Monday, February 4, 2008

Counter Strike

Artwork by John Bell copyright 1998-2007 ( used with permission

I am about to make some strong statements... even controversial. Here's the thing, everything I am about to write is based on the TRUTHS that I have personally walked out. The miracles that I have experienced in my own life. The Faithfulness that I have seen first hand from my God, my Father.

I have to set some ground rules for this post and I hope you will understand. I am not opening up or interested in a theological debate. I am first off, remembering the goodness of my Father. I am following the scripture that reminds me how I over come...."by the blood of the lamb and the word of my testimony". This is my personal "counter strike" if you will. The enemy has taken yet another strike at me, no surprise in that, but I am more than a conqueror and am not at all interested in sitting around licking my wounds or "accepting this as from the hand of God" (or should I say "blaming" God) 
I am also looking for friends. Friends that can do one of a couple of things. To come into agreement with me by confessing the truths of the goodness and faithfulness of God and His Word. I am also looking for accountability...I give you permission to check in and ask me if I have been  following my regime.
More on the last one later.

As you local bloggers know, Belleville has a shortage of doctors; which has meant my family has been without a family physician for 4-5 years. We were quite excited, when we were accepted by a new Dr in town...we were all over due for check ups and it is just nice to know, that should we need a Dr, we have one to call.
Last week was my family's "meet and greet" with our new Dr. nothing big, some health history and vitals taken. 
I was however caught off guard when my blood pressure was taken and it was very high.
Some tests have been ordered and I have been referred to a specialist.
Am I worried? No, I honestly am not....but boy am I ticked!

Let me explain. I was born with a congenital heart condition, a "coarctation of my aorta". It was discovered when I was 6 months old and monitored closely. I was a sickly baby, in and out of the hospital with Pneumonia. The opening in my aorta was slowly getting smaller and it was declared that I would need open heart surgery by the time I was 40.
When I was 12 years old, I was part of a basketball team...and really enjoyed it. 
During a practice one day, my blood pressure sky rocketed.
As a result, I was seen by my specialist once again. I was given a stress test and was unable to remain on a treadmill for 5 minutes before my BP went through the roof and I was almost fainting from lack of oxygen.
I was scheduled for my third "cathaterization", which essentially was a surgery where tubes with a camera are pushed through an artery to take pictures of the heart.
In the mean time I was restricted from all physical exertion... I was even kept in at recesses.
What I was not told, is that the expectation upon completion of this minor surgery, was that I would immediately be scheduled for open heart surgery. My mother was also told that I could never have children because carrying a child let alone delivering one would kill me.

Those were the facts, the report of the doctors. 
BUT GOD!!!!!
My mom became a Christian when I was 9, and I accepted Christ a year later.
Every alter call, every healing service we were looking for a miracle.
In the 2 month time span between seeing my specialist and my scheduled surgery,
I was in my home church, a guest speaker had come and was calling out for a variety of sicknesses and diseases to be healed. He even put a call out for a heart condition that God had declared that he was healing. For the first time, and I can't explain why, I did not go forward. I stayed in my seat, I don't remember my thought processes, but here is what I do remember.
I began to feel a FIRE in my chest, and I burst into tears....No one had touched me, no one had prayed for me specifically....I KNEW I had been touched by the hand of God and I was healed.

That June, I went in for my surgery and a battery of stress and non stress tests.....the doctors could not explain it. My aorta LOOKED the same as it had always looked, but there were absolutely NO side effects. Blood pressure remained normal even after 20 minutes on the treadmill. With  a shake of his head,
 my specialist lifted ALL restrictions....when my mom asked about babies...(the one restriction she knew that even at my young age would devastate me); 
my specialist replied that I could have as many babies as I wanted.

I also had a broken wrist prayed for as a teen and everyone around heard an audible POP, I again knew I had been miraculously healed right then. This time being a teen surrounded by friends at the altar...there was no waiting on doctors. To the shock and dismay of the surrounding adults, we removed the plaster splint right then and there. 
Full mobility and no pain!

These are a couple of the physical healings that I have received...the more dramatic ones, but I have experienced the miraculous hand of God in my life and family REPEATEDLY over the years. I have gone through emotional, physical, spiritual and financial devastation....and EVERY time I have seen the faithfulness of  God at work. Not always as instantaneous as the two I've recounted above, but always He has brought me through to a place of victory.
This is the God I know and serve.

So, I have gotten pretty ticked at a devil who would have the gall to try once a gain to attack in a very area that he has been defeated in. There are many possibilities for the elevated blood pressure of last week, honestly, I don't believe it is my heart, I have been at the gym three times a week, pushing my body and heart for at least 30 minutes each time, and have not been any more out of breath or red faced than would be expected for any out of shape woman of 39. 
It is possible that the eating plan I began a year ago to lose and maintain my weight has allowed me too much salt and therefore may be the issue.
Whatever is going on, I am sure it will get straightened out. In the mean time I have made a committment to be at the gym 5 days a week, pushing my heart for a minimum of 30 minutes each time, I am (now that Super Bowl is over), restricting the salt in my diet.
I have to tell you though, I am frustrated. I was anorexic as a teenager and had been very leery of diets as an adult for this reason. I finally found what I thought was a healthy eating plan that was working for me....and now I feel like I am back to not knowing what to eat to get to a healthy weight and still keep the rest of my body healthy.

So, please forgive me for venting a little when, in this discouraged state, I went to church looking for God to clear my thinking and give me hope again, and the enemy got in the way of even that...TEMPORARILY!!!
Everything started out so well, I was feeling my hope return through worship and a time of prayer, when a guest speaker begins to deviate from what should have been an awesome message on not judging one another, and makes declarations that do not line up to the Word of God in it's entirety. Declarations that go against the heart of the God I love and serve, who loves me more than I can even imagine. 
Please understand, I am not angry at anyone, not this speaker not our church...but I am SOOOO angry at a devil who robbed me of what I, (and many others) needed, yesterday...a message of hope , of LIFE. 
Theologies aside, If I am in a place of needing a touch from God in any area of my life, and I have a choice between a message that brings me hope and life and one that says this could be the hand of God, so you might just need to accept it.....I CHOOSE LIFE!!!!
I can't answer all the hard questions about why people like my mom die prematurely even though they are believers and pray repeatedly for a miracle.
All I can answer for is what I know to be truth....I was never healed or miraculously touched in any area of my life, by taking the attitude that this might be the will of God for my life and I should just endure my suffering.

If you have endured this post thus far....THANK YOU!
I needed to get some of this out...I also need to overcome, and writing and being able to recount the goodness and faithfulness of God in my life is part of the path I need to follow to walk into that place of victory once again.
So in the face of the fear of seeming contradictory or even antagonistic, I make a declaration that I walk in the Peace of God, the Hebrew meaning of that word peace...whole, nothing missing, nothing broken.
I declare that I AM (Not one day will be) healed. 
I choose to believe the report of the Lord. His report says I am healed.
His report says I am filled. 
His report says I am free.
His report says VICTORY!!!


Holly said...

Shalom to you my friend!
I remember something that Mark (Teena's husband) said after God had healed her of cancer. He said something like this: The surgeon had a word for Teena. But we choose not to believe it but to believe the word of the Lord. HIS report said that she WAS healed! (And...she was!)
Keep us all up to date on what the Dr. suggests. If you have to cut back on your salt, perhaps I will too and "keep you company".
I love you.

Shari said...

Yesterday's topic did make for some LENGTHY discussion in our hot tub last night. We believe that TOO often Christians accept the idea of "suffering" instead appropriating what Jesus did on the Cross... I think we may best explore this topic further, over a cup of tea!

Rhonda said...

I'm sorry that I hadn't read this yet before talking to you tonight on the phone.

I am there for you. You have conquered too much 'in Jesus name' to be side-swiped by this! You are an over-comer. You really are!!

Magda said...

I'm sorry the message came across to you that way, I got something totally different out of it. Peace.

Amy said...

I had to work Sunday, so I was unable to catch the message.
Praying PEACE for you!!!!!

Williams Family Blog said...

I'm with you Jen. I will be looking for you at the gym and maybe once this winter is over walking might be a good thing too.

Love yah,

~*Rebecca*~ said...

Hi Jen...
I just read your blog...and I want to add that I am grateful that you said all that you said...
I am so pleased to hear you speak like this...
I am in COMPLETE AGREEMENT with you...

God WAS....IS and WILL forever be Tue to His word and to what He sent His son to accomplish on the cross...

God bless you God bless you God bless you...

I believe God will continue to be faithful to you...
Praise God!!

Thank you Jesus the the enemy has nothing on Jen because YOU are living on the inside of her and therefore the enemy has no authority because he CANNOT stand nor can his works be made manifest in the Presence of God...


See you Sunday beautiful lady :)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you in prayer and faith.

Tamatha said...

That was a good counter strike I think anyways.:o) I am praying for you...and agree with you!:o)