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Archive for the ‘Miracles’ Category

My cousin Janet sent me this necklace when I was nervous about my trip to Wisconsin in April. I wore it or carried it in my pocket the whole week I was there to remind me of her, and that I never walk alone. It really did give me courage, and I love her for it! But my story doesn’t begin there. We have to back up a bit.

Several years ago I read the book Captivating by John & Staci Eldredge, and fell in love with the idea of being a warrior princess. It was the strong women in movies, books, and the Bible that drew my admiration. Ezer Kinegdo. (A rough Hebrew translation: a desperately needed companion, or a life saver who comes alongside you. It was only used to describe 2 people in the old testament- Eve, when she was created, and God himself.) I want to be THAT. Reading that book changed my life. I felt understood, accepted, and encouraged. I asked God to show me who I am, and for the first time, I knew that I wasn’t ever going to be dainty and God was okay with that. He confirmed that I am a warrior princess. That played out for me in a very tangible way about a year later.

A good friend of mine had to appear in court. It was a pretty big deal. When I told him I wanted to be there with him and his wife to cover them in prayer, he reluctantly agreed. I prayed for the whole 30 minute drive to the courthouse. I asked God to give me the right words to encourage them. I prayed on the armor described in Ephesians in the Bible. I prayed for protection and wisdom. But I was still surprised when I got out of the van and felt 10 feet tall and invincible. I was a giant going to battle and I knew I was not alone. I was completely fearless, and that was just the beginning.

It was the last night of our SABBATH week with Trevor’s youth group, and we wanted to send the teens off with a blessing. We had them stand in a circle with Benny in the middle and me on the outside. We didn’t have a plan. We just wanted to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. As I began to pray, I could feel the enemy pressing in. I prayed for protection and got an image in my head of my hands lifted and a large bubble descending over us. I knew that I was shielding the group from the enemy while Benny blessed them. Later that night, I told Benny about it and more importantly, I asked God about it. Was this a piece of who I am? Pictures while I pray isn’t the norm, but I knew it was an important vision for me.

I’m a crier. I am not afraid of tears, and God uses that. When I am touched on a deep spiritual level (I call it having a Holy Spirit moment), I cry. But the tears in those moments are from a different place inside of me than my tears of joy, grief, and anger. I don’t question it because it’s always been that way with me and God. He moves me.

When I read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and watched the movies, Eowyn resonated with me. She gave me hope and courage to step more fully into who I am. In one of my favorite scenes in The Two Towers, Aragorn reminds Eowyn that she is a daughter of kings – a shield maiden of Rohan, and I wept.  Someone left this comment on the YouTube video:”It is amazing the way hope rises when fear is engaged with the truth of who we are and who we belong to.”

I once heard a pastor teach a lesson about every player on a football team having a specific job to do and the importance of each teammate playing their position to the best of their ability. I cried. Over football! I am not a quarterback, I’m the woman standing between the quarterback and the opposition. I am a shield.

I was stunned when I read Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer and she described Bella’s gift. The imagery used was the same as my vision of the bubble of protection I had prayed over the teens a few years previous. She was Ezer Kinegdo. And I cried, because I am a shield.

When Will moved in, I gave him this necklace. It’s a Telmarine shield from the movie Prince Caspian. I saw them a few years ago and was so moved by them, that I bought four. I didn’t know why since I only have three children. Now I know.

You still with me? Here’s where it gets weird…and very cool.

A few months ago, I was praying over someone at church and my hands were raised when I felt a tingling in my right shoulder that traveled across to my left shoulder and down my left arm. I told Benny about it and that I thought there should be a name to describe it, but I didn’t know what it was. It has happened many times since then – always when I was worshiping or praying over someone.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at breakfast with one of our SABBATH groups when a song from Benny’s iPod began to play. (Make War by Tedashii.) It’s not really my style of music, but this song grabs me. At the lyrics, “Stand fearless on the front line,” my shoulder and arm began to tingle, and I froze. Everything I just told you played through my head like a movie flashback, or beads of mercury drawing together to form a puddle. Completely stunned, I looked at Benny and said, “I am a shield! I know why my arm is tingling!”  Because I had been sharing this stuff all along, he just smiled at me and said, “duh,” then googled arm/shoulder armor and came up with this picture:

I found this one:

THAT is what I feel when I pray! It’s called a manica, and it’s my spiritual armor.

I am a shield.

I fight for people. I protect them. I stand between them and the enemy.

When I walk in my identity – who I truly am – there is no fear.

Do you know who you are? Are you walking in your identity? What’s your story?

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  • I used Google Maps to find the house where my friend was in labor.
  • I timed contractions using the timer function.
  • I played soothing music on my iPod to keep my friend as calm as possible.
  • I checked the weather to see how long the rain would last.
  • I played Words with Friends while my friend sat in the tub for a bit.
  • I texted with my husband for moral support.
  • I chatted with my midwife friend for general information.
  • I updated Twitter/Facebook to tell everyone I had just delivered a baby.
  • I took lots of pictures.

So I got your attention with the title of the post, now let me share more about the experience itself. My friend, who prefers the term “houseless” to being called “homeless”, told me back in January that she was expecting. For the past several months we’ve been talking and planning what would happen on the big day when it arrived. Being the hippie that she is – and I use that term with love – she wanted to deliver at the campsite she and her boyfriend were staying at, and I begged her to let me be a part of it. Instead she was staying with a friend when the baby decided it was time. (Click on the images to enlarge them.)A week ago today, I got the phone call I had been waiting for and made the drive to be with her as she labored. This being my first experience with a home birth, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had been a doula (care person for the mother) for two of my friends, but it had been in a hospital. I was a little out of my element this time, but tried my best to be prepared for anything. Little did I know that I would be catching a baby.

The dad, a friend we’ve known for a couple of years, was a great support person. I was so proud of him. We passed the day chatting, timing contractions, and doing everything we could to make my friend comfortable as she did all the hard work. Labor and delivery are fascinating! The body knows what to do and my friend had to pay attention and figure it out as she went along with the cues her body was giving her. I tried to make suggestions when I could, but it was up to her, and she was a trooper.

A midwife friend coached me through delivering the baby and the placenta, taking care of the umbilical cord, everything. It was amazing! 9 hours after I arrived, little Christopher took his first breath. I whispered a quick blessing over him as I laid him on his mommy and began cleaning him up and looking him over. I was nervous but had been praying all day for wisdom, guidance, and peace and felt all of those things. God is so good! My friends gained 6 lbs. and 14 oz. of blessing, and I will never be the same for having been a part of it all. There is so much more I could say, but some things seem too sacred to share on the internet. My friends are now learning how to parent and be a family, and I’m honored that I can speak truth, love, and hope into their lives.

Yes, my iPhone came in pretty handy, but it was nothing compared to God’s calming presence as heaven touched earth and I experienced the miracle of new life with my friends.

         

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I was raised in a church that taught me that miracles died with the Apostles. It was said that those who practiced these things were out of God’s will and they were frauds. Then last week my son was healed of a life altering allergy. Now I’m standing in my faith taking baby steps towards whatever God has planned for my family through all of this. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them)

Last week Benny went to a healing conference with our friend Zack. He learned some amazing things and we are now pursuing God in new and powerful ways. Among them, believing in God’s power and what He’s doing in the world, and discarding what we were taught by people who decided what God can and can’t do. Or is it what God does and doesn’t do? Do we really think we can tell God what He can and can’t do? How arrogant is that??

A little history:

Almost since birth, Pete has suffered from food allergies – dairy being the most severe. Nursing him resulted in projectile vomiting and we didn’t know why. When solid foods were introduced, certain foods (like eggs, wheat, soy, and many more) made him break out all over.  As a mom, I felt sorry for him and myself that I could do nothing to help him. His little body was covered in raw patches that he couldn’t stop scratching – causing him to bleed. I prayed all the time that God would take away his eczema. We tried everything and our doctor was stumped too. He recommended a dermatologist and the guy we saw was a cocky jerk. His expensive creams didn’t help at all. He was almost 1 when it was finally diagnosed as food allergies. While in the middle of trying an elimination diet, we moved to Colorado and began looking for a church. I got a small glimpse of what leprosy must be like as we were kicked out of nurseries when the workers saw his skin and feared for the safety and health of the other children. My explanation of his eczema went unheard. Then we visited the church Heather (my good friend now) goes to and she was the one in the nursery. Instead of shunning me, she told me she thought she could help us. Pete was 2. Between Heather and our friend Dr. Brian, they were able to heal most of Pete’s allergies through allergy desensitization, but dairy still remained a serious problem. Fast forward a year and a half to the healing conference…

On Friday night the kids and I drove to Castle Rock to attend the evening worship service. Hundreds of people had been healed the night before and Benny and I wanted healing for Pete. I was skeptical, but extremely hopeful. Throwing off theological baggage is hard work and I wasn’t there yet. I was the parent in the Mark 9:24 statement, “I do believe, help me in my unbelief”.

I felt a little out-of-place as we stood in the back, but I could not deny the energy in the room. The Holy Spirit was poured out on this place! Sometime I’ll share some of the other healings that took place that weekend, but this is Pete’s story. The kids were getting antsy so we took them out in the lobby for a bit. A woman saw our energetic 3-year-old running around and asked Benny if her family could pray for him. They went to a quiet room away from the crowd and began praying healing over Pete. Suddenly Pete said, “Popa! What’s that singing?” Benny told him that no one was singing, but Pete insisted that someone was singing even though no one else in the room could hear it. Angels singing over my little boy? Wow. Were they praising God for His wonders? Were they ministering to Pete’s spirit? I don’t have an answer for that.

Later when our family surrounded Pete in prayer again, Max put his hand on Pete and looked like he was concentrating hard. Then he said, “Popa, I think God just gave me a message in my heart…He said Pete is going to be healed by midnight.” Was this my 7-year old prophesying??? I was stunned. He is a baptized believer, but this was new to me and strange. Throughout the night we received confirmation in so many ways that we chose to believe what the Holy Spirit was doing and embraced the promise that Pete was healed. I was so incredibly tired as we drove back to Denver that night that I prayed the whole way home. “Please God, keep me awake and get us home safely. Please God, heal my little boy! Please God, help me believe in healing. Please God, show me what to do. Please God, let this be real.”

We all woke up on Saturday morning and it was time to test the healing out. The kids had cereal for breakfast and I put regular milk in Pete’s bowl instead of the rice milk he usually drinks. His only reaction was “Mommy, rice milk tastes better than this.” Nothing physical happened. His reactions usually occur within seconds of coming into physical contact with dairy products. I immediately thanked God for the healing and continued to wrestle with this new-found step of faith. For lunch, Pete had a cheeseburger. He picked the cheese slice off and asked me, “Can I eat this?” “Yes Pete, God healed you.” So he ate the cheese first. Still no reaction. Well, being the giant of faith that I am, we had cheese pizza for supper. 😉 No reaction. Sure, we ate unhealthy food all day, but I was testing God’s promise. I wanted to believe so badly and yet there was still a small part of me that was bracing myself for a let down. But here’s the truth of our situation:

My son, who has never been able to touch let alone ingest dairy products,

is now completely healed of his dairy allergy.

I wish I could say that I’m not stunned, that I knew it would happen all along, but I can’t. Here’s what I know now – I’m believing the promise and proclaiming God’s power! I’m so incredibly grateful for what God has done and is continuing to do in my heart and head. I can’t wait to see what He’s going to do next…

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