Circumstantially, it was the worst year ever. Despite that, it was the best year ever. God was greater and showed more mercy and grace than I can put in words. Once I felt Him moving in our life so much after the move back to Birmingham, I decided to pick a life verse for the year. I picked “The Lord will fight for you, you need only BE STILL.” (Exodus 14:14)
Our eyes were opened and there was lots of repentance, forgiveness, and deliverance. I started turning to God, trusting Him and surrendering. He showed us how to face impossible situations with great faith, submit to His plan, and how to show unconditional love.
Go convicted me of unforgiving in my life relationships. I gained hope and understanding about my past hurts. I asked God to reveal what I needed to work on and started working on myself. God redeemed me and showed me how to love and forgive again.
My perspective started to change drastically. I was reminded to look at God’s Word as just what it is — alive and sharp. My view of worship evolved. I no longer viewed it as the great experience the worship team put on for ME, but as a gift from me to GOD.
God showed me how He viewed me. I was also reminded of the difference between religion and Jesus. I saw once and for all that God’s grace isn’t won, it’s abundant. Never ending.
We then learned our son had some developmental delays. God used this time to bring us together and we became a team. We saw God using this not as a way to make our son suffer, but to carry his sweet mind, body, and soul through it while opening our eyes to how small all our other problems really were. We saw what truly mattered for the first time in a long time
On my 30th birthday I turned to the Lord in desperation and despair. I saw that when we have nothing left, God suddenly is all we need. Gratitude is what happened after that. Gratitude is what happens when God shows you that everything you have is more than enough. My view of our situation started to change.
The rest of our story….
— I was reminded that God uses dreams and visions to reveal things to His children. I’ve known the Bible stories for so long, but never stopped to really think about how God revealed. After hearing more than one person say they felt “our story” would end with us going into the ministry somehow, I remembered a vivid dream I had in September of 2009….before John Taylor lost his job. God used our church and the people to change our view of our pupose here on earth and everyone’s part in growing God’s Kingdom. (more on this later)
— I could not rest concerning a certain calling and God united our hearts about one day adopting a child internationally. At just the right moment, the Lord revealed to me that we would indeed one day adopt. Having never thought or longed to adopt, my heart immediately changed. After sharing this with John Taylor and learning he had thought about adopting since 2004, I instantly knew in my heart that feeling led to adopt was a deeper understanding of God’s love for us. He adopted us through Christ. I started praying for our child that instant. God knows who she is and since she will one day be ours, I started praying. (more details on this later, too)
— One night, our God showed us just how merciful He is. He healed our son. And this is what I’m going to share most about with you today…..
It’s pretty simple, so I’ll just come out and say it…..
Our son was healed.
I almost didn’t go to church that Wednesday night. Taz was having “bad days”. Truth be told, I was the one having bad days. I closed my eyes and waited for what I knew was coming every time I asked our son a question — an echo of what I just said instead of an answer. I would brace myself when I walked into his room to say good morning and would wait for him to repeat me. But, I just kept talking to him like everything was normal. Meanwhile, I was dying of wonder inside. I had no patience to wait for the evaluation. I had to know right then. A big lesson was learned during this season — God could not work in my son’s life as long as I was trying to control it. As parents, we think we know what’s best for our children, but do we? God knows our children better than anyone. In fact, they are His. He created them. He knew them before they were even formed in our wombs. He knows the plans, the paths, the process.
I’m reminded of something our Pastor shared that he was bold enough to pray — “If I can’t trust You with it, then You can take it away, Lord.”
Are we bold enough to tell the Lord that if we can’t trust HIM with the person/thing then HE can take it away from this earth? Wow. (insert conviction here)
On June 22, 2011 I trusted God with our son like never before. Truthfully, I was desperate. I was helpless.
Pastor Rob Ketterling was delivering the message and it was on healing. He told the story of how his son had been healed of Autism. He invited anyone who needed healing down front for prayer after the message. I walked down with more faith and belief than I ever have. I was anointed with oil. It was the most powerful prayer I’ve ever heard. I smiled. I cried. I walked away. The next morning, for the first time in months, I did not hear an echo when I said good morning. I heard…..
“Would you turn on my light?”
It was a turning point. We will never know what the doctor would have said had such experience never taken place. I don’t know what was on Taz. All I know is there was emotional and mental healing that night…all in Jesus’ name.
We still had Taz evaluated. Three times. Mostly they wondered why we were even there. He does have a language delay and needs therapy. But, a lot of the habits and tendencies he had are completely gone and never returned! Praise the Lord!
I don’t know why God only heals some and I am not a scholar. I can only share my experience of what the Holy Spirit has revealed to me and that is —
For the first time in
a long time forever, I was walking in obedience. I was looking to God’s Word. I had faith. I BELIEVED! I remember walking down the aisle uttering, “God, I’m believing You are going to work miracles in my son’s life”, and here’s the thing — I really believed it. I didn’t just utter because I wanted to believe. I did believe.
I’m reminded of the story of Peter and Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33)
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
I mentioned I was desperate when I entered the service that night. Why had I lost sight? Why is it that I could trust God with our finances, but not with my son? I recently read these words from Angie Smith referring to Peter loosing sight and faith of Jesus for one slight moment while walking out to meet Him on the water:
“He is sinking between a boat of able-bodied men and the Man who claims to be the Son of God. And guess what? So are we. Every single moment of every single day, we have to makes this choice. Them? Or Him?……
…..But when push came to shove, regardless of his fear in doing so, Peter called out to Jesus instead of the men. His life on the line, terrified and bewildered by his circumstances, he said only one name. Lord. This, my friends, is walking in faith that transforms.” (Angie Smith, What Women Fear)
You see, God’s Will is to heal us and He promises us He can and will…..we need only trust that He’ll fight for us and Be Still. I’m going to have to agree with Angie on this one —- true healing comes from wisdom and wisdom comes from obedience.
I hear it all the time — draw near to the Lord and He’ll draw near to you. He is calling us, friends. Submit to His Will for you and He will bless you beyond your wildest dreams.
I never really thought too much about when Jesus decided to rescue Peter on the water — I just knew He rescued Him. It wasn’t until after reading Angie’s words that it all clicked.
….he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he called out:
Lord, save me.