Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rhoda's Story, Part 4

Here's the exciting conclusion of Rhoda's testimony.  I have really been blessed by reading your story, dear Rhoda!  Thank you for sharing with us all the beautiful things God has done in your life!  You are a blessing!

In the midst of this journey and everything I was receiving from God, one Sunday morning my friend was praising God in her room, and God’s Holy Spirit fell upon her. That Sunday morning I was getting ready for church, and as I was going up the stairs I felt the Lord telling me, “Today I am going to heal you.” “Wow! Sure, I am ready for that anytime” was my response! The pastor knew nothing about this, and that morning at church he announced that we were going to have a healing service at church. When it was my turn to be prayed for, and as hands were laid on my body, I felt something spread down my body into my affected hip and leg a feeling I can only describe as warmth and sweetness. I knew the Lord was touching me. Although my ability to walk was still somewhat compromised, I was so excited to see a big difference and improvement in my condition.
That following week, I had an upcoming appointment to see the pain clinic to possibly get a fourth epidural shot in my back, or discuss future treatment plans. When the Doctor saw me and did his assessment, he told me he’s going to clear me for work in three weeks! Needless to say, I was overjoyed! We all were very happy with this encouraging news. And just like I always did after any appointment or change in my progress, I faxed my supervisor and my insurance company all the info, and specifically called the supervisor to let her know. I thought, “Great, I gave my job to God and He allowed me to have it back!”
What transpired in the next three to four weeks was very confusing. All I can say is that it seemed as long as there was still the possibility of getting back to that job, I was not being allowed to have normal function of walking. While there was significant improvement, I couldn’t walk for even 45 seconds without having to either sit down or get down on my knees. As that 3 week deadline drew closer, I became more and more incapacitated—again.  Now I was becoming very frustrated, but I was also trying to align myself with the fact that just maybe God didn’t want me back on that shift.  More than anything I wanted to walk in God’s will, be able to walk physically, and finally, just be pain-free.
I kept remembering what the boys had told me. They both agreed that these had been the best three months of their lives. And I had to agree; pain-filled, difficult, yes.  But they were good by many different standards.
One afternoon, after enduring a day of excruciating pain again, I called Andrew Wommack’s Ministry, and poured out some of my story and my frustration to a dear lady who answered the phone. She spoke words of encouragement and words of life over my situation and prayed for me. She gave me a verse to speak out (Psalm 30:2) and told me to keep on believing. I took that verse as my lifeline, and spoke it in faith over and over. The boys soon knew it and were saying it too. I had committed to letting God control all the circumstances of my life, and again, not worry about what I wanted and what I thought was best.
The next morning I woke up, and I was almost afraid of getting out of bed. But I got up, repeating my verse, “I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.” Psalm 30:2. Soon I was saying, “Thank you God, for healing me!” That day I walked for five minutes without stopping once, and with very minimal pain and discomfort. It felt so wonderful, and I was so happy and grateful. I walked around, thanking and praising God. During the days that followed I found out that my full-time job was not mine anymore, and somehow I was not surprised. But the miracle was that I felt peace about it, and I felt such an absence of worry and stress about it. (I am sure God was happy about this part, and was thinking, she finally gets it!)  God cared about the sparrow that falls; He was going to take care of His very own beloved children. The God who created the grand, immense, complex universe actually cared enough to know the number of hairs on our very own heads. He cared enough to take our lives into His own gentle, capable hands. Deep down within my heart I had gotten a glimpse of His grace, His tender love,
It was hard when I found out for the first time that my job was posted and up for grabs. One of my co-workers called me, and told me about it. She was almost crying. It was late at night, and when she hung up, I knew this was a good scenario for a worrisome night, and as I had done many times before, I turned to a good friend “Sparrow” whom I had never met but loved already. I opened up to Under the Waterfall of Grace, and turned on Father’s Love letter, and fell asleep to listening to those beautiful and encouraging and uplifting verses about how God cares for us and loves us, and has a perfect plan for our lives.
I had found, over the past six months, literally hundreds of verses in the Bible that ministered to me, gave me hope, that carried me through. I discovered a love and a passion for God’s Word that is hard to describe. It is the most amazing and incredible Book, because it is His very own Word to US, to ME.  It is our very own, personal life manual, and God’s personal love letter to us. It is the only existing Book that can be read over and over and still is just as fresh and new and meaningful the one hundredth time as the first time. I don’t want anybody to miss out on the opportunity to have this amazing experience. It is literally not only the experience of a lifetime, but of an eternity. It will shape and change our entire destiny.
Life is not perfect. Life is actually quite difficult. Life can become rather mundane and boring. We all have valleys to walk through. But life in and through Christ is so worth it!  It is filled with challenges and excitement and joy and peace. He patiently and lovingly redeems our past mistakes. Is it an easy life? No, not easy, but fulfilling and exciting and beautiful and blessed. We are fulfilled when we are doing what we were created and born to do….to bring glory and honor to our Creator, and to fill that unique spot and special assignment each individual is born for. Our Father has so much good in store for us, and He has a storehouse of abundance of riches in glory. (Phil. 4:19)
As for walking, I will never again take that marvelous gift for granted. Our bodies are wonderfully made, and only when something is taken from us, do we seem to realize how valued and indispensible it really is. May we hold in high esteem the blessings God so graciously pours into our lives.  May we remember to continually thank Him and bless Him for His unspeakable gifts! - Rhoda

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
      They will soar high on wings like eagles.
   They will run and not grow weary.
      They will walk and not faint.
                                                         Isa. 40:31                                                     

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May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14