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Jehovah Rophe ... The Healer
Never Would Have Made It
Father, as I share my testimony I pray that it would Glorify you and the power of Redemption. Thank you that though I have walked through the fiery furnace of affliction … you have surrounded me with your Grace and Mercy. I have more than survived … I have thrived. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Yes, I have lived the scripture … Isaiah 48:10, “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried and chosen you in the furnace of affliction.”
I am forty-eight years old, now that may not seem like much in years but I have experienced much in loss. I will not share my entire life history of loss … that list is too extensive. During the different seasons of my life I have lost my father to AIDS, my mother to cancer, the loss of three babies, the death of three grandparents, the murder of my cousin, being divorced from my husband of 20 years and the loss of my uterus. Now you may say … how can you count the removal of your uterus as a loss … because I have learned that if it hurts … it is a loss … no matter what others may say or think. So, I count my uterus because it was in recognizing that it was a loss to me that I could grieve.
You see it is only in recognizing and embracing the loss you have experienced … that the door is opened to grieving … which in turn opens the door to healing. I thought I was doing quite well … after all women have partial hysterectomy’s all of the time. I couldn’t wait to get rid of it … I had been bleeding on a monthly basis for over thirty years … having started menstruation at nine. My cry was “Please take this thing out!” … It was causing me to be anemic … I had to have a blood transfusion … and the pain I experienced every month just wasn’t worth it. There were times, I felt like the woman with the issue of blood. It was awful! So, I had it removed … and it wasn’t until almost a year later that I realized … I missed my uterus … the finality of not being able to conceive … how it hurt.
God was bringing things to the surface … that I wasn’t sure how to handle. He shared with me that He wanted to do more in me in the way of healing. He wanted to go into my areas of deep hurt. He reminded me of a Word that I had received years before that He was going to remove the top off of the trashcan where I had stuffed a lot of deep wounds. He said there were some areas of my life that needed to be cleansed and purged. He was making a way. It was during this time that God opened the door for me to be mentored by Mama Ann. Precious Ann, what a blessing!
My first meeting with Ann … was filled with laughter, sharing and my tears. It was only after we talked for a while that I began to share with her that I was missing my mom terribly … she had died almost three years before but the void her death had left was immense. As I started to share … I burst into tears … in my flesh I was embarrassed … in my Spirit I was rejoicing. She held me like my mother used to … I knew then that God was going to do an awesome work in my life through her.
Ann recommended that I take Martha Wolfe’s Grief Course. The Grief Course was something that I had considered taking but had talked myself out of for several reasons, money being number one and the second … “Shouldn’t I be able to receive my emotional healing strictly by Faith in God and through the Word?” So, I tucked the Grief Course at the back of my mind and told myself “I’ll take it later.” Ann called me with a message … “Call Martha Wolfe right away … I told her your situation and she has one Scholarship available for the course. Call her. “ Well, I knew that God was gently nudging me … so I called Martha. Martha asked me about my history … so I told her … I had lost so much in the last ten years … it was all catching up with me. Martha was so gracious and kind. As I finished, she said, “Well, I have to tell you … I have just one scholarship and just one slot left in the class … I really believe that God wants you to have it.” The steps of the Righteous are ordered of God … and He in His Wisdom was ORDERING me to take this course … He had removed every obstacle from my path even the ones that I had subconsciously put there.
Enter Martha Wolfe, another awesome Woman of God who became a mentor to me in another way … she led me to the Path of Emotional Healing. It was during and through this course that God opened up the trashcan, poured out the trash … gave me the match and enabled me to light it. Through the flames of healing, God burned away the chaff. You see, I was under the impression that I should be over it by now … that my grieving stages had been walked through and I shouldn’t be so emotional about all that I had loss … all of which was a lie the enemy told to keep me in emotional bondage.
God did set me free! He did it by having me to face head-on every painful experience in my life … calling it out of the darkness into the light. In the light, I could see the Truth and through that came Healing and Redemption. He reminded me once again that He Redeems Even the Worst of Circumstances and sometimes even the Best of Circumstances.
If I have learned anything, it is that grief has no stages, no certain time frame in which we should be "over it", nor any right or wrong way in which to grieve our loss. I can tell you that I was very angry at times, angry at Dad for exposing himself to AIDS, angry at Mom for continuing to smoke when I begged and pleaded with her not to, angry at myself, angry at God because after all … He could have done something … He could have healed them … He could have kept Jacob … my baby boy in the womb. I didn’t understand why the anger was so intense and I felt guilty about it. Thank God for the example of David … who was “REAL” with God. Thank God that I had learned through the years that God truly does see and know everything. I didn’t have to hide my feelings, I could be “REAL” with him and in being “REAL” be healed. It was because of this revelation that I believe I was ready and able to receive what I did through the course. I was able to receive God’s healing. I was able to embrace all of the emotions … pain and anger … I was able to release and forgive. I was able to recognize that everything that I was feeling was not only normal but for my healing not my harm.
There were times, as I went through the course, I thought “Why am I doing this?" Digging up all of these emotional, painful and YES … wonderful experiences from which my life had been formed. In the end, I knew why ... "FREEDOM!!" I was set free in so many ways ... free to grieve ... free to cry ... free to feel ... I encourage you … we all have experienced the feeling of loss over something … a marriage that ends in divorce, a child to miscarriage, a parent to death, loss of innocence, loss of friendships or perhaps it is due to something good not bad (change whether good or bad … expected or unexpected can bring a sense of loss … there is a whole host of emotions associated with this as well … guilt being one) a change in career, leaving one place to start a new life in another, a new baby that changes our lives, etc … if we recognize, embrace the truth about loss … then we can do something about it. Faith without works is dead … if you don’t do your part … God will find it more difficult to do His. Once I embraced the grieving process … allowing myself to experience all of the emotions that go along with grieving … the door of emotional healing and freedom was flung wide open. It is not the emotions that destroy us ... what destroys us is not allowing ourselves the freedom to have them. We can either be healed or we can be destroyed. There is a choice.
I still miss my Mom so much! I have come to accept that I always will ... the best thing about that is ... that's ok. The only thing I guard against is the enemy's form of grief that comes in to isolate me from those who love me and tells me that no one understands. It overwhelms like a shadow of darkness and it is recognizable because it try's to destroy relationships with those that love us especially God. Normal grief doesn't destroy, completely incapacitate or isolate us … it heals us.
Crying, the one thing I would share with you about crying is that it is a healing, soothing balm ... let it come. The emotions that we experience at the death of a loved one or a deeply wounding loss of any kind … are for our healing. God gave us our emotions for a reason ... if we allow ourselves to feel them ... the Holy Spirit can and will ... use each one to heal us of our pain.
In closing, I want to share with you … that in being set free … I was able to set my little girl free. You see, she walked through the months of illness with my mother as well … ministering to her … loving her… and watching her die. After Mom died we took Moriah in to see her one last time … she was only five years old but she wasn’t afraid. She crawled out of my lap on to the bed with my mother. She lay down beside her and kissed her on the cheek. She said to her … “I love you, Grammie … Goodbye.” It was only a few weeks later that she shared with me a dream … “Mommie, I had a dream about Grammie, me and you. It was a beautiful dream. Grammie was running toward us. I ran and jumped into her arms. She gave me a great big hug. Mommie … Grammie was dressed all in white, she was healed and Mommie … she had all of her hair.” God gave my daughter that dream for her comfort and mine. You see there was one thing that had really bothered me during Mom’s illness, strange as it may seem, the loss of all her beautiful red hair. God in His awesome love … let me know through my little girl that Mom had all of her beautiful hair back but he also gave me something more …. as my little girl grows … her hair has highlights of red. What a gift!
There was a time … that I would stop my daughter from sharing her dream or singing the song my Mom loved to sing to her “You Are My Sunshine.” Because every time she sang it, my heart ached for my mom … it made me cry … I didn’t want to do that … Now, … I am FREE … and in my FREEDOM … I have FREED my daughter to grieve and miss her Grammie … Now I sing with my precious Moriah … won’t you sing with me? … “You are my sunshine … my only sunshine … you make me happy when skies are gray … you’ll never know, Dear … how much I love you … please don’t take my sunshine away!”
Truly … the scripture of Isaiah 61:1-4 is a testimony of my life.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Yes, I have more than survived … I have thrived.