young girl about 16 years old had been starving herself for around two weeks. Under the impression she was fat and disgusting and nobody, not even the boy she was going with, looked at her with an approving eye. This young girl shook uncontrollably as if she was trembling in fear. But she wasn't. She shook because she was ill, and to top it off she was cold to the touch. Cold to the touch inside a warehouse with no ac in the middle of summer in the south. I lead a prayer along with the pastors wife, and three of her close friends. I asked my God to take away the lies she had been told about her vanity, to comfort her and show her she was beautiful, regardless of what anyone else may think or say, that He loved her no matter what. I prayed that her health be restored, and her strength be regained. I prayed for a few more personal things at the request of her friends. This girl, removed her sweater while we were praying for her because she had begun to sweat. Her trembling relaxed and she stood still and calm. She cried. Not sadness this time, but joy. She was beginning to experience God''s love though those around her.
I use other smaller examples of prayer. The time I prayed over a little girl I once knew. She was torn up with the flu. So stuffed up and congested she could barely breath through her nose. She sneezed frequently. She was pale and sleepy and without energy for a few days. When she went to bed that night, I prayed to my God, I asked that he recognize her as his daughter and take the sickness away. She was a toddler. This sickness came out of nowhere in a season that was not a sick season. Little children should not have to suffer through that type of illness. The next day, she woke up with more energy than ever. Full of color, and smiles, and no trace of sleepiness. Sickness gone in hours with no medicines.
There is a long, long winded story I tell to some people. But I keep a lot of it to myself due to the fact that it involves demon spirits, angels, prayer in the spiritual language and a good friend of mine who at that time could visually see what it was we were fighting against while we fought it.
They all sound crazy to the unbeliever, the curious and even sometimes the ones who say they are faith filled. They will say, sickness was a mere twenty four hour bug. The starving girl just needed her mind to be calmed down with some kind words. Then the spiritual warfare story is just me making up something entertaining, or that I forgot to put in the part about drinking or drugs, (that were no where to be found in the house, let alone the story.)
So I tell them one of my favorite examples of how my Lord works. It's a story of a woman I met years ago. She was an awesome lady. Married for more years than most people can fathom. Over fifty years of marriage and devotion to her family and her husband. She was a mother to her kids, and her kid's kids. Hard edges, straight shooter and full of love. Her curse in this story, she was a smoker. From a young age she had taken up cigarettes. Over the years she made attempts to quit but only picked it up later down the line. The years of smoking did a number on her lungs and the behavior finally caught up with her. This is where this story picks up.
Early one morning around seven a.m. she called out from her room to her grandson, who happen to come in town a few weeks before, but he did not hear. As she struggled to breath, she called to him again but still went unnoticed. So she grabs the mask on her nebulizer machine and turns it up high to try and get some oxygen. After a few minutes she calls to her grandson again. This time, he hears her and comes into her room. "Call an ambulance, I can't breath," she says to him.
When the ambulance arrived, they came in and got her on board and carried her to the cart waiting in the living room. Later they said at pick up, she was only working nineteen percent oxygen in her blood supply. Levels low enough to cause her pass out, and close to death. The ambulance drove away and her grandson followed. After a few hours they had her conscious and stable. Hooked up to heart monitor, breathing machines, feeding tubes, and pain medicine, she was in a rough state. Later that day and for the next few days her family would come a visit her.
Midway through the week her grandson came back to see her. As he walked in her room he paused. Later mentioning how it was tough to see his grandma in that shape. Laid up in a bed, hooked to feeding tubes, oxygen lines and monitors. He went in the room and spent some time with her. They spoke through a note pad and pen. Because of the tubes in her thought, it was tough to understand what she was saying. After some conversation, he began to watch tv with her. He recalled The Price is Right being on. Classic midday tv. As they sat there he began to remembered a conversation a few months prior, when his grandma was telling him about the Jesus candle she had on her nightstand. When he pointed to it one day, she told him, "I enjoy reading them, it gives me hope." So he picked up he pen and began to write for a while.
After about a half hour of writing, he told his grandma he had to go. He had work. But before he left, he took a few minutes to explain the note he wrote to her. He told her that Jesus loves her. That God did not enjoy seeing her as sick as she was, that He was there with her even if she may not have noticed it. He continued to tell her that he remembered their conversation about the candle prayer, and that he wrote a prayer for her. But there was a slight difference.
"This prayer I wrote you," he said, " this is a prayer of forgiveness. Both asking and giving. I wrote it for you because I know you liked the candle ones. But if you read this one, I would like you to read it with your heart and not just your words."
He placed the note sheet on her lunch tray and said goodbye. Kissed her and hugged her and left to head to work. He didn't get to go back to the hospital again that week.
Now before I finish this story, and why I believe it to be a great testimony to my Fathers love for all of us, I need to share something from my story: This is about MY grandmother. I AM the grandson in tis story. This story took place two weeks after I had just moved back to my parents place following my life Georgia.
I have told this story a handful of people, and the reason It took a bit to share it openly, is because I wanted to be all in on the story. I didn't want to tell a story for the sake of sadness, or grief, or anything like that. But after telling it again to a few people recently, I realized I wanted to share it. Also, this story is as accurate as I recall it. And the details of the end are based on what I was told by my family.
After giving the prayer to my grandmother and saying goodbye, I left for work. I worked about an hour and a half away, and I promise you I cried for about half the trip. I was so sad to see my gramma in that state. She was like a super hero to me.
I didn't get to see her awake after that day. She passed away that weekend. I was told that some time during the night she was doing something and passed out, and didn't come back. But that's not what makes me share this story. The reason I share this story is the part I will talk about now.
Although I do not remember the exact words on the paper I gave my gramma, I can give a round about to the prayer I asked her to read. I wrote that Jesus loved her, and He wanted to be there to help her. To make her well and live again. I asked her to read these words with her heart; "God I am here. I am sorry for forgetting about you. I am sorry for living my life without you. Please forgive me. I am sorry for all that I have done without you. Please be a part of my life now and take me in to yours. Heal my heart and make me new." Then I said, if she believed these words and this prayer, to reread it with her heart. Let it be her confession.
I think it was two days after I had visited my gramma, when my mom called me at work with some news. I answered the phone and mom asked if I was able to go see her again. I told her no, but I was going too when my other brother got in town. She asked if I had known about the DNR papers gramma had signed for herself after my grampa passed. I told her I did not. She then began to tell me that I would have to go to her new room to visit. They moved her into her own room the night before. She had some breakfast earlier, and had been up and walking, and when they got to her room she had just finished eating her lunch and was picking out what she wanted for dinner. There were certain times I could go so I had to fix my schedule. All the while, I had a huge involuntary grin on my face. I had to have looked like an oddball to anyone who walked in the doors. My gramma was UP, on her feet and WALKING on her own. She ATE breakfast and lunch, and was picking our her dinner.
She ate without feeding tubes. She was walking and not laying in bed, stuck. She was out of the ER area and in her own room. Now I may sound like a nut, but how does a woman go from being hooked up to monitors, feeding tubes, oxygen and bed ridden one day, to walking down to her own room, eating and breathing on her own without machines, almost overnight? There may be a medical reason. There may be some details that were not all there or not told to me. But as far as I know, that is what was told to me by my mom and my dad, who both had been to see her those last days I hadn't.
I use this story now as part of my testimony about Christ. It's the unexplainable, and the experiences that tell His story. Not the facts and the proven details. I think too many people are chasing the facts. Wanting hard evidence over experience. Maybe because if we have an experience, we become accountable for what we do afterwards?
"Show me the scars, and let me put my finger in them," says Thomas.
Jesus told his followers, "You believe because you have seen, but there will be many who will have not seen and yet believe. They have true faith."
There are so many things about this life that are beautiful and magnificent proofs of creation. The works of an artist and a designer. There are more and more evidences surfacing, showing facts and proofs of the stories documented in the bible. But it is the experiences in things that helps us to believe what it is we are told.
Someone told me God loves me. Jesus was His son, the savior and the gateway to heaven. The Spirit of God would be my truth and my guide, my direct connection to my creator. Awakened in me when I testified my belief in Him and His son's resurrection from death as we knew it. For the longest time, I didn't really get it, I didn't believe, I didn't care. But then came a time when I needed more. Something or someone that could fulfill the needs. So I tried. I took a chance and looked to experience what everyone had told me about God, Jesus, the Spirit, the Bible.
I truly believe, that through that first decision made to find and experience God for who he truly is, and not what people tell me he is, has lead me to be able to say; When I get to Heaven, I will be able to hug my Grandmother!
Look for an experience. Be open to it. Pray. And be mindful of what you pray about. Be on the lookout for God to answer. Through His love and Grace . . . .