Thursday, March 14, 2024

A Milton Moment

During and after the Holy Spirit conference a couple weeks ago, I believed I was on my way to experiencing full healing and restoration in my body. My pain was decreasing and I have been praying and waiting for God to finish what He started. I have also prayed for others (as usual) and have seen amazing healing occur. Yet, here I am....still in a lot of pain and feeling every bit as terrible as before the conference. 

Monday, March 4, 2024

How Desperate Are We?

 "Just receive." That was the godly wisdom that was given to me by at least two different individuals as I was sharing about my big breakthrough. I had come to the Holy Spirit conference this past weekend full of hope and expectation; and the Lord didn't disappoint. 

It started on Friday night with praise and worship. At one point, people were raising their hands to receive prayer, so I raised mine for healing. My physical pain has reached an intolerable level in my back. The degeneration, arthritis, and inflammation is starting to make walking a lot harder. My feet always feel like I've been standing on concrete all day and my right leg gets so tight to where no amount of stretching loosens anything. I'm 41, but feeling like 81; moving slower and with so much effort that it's exhausting. I've prayed and pleaded for healing, but knew that even Paul wasn't relieved of whatever thorn he had in his side. I've truly been trying to make peace with living with it until I'm either healed here or in heaven. I pray, take medicine and vitamins, wear my back brace, and endure every day knowing that His grace is sufficient for me. 

This is what I reiterated to the young man that prayed for me. He felt a lot of heat as he was praying, but I wasn't feeling it yet. I knew it took time, and even Steve Nicholson (the speaker for the weekend) walked by and assured him that he wasn't done yet. The young man, who was also named Steve, kept praying. I also prayed over him and encouraged him as well. I told him that I was still very hopeful and would keep waiting to see what the Lord was going to do over the weekend. 

When I went to bed that night, it was a rough sleep. I woke up frequently because my pain was really bad; especially in my feet. Tingly, pins and needles, fire, you name it. It was super uncomfortable. Usually, even with pain, I can get to sleep quickly and usually stay asleep for the most part. Still, I was hoping for something better the next morning. 

For the first session on Saturday morning, Steve Nicholson began his message/teaching. It reminded me of the John Wimber Signs and Wonders Conference  (check it out if you never have; it's worth it!). For someone as incredibly sensitive and empathic as I am, it is pretty much a certainty that when Holy Spirit is being talked about, I'm going to be overwhelmed by Him. Right on cue, Holy Spirit took over as Steve was talking about Him; even before he started officially inviting Him to come upon us all and he started looking for signs of Him moving in people. I was used to the uncontrollable twitches, shakes, heat, and racing heart (as well as the likelihood that I would fall down if I attempted to stand up). In fact, there was a moment this weekend where my Fit Bit buzzed me and said that it detected a high heart rate even though I appeared to be immobile. I had to laugh to myself. I wasn't moving, but Holy Spirit sure was! I was sitting down, but the Lord was the one that was active!

I don't know if I can recall a time where I felt so electric (especially my hands)! I've felt it before, but the intensity was off the charts! He asked those who were experiencing it to come forward. I was eager to do so, but knew I had to be careful because I knew I was going down. I made it to the front and sat down before my body gave out under the power. It was overwhelming; and he kept saying "more, Lord." I was like, "Oh, Lord, how can I possible handle any more?!" At one point, he called out "self doubt" and I felt myself tense up and release a couple times. Then, the unavoidable moment where I involuntarily screamed a couple times as this huge wave of intense emotion bubbled up like a volcano and the pressure just burst forth; and I felt myself go limp in the chair as I cried and people prayed over me. It's still hard not to feel a little embarrassed and that others will just see me as being loud and dramatic (but I promise you, this isn't by choice). Thankfully, there's always others that are allowing Holy Spirit to work in them too, and you hear all sorts of things. Steve frequently reminded everyone that they're happy sounds; sounds of freedom, healing, and release. He's right. Any time I've ever had a moment like this, it's been the best thing that has ever happened to me.

This is when God broke through to me in a mighty way. He told me I was storing pain in my body, and then showed me a vision of Christ on the cross. That's where all the sins went; on Him. The perfect lamb. The scapegoat. I realized that God was telling me that Christ already took on all the sins of the world. He carried them. That was His job, not mine. Not that I intentionally WANTED to hold onto mine or anyone else's sins, pains, or ailments in my body; I just hadn't realized that that's what I was doing or how to effectively empty myself of it. He was reminding me that I wasn't supposed to be carrying what He already had. He was telling me to GIVE back to Him what He already died for. He allows me to feel deep empathy and emotion; enabling me to love and have compassion for others. I needed to know how to only feel it for the moment rather than feel/carry it for way too long. Whatever I feel in my heart and my body, I need to give it back to Jesus so that He can bring the healing for it; both for me and to share with others.

As I shared with a few people after the first session, I was encouraged to just keep receiving from Him; especially as I got more prayer for my back. It's hard sometimes, because I always want to be praying, engaging, and connecting. It really is important to just be still and wait. I started noticing that my feet weren't hurting anymore and I felt oddly taller. Some of the tightness in my leg was coming and going as well. My back was feeling downgraded in the pain level. In fact, I took off my back brace after that to experience the rest of the weekend without it. I haven't dared to be out and about without it since I first started wearing it last year, but I wanted to see if I could get a better gauge on where I was at. 

Saturday night, I couldn't stop smiling and felt like I was sleeping/resting in a truly "heavenly peace." I slept WAY BETTER than I had the night before! In fact, my husband's sleep on both nights mirrored mine; or, rather, I think I mirrored his that first night. I remembered just how often that happens and that it's probably some of the stuff I've unintentionally absorbed/stored. I prayed for and released/rebuked it. I even did the same with my high blood pressure and sleep apnea; because I didn't have either of those until Chris had it. I've also often prayed about generational health problems as well. I'll just have to keep giving it all back to Jesus and keep receiving the healing. 

I'm glad I had that personal moment, because it helped me as I prayed for and loved on so many other ladies later on. There was a lot I was able to share with them from the Lord, and I finally felt like I could experience all the various emotions around me without them "sticking" to me. I was able to have a chance to see if I could be rubber instead of glue; letting things bounce off and stick to the cross where it belonged after I felt whatever I was meant to feel in the moment and then release any sad or traumatic things that I was feeling around me. At one point, I and another woman that I was praying over, were breathing in that life-giving breath of God in sync with each other and feeling such peace and joy. That kind of symbiotic emotion is WONDERFUL to experience, embrace, remember, and hold onto forever! 

Grace and peace to you, my friends! All of this is but a fraction of all the amazing things I could share about this weekend. It was so rich in worship, fellowship, wonder, breakthrough, deliverance, and healing for everyone! But, I think I'll leave you with this sonnet that I wrote as I was journaling on August 1, 2022. It came to my mind during the final session as Steve was talking about coming to the end of ourselves and being desperate for Jesus. In America, we really don't know what it's like. Our persecuted brethren in other countries know. If we really want revival, breakthroughs, healings, miracles, and deliverance (both corporately and personally), we really need to be desperate for Holy Spirit. When we invite Him, expect Him, and make room for Him, He'll come. We have to get out of the way, and be ready to die to self. We have to relentlessly pursue Him; asking, seeking, and knocking without end! He will open that door for us to good things. Be desperate! Don't give up! I'm testifying to the fact that He answers our desperate cries: