Meet the Healer

Find Healing through Jesus Christ


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Encounter in Jerusalem

imagePhoto by Rob Bye, courtesy of Unsplash.

This is the story of a spiritual seeker, a search for unconditional love, and a powerful encounter with Papa God. The story is true; that seeker was me. 

“You’re a lovely young woman. Your mother must be very proud of you.”

His words struck her like a sledgehammer, causing her heart to jolt violently in her chest.

She took a mental snapshot of the scene before her. The Wailing Wall, the diverse medley of people, milling around under the hot sun, and the middle aged Jewish father, his eyes smiling kindly at her from beneath his traditional orthodox hat.

Why would he say such a thing? She had merely asked him for directions to the Dormition Abbey.

Something about this city caused her head to spin. What a volatile mixture of emotions surfaced, as her senses trembled at the wonderful assortment of sights, sounds and smells.

Anger, cynicism, excitement, joy, danger simmering beneath the surface at every turn. Sleeping under the stars on the roof of the hostel, jostling past the tacky souvenir shops of Via Dolorosa, illicitly walking the city walls at night, taking the early bus tour for Masada sunrise. This city seemed to masterfully combine hate and love, war and peace, trickery and authenticity.

Scurrying away to rediscover the quiet sanctuary of the church, she couldn’t escape the man’s words. Was he a mind reader? She had no experience of anyone saying they were proud of her. She had never been a good, quiet, submissive type of girl; certainly not the kind of girl to cause her mother to feel proud.

Fleeing into the stillness of the church, she sat down, still shaking with emotions she couldn’t comprehend. As the tears started flowing freely, it seemed to her that she was running out of bolt holes. The deluge of pain was becoming uncontainable.

Where was there left to run and hide? Restlessly moving onwards, without direction, wasn’t working. Even if she travelled to the far side of the ocean, settled in a foreign land, reinvented herself again, she knew that, ultimately, there was no escaping herself.

A black robed figure approached her, gently interrupting, checking if she was okay. She guessed he must be a priest or monk. Here was unwanted kindness intruding again. She politely brushed the intruder aside. Solitary tears in this place of refuge were strangely comforting, more desirable than human kindness.

For a few fleeting minutes, she had felt something – or Someone? – reach into a dark place in her soul, bringing illumination and warmth, but… the internalised critical parent was still mightier than hope. When the flood finally ceased, she wiped her eyes, forcibly shoving back into the recesses of her heart any flicker of belief that unconditional love existed.

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

It was a few years after the encounter in Jerusalem that she stopped running long enough to look into the eyes of unconditional Love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Learning About Love

Transition

What an incredible season I’m in right now. I’m sorry for the lack of blog posts recently. I haven’t found it easy to write, due to a major life transition: getting married and moving to another region of the UK, with all the practical and emotional implications of that, both for me and for my children.image

Learning to love again and to share my life with a partner, after many years of singleness, has been a breathtaking roller coaster ride of emotions. Partnering with my husband, together with God, has been an exhilarating and sometimes painful journey of discovering trust and acceptance.

Occasionally I have experienced flashbacks, where the scenes of former hurts and abuses of trust replayed in my mind. It can be disconcerting when seemingly trivial events trigger old, distressing memories. Thankfully, I have been able to bring the memories to Jesus and receive healing.

Wrist Injury 

Three days after my wedding, I accidentally fell and broke my wrist.

The injury was quite severe, but with a combination of healing prayer and medical help, I was quickly back to normal. My physiotherapist was genuinely surprised at the speed of recovery and the extent of mobility in my wrist for an injury of this type. I’m thankful for the medical staff who treated me, and for the healing power of Jesus.

However, there is a deeper and more profound story that lies behind the physical healing.

History Rewritten

Immediately after the accident, as I sat in the hospital, awaiting treatment, I began thinking about the consequences of my injury. Without hesitation, I started apologising to my husband for causing him inconvenience; apologising for my “stupidity” at having this accident, which meant that I could only do light tasks, and I wouldn’t be able to drive the car for a number of weeks.

Irrational feelings hit me hard without warning. I felt suddenly inadequate, as if I was a useless burden. With my ability to be independent under threat, I felt fearful and out of control. These powerful waves of emotion made no logical sense. My husband was being gentle, kind and supportive towards me, yet a part of me expected him to be angry.

Old memories were resurfacing of situations where I had been rejected, even yelled at, for making mistakes like this, causing me to be on tenterhooks, waiting with trepidation for the all too familiar retaliation.

The retaliation never happened. My husband supported me for the whole time my wrist was in plaster, doing the extra driving and household tasks without complaint.

imageThis touched me deeply, to realise so early on in our marriage, that my husband loves me just as I am. I don’t need to prove myself. I don’t need to perform. He loves me if I’m having a bad day, just the same as if I’m having a good day.

All my old history of performance dependent, conditional love was rewritten in the space of a few weeks.

Love is Unconditional 

This knowledge that I am loved unconditionally has reduced me to tears on quite a number of occasions. Why would my husband love me even on days when I have little to give in return? Because that is the true nature of love: it’s unconditional.

And this love that I receive from my husband is a reflection of what God is like. There is nothing I can do or say to make God love me more, and there is nothing I can do or say to make God love me less. He just loves me, because it’s His nature to love. My security lies within this revelation.

Love: it’s an extraordinary, lifelong journey of discovery, and I’m still learning.

 


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Love Heals

“How glorious the splendour of a human heart that trusts that it is loved!”

~ Brennan Manning

Unconditional love and trust seem to be two halves of a whole. When we truly know that we are loved, self acceptance and trust naturally evolve.

Building Trust

When praying for strangers, I’m aware of the need to build trust with people first, by making conversation, perhaps sharing a joke, and reassuring them that I’m not trying to sell them anything.

Understandably, many people don’t want to draw attention to themselves or display their emotions in public, and I do my best to be discreet and sensitive when praying. However, sometimes the people with the toughest exteriors are visibly touched by God’s love, and fight back tears, as they encounter his presence.

Recently, we prayed for an older lady in the marketplace, who was quite reserved and a little suspicious of us at first. She told us her name was Connie, and after chatting a while, she revealed that she had pain in her neck. She then allowed us to lay hands on her to pray.

After prayer, there was no difference to the pain. Sometimes people experience healing later, so we told her this, and we also said that God loves her and cares about her.

Healed Second Time Around

Connie was sitting on a bench in the marketplace a couple of weeks or so later, drinking tea and smoking a cigarette, after finishing her shopping. We approached her and asked how her neck was doing. “No better,” she replied. We asked permission to pray again. Connie nonchalantly agreed to this.

My friend placed his hand on her shoulder and I placed my hand on the base of her neck. She told us the pain was a level four on a scale of one to ten. After praying, Connie slowly moved her head from side to side, and then we saw the first proper smile break out on her face.

The pain had completely disappeared! Connie’s delight was evident; her natural reserve and guarded manner melted away.

Touched

“Did one of you touch my head?” Connie asked, placing her hand near the top of her imagehead, to show us the exact location. Neither of us had placed our hands there; my hand had been the closest, being at the bottom of Connie’s neck, but still quite a distance away from her head.

Something significant happened, that I have no concrete explanation for. Connie had felt a hand touch her near the top of her head, and it had affected her deeply; her whole countenance had changed. This was more than a physical healing; change occurred on the inside, too. I believe Jesus touched her with his love and power, changing her heart.

Love Heals

Divine healing flows out of the love of God for the person in front of us. Love and compassion can bring healing to the whole person, rather than just addressing the physical symptoms.

Connie is a strong, independent lady, and not in the habit of giving outward displays of emotion. Initially, she looked doubtful when we shared with her in words that God loves her, but when she felt his presence and received healing, I believe she felt loved. I hope to see Connie again soon, and ask her what difference this encounter has made in her life.