Trials: Dad’s Testimony

Why do we have trials in our lives? My sister Sherri would say that trials build character- and she would know this well, after a lifetime of surgeries to correct facial disfigurement from a bout of Bell’s Palsy she had as a young child.

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My Dad knew this too after being diagnosed with Emphysema after a lifetime of smoking. In fact, he wrote a testimony before he died of an unrelated illness. God healed his emphysema and he lived another sixteen years without it.

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More than twenty years later, I read my Dad’s testimony and was floored at the similarities to my own life path with my grief depression and leukemia. My Dad speaks of asking God to heal him quickly, but by not being healed instantly, he would be “cheated out of the most significant growth periods of my life.” I can say the same. During this period of grief, God has grown me into a loving child of His own.

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My Dad talks about participating in his illness, making changes to his lifestyle and attitude that were needed to accept the healing process. But he warns that making these changes is hard, and with a quick healing we may not take the time to change ourselves.

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He says, “So the next time you are sick, and you want quick healing, maybe the question you have to ask is ‘Lord, what do I have to do?’ Pray for God’s guidance so you can change and grow instead of having your problem lifted from you effortlessly.”

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In my own life, God has pulled me closer to Him and throughout this time of sorrow I see myself getting closer and closer to God. Praising Him in times of struggle and trusting in His Divine guidance. It’s because of God that I am writing this blogged book. I know that He wants me to share my experiences and triumphs with those who might need it.

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My Dad says that God has His own timing and the best thing to do is “pray and wait.” He included this little prayer in his testimony:
“Dear God, You have put a mighty resource at our disposal. Help us to pray, knowing that you are always with us and ready to help us if we have FAITH and PATIENCE, Amen.”

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Pray and wait. Once I saw a quote on Pinterest and I printed it up and taped it to my kitchen cupboard and tacked it to my office board:
God’s 3 Answers to our Prayers:
1. Yes
2. Not Yet
3. I have something better in mind.

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I prayed and prayed for God to lift this PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that I had with my job. I was trying to lift the grief triggers that I was feeling at work, but God’s plan was that I spend time on myself and my relationship with Him, and that I share it with others.

I never did get over those triggers and eventually had to leave my job. Oh, what a relief to have that burdened lifted! If it weren’t for God opening up other avenues for me, I might be still miserable trying to navigate the landmines at my work.

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God’s plan was different from mine. And He lined everything up for me to see this. If I had not been close to Him, trusting Him, I would have missed out on His plan.

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My Mother wrote an additional testimony after Dad died. She says, “God will carry you through all things if you have a strong faith in Him.” She said my Dad stayed on oxygen for four years until he decided he would no longer be an invalid and got a portable tank and started walking. She says he “walked himself right off the oxygen!”

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God told my Dad to get up and fight, and he did. My Mom claimed the verse in Matthew 9:22:
“Jesus said to her, ‘Your faith has healed you.’

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And she ended her testimony with this prayer, “Thank you Lord God for always being there to listen when we ask- no matter what it is- You will carry us through. In your name we pray- Amen”

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To that I say “Amen.”

Dad's Testimony

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