Updated: Jun 10, 2020
This is part 2 of our faith journey, where a miracle healing in my husband's body led to our complete spiritual transformation! To read Part 1, click here.
As we drove home that night, the 2 hour trip home seemed like 5 minutes. We were so excited, and bewildered about what had happened to Jason's leg! And our new friends were SO different. But different in a good way. The love of God just OOZED out of them. They had a peace about them that I had never seen before, even in Christians.
"I knew something was happening to my leg as she was praying!" Jason said.
He said he couldn't move his leg at all through the rest of the meal, as if it was cemented to the floor.
“Jen, when I got up to walk outside, I could feel the difference, because I no longer had to compensate for one leg being shorter. Plus, I was without pain for the first time in 15 years! I KNOW God healed me!!" Jason said.
I was excited for my husband. But I still wasn't so convinced. There HAD to be a catch. Things like this don't just HAPPEN. I knew we hadn't done anything to EARN this. Don't you have to earn good things from God?
"Yeah, we should probably go see our chiropractor, just to be sure," I said.
The next morning, Jason woke up for the first time WITHOUT BACK PAIN in 15 years. It had just become a way of life for him. He had gotten so used to waking up in pain, that he just automatically would reach for the ibuprofen, his normal dosage of 1600-2400 mg per day. Way too much. But thankfully, he refused to get on pain meds because he knew he would get addicted to them once he started...the pain was so intense.
Even still, I was not so convinced. Remember, I was the one who grew up in church her whole life. I knew how God worked (or so I thought). Things like this don't happen anymore! It happened in the Bible, and for Jesus and the disciples, but not for us. Right?
A few days later, we meet with the chiropractor, and of course, I go with Jason because I've got to have proof of this. I needed an expert to tell me the truth!
"Do you notice anything?" Jason asked Dr. Troy.
"Well, yes, your legs are even!" the doctor said. He remembered Jason's accident and that his leg had grown back shorter than the other. "I am baffled. What happened?"
"Some friends of ours prayed for me. My leg grew, and now they're even," Jason said confidently, as I shyly hid in the corner.
"Man, I wish my prayers did that!" Dr. Troy said. He is also a believer, and one reason we went to him was because that he prayed over his patients as he laid hands on them. "That's so amazing! I'm excited for you guys!"
Huh. Well, THAT was not what I expected.
"You mean this really happened?" I'm processing out loud as we walked to the car. "Your leg GREW 3/4 of an inch to become even with the other one? And now you have ZERO back pain?"
I still couldn't wrap my mind around it. It was still hard for me to believe.
But I guess that's why they are called miracles, right? They aren't supposed to be understood. Only believed.
Something changed in Jason that day. It changed both of us, but him especially. He was NICE. (Can you imagine living with intense pain for 15 years?) He was peaceful. He was pain-free.
He was devouring his Bible and praying and leading our family spiritually in a way he had not before.
God was changing his heart. And I was falling in love with him again, because, let's be honest, when God gets a hold of your man, it is VERY attractive! (We went on to have two more babies!)
Jason's excitement about the Word of God rubbed off on me. The next few weeks we were so HUNGRY for God to show us things in his Word. God had never shown up in our lives like he had just now. We always felt like God was somewhere in the distance. Why now? What had changed? I wanted to know MORE.
"The Bible is God's love letter to you," our new friend Sheri said. "Your Creator, your Father, the One who knows you best, wrote a love letter to YOU. Just read it, and receive it."
I committed to read the entire New Testament in thirty days. We would meet with Sheri and her husband Ty, about once a week. They would pray for us, mentor us and encourage us. They would ask us what God is teaching us through his word.
God kept leading me to John 8:31-32:
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
The truth will set me free. FREE. Free from what?
I took a good, hard look at what I had become. I was a Christian. I was "saved" at 9 years old. I went to church every time the doors were open. I even drug Jason to church when we met in college, and that's when he became a Christian. But truth be told, I was not FREE.
I was just as anxious, depressed, lonely, selfish, and worldly as anyone else. My life did not look different because I was a Christian. My life looked like everyone else. Except I had a ticket to heaven one day. At least I hoped.
I read the Bible, but really, I only read it out of duty and obligation. So I could lead a Bible Study. Or to find answers to life's problems. I read the Bible to get something from God. It seemed to me that the purpose of the Bible and the purpose of life, basically, is to get people "saved." Which is true....
But what about after that? What is the point of our existence while we are here on earth? Is it all about getting as many people "saved" as we can, so we can all be in heaven someday? In the sweet by and by? Life was hard. Why did life have to pretty much suck until then?
To me, it seemed like there were no answers to this question.
The Bible, I thought, was a book of "should-dos."
If I really loved God, then I should go to church. I should read my Bible and serve in the church. I should lead a Bible Study. If I really loved God, and wanted Him to love me, I should plant a church, and even become a pastor. If I REALLY loved God, I should surrender my entire life, and become a missionary. AND be poor. Because Jesus was poor, right? We should want to be like Jesus. It was certainly not not Godly to be rich. And I should repent for asking God for more money.
And God doesn't really just give out healing or miracles to just anybody, right? I could picture God in my mind, up in heaven with his arms crossed, saying, "Nope. Nope. Nope. Yes, you can be healed. You earned it. Nope. Nope. Nope. Not you. Yes..."
I asked our new friend Ty about my dilemma. What will the Bible really teach me that I don't already know? (Can you hear the pride in my question?)
His response, as always, was direct, but loving. Impactful, full of truth. He always makes me think.
"Are you reading the Bible for results? Or are you reading it for relationship?" he said.
He was right. I was reading to get results from God. I wasn't truly seeking a relationship with him. Let's be real. I didn't think God really cared that much about me.
What was it Jesus said?
He said to those who BELIEVED.
Did I believe Jesus loved me? In a general, John 3:16 sense, yes. Jesus loves the whole world, right? But I didn't think he really loved or cared about ME. I had a head knowledge, but not a heart knowledge. "There's people with a lot bigger problems than me. I can handle it, God. You take care of those people first."
In other words, I was telling God I really didn't need him.
I really had no revelation of the love of God. But I wanted to.
"If you abide in my words..." Jesus' words. God's Word. The Bible. Did I really abide, cling to, accept, act in accordance with God's Word? My whole life I had let other people spoon-feed me their interpretation of the Bible. I had never really considered that I could get my OWN revelation. That I could study God's word and God Himself would show me what it means. That HE himself would show me how much He loved me through his own words.
Maybe that's why I didn't believe.
"If you abide in my words, you are my disciples indeed." So....abiding in His words makes me a disciple. What about getting saved? Stellar church attendance and service? Sharing the gospel with others? Getting baptized? Surely all those things count toward being a disciple, right?
Well, that's not what Jesus said.
"Then you will know the truth..." I want to know the truth. And he is saying the truth is in the Word of God.
"and the truth will set you free." Free. Jesus wanted to set me free. I was a slave to self-righteousness. In bondage to rules and behavior modification. I was living under the Law. I wasn't living IN Christ. He wanted to set me free from my SELF.
I recalled my friend Sheri with her small, worn, well-read and highlighted Bible that she carried in her purse.
"The truth WILL set you free," Sheri said. "But it's only the truth you KNOW."
Could it really be that simple? Can freedom, love, peace, security, acceptance, healing and miracles all be in that little Bible?
I had to know.
For the next chapter in our faith journey, click here!
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