What uncommon things do we want to become common?

Things like:
our children having mutual love and respect for each other.
our teenage children having love, honor, respect and obedience for their parents.
us continually becoming better friends and lovers.
our family totally trusting God in all things and putting our faith in Him to fulfill his promises.

Friday, February 27, 2015

I've Been Set Free

By Chelsa

Woo Hoo!!! God set me free! Ever since I was healed, I have had this compelling urge to tell everyone I know about what happened to me. I'm sharing my story because I want you to know that it can be your story, too. It is a modern day testimony of God's mighty hand working intricately in the life of an ordinary woman to empower her to walk in the Spirit.

But before I share my testimony, I need give some background information.

Several years ago, when my children were little, I began to ask God to wake me up in the mornings so I could spend time alone with Him. And He was always faithful to do it. Those were special times. We had beautiful moments of intimacy together as I sat quietly in His presence, reading my bible, memorizing scripture or prayer journaling.

After several weeks of doing this, I began to notice something lovely. Each morning He would, oh so very gently and quietly, awaken me with a song. It was so subtle that if I was not paying attention and thinking of Him, I would miss it.  Usually it was a phrase that would repeat over and over in my mind. And not only that, but it would be a different song each morning. It was absolutely incredible. This happened to me all the time when I was walking in step with the Spirit.  God would fill my mind with songs. 

I can remember waking up so excited, like a child on Christmas morning, eagerly expecting gifts from Him. I did this for months and slowly God began to fill me and transform me and use me in the lives of other people. God was leading me to minister to people, and he was doing amazing things.

The enemy didn't like what was happening in my life so he found one of my many weak spots and deceived me.  Somehow in the middle of all that good, I allowed Satan to sneak in. My pride slowly took over and I began to think I've got this trusting God thing figured out. So instead of getting up early to spend time alone with God, I was getting up early to encourage the people God had brought to me. (Which would have been fine if I had made another time to get nourished by my Provider). 

But I did not. I was too busy. We have a family business. We homeschool our 4 kids. We're active at church. We homestead on our small farm. Blah, blah, blah...I've got this. I can handle it.

What a lie!

I slowly drifted away from God. I wasn't walking in step with the Spirit anymore. I was trying to be the savior instead of letting Jesus. It wasn't something I was doing on purpose. I still loved him and tried to follow him and I loved talking about him to others. I just wasn't going to him to get nourished daily as before. This is key.

This neglect on my part, as well as going full steam on adrenaline for months at a time (in the name of following God), as well as some major traumas in my life, sent me into a downward spiral so bad that I got an auto-immune disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis. But that is not even the worst part of my story because I know that auto-immune diseases can be reversed by serious lifestyle changes in diet, in emotional wellness, and most importantly, spiritual transformation.

The worst part of my story was my emotional wellness. I've been so driven my entire life striving for goals I set for myself that I didn't have time to deal with negative emotions. I wasn't taught how to handle them except by brushing them off (more like stuff them in), keeping a positive attitude, and keep plugging away. Don't let them get you down. Be strong. So I thought I was fine. But apparently I wasn't. These things always catch up to you eventually. For the last 2 years or so my emotional stability has been declining at an alarming rate, especially this last year since my feet started hurting.

I'm still trying to figure out how this all started, but I do know that my husband, Creg seemed to be the trigger for my emotional crashes. He would mention something small that needing tending to, like dealing with one of the kids and I would twist his statement into something entirely different than what he was intending. It always started with a lie. What I “heard” him say was

“You aren't doing your job. Why can't you stay on top of things? You're a bad mother. You're a bad wife. You aren't helping Creg the way he needs you to. You are so stupid. You can't do anything right. All you do is mess things up. You are such a loser. No one needs you. You just get in the way.”

On my good days those thoughts sounded ridiculous. I've always prided myself for being able to step up to the plate and being able to handle anything that came my way. I'm strong and tough. I'm not a quitter. I will work harder, try harder, do whatever it takes to get this done. I can do it. And I will.

But my good days were becoming less and less. And it got to the point where it was happening every week, sometimes more. And wouldn't you know it just happened to land on Sundays. I don't think that was a coincidence. It happened on the days when I could get encouragement from the body.

Several times in the last year I've had to sit in one of the dark rooms in the back or sit in the car and wait until church started before I came out and sat down because I couldn't handle talking to people. If they asked me “How are you doing?” I would just fall apart and cry because I couldn't lie about how I was feeling. Just a week and a half ago I didn't come to church on Wednesday night for the first time in my entire life because I couldn't handle it emotionally. This was getting out of control. 

"Am I losing my mind? Am I going crazy?"

For months I've been telling close friends “There is something wrong with me. I can't handle Creg's constructive criticism anymore. It just knocks me for a loop. I know its not Creg, even though that's how it starts. He has been so gentle and kind. He is not the problem, I am.”
People were telling me no, no no, it's not all your fault.  You are getting older you know. Hormones are changing.  It's normal to feel this way.

Normal??? I sure hope not. This was misery. I felt unloveable. I felt worthless. Sometimes I was full of fear and despair. I was sorry my family had to live with a failure like me. I felt like Creg was just tolerating me. The poor guy. He deserved so much more. It would be better if I was gone.

When I read the bible, I see that those feelings are not God's design for my life. They may be the world's normal, and they are most certainly Satan's normal, but they are not God's normal.

“The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline”

I knew something had to change or I would go crazy and probably never get well physically because the mind is deeply connected to physical healing. I knew I needed to change everything in my life that was not in line with following God's design for living. So I started with something I could do myself. My diet. I stopped eating sugar and anything processed. I ate only whole foods that he made, not man made food. I was completely dedicated to this process and read that it could take 2-5 years before symptoms would start to reverse, depending on the person. I was determined to follow this to the tee. I was not going to cheat at all on this diet, so I could get well faster. This was a huge factor in helping me heal. But I knew that a healthy emotional state was the real key to getting well. And I didn't know what to do.

But God did.

He sent me a friend. I met Elizabeth Fry when she came to one of my herb classes I teach. She emailed me and said she was interested in coming to my class. She thought we might have a lot in common. And we do. She loves to garden and use herbs, she homeschools her daughter, but most importantly, she is completely surrendered to God. He is her everything. You can tell they are close friends. She asks him what he wants her to do in decisions big and small. I have never met anyone like her.

I was so drawn to her and that Spirit inside of her. We ended up inviting her and her family over for dinner one night. It was amazing to hear how God was working in their lives and it reminded me of when God used me like that. It rekindled something deep inside me I longed to have back.

 They invited us over a few weeks later and then we had them over again. By the end of the evening Elizabeth asked me if I'd like to meet with her more regularly, weekly. I couldn't believe my ears. I smiled and said “That would be lovely.” But on the inside I was weeping with joy because I was so overwhelmed by God's love. I could hardly believe that she would even want to spend time with me, and I could hardly comprehend how God would love me enough to send me such a godly friend to help me through this mess I was in.

So we began meeting once a week. She didn't know this at the time, but I considered these doctor visits for my soul. And I knew I needed to meet with her every single week without fail. I felt desperate for her help, which is quite humiliating to a person who has prided themselves in being able to handle everything that comes their way. She would listen to me share my struggles and then she would speak truth to me, she would read the Word and she would pray over me. She told me I was listening to lies. She encouraged me to speak Truth out loud whenever the lies would come, to start prayer journaling again, and to read a psalm and a proverb everyday.

I began my intentional emotional and spiritual healing regiment the morning of January 13, 2015, 40 days ago. The songs God woke me up with and the Word I read was my spiritual food. My journaling was my exercise. Elizabeth was my Immune Booster to jump-start my healing process. And family and friends were my vitamin pills giving me the supplements I needed to make through the hard days.

As I went through my rehab program I began noticing a trend.  God was wanting me to be free from my bondage of feeling worthless and useless. He began using songs to speak truth to me. At first I just meditated on the phrase I woke up to, but then sometimes I felt led to google the lyrics and read all the words, especially to the songs I didn't know. My kids were being little detectives, trying to help me figure out who sang the song because most of the time, I didn't know. I think this is significant. I sort of knew the tune or maybe one little phrase, but certainly not all the words. Most of the time I didn't even know what the song was about!

For the past 40 days, I've had a different God song playing in my head every morning when I wake up. It has been absolutely incredible. This use to happen to me all the time several years ago when I was walking in step with the Spirit.  God would fill my mind with songs.

These songs have transformed my thinking about God. He used them to minister to my soul. Each morning they were the exact words I needed for that day. I also got them throughout the day as well, but I wasn't always able to write them down. This is nothing short of miraculous. I don't have time to share each song and what they meant to me, but I will share some of the phrases I received so you can get a glimpse of how detailed God is in speaking truth to me.

He's making me new
And the voice of truth tells me a different story, and the voice of truth says “do not be afraid”
Let it go
We were made to thrive
I'm holding to the One who holds me
My chains are gone. I've been set free.
You dance over me while I am unaware. You sing all around, but I never hear the sound. Lord I'm amazed by you. How you love me.
I need you, oh, I need you. Every hour I need you. My one defense, your righteousness. Oh God, how I need you.
I'm running to the One who knows me, who made every part of me in his hands.
He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.
Jesus, He loves me, He loves me, He is for me.
The Creator of the universe concerns himself with me.
He is jealous for me.
My God and I go in the fields together. We walk and talk as good friends should and do.
We are not forgotten. We are not alone.
I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way that he loves us.
He is mighty to save.
He knows.
I'll sing out loud. I won't be silent.
You're an overcomer.
And I will call upon your Name.
All to You I surrender.
******I hear freedom calling...my God is near.*****

These may not mean much to you, but they are everything to me. They gave me strength and stamina to handle the devils lies. Also, Col. 3:16 has so much more meaning than it use to.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Elizabeth's suggestion of reading Psalms and Proverbs also spoke healing words to my soul, especially when I was struggling emotionally. In the Psalms it talks a lot about “Lord, save me from my enemies.” I don't feel like I have any human enemies in my life, but if I substitute 'Satan's Lies About Me', in the place of 'enemies', that fits perfectly, since it is the lies that are defeating me emotionally and spiritually. It seemed like each day I struggled, the Psalm I read was perfect advice for me. I didn't hand pick these out. I was just going in order as they came. Some days I had time to read a psalm and sometimes I didn't. The verses that spoke to me I recorded in my journal. I do want to share two of them. The first one is the very first entry in my journal. It says:

“Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint;
O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony.”

The second one is the one I read the day before I was healed. It is prophetic.

“O Lord, I rejoice in your strength.
How great is my joy in the victories you give;
you have granted me the desire of my heart
and you have not withheld the request of my lips.
You welcomed me with rich blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on my head.
I asked you for life, and you gave it to me
Through the victories you gave, my glory is great.
Surely you have granted me eternal blessings
and made me glad with the joy of your presence.
For I trust in the LORD-through the unfailing love of the Most High-
I will not be shaken.
Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength.
We will sing and praise your might.”

Here is the account of my healing. It happened in my bedroom Wednesday night  February 18th, 2015. The beginning of the story actually started Tuesday when I met with Elizabeth. I was feeling really good because I had been sharing with people all that God had been showing me lately. I know I talked to several people, including Rachel, Brenna, Melody and Brigitte. Now I was telling Elizabeth. I told her that I have finally realized something. I can't function without God's constant intervention in my life.

On the days I got up to journal, I could function. On the days I slept in and didn't spend time with God, I cratered. This was a huge revelation. None of us can function as God designed us to without his daily, hourly help. This is true for everyone, but it is hidden because it seems like we can handle things. The symptoms do not show themselves because we hide them with our pride. Now I'm at a place where I can't hide it anymore.

Last Sunday night I felt weak again emotionally, like I was headed to the bad place again. I could feel the trigger coming. Normally I don't get up on those days to be with God, but I made myself get up Monday morning. I had a song, a phrase.  “I'll sing out loud, I won't be silent.” I wrote it down. I didn't feel like singing. But I told God that today was going to be a little experiment to see if He would help me survive the day.

 I decided to google the words.
And Lord you know it, sometimes the morning
It hits me hard. Don't really feel like trying.
But I remember you and all you do.
I make the choice to use my voice...
And sing out loud.
 No I won't be quiet. 
I'll sing and shout.
 I cannot be silent. 
You put the music in my heart, its screaming out.
I feel like jumping, feel like dancing for you now.

After I read that and journaled about it, I did feel like singing! I was amazed once again by the perfect timing of the words and the details of showing me his love. And to top it all off my bible app on my phone lighted up and I glanced at the verse of the day. “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” The song Overcomer by Mandisa pops in my head.  This is so awesome!

I felt great the entire morning, so much better than when I woke up. But after lunch, I began feeling sad again and I thought, I need God more than once a day. I need him every hour, every minute!  We were busy and I couldn't sit and be with him. Later, Brigitte called and wanted to come over for a bit and hear all about what God was doing in my life. So I took a quick nap and got up to visit with her. I felt weak and sad, but as I shared with her about God, I suddenly felt empowered and full of joy and energy. And so did she.

As I was telling all of this to Elizabeth she shared some scriptures with me.

I Peter 5:6-9

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety of him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
RESIST HIM, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God off all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.”

James 4:7-8
“Submit yourselves, then to God.
RESIST the devil, and he will flee from you.
Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

I wrote those verses down in my journal so I could remember them. You're supposed to remember to take the medicine the doctor prescribes. Right? We continued to share God's goodness with each other and I felt so pumped and energized. Being intimate with God brings LIFE! And sharing it with others is like an IV hydrating your body and pepping you up. We prayed together and hugged and I left her house feeling on top of the world.

The next day I went to Holistic Choices Wellness Center on South 7th with Anita Fowler RN, where I've been going for some bio-magnetic therapy for my Rheumatoid Arthritis. During the bio-electric magnetic therapy, I lay on a table with my feet almost hanging off. One person puts a special magnet on a certain place on my body while the other lady grabs my feet and pulls my legs and touches my feet together. The feet should line up perfectly every time. If one of your legs draws up, that tells them something is wrong. They did this for 270 different sights on my body to check for imbalances and disease. This was my second visit. On the second visit they also do emotional therapy with the magnets and I was really looking forward to that, even more than for my physical pain, because I really believed my emotional pain was worse and that was hindering me from getting well physically.

For Emotional Repolarization Therapy you lay on the table and they place a magnet on you, but this time they give you a handout to read aloud. There are 15 statements that they test to see if you really believe them. The first one says:

“I love and forgive everyone in my past for whatever they have said, done, or thought about me to make me not love myself. So now I love myself.”

Then the lady pulls your legs and touches your feet together and says “Yes, she believes that about herself.”

Then I read the next one.

“I love and forgive everyone in my past for whatever they have said, done, or thought about me to make me not be loved. So now I can be loved.”

“No. She doesn't quite believe that about herself.” So the other lady writes that down. I go through all 15 statements. Here they are in order.
  1. I love myself
  2. I can be loved
  3. I can love others
  4. I am worthy
  5. I am not fearful
  6. I can be healthy
  7. I can do whatever it takes to be healthy
  8. I can be wealthy
  9. I can be happy
  10. I am confident
  11. I am humble
  12. I am joyful
  13. I am not frustrated
  14. I am patient
  15. I am restructured, regenerated and restored with the energy of life to every aspect of my being.
Out of the 15 statements I only believed 6 of them. They were: I love myself, I can love others, I can be healthy, I can do whatever it takes to be healthy, I can be happy, I am humble. All the others I failed. So that was my homework for the week. I must speak these 3 times each, twice a day for 21 days to retrain my brain. After that they asked my subconscious questions like “Is this inherited? From your mothers side? Fathers side? Are you ready to begin healing in this area? And my feet answered those questions. I could feel it! It was quite an interesting experience to say the least. They prayed over me before I left. I left there feeling good, knowing I had something I could work toward to get more emotionally healthy.

That night we had Wednesday classes at Hope and Damon was talking about the difference between thinking something and actually saying it out loud. And how sometimes you feel differently after saying it. He asked for examples and I told about my experiences lately of sharing what God has been doing in my life and how that energizes me and makes me feel better in every area, spiritual, emotional and even physical. I don't hurt as much in my feet and hands after I share like that.

But for some reason, after church I started feeling a little down, like no one really cared about what I had to say. I was heading down that road again. So before bed I decided to do my homework. Maybe that would help. I sat on the edge of the bed and read my paper. “I love and forgive everyone in my past for whatever they have said done, or thought about me to make me not be loved. So now I can be loved. I love and forgive everyone in my past for whatever they have said, done, or thought about me to make me not feel worthy...

I started feeling desperate because it was not working. I was getting worse. Tears were forming in my eyes. Creg came in to take a shower and I said “I feel like I'm going to that place again.” And he said “Why? Can't you stop it?” “I don't know why. I don't want to go there. I even shared at church tonight, but it didn't feel right. I don't feel better, I feel worse!” He felt sorry for me and hugged me and went to take his shower. I thought, “I need to call Elizabeth to pray for me.” But then I remembered the scriptures she had given me the day before. And I decided to say them out loud.

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
I resist you devil. In Jesus Name.”

IMMEDIATELY, I felt better.

I was not sad. I was not desperate. I was completely at peace. All the fear just disappeared, melted away. I decided to read my paper again. “I love and forgive everyone in my past for whatever they have said, done, or thought about me to make me not feel worthy. So now I am worthy.” And I believed it! I felt confident it was true. I went through all of them with the same assurance. I started laughing. In awe of what just happened. Creg came out of the shower and I pronounced: “Something really huge just happened to me. Everything's okay now. I'm good!” He was a little surprised and asked what changed. So I told him everything.

As we laid in bed that night, I said “My mind feels so good right now. I don't think I have ever felt this good in my entire life. I can't really explain it, but my mind feels free, light, aired out, clear headed. It's like all the pressure has been released. I am healed. I know this is permanent.” I couldn't stop smiling laying there on Creg's chest. I felt so relaxed. Peaceful. Full of happiness. Relieved. Thankful that the madness had stopped.

I was ready to sleep, so my eyes closed. To my utter shock, out of the corner of my eye, a dark face with glowing red eyes appeared. My eyes flew open, and thankfully, it went away. I cautiously closed my eyes a second time and now a different, smaller green-eyed face appeared. What in the world was going on? It seemed like they were peeking around the corner to see if they could come back in! I opened my eyes, mind racing, and remembered the story in the bible about the man who had a demon cast out of him and because he didn't fill his mind with God, the demon returned, bringing with him 7 demons more wicked than himself and the state of that man was worse off than before.  I began asking God to come in and fill this empty place. I want you to live here. When I closed my eyes again, all was well.  I fell asleep, completely at peace.

The next morning awoke with a victory chant “I hear freedom calling...my God is near!” Here is the youtube video of the lyrics. The words are perfect. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment