God healed me, but then He used it to do something even greater than that…

I am still so in awe of what took place in the hospital on November 15th. I’m sure there are some who aren’t as confident as I am about my healing and that’s okay. It’s not up to me to convince others. All I know and believe is by His stripes I am healed! I am claiming my healing and I will keep sharing about the great things the Lord has done!

************************************************************************************ If you haven’t read my previous post, I hope you will take a couple of minutes to do so: https://dblives.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/a-true-story-of-healing-i-prayed-with-faith-that-god-would-heal-me-and-heres-what-happened/. I think this new post might make more sense if you do. More than that though, it’s just a great story about how wonderful God is and I think it’s worth reading! ************************************************************************************

The greatest thing that came from this experience (in addition to my actual healing of course) was seeing my mom’s faith in God, her belief in His healing power, increase significantly. What an incredible blessing for me that the Lord used my circumstance to do this!

After the procedure, when I was in the recovery room, she wasn’t able to see like I do through spiritual eyes. She was puzzled, like I’m sure some others were, when the surgeon found absolutely nothing wrong with my heart. He didn’t find the abnormal extra nerves that just a couple of weeks prior he was convinced were there. I honestly don’t believe he would have scheduled this procedure otherwise. The symptoms I had been having on and off for the last couple of years convinced him I still had a problem. I was convinced as well because I suffered those identical symptoms for 17 years of my young adult life before they did the first procedure. I was very familiar with what was happening inside of my heart. When my mom was wondering why the surgeon didn’t find anything, the first thing that I said to her was: “Mom, there was nothing there because the Lord healed me! What happened is exactly what I had prayed for! His power is real, please believe!” I told my mom how this time around I had so many people praying for me and that I had specifically asked the Lord to heal me and have the surgeon confirm that there was nothing there. Immediately, I saw the puzzled look in her face fade away. She looked at me, her eyes opened up a little wider and she started to cry and she started to praise the Lord with me in that room! The Lord keeps blessing me with such special moments like this one. We hugged and cried tears of joy together. I will never ever forget that entire day, especially that moment with my dear mom.

The Lord’s healing is another miracle to me and I am so grateful. But I am even more grateful that He took that healing a step further and increased my mom’s faith with it. If the Lord allowed me to go through all of this just to reach one person’s heart, which happened to be my mom, then all of it was beyond worth it!! I will never regret praying for the Lord to use my life…just look at what He’s doing! Wow!!

I was told to never to give up praying for those we love and I will never give up. Until now, I don’t think my mom was able to truly comprehend how powerful the Lord has been in my life. She was thrilled to see my life change so drastically and I know she loves the Lord. But because she hadn’t learned yet to give Him every area of her life, I know it was hard for her to understand what has been happening these last couple of years. I was transformed before her very eyes. Watching someone go through transformation is one thing, but I think unless someone experiences the power of God in their own life, it is difficult to understand how real He is. I believe November 15th is the day that the Lord opened my mom’s spiritual eyes. She is sharing about His miracles now! I pray that she will soon start to experience His power in her own life. I know He has a wonderful plan. It’s His will, His way, His time…and I am EXCITED!

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. His power is available to all who believe…I BELIEVE! I pray many more will believe in Him too.

Thank You, Jesus!! ♥

A true story of healing: I prayed with faith that God would heal me and here’s what happened…

This story is long, but I believe every bit of it is worth sharing because it’s a wonderful testimony of how awesome God is. I pray people will read it and be encouraged by it. What God did for me, He can do for anybody—if only more people would believe it and pray with such faith. I want the world to know how great He is. Ever since I opened my heart to Him and gave Him my life, incredible miracles like in this story have taken place. I hope it blesses someone.

This past Thursday, I was scheduled for an out-patient surgery. A while back (I’ve shared about it in an ealier post), I was diagnosed with a heart condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). Lately, I have been having a reoccurring problem so I was scheduled to have an SVT Ablation to correct the problem (second time in seven years). In layman’s terms, the cardiologist punctures a hole in the groin to enter veins that lead into the heart with a catheter. He is looking to cauterize abnormal extra nerves that cause the heart to beat rapidly. That’s a short version and the easiest and best way I know to describe it.

I am so amazed at how God moved this time, He started the moment I arrived at the hospital. A medical assistant greeted me and took me inside to a nurse “Cathy” who started to prep me for the surgery room. I honestly was dreading going through this procedure once again because it was such a horrible experience the first time around. What I didn’t think about at first was that I didn’t have God in my life back then. I didn’t know Him. I didn’t pray to Him, I didn’t thank Him for getting me through it. I was so lost, depressed, alone, an alcoholic, suicidal, and filled with fear. I am so grateful to God for changing all of that—I am so not who I used to be!

Cathy was so kind. I saw something special about her, but I wasn’t sure what it was until I started speaking with her. It turned out that she had Jesus shining brightly through her, it didn’t take me long to figure that out. She took such good care of me. She kept bringing me warm blankets because she knew I was so cold. She knew I’d rather be somewhere else. Every single time I have had to be in the hospital and have needed an IV, it never failed that I would become a human pin cushion. I have veins that roll and it is always so painful. I would end up with many painful bruises from failed attempts. It never mattered when I told them that they would have a hard time. But, this time was different. Cathy thanked me for the “heads up” and placed a warm blanket on my arm. And, like it was nothing, she immediately found a good vein and the only pain I felt was the initial pinch. That was amazing! That never happened before, and I was so thankful!

I had asked Cathy about the recovery time from the procedure. I told her that all I cared about is that I don’t miss church on Sunday because I sing with the praise team and choir. She responded with: “Oh, you won’t miss church. In fact I highly suggest that you don’t miss it!” I loved hearing that! That just opened doors for both of us to open our hearts and share. It was like we were close friends already. She asked what church I attended, I told her all about my wonderful new church (Hope Center of Christ) and how we came about. She was familiar with our pastor and had heard about our church and as we were speaking, she said she was getting the “Holy goose bumps.” She was so happy to hear all that the Lord is doing. That was such a special moment for me. The more we spoke about how great God is, our eyes kept tearing up. I have been in the hospital more than I have ever wanted to be and I have never experienced that with anyone before. Cathy told me that every person in that room was a believer—many born again Christians. They all blessed me so much that morning. There was so much love in that room. I felt like I was with my own church family. I immediately felt that God’s hand was in that. I believe that being surrounded by loving Christians for the first time in that kind of setting was no coincidence. God made that happen. It felt as though He sent His angels there to take special care of me. He gave me His amazing peace. Cathy’s job with me was finished and as I was being rolled off into the surgery room, she stopped them and gave me a big sisterly hug. That was the last I saw of her…I will never forget her.

Being in that extremely cold surgery room was unnerving. Five to six people were all preparing me for the ablation. They were sticking all kinds of cold pads all over me with cables sticking out that were going to be hooked up to monitors. It was all happening so fast. I was having flashbacks from the first time seven years ago. They kept me awake for the procedure at that time which I believe is sadistic! This time, the cardiologist told me I would be put to sleep and wouldn’t feel a thing. Thank You, God! There I was lying on this table, shaking from being so cold, and then they put an oxygen mask on me. It felt like the soft gel type and someone was pressing too hard on it, I felt like I was suffocating. I had to move their hand from my face. I was starting to feel a little fearful. I remember that the anesthesiologist told me he was starting and that I might feel a slight sting in my IV, but I never felt it. I remember trying to breathe and trying not to be scared. I remember the last words that I was able to speak into that mask and they were “Jesus, I need You…” That’s the last thing I remember. Suddenly I was asleep. Minutes later, well more like an hour and a half later, I was waking up. I overheard someone talking about my procedure. They said that the ablation wasn’t done. “What????” I was thinking to myself.  I was wondering if I had heard correctly since I was still kind of out of it. They said it ended up being an Electrophysiology Study. The reason why it became a study and not an ablation is because there were no abnormal nerves to cauterize!  I was still waking up, but I found myself crying tears of joy when I realized that God had answered prayers for healing! I am so grateful for the prayer warriors who had been praying for me and I specifically asked the Lord to heal my heart and to have the cardiologist confirm the healing. I prayed and believed that when the procedure was done that he would find nothing there and that’s exactly what happened! God is so good!

I am in awe of how God moved that day. Everything…every little detail ran so smoothly. It couldn’t have gone any better. I couldn’t have been more blessed. The Lord’s presence was so strong. Even my recovery this time around has been wonderful. No complications. Soon, I’ll be back to normal. And you can be sure that I will be singing His praises in church this Sunday! I believe that everything that happened in the hospital was only possible with God. I didn’t have Him seven years ago, but I have Him now and I will never let Him go. I am grateful to know that He will never let me go either.

In this past year alone, I have learned to pray powerfully and I have learned to pray with the faith that God can do anything. I pray in the name of Jesus and I believe that when I pray for healing that it will be done. I have been healed physically more than once this year. God is the God of miracles! I believe that with all my being. I am so grateful that I didn’t give up on God. I hope more people will be encouraged to pray with this kind of faith. Imagine all that God can do with that!

No matter what, I will always pray with the faith and belief that God will heal. Even if the healing doesn’t come, I won’t give up. I turn every challenge into an opportunity to grow closer to Him. My faith is so strong. I pray for His will to be done. I will always believe in His miracles. He has been so powerful in my life in this short time I’ve been walking with Him and I want more people to experience His power like I have. I pray He uses my life to help people learn to grow closer to Him. I know that once He reaches them, they will never want to go back to the way they were and that is so exciting to think about.

Thanks for taking the time to read this story. I hope you will think it’s worth sharing with someone who may need some hope and encouragement to never give up on God and to pray with faith and the belief that He can do anything…because He can. My life is proof of that!

To God be the glory. Amen. ♥

How will they know what they have never heard?

A fourteen year old gang member was shot and killed by a rival gang member. The newspaper stated there was a gun found near his body. He was obviously out to kill or be killed, and unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. I saw a photo of him that I believe was from a couple of years prior. He had such a baby face. Even though he was living a life of crime, my heart grew heavy knowing that another young life had been lost to violence. Someone nearby called him a loser and said his mother was a loser. That was hard for me to hear. It is not my place to judge this mother for where and how she was raising her son. I know nothing about her situation. I can’t help but wonder…does this young mother know Jesus? Did anyone ever tell her about the good news of Jesus Christ? Did her son ever hear about Him? Would he have made the choice to stay out of a gang if someone took the time to share Jesus’ love with him? Questions I will never know the answers to.

I heard about a 72 year old woman who tearfully said that her life is a mess. She said that her children are tired of her and that she is even tired of herself. My eyes filled with tears when I heard that she said there is no reason for her life anymore. Like that fourteen year old, my heart also breaks for this woman. I know what it feels like to think there’s no reason to be alive anymore. The devil is such a good liar. Once again I wonder if anyone has ever shared Jesus’ love with her. Does she have any idea how much He loves her and how He wants her to have an abundant life? Nobody is too young or too old to start living that life with Him! Does she know that??

I am a follower of Jesus and I am glad that I don’t need to know all the answers. I have learned that preaching is not only for pastors and ministers. The word “preaching” used to intimidate me. It doesn’t anymore since I realized that it just means that I, as a believer, should be sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to the lost. I can do that!! I simply start out by sharing the wonderful testimony that He has given me. The Lord opens doors for me to do this and He puts the people that He wants to touch through me in my path. It takes time to learn to listen to Him.  But if I can do this, anybody can!

How many more souls like the fourteen year old will be lost if we don’t do our part? How many more people like the 72 year old woman will give up on life because they don’t know the Lord’s love? I don’t want to stand by and hope that someone else will do it. Our part is easy, we just need to open our mouths. We need to live our lives the way God’s Word tells us to and leave the rest up to God. I don’t want to be someone who is full of words and no action. I want to be a doer of God’s Word. I’m praying for more willing hearts to join me.

So think about it. How will people know what they have never heard? Can you think of someone who needs to hear about Jesus? This might be your last chance to tell them about Him and how much He loves them. I pray that you won’t let that chance slip away.

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray that we, Your sons and daughters, speak the words of life with Your fire in our eyes to those who are lost—to those who desperately need to know that Jesus has come to set the captive free. Lord, we need the perfect words. Words that they will hear so they are drawn to You. I pray Father, that we bring glory to Your name in everything we do. Amen.

“My name is…” (Yeah, I want the world to know the great things God has done!)

It has only been six weeks, but I am finally starting to get used to beginning with those words when I speak every Friday night in a small group at Celebrate Recovery. I am thankful for the additional Christian friends that have been cultivated already. The Lord is really blessing me. I am grateful the Lord led me to this program where I can help make a difference and also be blessed by people who understand exactly what I have gone through. We worship the Lord together, hear an incredible testimony of God’s grace or a teaching for the first hour, and then we break into specific small groups and share our hearts with each other for the second hour. There’s an opportunity for another hour afterward for everyone to gather once again and continue to fellowship.  It is quite wonderful.

When I first started getting sober in 2010, I stopped going out with friends who enjoy drinking socially. I had nothing against them, it’s just that I decided that I couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t want to put myself in situations that might tempt me to take another drink. As time went on, I was getting stronger. I had gone out a couple of times to meet up with friends and I was feeling strong enough to be around alcohol, but honestly, I was never comfortable being around it again. I simply still prefer not to be around it at all if I can help it. I had to make many changes to do what was right for me to stay on the right path. That meant that I had to stop doing things with people who enjoy social drinking. I decided to be home most weekends. I find joy when I am working on things for ministry, that’s where my heart is so I keep myself busy with it. I love growing closer to God. Staying home weekend evenings has been a good thing for me, but it also started to feel like it could be a bad thing. Good because it helps to ensure my sobriety, but bad because I started to feel like I was in isolation once again. That’s when the enemy likes to strike so I realized that I needed to be more careful with that. I don’t want to take any chances of opening the door to depression again. This is part of the reason why I decided to start attending CR, to get myself out of isolation. CR is definitely a safe place for someone like me to be.

This past Friday night, as I was headed home from a wonderful evening at CR, I was driving on the freeway and started having flashbacks of the times I took incredibly dumb chances with driving home intoxicated. I had tears streaming down as I was driving, it was the gratitude that I had inside. I was thanking the Lord as I was driving, for His miracles in my life. How I managed to escape getting into an accident or arrested each time I drove, I will never know. Only God knows. All I do know is how grateful I am that the Lord has completely transformed my life and is using all the ugly stuff from the past for His good purpose. I regret putting people’s lives in danger. I have learned to stop beating myself up over that. I can’t change the past. It is not easy to publicly admit what I used to do, but I do it because I pray that it will help someone else open their eyes and realize what they’re doing if they’re taking the same chances that I used to. I believe I was running out of time. I was running out of chances, and if I didn’t change soon, I am sure it all would have caught up with me. It always seems to for people headed down the wrong road. I think I just witnessed that in the last couple of weeks.

The freeways sure look different at night through sober eyes. I remember being so paranoid when I used to drive home after a night of drinking. Yet, it wasn’t enough to stop me from doing it. I don’t know why, I guess I was pretty lost then and didn’t care. I was just too numb inside to care. Now when I find myself on the road at night, which isn’t very often, I am at complete peace. It feels so good to be sober. It’s interesting how the tables have turned because I now have to watch out for drunk drivers. It is scary out there! The last two Friday nights, I have seen the aftermath of two automobile accidents.  One of them I know for sure was a drunk driver and I can only guess on the other one. That could have been me just a few years ago! I thank God that nothing ever happened. I thank Him for forgiveness and for second chances in life.

I felt I needed to put this out there and encourage anyone who is struggling from substance abuse to do something about it before you run out of time. Join AA, join CR, do whatever it takes. Surround yourself with people who know what you’re dealing with because they’ve walked in your shoes. I love being surrounded with Christians at CR.  I feel safe there. There’s so much love because Jesus is there with us. The most important thing of all is that you surrender to the Lord Jesus. Nobody can break their chains without Him. I believe that with all my heart because nothing was going well in my life until I gave Him complete control of it. Don’t keep taking chances like I did, it is not worth it. There is so much to lose. Those two accidents I just saw, I am sure those people who got into trouble are wishing they could go back and do things differently.

The Lord has shown me that my sobriety of almost three years gives hope to others who are desperately seeking sobriety for themselves. I love CR because it is Christ centered and we cannot do anything without His help. We can try and we may have success for a little bit, but it doesn’t last. Nothing good lasts if we don’t keep Jesus in the center. I surrendered it all to Him, and He rescued me. He has turned my life around in ways I never could have imagined. I have had to work hard, but I am not complaining. I am FREE. I am not in jail. I am no longer in the enemy’s chains. I didn’t die like he wanted me to—he sure had me convinced that I would be better off dead. Thankful that Jesus showed me a better way. I won’t stop sharing His wonderful miracles in my life, I really do want the world to know about Him!

We’re celebrating Veterans Day this weekend. I am truly grateful to ALL for their sacrifices so that I can enjoy freedom in this country. But freedom in Christ is even better than that. I am eternally grateful to the Lord for my wakeup call as difficult as it was to go through. That wakeup call literally saved my life. Today, I am free in Christ and I will not take that freedom for granted.

So, I’ll end with this:  “My name is Debs. I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ…thank you for letting me share.”   In Christ’s love… ♥

Are you robbing someone of their blessing?

I knew of a grown daughter who used to get so upset at her mother every time she would try to give her money. Parents are so wonderful like that. They always want to help no matter how grown their children are. I used to see the joy in that mother’s eyes as she was trying to give, be taken away from her by the rejection and “scolding” she received instead by her daughter–like the light was snuffed out.

I know the daughter wasn’t trying to purposely take away her mother’s joy. She loved her dearly. I believe it was too much pride that she allowed to get in the way. It’s hard to say why the daughter would become so upset. I know she didn’t mean harm. Her mother was not super wealthy, so I believe the daughter was truly concerned for her mother having enough money to live on. She was getting up there in age and she was all alone.

The sad thing is that this daughter was so upset she wasn’t able to see what she was really doing to her mother. I believe she was robbing her mother of her blessing. The Apostle Paul tells us in Acts 20:35 that Jesus said Himself: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” That is so true and I am so gratefully blessed.

It’s interesting. We pray for things like financial help and God touches the hearts of people to give. We need to open our eyes to that—the person giving may be someone we would never expect. It could be someone that doesn’t have much to give, but they give from their heart. It amazes me. We expect God to answer prayers in certain ways so when His answers come in ways we aren’t expecting, we are so focused on our own way that we are blind to see what He is doing. When we do this, more than one person loses out on receiving God’s blessing. Yeah, that means we’re missing out too!

The story of this daughter is not about me, but I was like her. My mother loves to help when she can. Now, I wouldn’t get as upset as the daughter in the story I just told, but I would turn her down all the time. That was before God got through to me and opened my spiritual eyes to see a whole new world.

The Lord has put it on my mother’s heart to give financially. I have been growing so much in the Lord on this journey and have become joyfully busy being involved in ministry. Like so many today, I have been suffering a little financially and I have prayed for a breakthrough. I am barely making ends meet like many of you. The Lord is providing the extra I need through my mother right now. It’s not easy to accept money from her, but her money has been going into my gas tank which has been extremely helpful. It allows me to get to work, church, Bible Study, Celebrate Recovery, and ministry outreaches and I am SO grateful for that! There is light at the end of the dark financial tunnel for me, but this past year I could not have done all that I have for the Lord without those extra funds. My mother lights up when she gives. I will not take that joy from giving away from her, especially now that I am aware of what I was doing. Although my intentions were good (I thought), I will no longer rob her of her blessings.

I had written in her birthday card a few months ago, that when she helps me the way she has been, that she is not only blessing me, she is blessing so many others because I am able to get out there and serve the Lord and share His love with them. That was probably the best gift I could have given her this year. I saw her heart overflow from hearing that.  I don’t think she thought about it that way.

So let’s think about this and keep our eyes, ears, and hearts open to what the Lord is doing in our lives. Let’s not be ones who get in the way of blessings of others! I don’t know about you, but I want to continue to be blessed to be a blessing, and I can’t do that if I am trying to be in control and getting in God’s way. I pray this message blesses many out there. May God continue to richly bless you all. ♥