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Real life

 unexpected and encouraging obsticals to overcome

Perfect love casts out all fear

This verse has resonated inside of me for months, Perfect Love Casts out all fear.  1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in Love, but perfect love casts out fear.” I know there is truth behind this phrase but I am not living this out.  I am noticing every morning I am proceeding in fear rather than God’s Love.  I hear my inner voice stating these questions.  Will I screw up at work again? Will I get fired and lose my job? Will I be able to provide for myself? What if I can’t make rent? When will I have peaceful sleep again? I should not have said that to my co-worker today, did I offend her?  Will my health fail me again? There is that dreaded phrase, “Will my health fail me again?” The root of all my fear, will my health fail me again.  These thoughts create a downward spiral.  For me these types of thoughts keep me away from God.  The devil gets a hold of my thoughts and turns them against me especially when I am weary.  There is no room for God’s peace, or God’s truth in his word, or God’s love.   My perpetual thoughts have shut God out.  Fear has reigned in my life. I want to share with you the story of God’s perfect love. My fear stems from the year I became a Christian.  I heard the salvation message two days prior to being saved.  It kept my Salvation as a gift for Jesus on his birthday, Christmas Day.  I had knelt down in a pew of my families Catholic Church with my family by my side and said a prayer.   “ Dear Lord, I thank you for giving us your Son, Jesus, who died for my sins for I am a sinful woman.  Jesus, I know you have risen from the Dead and are seated at the right hand of the Father. I grew up loving you and today I dedicate my life, in fullness, to serve you.  This is the best gift I can think of giving you on your birthday, Jesus, to fully serve you.”  With my Catholic upbringing I thought if you had Christ in your life, life would be perfect, like the show, “Leave it to Beaver.”  At that time I was a chiropractic student, exercising two hours a day, had a fiance’ and we were buying a condo.  Life was perfect. Little did I know, 8 months after my salvation that my life was going to change.  Forever. I was in the emergency room in terror for what went wrong.  I was a Chiropractic Student who received a bad neck adjustment.  The symptoms were weird and puzzled the doctors.  I would black out but not loose consciousness. My blood pressure was sky high then undetectable.  When my blood pressure stabilized I was sent home three days later.   I knew my life had changed.  I could longer raise my arms above my head to wash my hair in the shower. I was so tired I couldn’t walk, but kept trying to make it around the block.  I was fearful of what happened to my body that was in athletic condition, of losing my fiancé, and new home.  The perfect life was shattered at age 23. I was fortunate to have my finance’ choose to marry me two months later.  The only visuals I have of the  degree of pain I experienced are my Wedding Photos.  I know it was hard on my husband taking care of a sick wife.  I had to get better for fear of losing him. 
Being in perpetual pain made me weary.  I would spend the next 8 years almost bedridden.   During that time I gave up hope of ever getting well.  I had developed a fearful and defeated mindset, asking questions like: How could I trust God during this time?  How do I find confidence in the scriptures in the midst of my pain? How could I prove my love to the God I committed my life to?  Wasn’t I supposed to serve him and not be stuck in a bed?  It was dreadful to think my life would only consist of waking up to spend another day in bed. Then a friend invited me to the Women of Faith Conference. I only had strength for one night. Three hours, that was all the energyI could spare for the week.  While I was there, God’s stated to me in a small voice, “Someday you will be on a stage sharing your message.”  I thought, “Yah right!” in a sarcastic tone, but if God proclaims it then I must believe it. I heard a message from a TV evangelist who said if I really believed I could be healed.  That stung to the depth of my core.  I desperately wanted to be healed.  I had prayed for 8 years the verse from Jeremiah 29:11,  “For I know the plans I have for you, ‘declares the Lord’ plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I wanted a future of healing.  I hated what that preacher said, but his words forced me to start changing the way I viewed my life.  And then God set up the perfect set of circumstances to heal me. The final results for my healing came.  My husband saw a news article on TV about a doctor working with patients who had chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.  I was skeptical of another doctor who would eventually fail me.  He begged me to go.  My mind was defeated but God’s words of truth from the bible and his proclamation from the Women of Faith Conference gave me strength for one more doctor.  

As I was going through the treatment I started reading a book that taught me to:
1. Believe in God,
2. Trust God at his word,
3. Renew my Mind on God’s word,
4. Be obedient to Gods word. 
When I started applying these biblical principles along with my doctor’s health plan I began to see progress.

I started Trusting God at his word.  God showed me clearly that I was not stable in his word.  I practiced and worked out the verse from James, “When you ask God, you must believe, not doubt.”  I had to change my fears about not being healed.  I was doubting God’s ability.  Step by step I deleted the doubt and replaced it with scriptures of healing.  It was hard to do.  I took two steps forward and one step back, but I started making progress with God’s help. Next I found scriptures that supported healing.  I would tell God if this man was healed due to his faith, from Luke 5:12, then I wanted a measure of that faith which I did not have at that time.  The other scripture is about the woman who walked up to Jesus and knew if she touched his garment she would be healed.  Jesus stated to this woman, “Dear woman, you are made well because you believed.” (Luke 8:48)  I wanted to believe like that.  Then in the Book of James chapter one I read, “Anyone who lacks faith can ask of Him who gives to all men generously without reproach and it will be given to him“.
“God,” I would cry out, “Give me a measure of this man’s faith and this woman’s belief.”  Over time I came to believe the truth of these words of faith and belief. I also took this verse from Luke 11:9 which Jesus stated “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” For years I envisioned God’s door being closed to my healing.  Then I grew impatient.  My attitude was, “It’s going to open even if I have to kick it in myself.” It may not sound biblical but I was tired of the wait. During these years,there were days were would get discouraged. I felt I was taking a step backwards. Then I realized I was not in the word of God that day.  I learned I daily needed to be in God’s word.  The only book of the bible that resonated with me was the book of James. I started to renew my mind on God’s word from the Book of James.  I memorized the whole first and second chapters. Whenever I was discouraged I would start reciting the verses.   The beauty of verse 2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you encounter trials of various kinds, because the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  God will do has he has promised.  I have learned I must do my part for the fulfillment of being in his word daily.  I must believe God at his word and trust He will fulfill it and renew my mind to stay in joy when I encounter trials.  The steps I took were very tough and don’t want anyone to think this process was easy to do, because it took every measure of energy to work my faith out to hold onto that joy. My last step was to be obedient to Gods’ word from the book of James chapter 1:21-25, “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man, who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.”  The obedience to Gods word is so important to the fulfillment of having God’s power in his word reign in my life.  Without obeying God with the previous verses and pleading with him for healing, what good would it be for me to have the immoral filth in my life?  I needed to come out of this time of being with God in a purified state to really show God’s love to me.  It does not matter the life I had before, it matters today the life I are going to live forward.  Today it has been 16 years since my neck injury. The physical healing showed up very slowly.  Today I can say there is healing because I have a physically demanding job that I perform as well as those who have never been sick.  God showed up and delivered on the promises of his word.  I have encountered many new trials but I have never forgotten the precious words God has implanted in my life through the book of James.  I cling to those words with new found believe, trust, renewal of mind, and obedience because there is power in the word of God. With my new found health I am trying to honor God with every day that I live.   Through these years of disciple Gods perfect love for me has cast out the fear of this illness ever returning.