Healing and Jesus Fries

I have a migraine.

Why am I writing right at this very moment when I’m shaky and feel like I want to throw up?

Because I want to do the very thing I think the enemy is trying to keep me from doing.

Speaking truth about who God is.  Last time I tried to sit down and type out this truth, I got a migraine and didn’t finish it.

So this might be a super crappy post.

But I don’t even care, because it’s my best attempt at saying, “God is bigger and better then barf and headaches and pain and more pain.”

My head started hurting earlier this evening, right as I sat down for church.

I unfortunately get migraines on a regular basis.  After years of prayer, they are better then they were, but they are still not gone, and they can still be terrible and of course inconvenient.

I typically get them when I am in a place where I could enjoy myself and find rest, for example: my husband and I are about to go on a date, I’m in church, when I should be sleeping or when I have time to reflect and write.

I feel like there’s a pattern.  I feel like they might be spiritual and the enemy is trying to rob me in my times of peace.

But really, what do I know?  All I know is when I get them, I want them to go away and they make me question what I’m doing wrong in my life to have them in the first place.

They are also always on the right side of my head.  And it feels like a 1/2 metal rod has been shoved through my eye socket up and out of the back of my scull.

That’s descriptive and lovely.  Sorry about that.

In church tonight, as we were getting up to leave and go pick up our kids, I felt like the Lord said, “have someone at church pray for you, go ASK for prayer.”

I was like, ummmmm (drumming up some good excuses), “I don’t want to bother anyone, it’s not that bad, I’ll be okay.”  I added on for good measure, “my dad’s a pastor, and I love his prayers, I’ll have him pray for me” and then, “my mom is an intercessor, she will pray and mean it, (she wields a giant spiritual sword)” and to end it, besides, “my husband loves me and his prayers for me are like treasures, I love hearing him pray for me and I’ve been healed at different times by each one of their prayers.”  It wasn’t that explicit when I said it, but basically I was telling God, “I have like three super qualified people to pray over me, I am so blessed already, there are people here who maybe don’t even have ONE person to pray over them, why would I ASK for help from our church?  I don’t want to bother anyone.”

Because praying for people in a church is a bother.

And I’m an idiot who still has a migraine at 4 in the morning.

It’s starting to feel a little bit better.  But I’m still shaking.

Here is what I understand about Jesus and healing… not very much.

Why does he allow pain in the first place?  That is a ten-jillion theologian page book in itself, but sometimes Jesus’ answer is, “so that God may be glorified.”

But everything Jesus ever did on the earth, was to show us more of who God was, to bring us closer to God, his Father which in the process, made us healed and whole.  It really seems to me that the Father is glorified when we know who he is, and when we know who he is, we become healed and whole.  There’s something to that.  From the outside, it sounds like, “oh it’s all about God and his glory, but actually he sent his ONLY son, to die for US.  It’s not about our glory, but it sure sounds like it’s a lot about us being rescued and saved, healed and whole and his glory looks a lot more like the sacrifice of a dying soldier then a dude on a throne who people worship and throw flowers at.

Here is an interesting look at healing in the first book of Matthew chapter 15. verses 21-28.

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman.  Her story is a bummer at first, but it ends well.

21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. 

Say WHHHHHHAAAAT?  Jesus legit ignored her.  That does not sound like the “nice” Jesus I know.

Does Jesus REALLY ignore people?  I thought he was always, super-nice-guy.  Ignoring seems so rude.

Here’s the thing I’ve noticed about Jesus.  In the bible, he does everything for the benefit of those around him (and for the future readers of the bible, like you and I, he is multifaceted like that).  In this case, the best thing for this woman to have a real encounter with Jesus, was for Jesus to ignore her.  How crazy is that? 

Let’s read on.

“And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 

Again, she is ignored and the excuse is because she is not a Jew, the people group chosen by God.  Canaanite’s according to the commentary on biblegateway.com were, “bitter biblical enemies of Israel whose paganism had often led Israel into idolatry.”  But she doesn’t care, she even goes so far as to bothers his disciples, so much so that they, “came and begged him saying, “send her away” for she is crying out after us.”  She must have been determined, insistent, over-the-top obnoxious, not caring about social rules or status, not caring about looking like an idiot.

I can just hear her screaming like a crazy woman, “SAVE MY CHILD!!! Don’t you care?!  HELP ME!!!” – reminds me of reality-tv people going for good ratings.

Yet, Jesus says no again, replying, “I was sent to the lost sheep of Israel”. (strike 2)

But there’s more

“25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 

26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 

He is still telling her no appears to be speaking to her as the Jewish leaders might have, putting her in her social place. (that’s 3)

“27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 

A humble and wise response, she is attempting to persuade God, And humbling herself in the process.  Now her heart is in the right place, she has moved her attention PAST herself, and onto Jesus and his business.

28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith!   Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

I seriously doubt that the Jewish fancy-pants leaders would have ever prayed for healing for her, so Jesus was basically breaking down those social barriers but anyway, that’s another type of commentary. This story is crazy.  I used to think that Jesus was all about going around and healing people instantly.  Fixin’ stuff.  But healing is not what she really needed first.

Why does he draw her out, make her wait?  She goes through the motions of seeking, asking, and begging, she gets rejected BY Jesus, three times.  What could be worse then getting rejected by Jesus?  How awful in your life story, “This one time, I was rejected by the Son of God, three times…”  But she wasn’t ever really rejected was she?  He knew she wasn’t going home without what she came for.

Sometimes Jesus heals people in an instant: BAM healing.  Other times he first says, “go, your sins are forgiven”, while they sit there still crippled, then he heals them too after a sec (Mark 2:1-12). In one instance, a lady touches his robe (Matthew 9:20) and she is healed without him saying anything and he acts all surprised saying, “who touched me?”  Do you really think he didn’t know?  No, the dude is God in the flesh, but he responds that way for her unique benefit, and she humbles herself in her response to God.

Back to Strike 3 Lady.  Why did he tell her no three times?  I thought when we ask God for something, he wants to give it to us right away if it aligns with the bible.  The bible is pretty down on people being possessed by demons, so we can assume it was God’s will to heal this little girl of demon possession, so why did he wait?

Perhaps to grow the Canaanite Woman’s faith in the process?  Jesus is always saying in the bible, “by your faith you are healed”.

Like me, tonight in church.  How much faith did I really have?

Well, what does faith mean?

Hebrews 11:1 says, “now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Sure and certain.

Those two words.

When I am sure and certain of something, I will stop at nothing to go after it.

I WANTED my migraine to go away.  I assumed it would get worse as they normally do until I am crying and have to make myself throw up just so I can fall asleep again in the middle of the night and get at least the nausea to go away.  But I didn’t stop at nothing.  I stopped right at the doorstep of pride.  Pride is the doormat you have to walk over to get into the house of healing.  You have to get over your pride before you can get into God’s healing.

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Big girl shoes on the doormat of pride, probably a little bit of how God sees us.

I wasn’t sure and certain enough to humble myself.  Really that’s the truth behind the “facts” I told God.  It’s not that I don’t believe my family can pray for me and heal me.  It’s that I didn’t want to have healing the way he directed me to have it.  I didn’t want to go up to some nice strangers and tell them I needed them.  To say, “Hey, I have this problem, and I’VE prayed about it and it’s NOT going away.  I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed, and I STILL need help. I’ve done everything in my mind I can do, and it’s still not fixed.”  How humiliating is that? Maybe I’m just prideful but I don’t like the idea of going up to super nice strangers who ARE THERE TO HELP ME, and telling them I need help.  I want to solve it in my own way. (There are SO many biblical examples of that, so at least I’m not alone).

Because what if the nice people at church think I’m pathetic, and not good at praying, and wonder if I really know Jesus at all because if I did and he really talked to me, I’d be right as rain this very moment.

But they don’t wonder any of those things.  Because when I get to pray for someone I am delighted.  I am so happy to stand with my brother or sister in the Lord and intervene on their behalf.  It’s makes me feel like I still have a purpose.  It is a reminder to me that God is using me, that I’m still USEFUL to him, which is what I desire most in this very world, to be someone that God still says, “hey, I can use this girl”.  Some of my most favorite, best experiences in life have to do with being in the presence of God. He is so beyond peaceful, beyond all the distractions, beyond all my doubts and questions and misunderstandings.  Even when I’m in his presence for just a second, I begin to feel better.

What if God wanted to use someone tonight to help heal me?

And I took my reasons and handed them up to God in list form.

And I didn’t get to experience healing.  Because I wan’t humble.

According to the dictionary, humble means: having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.

Like we aren’t the one’s who are most important when we go to God and ask him for things. We hold the position that HIS will is still the most important.

And sometimes, I don’t think we always want that.  We want our will, with a side of Jesus, like he’s the fries in our delicious meal of self.  Jesus fries.

Jesus is never the fries.  He’s the whole meal.  We aren’t even the fries.  We aren’t even the ketchup leftover stain on the table from the meal prior.  And yet he loves us, and wants to heal us and to give us what we ask for.

But not until we stop negotiating with the Lord.  And I didn’t hand over that migraine to the Lord tonight, I held onto it and said I knew how to fix it myself, I had the solution.

And where did that get me?

Barf city.

I should have said, “Okay God, I REALLY want THIS (healing in the comfort of my own home by my family’s prayers), BUT, seriously if you have something better (nice strangers praying for me), something that is more your plan, even if I don’t like it – I’m down, let’s go that route, I’ll step out of my comfort zone, I surrender.”

And I have to mean it.

And I have to act on it.

It totally doesn’t count if I just say it like a wish to the sky.

This usually involves part of ME dying.  Myself.  My will.  My pride.  And me saying and big fat, “YES” to God and his plans.

Because it’s not my will, it’s his.  Because it’s not about me.  It’s about him.  When my eyes are on him, I get better.

So maybe you want something really bad, something that is good and lines up with the bible.  Maybe you’ve been asking for a long time, and you FEEL like he’s ignoring you.  He’s not.  He might be waiting for you to simply humble yourself and give it over to him, saying,

“I trust you enough that even if I NEVER get this thing I want the way I want it, I still trust you, and believe that you are good.  I’m giving it to you.  I surrender.”

And if you can’t say that prayer just yet in all honesty, tell him you can’t, but that you wish you could, and then ask him to help you get there.

Then, if he tells you to go to church and ask the nice strangers to pray for you, listen to him and go, don’t be dumb like me and hold onto your pride while you suffer in pain.  Don’t be dumb like me!

And, by the way, somehow over the last two hours and a bowl of Joe’s O’s, the migraine is gone.

See how much I know about healing?  Not very much.  The migraines I tend to get usually last three days.  Fortunately, God knows everything and I don’t have to.  I just have to know him.

And, side note, in church tonight, we learned that we are the introducer guy, the one who introduces others to the one who can actually help them.  So here’s the introduction for whoever this post was actually written for, because the enemy did everything he was allowed to do to stop it from being written.  So if it’s you this is written for, run to God and do whatever he says.  He had some big plans for you whoever you are.  Don’t even wait, find a bible and go right now to the only one who can help you, heal you and make you whole, his name is Jesus.

an actual example of grace, like… in real life

Here’s an interesting story. The other day, I sat outside in our beautiful backyard, enjoying the sunshine as my older daughter swam in the pool, and my youngest daughter jumped in the trampoline.

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Notice the trampoline in the background.  Mind blowing photography.

My son and husband had just left to get semi-matching father/son haircuts (which I think is adorable).

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When styled, it looks like his dad’s. But that only happens on church days 😉
photo 1
Thanks for posing for me babe!

Back to the yard.  As I’m flipping through a magazine, I glance over at my youngest who was moments ago was happily bouncing on the trampoline in just a diaper.

Elliepool
Pre-jump attire, boots and all!

ellieclose Ellieface

And here is where the story goes from happy everyday to miraculous.  But it’s a rough go, so give it a chance.

As I look now, to my horror, I watch my 18 month old bounce high in the trampoline, somehow, right through the open zipper part of the netting, and land DIRECTLY on her head (no hands, no feet to “help” in this fall) and then make a second BOUNCE right into the pool, face down, straight into the shallow (18 inch shelf) part of the water.

She missed the stair.

My heart leaps out of my throat.

She is face down, arms out, legs out in the shallow water.

At this point I am already running across the shelf to get to her. She’s been facedown in the water for maybe three to four seconds.  I knew as I was about to grab her that it wasn’t too long to be facedown in the water.  I knew when she gasped for air as I picked up her body that she wasn’t drowning.

As her wet, shaky body soaked my shirt, I just held her while she cried.  I held her against my body and began to pray.  I prayed fervently, in the Spirit, I prayed and prayed.  I didn’t have real words.  I just said things out loud in a hurried whisper to the Lord, asking Him to intervene.

She stopped crying after maybe 12 seconds.  She’s cried longer over us not letting her put on her shoes.

My older daughter decides she ready to get out of the pool.  I pull back my youngest to examine her head.  I notice a purple bump starting to form.  I am familiar with this type of bump that shoots out immediately, my son had one awhile back and it was shocking how fast that part of his head could make a mini black and blue golf ball appear out of his skull.

I realize I need to get something cold on her head immediately.  I get my older daughter into a towel and head inside, hoping I have some frozen vegetables in the freezer.

That was a huge fall. Not only did she fall OUT of the trampoline (at least a good two feet), she then took a second and bounced off the concrete INTO the pool hard enough to miss the stair.

HOW does that happen?  WHY does this happen?

I get a bag of peas.  I try to lay her down and put the peas on her head.  She starts to scream, she is not having any of it. I get a second frozen bag of vegetables, and let her play with the cold corn while she sits in my lap.  She lets me put the peas on her head for maybe five or ten seconds before swatting the away.  I continue to pray.

I send my oldest upstairs to go play trains by herself.  She protests a bit.  It is only at this point she realizes I’m serious, and her eyes get big for a second.  It registers.  Mom is not joking.

I give the baby a few more minuets of frozen peas intervals until she decides she’s done with that.  I take her upstairs to get dressed, at least she needs some clothes.  As I lay her down to examine her head again, the bump looks smaller, and less purple, and more pink.  I question if I’m imagining things.  I decide I’m not and continue praying.

I check her pupil dilation, I look for any sign of distress, anything that is not normal.  She decides she wants to play with her older sister.  I let her, and continue to keep a hand on her (as much as she will let me) and pray.  I pray and pray.

I ask God to please make up for my huge failings as a mother, to intervene on my behalf, for my baby.  I remind the Lord that He loves her.  That He loves her more than I do.  I begin to calm down internally, a bit.  I remember that He loves her more then I do.

The scriptures in Matthew about sparrows and the number of hairs on our head rush through my mind.  I mix them into one in confusion:

Matthew 10:29-31″What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.  And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”

So, God knows when the sparrow falls, He knows when my youngest falls.  He knows the hairs on my daughters head… she is valuable.

6:26-27 “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

She is valuable to God.  He will intercede for her if it is in accordance with His will.  I beg Him that it is His will.

We go downstairs.

She eats a huge dinner.

She belches loudly with satisfaction after throwing some food on the ground.

This is my typical youngest. I sigh a momentarily sigh of relief.

I keep checking her head.  The bump resembles a bump you’d have after a fall a few days prior.  It looks light, and although there is still a bit of blue hue to the center, there is a tinge of green and then pink around that.  It is almost completely flat.  I am in wonder and still a bit of confusion.

My husband comes home.  He looks at me like I’ve seen a ghost.  I am emotionally unavailable. I’m still in shock that the entire thing happened.  He looks at Ellie and can’t even find the bump the first time he checks.  I make him look again and point it out.  He’s too relaxed about the whole incident.  I recount all the details, with “CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED?”

He can.  He said kids fall all the time.  He said I prayed and God listened, and healed her. Simple enough.

I am still in shock.  I want to hold my baby, but she will have none of it.  She wants to run around and play.  After awhile, we put her to bed.  I check on her hourly.

In all fairness, I feel like we deserve to be in an emergency room.  I feel like I live in some other reality where things are not as they should be. I am confused and am trying to find myself in a place of extreme grace.  A place of close calls.  A place with sighs of relief.

I’m trying to get a grip on what actually happened.

What actually happened is that my youngest hit her head very hard, she then went under water.  What happened is I was right there to grab her out of the water.  What happened is that her head did not swell up, like it probably should have.  What happened is that was almost a week ago, and she is still her complete self, her small bruise is gone.

The laws of physics say my daughter should have had a serious head injury.  Possibly something worse.  The laws of physics say a lot of things that don’t match up with the bible. Sometimes God operates outside of the laws of physics.  Outside the laws of man. Sometimes He does things through us that we cannot do on our own.

All of this occurred a few days before the end of our 40 day fast.  A few days before the worship, prayer and healing night at our church.  Both my husband and I had volunteered to go and pray for others that night, to pray for healing; the spiritual, emotional and even physical kind. I was a firm believer of the first two, but a little bit skeptical of the last.  I knew God could heal people with Jesus in the old times bible days, but today?  In America?  Maaaaaybe.

I witnessed a miracle right before my very own eyes. When I prayed, I did believe He could heal her.  I had been talking to God so much during the fast, that I knew He could hear me, I didn’t doubt that.  I also knew that He could heal her if it was in His will, so I prayed very much that it would be.

I say all of this to remind myself, that sometimes God does miracles.  He does them in the suburbs of America, with a stay at home mom and baby, and a crappy (my fault) set up of trampoline next to pool catastrophe.

He gives us miracles we don’t deserve because He loves us, and doing so will bring us closer to knowing more of Him.  Doing so will tell another beautiful part of the Greater Story going on.

Sometimes He allows us to go through difficult times, and says no, or not yet to a miracle, because He loves us and doing so will benefit us in the long run and will be another beautiful detail in Greater Story going on.

All of this reminds me that although I am but a very, very, very small piece of sand in this huge coastline of life, my requests are still important.

I am still important.

I am still important to the One who is the MOST Important.

And you are too.

He loves you.

Thanks for reading.