HEALED!

This is big.  Like, humongously gigantic.  I am forever changed.

I’m about to tell you a story that I wish each of you could have seen with your very own eyeballs so there would be more of a chance that it would sink into your very souls and change you, too.  But, if you’ve read any of the rest of my blog posts, hopefully you have a sense of my realness and sincerity.  And I really stink at lying (ask my family) so just give me a chance and listen to my story.

Once upon a time a family moved to the middle of nowhere, a bit unsure about the why of it all, but knowing that their God had purpose in it.  After about 7 months of getting used to the new digs, yours truly had a bit of a problem.  My back went out.  I’m not sure what that even means, but it’s the third time it has happened in my life and boy, was the third time a charm.  Not one much for traditional medicine and since it was the holiday season and all, AND my dear friend was about to come stay, I suffered through.  And I mean suffered.  I’m talking, walking to the kitchen from the living room left me sobbing in pain.  My beloveds quickly grounded me to the poof chair (a giant fluff-filled, no pressure point kinda thing) where I sat day and night for over three weeks.  From just after Thanksgiving to the new year, I was beyond miserable.  Epsom salt baths, essential oils, professional and husband massages, yoga, stretching…all were tried.  Nothing helped.  I had radiating pain from mid-back to feet and all throughout my hip.  I couldn’t even touch my skin on my stomach or my hip or leg without pain.  It was bad.  I figured after the new year, I’d have to go get help and find a chiropractor or try acupuncture or something.

On January 3rd, Christian and I decided to watch a movie together in the morning with coffee.  It was number three in a series of life-changing documentaries.  Little did we know.

Okay, I have to back up.  When my back first started hurting, Christian said to me, “I feel like we should see if one of your legs is longer than the other.”  You see, both of us have seen God lengthen legs and heal the deaf and other such amazingness, and we both knew God could totally heal me.  But I think we were a little bit chicken, if I’m going to be perfectly honest.  And we let the moment pass.

Fast forward back to the movie.  We were deeply moved from the beginning because it touched on moments we’ve experienced together in the last several years as we learned about and experienced the awesome, overwhelming love of our God. And we were frustrated because our internet connection kept failing and stopping this movie we wanted so badly to see.  It would falter and we would pray and it would start again and then stop.  Finally, we gave up.

Later that night we had some time before bed to try to watch it again.  Once again, middle of nowhere internet fail.  We would watch 10 seconds to let it load for 4 minutes to watch 10 more seconds.  At this point, we were kind of like, okay, this must be something we REALLY need to see because we are getting foiled at every turn!  Again, we gave up.  Christian massaged my back with oils before he went to sleep and while he did he prayed again for my back to be healed.

Are you still with me?  It’s about to get really good.

As I laid there listening to my husband breathe beside me, I believe God gave me some words.  This is how He talks to me sometimes.  He prints words that I can see like a sign in my mind.  Often, they are words I’m not even familiar with that I then go research and get really excited about. This time, He gave me words to tell me what was wrong with my back.  Slipped Disc.  Honestly, I had no idea what this meant, but I looked it up and sure enough, it described exactly what I had been dealing with.

I woke up the next day excited to tell Christian that I knew what was wrong.  I even had some new stretches I could do to help.  He ran me a bath and I soaked for a bit, still in quite a bit of pain afterward, too much to even do the stretches, though I tried.  We put the movie on, and it played.

Now, I knew what was wrong with my back and God was about to show me why I needed to know before we watched the movie.

It came to a part where a man went to Israel to offer God’s healing to people.  This man prayed for a Muslim man in the street and without having asked the man what was wrong, he sat him on a bench and prayed and the man’s leg extended two inches instantly and he was healed.  God completely healed the discs in his back!!  Did you read that?  God told His guy that the Muslim man needed healing for exactly what I had been struggling with for a month!!

We paused the video.  Both in tears, knowing what needed to happen, my husband went and got a straight-backed chair and brought it to the living room.  I sat in the hard chair and he held my feet out in front of me.  My left leg was two inches shorter than my right as they sat atop my husband’s hands.

He said, “Father we ask for a complete healing of Alison’s back and pain in the name of Jesus.”

Are you ready for this?  My left butt cheek began scooching its way down the chair.  Four times it scooched itself until my feet were even.  I could feel only my pants gripping the seat as my body changed.  We both stared at my feet and then at each other.  I stood.

I jumped.  I bent.  I wept.  I marched.  I wept.  He wept.  We thanked our God. Our children came in and we told the story again and again.  I called Addie and Austin and told them on speaker phone.  They had watched the movie the night before, and this resonated in a huge way.

Guys, God healed my back.  I have video of me doing my best river-dance in my pajamas to prove it!  I was touching my toes and dancing and crying and my family just stared at me.

Why did God do this?  He loves me.  He saw His daughter hurting and He was waiting for us to have the faith to expect His touch and ask.  He was always capable, but we doubted that He’d show up for us.  In the same way that it’s hard to walk up to a wall and have the faith to stick a penny to it, it’s hard to sit in a chair and ask God to heal a disc in your back and expect your leg to grow.

But it happened.

The name of Jesus is powerful and it pushes away the dark.  It’s not magic, it’s love.  It’s a response from a Daddy to His daughter.  He just wanted us to ask.  He wanted us to trust His heart enough to ask.

From sheer exhaustion, we were just about to declare a moratorium on guests this year — until God reminded us that He has us even here with specific purpose.  He is beginning a new work and we needed refreshing and reminding that if we go where He asks us, even if it makes no sense to our minds, He has a plan.  It’s His alone.

For now, this is enough.

I am healed.

I pray this gives you hope.  I pray that you know a little more than you did ten minutes ago that there is one God Who has this power.  Perhaps He isn’t what you’ve always pictured in your mind or isn’t the God you’ve been told He is.  It’s definitely true that He is much bigger in His love for you than you could even imagine.  He is worth finding and holding on to with all of your might.  He sees you just as you are — in your mess and pain — and wants you just like that.  He cares about what matters to you, even if it seems too small to bother a big God about.

Watch this movie and learn more.  Hang in all the way to the end.  You won’t believe the ending.  It’s crazy good.  And let it sink in, all the way to your very soul.

You are loved.

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Impact

We bought a boat!!  The cutest little orange vintage boat you’ve ever seen.  Well, that I’ve ever seen, anyway.  Of course, since it is my favorite color, I took note of it and its for sale sign the first time I drove past it so I could tell my boys.  Surprisingly, the boys thought it was adorable, too!  Well, maybe the cuteness factor wasn’t the determiner.  Perhaps it was their newfound desire to fish and the need that accompanies that desire to actually stay afloat.  The little duck boat they had been using at the time wasn’t quite cutting it for two grown men.  Maybe it was the water collecting slowly in the bottom.  Or perhaps the fact that if one of them moved staying afloat was in question.  You know.  The little things.

So, they split the cost and went to put that baby in the water –on my birthday.  Yup, the best day of the year was to be spent sunbathing and picnicking in the sunshine on a gorgeous, nearby inland lake.

Until the new boat trailer’s wheel broke off and left us stranded alongside a dirt road.

These are the moments in which you realize how alone you are in the world when you have moved five hundred miles from everything you knew.  No friend with a trailer can come help you.  Even if he could, how would you then move an ancient, ridiculously heavy boat to a  working trailer?

My guys worked in 85 degree heat on a dusty road in a gazillion biting flies to try to salvage the situation, to no avail.  Left alongside a road for the night, our new little boat had no way to begin a journey.

The next day, my clever boys rigged a fix to limp the boat to a nearby lake, found a boat trailer for sale in our little village (that is some kind of miracle right there when you consider the next-to-nothing population), and got our new orange vehicle back home.

It would be several days until we had time to launch the Merriweather into the water, but when we did — what a moment!  We went huge when we chose our location to launch.  We chose a huge bay on one of the most intimidating bodies of water.  Why?  Because we could!  And off we went!  Perma-grin set in with wind-whipped hair and we sped off into clear blue water under a clear blue sky virtually alone.  And, for once, the Kirkseys had an adventure without drama!

As I reveled in the moment, I couldn’t help but stare behind us at the impact we had on this massive body of water.  Our little cutest orange boat was making its mark, blazing a trail.  Without even meaning to, we had impact.

impact

impact: strong effect;  the powerful or dramatic effect that something or somebody has

Recently, we have watched some folks we love be hurt beyond description by the actions of another.  One path, one course of actions has left folks in its wake tossed around like so many golf balls in a dryer.  This person is completely refusing to look behind at the damage their direction has and will continue to cause.

Other folks we talk to are crazy-concerned about their impact.  Running around trying to do all and be all and make others change.  These folks splash and flip and do somersaults determined to make a wake behind them that will last.

Whether we like it or not, we make some sort of wake.  Someone, somewhere can see where we’ve been and where we are headed.  There are folks behind getting smacked by our impact or maybe bobbing along in our ripples.  But, we cannot travel forward without some sort of effect.

Unless we sit completely still.   And, really.  What fun is that?

Our family comes from a background of faith.  Some folks would call it religion.  This religion has a tendency, in my little opinion, to focus on our impact in a way that sets folks up to fail.  There’s a checklist of sorts that is laid out and often determined by man.  It started as what God asked of us and morphed into a list determined by whom you ask.  These do’s and don’ts, front flips and cannonballs of action that qualify as impact are what seem to make a Good Christian in the eyes of some.  Sadly, it also leaves others who feel like they never will or never want to qualify, squarely on the outside.

There’s also a spin on being a Christian that is equally concerning — the Pick-and-Choose variety.  The one where certain parts of the Bible are worth applying and believing and then other parts are able to be tossed out as irrelevant and regarded as some sort of nice story similar to perhaps, Aesop and his fables.

I understand it  takes a certain amount of crazy faith to believe what’s in that book.  I admit, from the outside, some of the stories recorded in there sound beyond far-fetched.  But to understand them, you need to dig in a bit.  Some parts are historical.  Some parts of poetry.  Some are, believe it or not, scientific answers to our questions.  As a family, we discussed this the other night and we summed it up with two points.  The first being, if we believe any, we believe all.  We don’t get to pick and choose.  With the grace part comes the love part (the favorites, right?) and with both of those there is the truth part — the part that we’d rather not face.  Like it or not, if we want any, we get all.  My kids didn’t just get the fun side of their Momma —  though I am an awful lot of fun.  They also got Chore Momma, and Exhausted Momma, and Crabby Momma.  If they want any, they get all.

And secondly, let’s be honest.  It would take a certain amount of crazy faith to choose to disbelieve that book!  To believe that this life is really significant enough to be all there is.  To believe that we, this unbelievably complex system of life, came from a bunch of random accidents in the universe.  Frankly, I’d rather not believe that my great-great-great-great (and so on) grandaddy was a dolphin who thought legs would be nice and became a cow!  I much prefer Psalm 139 as my story!

But, I don’t believe I necessarily need to go out and force my belief on anyone to either make myself more right or to have an impact.

What I’m about to say is one crazy concept.  Are you ready?

What if, I do me and you do you.  What if I listen to my God and trust that He will tell me, Alison, each day, how to have impact in my world — this area of the world he has placed me in…

And as I’m faithful with what I’ve been given, He will make it effective.

If you aren’t quite sure what I mean, read Hebrews 11.  By faith, by faith, by faith, folks obeyed what God told just them to do, each story unique, and He turned it into something noteworthy.  They didn’t all do the same thing, yet they all did something by faith.

Isn’t that interesting?  We all just listen and follow the path set before us in obedience as a response to the mighty love of our Creator and He allows us to have impact.  So beautiful.  So simple.  So very good.

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