Thursday Night, August 17th 2006

August 21st, 2006

Lora_Said

I’ve been going back and forth in my mind over whether to post this or not… because it’s so personal. There are those several verses in the Bible where it says that Mary just “treasured these things in her heart” as Jesus grew up because she knew he was unique (to say the least!) and that he would do great things. I sort of feel like I want to treasure the things God did for me this week in my heart, but I also want you to know what God is really doing down here.

I’ve been having back pain for over two years–ever since I started working full time at the Artifact Group. I think sitting in the same position, hunched over to draw, for 40 hours a week was very hard on my body and my shoulders and neck sort of froze up. I would have sharp pains in my shoulder and no amount of massage (professional or from friends) would make it relax. Finally, fed up, I went to the chiropractor in January of this year. He gave me a free session, and showed me how locked up my neck was (I couldn’t move it very far to the left or right–and when he showed me how far it was supposed to move, I was in total disbelief.) and also, the bottom quarter of my spine was all locked together. That was a problem older than my time at the Artifact Group, since I never remember being flexible in my spine–and always failed the stretch tests in gym class growing up!

Since Mike’s health insurance wouldn’t cover the rest of the work I needed done at the chiropractor, I only went back once after that. It left me feeling worse than I felt before the first time I went, and for the last nine months I have been having all sorts of pain. Before coming down here to NOLA, I did yoga several times a week, and stretched five or ten times a day… but being down here I just haven’t had time for any of that. Which means everything has felt worse all summer long.

Which leads to Thursday. I was in more pain than usual, and we were having a Mercy Response staff meeting in Stacy’s trailer. Everyone had just gotten done praying for us about Mike’s job (or lack of job) situation. My normal tendency would be to just call it a night and not bother any of them anymore. But… I felt like I should step out there and just ask them to pray for my back.

I… honestly wasn’t expecting much, because friends have been praying for my back for years now. But… God has been stretching and healing me emotionally all summer long (and especially earlier that day) and I’m just not the person I was when I came down here in June. So… I did have a pinch of hope that maybe God had wanted to get that other stuff in order first, and then heal me.

And… he did. It wasn’t a fancy prayer–no people shouting and falling over, no audience, no commands to “claim it! claim it!”–just some friends putting their hands on me and saying, “Be healed in the name of Jesus.” It probably lasted all of two minutes, and when they were done Pam asked me how I was feeling. I bent over to test it and my entire lower portion of my spine was completely unlocked. I could touch the ground for the first time in as long as I can remember. I looked over at Mike and he was wide eyed and said, “I’ve never seen you bend over that far!” My neck is completely freed up, I can look back over my shoulders now. There’s no cracking and popping when I move, like I’ve had for the last nine months.

It’s a miracle. Like New Testament stuff.

I’ve never felt as light and free as I have these past few days. I keep bending over expecting things to be stiff again and they’re not. I have perfect posture now–I used to stand against a wall and Mike would try to pull my shoulders back to where they ought to be and my body physically was unable to do it. Now they sit there naturally.

I’m becoming increasingly convinced that Jesus called us down to New Orleans just to tell me he loved me… and have me really believe it. Because, if you’re going to win my heart, a good place to do it is New Orleans. 😉

Saturday was the seven year anniversary of the day I decided to follow Jesus. I remember saying, “I only want to do what you want me to do” over and over to him in the back seat of my friend’s Camry on a highway in Erie, PA. And here I am seven years later–I followed him to NOLA and in a few weeks, I’ll follow him back to Ohio. One thing this Christian life thing certainly is not is dull.

I’ve seen God do similar things here with congregation at the Kenner Vineyard. Most people came here from the Catholic church–where they have a very different perception on how you interact with God. After the storm, the Kenner Vineyard went from a church of 2,000 to a church of 200. They’re now back to about 1200 or 1500 and many of those faces are new. Saturday night during worship God’s Spirit just started touching people–and there was clapping and singing (loudly!) and hands raised and people just excited to be in the presence of God. I felt like I was back in Vineyard Columbus! :) It’s sweet to be in a congregation where many people are just experiencing God’s love for the first time. It’ll be amazing to see where they’re at a year from now…

Entry Filed under: All,Lora_Said

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jenn  |  August 21st, 2006 at 2:54 pm

    Girl, that’s just awesome! Rock on, God and JC! I’m so glad this trip has turned into a blessing for you. I mean, you’re also blessing others who desperately need it, and it’s always a two-way street. But it’s great to see *how much* God is blessing you in return.

    Rock on, sista!

  • 2. Donna  |  August 21st, 2006 at 9:57 pm

    Yay, you’re an inspiration to us all really doing God’s work and getting rewarded for it all the time! :)

  • 3. Linda  |  August 21st, 2006 at 10:27 pm

    Amazing

  • 4. Carrie LaMay  |  August 22nd, 2006 at 12:35 am

    God is so good.

  • 5. Mom B  |  August 22nd, 2006 at 7:58 pm

    GOD BLESS :)

    Kim Sue just called me for your cell #… I gave her both..
    She just took Gary to the airport today. :(
    She was a bit sad…..
    He now needs our prayers again….
    Hope you get in touch with her and can visit before you leave.

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