Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Beginnings

Surrender...sacrificing my life or suffering in order to change what needs to be changed. ~Rick Warren

I just finished an eight day fast. Eight is considered the number of new beginnings. My soul is yearning for a new beginning within me. I do not wish to be asking the question "What would Jesus do?" but to be so filled by the Holy Spirit that my Lord's thoughts are my thoughts. I did not expect an instant change during my fast, but an intensifying pursuit of this life-long desire.

I learned some things during the fast and I noticed a little something that has changed in me, but it is only the beginning...or perhaps a continuation of my discipleship. Either way, I welcome it, my Lord.

Last Monday, after we had returned from Pigeon Forge, a woman from my former church had been on my mind all day. Actually, I have been thinking of her very often, wondering if I should go to her and pray for her knee. She had knee replacement surgery in November and all was going well until the knee cap shifted. Many things happened afterward, but at this time the knee cap has been removed and there has been a tenacious infection in the knee area for months. The next thing being considered is to remove all the artificial knee and place a spacer with antibiotics directly at the site. The woman, usually active, has been very depressed with the inability to go out much and now with the fear of losing her leg.

Monday afternoon, I talked with my husband saying I needed to see her that evening. We all went. I prayed over her knee. Now I personally prefer to pray silently, but this time I pray some aloud. I felt movement in her knee and she felt heat. The coloring improved around the edges of the reddened skin and some swelling decreased. She had no pain when pressing on the areas that had been so tender to touch before and she could even bend her knee more than before. She had a sore from which the infection was draining that was along the seam line and still open and she had another developing above it, but she told me a few days later that the second one was gone the following morning.

Instead of getting the confirmation from her infectious disease doctor that she had hoped to receive, the doctor scared this poor woman a few days later saying that the infection was going down farther in the leg and pressing about the urgent need for this surgery. Her lab work showed low numbers that suggested otherwise and later when she was examined by the surgeon, he said he thought it was looking much better and that the sore was smaller, so he wanted to wait another week to see it then. I love this woman so much, she is so open with her feelings and thoughts. She confessed that she did not doubt the prayer for healing but at the same time.... I confessed back that I often feel the same way when I pray for people to be healed, but that God loved her and I know He wanted me to go to her, all I did was obey.

I was getting this information from her as I was fasting which I began on my usual fasting day Wednesday. She asked me to continue to pray for her, but each time I went to the Lord, I felt He was telling me the infection was gone and although she is on my mind now and then, I no longer was feeling that spiritual nagging to do anything in particular.

As fasts go, this one was rougher emotionally during most of it, but I expected that. I did notice something very desirable though in the outcome. I have known a woman for about twelve years, but never really felt comfortable just talking with her. She is always in a hurry working as she is a manager and it seems we have little in common, but the truth is we really do not know each other well enough to know if we have things in common. From the first day I met her, I have always felt intimidated by her...for absolutely no rational reason. I do not wish to give details, but I realize just as I am writing this out that somehow I had given her authority over me in my mind—again this seems to be residual from past abuse. Anyway, I have always felt guarded and a bit anxious around her rather than open and comfortable, however yesterday when she began a conversation with me about fasting because she was just coming off of a juice fast, I was not guarded at all. I was relaxed and it was a very pleasant conversation. I was loving her, really loving her for the very first time in all these years, and I just wanted to bring her into His fold with me. It seems that my Lord has changed my heart and what better way to show me how much than this!

~ My Lord, thank you. I am beginning to understand how to be a woman after Your own heart.  ~

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.