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Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Mom's Story of Healing

*This is my Mom's story of physical healing. I wanted to share it with all of you because it is one of the most tangible evidences in my family's life of God's goodness, mercy, and grace. The greatest evidence of that in our lives is that He reached down and saved us, when we didn't deserve it. In the same way, he touched my Mom and healed her in a MOST dramatic way. The difference we saw in her pre-healing/post-healing was EXTREME! She literally could not get around before...well, I'll let her tell you the story. Be blessed as you read about a miraculous act on the part of our good and gracious God.

"My Journey to Healing" by Cindy Seay

My journey began with a decision in 2005 to go forward with a total knee replacement. It would be the 7th surgery on my left knee. I spent many hours in prayer and did all the research before making the decision to have the surgery. I was convinced that God had given me permission to go for it.

Days before my surgery brought anxiety and even fear. I am not usually one to panic so this was new to me. I prayed a lot and talked with close friends. Both brought reassurance and peace. I was able to confess out loud that God is Sovereign – in Him alone I put my trust!

I had some very specific prayer requests before my surgery –
1. That I would not be “freaked-out” the morning of surgery – that I would be filled with PEACE!
2. That the nerve block would not be painful
3. That I would wake easily from anesthesia

The day after surgery I wrote in my journal…
"Finally I am past the surgery that I have both anticipated and dreaded for a long time. Of the 3 specific prayer requests – God answered all of them in amazing ways.
• I had an amazing peace when I woke up the morning of surgery and it continued after I got to the hospital. No panic!
• I don’t remember anything about the nerve block.
• I woke up from anesthesia with absolutely no difficulty. This is a huge miracle for me.
I stand in awe of a mighty God who hears and answers my prayers."

Two weeks later I wrote in my journal of unimaginable pain, tortuous physical therapy and an inability to read or write due to severe nausea. I wrote this…
“I had hoped for some incredible spiritual experiences during my recovery but all I have been able to do is try to survive.
I have to believe that God has more in store for me.
Lord, help me to be quiet, rest and wait on you.”

After this, I continued to have pain and ultimately another surgery 5 months after the knee replacement. The recovery from that surgery was horrible and from that point on I was never free of pain. A couple of months later I found myself at the very bottom. My health in general was falling apart due to the chronic pain.
Doctors had no answers and God continued to remind me that He was my answer. There were countless numbers of people praying for my healing. Some came to my home and laid their hands on me as they prayed for God to relieve my pain and heal me.
There was so much I wanted to learn spiritually during this time but I still could not read my Bible or write in my journal. God revealed to me that if I journaled at this point in my journey I might manipulate the words and would miss what He was teaching me. And so I waited and prayed and cried. Pain was consuming my world. There was no comfort – there was no sleep – everything was hard.

Then, one Sunday morning during the prayer time, I felt the Lord say to me, “Are you ready to receive my healing?” My heart broke and I asked God to show me what this meant. Over the following weeks the Lord began to reveal to me that there was a process and a preparation for healing. I continued to wait and search for God’s process.

After waiting 7 weeks to be seen by a specialist and receiving no real answers, again the Lord said, “It is me you need, no one else!” By this time we were approaching a trip that had been planned for a very long time – a trip to California for a worship ministry conference. I whined and complained and begged Ed to let me stay home. I just didn’t know how I would do it. Ed, who is always sensitive to my needs, said that the tickets were non-refundable and insisted that I needed to go. We would see California in a wheelchair. I was not happy but I yielded to his leadership.

We left on a Wednesday morning, with Steve and Holly Ray. We worked our way through the airport with a wheelchair. I was so sad that the other 3 people with me were going to be stuck with a cranky invalid in California.

Wednesday night we went to the first session of this conference and immediately encountered the presence of the God. We had an amazing worship time and my spirit was truly refreshed. Earlier that day, I felt the freedom to journal just a few words. This was the first journal entry since a couple of weeks after my surgery. That journal entry went like this…
"I feel that I have been drowning in words and emotions that so needed to overflow from me to paper, but God has not allowed me to journal until now. I do so today with great care. I don’t want to twist any truth about lessons learned during this journey to make them more palatable. I stop now to pray that the words I will write here will be from the Lord and not a humanized interpretation of what God is doing in my life."
I went on to list some of the things that God had revealed to me during this time and trust me, there were many lessons. The very last words I wrote were these,
“Help me to not be afraid of healing!”
As I re-read these words, I don’t even remember writing them. I had never verbalized this fear, though I had struggled with many issues related to healing.

The next day was a long day and I was in a lot of pain. I went back to the hotel in the afternoon to get some rest and somewhat begrudgingly, went back that night for a worship service that I knew would be mostly in Spanish.

From the moment we entered the building that night I sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit, even through the chaos of more than a thousand people eagerly making their way to their seats. The worship time began in Spanish and we were surrounded by Spanish-speaking people on all sides. We found ourselves completely given over to worship and were singing confidently in Spanish. We were a people that night of one language. It was more than amazing!

Later, we all agreed that there were times that we thought we could have spoken fluent Spanish that night through the power of the Holy Spirit. I can only imagine how the apostles must have felt the night of Pentecost. During this part of our worship time, the Hispanic man sitting next to Ed leaned over to him and told him that he had a word from the Lord for him and this is what he said -
“The thing that you have been willing to receive but have not truly sought will be given to you soon.”
How great is our God! He knew the struggles we faced in our faith and chose to give healing even in the midst of those fears.

I couldn’t really tell you much else about the worship except that we were totally at the feet of Jesus and unaware of anything else going on around us. During the last half of the evening Brian Doerksen led us in ENGLISH worship. We actually felt a sense of disappointment that we would now sing in English because we had already had such an incredible time of worship – how could it get better.
Brian is truly a minister through music. He has had much hurt in his life with two sons who have severe birth defects and other losses. His music and his ministry that night reflected a heart of joy in the midst of pain.

As the service began to come to a close, I was sitting and praying. The pastor came to the microphone and called us to a time of prayer. The only thing I really remember hearing him say was “Someone in this room tonight needs healing”. I remember thinking to myself – I bet there’s more than one person in this room in need of healing. I returned to a sweet time of prayer and at some point realized that Ed, Steve and Holly all had their hands on me praying for my healing.

From that point, the service seemed to end abruptly. Ed left to go get the car, which had been his routine since I couldn’t walk far. As I stood up to walk out of the sanctuary I sensed the Spirit say to me –“If you use your cane to walk out of here you will be in disobedience”.
I found myself saying this out loud and Steve looked at me and said “then don’t use it!” It wasn’t until I took several steps that I realized that I was pain free.

The night before as we tried to exit the sanctuary, I was almost knocked down a couple of times, so the thought of maneuvering through the crowd was a little overwhelming. The enemy tried to convince me that I couldn't do it, but I did. We got in the car and no one knew what to say. Ed asked about the cane and I told him what I felt the Spirit say to me and we all then sat in silence. The silence was not uncomfortable – it was more of a time of reflection on what we had experienced in worship and an excitement for apparent healing.

We stopped at Starbucks on our way back to the hotel. Ed asked me if I planned to use my cane to walk in and I said "NO!". We went in, had our coffee and again did not really talk about it. We mostly just sat smiling and reveling in our time at Jesus feet. It was a “holy ground” time and to try to define it with words was impossible.

I slept amazingly well that night for the first time in many months. My first real sense of healing was when I got up in the night to go to the bathroom. I was usually in a lot of pain when I first stepped on that leg and was always fumbling for my cane. I got and walked pain free. I went back to bed and immediately went right back to sleep. As I look back I would have thought that I would have laid awake all night in amazement. God was so gracious to give me sleep that night.

The next morning we walked out of the hotel to meet Steve and Holly “cane-free”. They both stood at the car and watched in wonder at how easily I was moving. That day was an amazing one. The conference was over that afternoon. At the beginning of the trip we had encouraged Steve and Holly to decide what they wanted to do in LA on our off-day since they had never been there. They wanted to go to Universal Studios but feared that it would be too much for me. I had assured them that I would get a wheelchair and it would be fine. Little did we know that just a few days later I would be walking all over Universal Studios. We spent over 7 hours there and I walked the whole park, stood in lines and rode fast rides. It was amazing! I can’t tell you how excited I was! This was the first time that I could move around and walk easily in almost a year. By the afternoon, we could no longer contain our excitement. I had been healed and 7 hours at Universal Studios was proof!

I can’t begin to tell you how this has affected me. It is powerful and overwhelming even now, 3 years later. It has changed who I am. It has changed my perception of God. It has caused the Word of God to come alive to me and I feel that I have a responsibility to share what God has done. God has a greater purpose for my healing – it is not about me!

It is about this church and many others who need to know that God still heals. It has led me to a search for truth in His Word about the ministry of the Holy Spirit and how we have fallen short of believing the Word.

Romans 11:33-36
33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34"Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?"
35"Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?"
36For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

During the months of intense pain I prayed for healing and many of you faithfully prayed for my healing. But I have to admit that, though I desperately wanted to be healed, the whole idea was very scary to me. I felt unworthy – my problem was not nearly as serious as those who have terminal illnesses – why should I be healed when they had not. And what if God didn’t heal me? What would people think? - that I had a lack of faith or that there was unconfessed sin in my life.

Eventually it all came down to 2 questions…
1. Did I believe that God could heal me? ABSOLUTELY!
2. Did I believe that God would heal me? Honestly - Not really.

First, He said… "Are you ready?" This required that I do a heart check. I prayed Psalm 139:23-24 … "God, please take your highest powered spotlight and shine in into every corner of my heart and show me if there is anything there that is offensive to you."
I knew that I needed to be ready with a clean heart.

Secondly, I had to be willing to receive. This required faith to believe that God could heal me. James 5:15 says that a prayer offered in faith will bring healing.
As I explored this process, I discovered what I believe about healing...

It is a deliberate act of God – not a result of the natural order of life, such as the sunrise and the sunset.
It is the result of an intentional touch from God.
I believe that it happens as a result of intense and persistent prayer and a faith that is willing to receive it.
But most importantly, it is meant to glorify God.

I am not worthy to receive His healing – I am not special because He healed me. For His own purposes, God chose to heal me.

I pray today that through my healing God will be revealed to you in a whole new way.
Please know that there is no illness that is too small – nothing that is too unimportant to place before the Father.
Even now I pray that you will take a moment to consider what is happening in your life that needs healing. Are you ready to receive His healing?


MacKenzie said...

I found your blog a while back through the Hendricks and have just been lurking for a while but I had to tell you that this story was just what I needed to hear right now.

I do have a question about this part:

Eventually it all came down to 2 questions…
1. Did I believe that God could heal me? ABSOLUTELY!
2. Did I believe that God would heal me? Honestly - Not really.

I have been struggling with that concept lately. I know that God can do what I am asking him too. I truly believe that it could be fixed in one second if He chose to, but at the same time I realize He could also choose not to.

I want to cling to the verses like Mark 11:23-24 and James 5:15-16 but am not sure that if I go so far as to pray and believe that God will do something (when it is not something He has explicitly promised to do in his word), that I will be testing God or be telling Him what to do, instead of letting him work in my life. How do you know if you are submitting to his will or just lacking faith?

Cindy Seay said...

MacKenzie - This is Jenn's Mom responding to your questions. She asked me to read your comment and answer your questions.
Praying God's will is always the challenge. It is a matter of the heart. Do my heart's desires line up with God's heart? Am I completely willing to accept whatever God's will is for my life? When our heart is in tune with God's heart we have no need to worry about "telling God what to do". I find such comfort in knowing that He knows me and He loves me. When I read about David I am comforted that God loved David because David's desire was to love God with all his heart and to follow His commands. Even though David sinned, his heart was still set on God. In the midst of our struggles we can pour out our heart before the Lord and I believe He will graciously show you (in His timing) what His plan is for you, just as He began to show me when He asked me if I was ready to receive His healing. I hope this helps. I am happy to talk more with you about this. Blessings, Cindy.

MacKenzie said...

Thanks for your reply. It did make a lot of sense. God has taught me (or tried to teach me) the lesson of patience so many times, but I have a feeling he thinks it is time for a review :-)

Elizabeth said...

In reading this post, I felt for the first time. My grandma was recently diagnosed with cancer. I have been blessed to have never encountered serious illnesses and have never had to bury a loved one. But that's no excuse. For some reason my heart has been immune to the thought of my grandma sitting in real sickness, in real pain. It's something I just don't want to think about. But if I am to be an encouragement to my family the way the Lord has called me to be, then I will have to feel some of her pain. I will have to ask the Lord to search my heart and reveal to me why I am not currently "feeling" anything. I don't know where my heart will go from here. But I will hold this story near and dear to it. Thank you so much for sharing.