I went to the doctor the other day. I don’t like going to doctors because they have a nasty habit of telling me I should stop smoking and exercise. I am not ready to stop smoking and I am lazy when it comes to exercise.
I mentioned, in a previous entry titled Messages From God, that God told me to take a look at the person who was claiming to tell me things on His behalf and see if she looked like someone who had won all her own battles. If she did not I was not to automatically believe every word she said.
The same applies to me. I don’t look like a person who has won all her own battles with sin. Now it is I who carry too much weight and I still smoke like a chimney. I don’t claim to be speaking on God’s behalf. All I am doing is telling my own story. If some of the answers I believe God has given me make sense to other people too that’s fine but this is not me speaking on God’s behalf – this is me telling my personal story.
These are the things I think God has said to me. These are the things I believe God has taught me. These are the things I believe God has done in my life. Nowhere in the bible does it say “And God said-eth unto Kim tell my people this”. There is no prediction about me, no sign or prophecy to say that I have God’s authority to speak for him. Quite the contrary – one look at me will tell you I have not won all my own battles against sin and what I say does not, therefore, carry an automatic stamp of approval from God.
I have said, in one entry, I do not judge others. In another entry I made judgements about a famous person who died recently. In yet another entry I made judgements about the entire male population of Australia! I am fallible! REALLY fallible!
(I do try not to judge people but I can be quite judgemental about behaviour at times.)
I debated the idea of telling this story because it really does not seem to have a clear lesson from God in it. Not that I can see anyway but it was the next memorable thing to happen in my life as a Christian so here it is.
I was about 24 and had been a Christian for around four years. In that time I had gone through an abortion and become pregnant again. This time I had the baby – a beautiful little girl. I was not going to church and I was nobodies idea of a perfect Christian. I knew I was not supposed to sleep around and I tried not to but my daughter is proof I failed miserably.
There were a few Christian people in my life who tried to help me in various ways but, because I knew I was not behaving as I should, I didn’t much care for their company.
One day a couple of Christian ladies, friends of my mother’s, came to visit me. They said there was to be a big faith healing meeting soon and God had told them they were to take me and my sister, Cindy, to it. They said Cindy was unable to join them and I said I was not able to either.
They asked me why. I said I don’t have the money to pay the entry fee. They said they would pay. I said I don’t have transport. They said they would pick me up and drop me home. I said I had nobody to leave my children with. They said I could bring them. I said I don’t have the energy to go to a thing like that when all I will end up doing is run around after my children. They said they would take full responsibility for caring for my children the whole time we were out – I would not have to give a single bottle or answer a single question.
They pleaded with me. They said they both had been given a very strong message from God that they were to take me and my sister to this meeting. They said they were already upset because nothing they had said could persuade my sister to come with them and they did not want to fail God by not being able to get me to come either. They offered to pay me to come.
I felt sorry for them and I could see they really were distressed about my sister refusing to go. It was clear they were desperate for me to come and I had run out of excuses. The idea of someone else looking after my children’s needs for a few hours did have a certain appeal so I agreed to go with them. They offered to give me money and my memory gets a bit cloudy here. I would like to believe I didn’t accept any money from them but I was pretty poor in those days and pretty self-centered. I have a feeling they did give me money to go and not being able to give the money back when the time came was the only reason I did end up going.
The day came and I tried to get out of going. I was not ready and the children were not ready when they arrived. They refused to be discouraged and one got the children ready, the other made up bottles and collected nappies, toys etc while I got dressed and then we set off. They were true to their word and took over caring for the children but I was feeling quite put out about being forced to go so I was not in a good mood.
I complained about the drive, how long it took, how many people were there when we got there. I felt they had bulldozed me into this and I was most ungracious about it. We were late getting to the meeting but I made no apologies for that – they could have got there on time if they hadn’t been so determined to force me to come with them.
The meeting began and the woman faith healer said her piece but I heard none of it. I was too busy feeling hard done by and resentful. The faith healer called for people to come forward if they wanted healing and I watched as, one by one, people went to the front.
It was quite clear to me the woman was a fake. Every single person she laid her hands on “went down under the power of the Holy Spirit” and ended up lying on the floor while she knelt beside them and prayed. The two ladies I had gone to the meeting with went up for prayer but I stayed in my seat wishing they would take me home.
The women received their “healing” but showed no signs of being ready to leave. Instead they began pressuring me to go up for healing too.
I said I am perfectly healthy and don’t need healing. They said there must be something I could ask God to be healed of. They said the whole reason for this trip was because God wanted to do something special for me today. They pleaded with me to think of something to be healed from.
It became obvious to me they were not going to take me home until I went up the front to be healed from something. The only thing I could think of to ask for healing from was my smoking habit. I did not want to be healed from that but I thought maybe God wanted to heal me of it anyway. I went up for healing for my cigarette habit but I did so under protest. I decided to pay lip-service to my faith by acting as if I was willing to let God set me free of the habit even though I really was not ready to give it up.
The faith healer prayed as she held my hands and she PUSHED! I could feel myself losing my balance but I resisted. I would lie down because God made me lie down not because the woman wanted me to lie down so she could look good.
The woman kept praying and pushing, I kept taking tiny steps backwards to maintain my balance and the attendant waited patiently behind me to catch me as I fell. I lost patience. It was clear the woman was not going to get on with this until I lay down so I rejected the attendant and made a point of settling myself to the floor. I wanted to be sure anyone watching would see this was a sham and I was not going down under the power of God but because I chose to lie down.
Once I was on the floor the woman began doing her thing but I paid very little attention to it. I was mentally rehearsing the complaints I was going to make when I got back to the women who had brought me.
Suddenly the faith healer said something that got my attention. She said: “There is something wrong here with one of your kidneys. God would like to heal you of this. Are you willing to let Him?”
In the blink of an eye I became a believer!
I had been suffering from a urine infection for so long I had gotten used to the symptoms and ceased taking any notice of them. I had gone to the doctor time and time again, taken countless courses of antibiotics, been free of the symptoms for a few short weeks then always got them back. On my last visit to the doctor he had told me he would have to send me for tests if I got the infection back again. He said he was starting to think there was something wrong with my kidneys. I told one of my friends about it and she said she had been through those tests and they were excruciatingly painful. When the symptoms returned I did not go back to the doctor. I did not want to go through painful tests. I adjusted to having the symptoms and forgot about the whole thing.
Now this faith healer was telling me there was a problem with one of my kidneys. How could she have known that? I had not told the two women about the problem – I had forgotten I even had a problem!
I said I would be happy to let God heal me of this and the woman prayed for my kidney to be healed. Then she moved her hands higher up my body and stopped when they were hovering over my head. She said “There is something here, I’m not sure what it is, do you suffer from headaches?” I said no. She said there was something wrong, something very wrong, there and she asked if I was willing to let God heal me of it. After the kidney thing I was not about to say no so she prayed for that too and then I was free to go.
As I walked away I could feel that my addiction to nicotine was gone but I was not ready to be a non-smoker. In defiance I lit a smoke as soon as I left the building. The ladies asked me how I felt about the healing. I admitted there was something genuine in it – how else could the woman have known about my kidney problem. I admitted I did believe I had been healed of smoking but said I was not ready to accept that healing yet. I began complaining about the faith healer forcing me to lie on the floor.
The women were tired and deflated. They must have felt all their efforts were meaningless. They must have been wondering if they had really been hearing God or had got it wrong. They would certainly have been feeling they had given up their time and money for nothing – not even thanks from me. They drove me home in weary silence punctuated by nods and murmers in response to my complaints. They dropped me off and drove away.
I forgot all about the whole thing until a few months later when I went to visit my mother. She said her friends had told her they took me to the meeting and she wanted to know how it had gone. I told her all about it – including my astonishment that the woman had known about my kidney problem.
I babbled on to my mother about how God had used this incident to teach me that He can use anyone – even the fakest faker to do His work.
My mother cut me short. She said: “What about the urine infection? Has it gone?”
I was dumbfounded. Once I was asked to focus on the issue I realised the infection was, in fact, gone. I had not had any symptoms at all since the day of the healing!
I have never had another urine infection from that day to this. My kidneys continue to function very well in spite of the two to four litres of diet coke I have been making them process every day for the past 15 or so years!
I have no idea what the woman was talking about when she said there was a problem inside my head. Sometimes I think something was healed that I will never know about and sometimes I wonder if God was trying to heal my sister through me.
My sister, Cindy, died you see.
It turned out she had been born with an aneurysm in her brain. Over the years it had slowly filled with blood. It filled so slowly the only symptoms she had were headaches. About 13 years after God tried to get her to a faith healing meeting the aneurysm in my sisters brain burst and flooded her brain with blood. We lost her and I can’t help wondering what would have happened if she had allowed herself to be persuaded to go to that meeting.
It is more proof, to me, that God really doesn’t just stand by and let bad things happen!