“…Your symptoms indicate you may have multiple sclerosis…” I sat frozen in my ophthalmologist’s office; her words hanging in the air like a dark, foreboding cloud.
“I’m sending you over to the hospital…you need to get an MRI…I’m going to prescribe medication…” And with those words, my world suddenly came to a complete halt. I could hardly comprehend the reality, let alone the speed at which things were happening. Fear started to grip me as the questions flooded my mind. What exactly was MS? What did this mean? How did this happen, and how could this be happening to me? I called my sister, who immediately left home to meet me at the hospital while I went to get the MRI. The news wasn’t good. I was told there were abnormalities. That was June 4, 2005.
The backdrop of my life prior to this moment…
Since coming to East Hill Church in 1999, the Lord continued to do a powerful work in my life; not only healing me emotionally, but also understanding who He had called me to be as a worshiper and prayer warrior, with a passion to see people healed and set free. In 2001, I joined a healing ministry in downtown Portland. I poured myself into learning what God’s Word said about healing. My faith grew as I prayed for people and watched Jesus heal them before my eyes. I also experienced His healing power in my life. So, praying and believing for healing was not new to me.
When the mountains seem bigger than your faith…
Despite being in a healing ministry, I remember saying, “God, I don’t have the faith for this.” The potential diagnosis seemed too large for my self-perceived meager faith. I remember so clearly something my sister said to me that first day in the hospital. She said, “Lisa, your diagnosis isn’t big to God. For Him, it’s no different than healing a toothache.” The simplicity of those words flooded me with the comfort of the Holy Spirit. And my fighting spirit kicked in. I was not going to let the enemy win.
June 4, 2005 Journal Entry
“I’m training you to stand. I am your Healer. I will take care of you. Why do you doubt and become afraid and believe the enemy’s power is greater than Mine? Believe you will be victorious, regardless of what your circumstances look like…My child, this is what standing is all about – believing you have the victory no matter what is happening around you…”
The long and hard road…
There were so many ways the enemy tried to wear me down during that season. I constantly had to fight the fear of “what could happen.” I had to battle exhausting physical symptoms, and struggle through my own emotional state during the process. I came face-to-face with one of my biggest struggles: the fear of the unknown. I wanted an end point. I wanted closure. I wanted immediate healing. I wanted OUT. But in the midst of the darkness and grief, His words through His Scripture and His voice speaking to my spirit breathed hope and life into me.
August 6, 2005 Journal Entry
Dear heart, My darling daughter, how I love you. You are such a joy to Me, a fragrance to Me. Your beautiful heart of surrender delights My eyes and ears. To lay everything down is not such a cost when you realize the treasure in return. There is no one like Me, there is no greater God in heaven and earth. I cause the sun to rise each day and the moon to shadow the earth…I am mighty. I am rich in goodness and mercy. I am magnificent in everything that I do….There is a time and season for everything, and all this means is that you are preparing to enter into a new season of My glory, where My light and majesty are greater than anything you have experienced up to this point. Rejoice, look forward, for you are about to see My power and majesty saturate your life in a way that you will never be the same again. Wait with anticipation and joy, for I will overcome all obstacles in your life and you will be changed forever by the awesome power of your God.”
Fighting the battle…
Despite my struggles during this journey, I made a decision that first day at the hospital to fight this battle not on the enemy’s terms, but on Jesus’ terms. I found myself full of the fire of the Holy Spirit. If the enemy was going to try and bring me down, then I was going to do as much damage to hell as I possibly could along the way. I refused to simply stand there in a defensive posture. Instead, I was going to take back territory from the enemy and make him regret ever messing with me.
…I prayed for anyone and everyone I could find who needed healing….and people were getting healed.
…I shared about Jesus and His healing power to nurses, doctors, and lab technicians. God even assigned me, the Jewish girl (by heritage), my very own Jewish neurologist. In my first appointment with him, I looked him straight in the eye and told him that Jesus was going to heal me. I have to laugh. Looking back now, I don’t think he had any idea what he was in for. In my second appointment with him, he declared I would be healed even before he realized it!
…I poured through the Bible and found every scripture I could which spoke about healing. I bought a small notebook and wrote out the verses. Every time I found myself struggling, I would pull out the notebook and begin declaring out loud the truth of His Word. It became my lifeline.
…I chose to partner with God to take better care of myself physically by radically changing my diet. God gave me such grace during the process!
And I surrounded myself with faith-filled, Bible-believing, truth-speaking believers and friends who were the Aaron’s and Hur’s (Exodus 17:12) in my life; who would hold up my arms when it seemed too difficult to do on my own.
Two revelations that changed my life…
Looking back, I remember my biggest struggle during this season was that I didn’t know when it would be over, or when Jesus would heal me. The revelations He gave me were so profound that it moved me into a new paradigm:
- There is a difference between surrendering from a temporal perspective (i.e. my current situation or circumstance) versus an eternal perspective (i.e. my entire life from now until Jesus returns or I go home to be with Him). If we surrender from a temporal perspective, it can keep us short-sighted and vulnerable to a crisis of faith or where we can doubt God’s goodness; especially if things don’t happen in our way or timing (which they rarely do). Yet when we surrender to Him from an eternal perspective, we are choosing to entrust our lives to Him; knowing that no matter the outcome, He is good, kind, and will use it for His good. Our hope is in Heaven, not on earth.
- The difficulties and trials we go through in life are incredible opportunities for Him to reveal His love and goodness to us. We may not understand why we have to walk the painful roads in life, but He uses them to show us the depth of His character and faithfulness.
The testimony of God’s healing…
In June and at my neurologist’s request, I had committed to him that I would come back in November for a second MRI. But now, everything had changed. While I still believed for total normal results, my hope was not in the outcome, but in Jesus. I knew my healing was already completed, no matter the time frame of when I might see it in the natural.
November 23, 2005 Journal Entry
“Lord, Your faithfulness is everlasting! You are so good – so miraculous! Thank You for Your healing. Today, I heard the results from the MRI. Dr. R. called and said there has been an improvement since my last MRI! Thank You, Jesus!”
That call happened the day before Thanksgiving. And every year, it’s a beautiful and poignant reminder to me of His healing power. Tomorrow marks my ten-year anniversary of being healed of MS and every single symptom associated with it. While I may not have chosen to walk that road so many years ago, I do not have any regrets either. The process I walked through gave me a deeper revelation of His goodness. It took my faith to an entirely different level. The physical healing, while powerful, is almost secondary to the ever deepening passion I have for His Kingdom purposes. And that, my dear friends, I wouldn’t change for the world.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth – praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”