Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fear Not for I have Redeemed You.

I wanted to give you (all my not-so-imaginary friends) an update on my health... and an update on the faithfulness of God.
My health has not been getting better. It has been nearly impossible for me to tolerate the medicines and function.

Last week, I was just beside myself with sadness about my situation. It is a very claustrophobic feeling. Without medicine= sick, with medicine= sick. Without medicine, I have all my usual joint pain and blinding headaches, with medicine, it can be anywhere from spinning and puking to being totally lethargic and unable to wake up. This isn't new. This has been the last 4 yrs of my life. Some days I am just overcome with the weight of this whole thing.
"Fear Not. I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name, YOU ARE MINE."

I was in tears all day as I continue to go down hill and prayer 'seems' to be making no difference. I sat on the floor and cried while the boys hugged me and we talked about how God is faithful even when things don't make sense and that we can NEVER give up in prayer. Bubba said, " I feel like writing "God, I want you to heal mommy, RIGHT NOW" on the chalk board". They have been fairly sheltered from this and they just know mommy is sick and flies on an airplane to see the doctor. They also pray for me every day in homeschool.

I went to the mailbox to get the mail and pulled out a package from Spain. I opened it and it was a gorgeous hand-made journal from a missionary who reads my blog. It was titled, God's Promises for Stephanie. I cannot imagine how long this must have taken. Page after page after page of Promises. The tears poured as I looked to heaven and said,
"You won't LET me despair".
God had used one of His other adored daughters to send me His Word with my name on it at the EXACT time I needed it. Thank you so much, Keri. I couldn't express how much it meant to me through email so I decided to just take a picture of myself after I received it so you would know how deeply it touched my heart and how God used it to prove His love toward me.
He always rescues me. He always gives me grace when I need it.
I am His. He bought me with a price out of pure love. He is my refuge from the storm.
"For you were bought at a price."
1 Cor 6:20
"How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. "
Ps 36:7

That is a tear drop on the cover. I will keep this forever.

"When you pass through the water, I will be with you. When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you."
I was in my driveway playing hangman with sidewalk chalk (the hangman answer was "GOD WILL HEAL MOMMA". Reece got it. ;)
My sweet neighbor walking her dog asked how I was doing and I just started to cry.
She told me about how her daughter got sick 14 yrs ago and was in a very similar situation.
The doctors could not help her and she could not tolerate the high doses of medicine they were putting her on. She found a homeopathic guy in Atlanta who was a miracle worker.
She told me to call him.
I did.
I have had LOTS of recommendations through the years but this one seemed different.
He said he has much success treating Lyme Disease patients when I called the office.
"When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. The flames will not set you ablaze."
A friend of mine who I trust told me about a ministry called The Healing Room and that there had been miracles there. I had made an appointment ( I thought that was funny. I told my friend, "I think I just made a 12:30 appointment... for a miracle??) and asked Tim to go with me because I was a little nervous. We walked in and shared with 5 people what had happened in the last 4 years. They laid hands on me and prayed over me for 1 HOUR solid. I have never felt more bathed in prayer. They prayed expecting a miracle. It was also like a spiritual detox as they lead me in prayer to forgive anyone I had unforgiveness toward. Thankfully, there are VERY few people who have hurt me in this world but forgiveness can be hard even if it is just one.
I joked with Tim later, "ahhh man!, I didn't know they were going to make me forgive people!" ;)
I felt like I was sitting under a Holy light as God exposed areas of my heart that needed to go. I would need a huge shovel to shovel out all the sin from my heart but it was a good start and I felt so refreshed.
BTW, Confession/Repentance is SO important. You don't have to confess your sins to anyone but Jesus (unless you need to ask forgiveness or need accountability) because He is the One mediator between us and God (1 Tim 2:5).
They didn't tell me this but I am pretty sure they wanted to make sure nothing was hindering my prayers. I was on board because of these verses...
"If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened"
Psalm 66:18
“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs."
Jonah 2:8
They served me communion and prayed for supernatural healing and for God to place the cross of Christ between me and anything that the enemy is using to harm me or our family.
They also asked God to bathe my treatments in the blood of Christ for them to be effective.
They dropped the hammer. God spoke to my heart during that time... proving His faithfulness, presence and POWER.
I loved every second of it. They really challenged me in my prayer life.
Tim and I walked out (or maybe floated ;) just blessed by people who simply want to set captives free and bring freedom to the oppressed wanting nothing in return.
Really Cool.
"For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,"
I have started a Bible Study for anyone who wants more in their relationship with God... to know Him more intimately, to produce fruit, & to make an impact in this world for Christ.
So, we all read Crazy Love (fabulous book), are memorizing a chunk of Scripture and studying the book of Colossians. If you live near by and want to come, let me know.
Your Savior.
(Isaiah 43:1-3)
Thursday night:
Tim and I drove to Atlanta and spent the night to make our 8:00 am appt with this homeopathic guy. My friend, Kristy- 'the saint', kept my children again.
Tim is so supportive. He is absolutely my best friend in the world. He has never once left me alone in this mess. What and earthly picture of Jesus he is to me. I cannot wait to be face-to-face with my real husband...
or probably face-to-ground at His feet is more like it.
We got to the office and the doctor's wife started talking to us. She said things that made me think she was a Christian. Then she said, "Have you ever heard of the band, Third Day? Our son is in that band."
How cool!?! Third Day is one of my favorite bands of ALL time.
I said, " I have their music playing on my blog! I hope that isn't illegal!!".
The doctor and his wife were messianic Jews who love Jesus.
I was in there for 4 HOURS while the doctor was testing and figuring out how to fight this.
He found all the same bacterias as my MD doctor in NY.
He told me that, at this point, the antibiotics were doing more harm than good and that I should really consider stopping them. This is a difficult decision. I let Tim make all the big decisions like this because I believe God has given him wisdom on what is best for me and that God has placed him over me as a banner of protection.
Tim said to the Dr, "you have to understand how hard this is as a husband to know what to do because we have gotten so many conflicting opinions from the best in the world in treating Lyme Disease. I only want what is best for my wife but I really don't know what that is."
The Dr said, "well, there is only one way to know... let's pray about it. "
He prayed with us right there.
Part of what he prayed was that God would give us wisdom in knowing what to do, that God would give him wisdom in knowing how to treat me. That I would be able to do what God is calling me to do. And that God would heal me.
We were extremely blessed.
So, I am taking a vacation from antibiotics. I am on natural antibiotics and tons of high potency stuff to re-build my immune system in the process because my body is so messed up from chronic illness and years of drugs.
I am praising the Lord that at least I get a break and even if I have to go back to antibiotics that my body will be stronger. I am also cutting out sugar :( and starting a whole foods diet. I have seen a natural doctor before but he was also in NY. It was very complicated to get to him.
Please continue to pray as I trust the Lord for His perfect timing in all this.
My hope is in Jesus, the Christ.
Not that He will make my life free from pain but that He is using it all for good.
If He chooses to heal me, then He is good.
If He doesn't, then He is good.
He is SO good.
Please know that if you are suffering in a trial of your own that God is near. He has sent you a journal of promises with your name on it too. Get it out and read it. It will bring life to you.
"He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs"
Psalm 107:35


Angela said...

Oh, wow, Stephanie. That sounds like an amazing "God" week. I've been thinking about you a lot this week and praying for you, as I feel God has placed you on my heart.
Can't wait to get together soon! We can do something simple for food!! Call me. :)

Traci@ Beneath My Heart said...

Thank you for your testimony. I am still praying for you, and YOU are still ministering to me.
I can picture your little guys comforting you as you cry. Aren't they precious? My boys often give me hugs and lots of love when I am having a bad day. I sometimes think about when they are going to be 4 grown young men, and what comfort and protection I will feel in their hugs. Boys love their mommas! I also wonder how I will keep them fed! I might definitely have to go back to work just to keep food on the table! :)
Love in Him,

Carrie said...

That is truly inspirational...I really have no words...your beautiful photos tell quite an amazing story and truth. We keep you in our thoughts and have Him in our hearts. Blessings, Carrie

Keri said...

Aww, Steph. This brought tears to my eyes. I wish I could give you a big hug and cry with you. :)

Nana said...

I walked around in a spirit of shhhh after reading this. Then, just now, as I was reminded of Elisabeth Eliott, suffering from Alzheimer's, I was reminded that God will raise up women like her ... you, being one!!! I've asked Him for ten. Looking for the other nine!

Gather the treasures in the darkness and shed them abroad!

Erin Southwell said...

I love you dear friend. I am in awe of your faith and it is a shining example to me. Praying FERVENTLY. Erin

kelly said...

Amen! God is so Good! I'm so thankful that He has given you sisters to encourage you and lift you up with His gifts!
Always praying for you, Always Believing God for you!
"I am still confident of this: I will see Your goodness, Lord, in the land of the living. I will wait for You, Lord. I will be strong and take heart and wait for You." Psalm 27:13-14

Heather said...

This post was so encouraging - I read it again today. Thanks for being so honest and vulnerable, a true blessing!


Amanda May said...


What an amazing week you've had!

I love how the Lord is raising up different people/prayer warriors/medical professionals in your life that you would have never "run across" without His Divine Intervention. Amazing!!

Keep on trusting...

{and thank you so much for really, really touch my heart!!}

Kims4Him said...

AWESOME and Inspiring!
God never lets us down, and we're never alone.
Peace and Healing in Him!

bonnie said...

your words, your journey, your faith, your beauty, your example -

inspiring. helpful. a source of strength. every day.

thank you.

p.s. - 'crazy love' - awesome.

Mary T said...

Stephanie, I didn't realize you've had such a week of trial . . . and such blessings. I'm so sorry you have been so ill but I'm thankful you've had such demonstrations of support. I pray this trial will end quickly. Bless your heart! Thank you for taking the time to write your story. Your witness really pull us closer to Scripture.

HIS Child said...

You have been on my mind and heart and I visited the blog just know. I am so blessed by your heart and your clinging love to Jesus the Christ. I will continue to pray that the LORD would speak clearly to Tim regarding the decision's he must make for his wonderful bride. I pray that you feel the presence of Jesus so much, especially through the hugs of your boys. You are a beautiful example of grace through trail and a never ending love for Jesus in All Things.
I love you much sister, big hugs to you.

Erin Southwell said...

I keep checking back for more. :) I absolutely love the top photo of Lake and Reece.
XOXO, Erin

God's girl said...

I love you! Love that journal. Love how God continues to show Himself strong. Sorry I was not more of a support to you girl. Praying. God is good either way and He delights in you so much. Glad to hear the report about the ATL doc.
Love ya!

Abby Davis said...

WOW! I am praying for you Steph...