Saturday, December 15, 2012

Connecticut Shooting

One of the greatest joys stemming from my healing is, ironically, the ability to mourn with others over their losses. My heart is broken over the loss of life in Connecticut. 

Today, on Facebook, I shared my feelings about the tragedy in Newtown. God bless the families who have lost so much. Please remember to pray for them, and to continue to intercede for others so they may not have to experience such deep pain.

Here is my post:

I have been reading comments all day about the shooting in CT. Many of them, written by Christians, reiterate a belief that if a person has evil intentions in his heart, there is nothing anyone can do to prevent him from carrying them out.

I disagree. I have a book in my possession called the The Sword of the Spirit. It is a book of prayers written expressly for those who intercede in prayer on behalf of others. This book contains prayers for not just individuals we know, but for government officials, church leaders, and others from all walks of life.

Lately, I've looked at that book and promised myself, "Tomorrow I will pray for the nation. Tomorrow I will pray for our schools. Tomorrow, I will pray for the sick. I've got things to do today." Always tomorrow. Never today.

I can appreciate the arguments Christians make about not wanting to lose their right to own a gun (which is also what I've seen today and prompted the "evil people will carry out evil plans" argument), but for me this is a much smaller issue than the one that is at hand. The truth is, the weapons of our warfare are not of this world. Prayer is the greatest weapon in the Christian's arsenal. But I know from experience, when it is time to pray, I usually find a way to pass the buck, thinking someone else is doing the job, or if not, prayer can just wait.

Last night, I had a dream where two little boys excitedly told me what they wanted for Christmas. When they turned to me, one boy did not have a face. The other boy had weeping wounds coming from his. Their mother walked ahead of them not aware that her sons did not follow. They had been separated by death. When I woke up, my heart was filled with pain for these little ones whose gifts will go unopened and every dream their parents had for them will never be fulfilled.

I am so happy to see the reminders here on Facebook to pray for the victims. But I also need to be reminded that I have the choice to pray for others before they become victims. Not all evil will be prevented through our intercession, but we must remember that every time we pray, we are pushing back the darkness and SOME lives WILL go untouched by tragedy solely because of intercession.

But praying is not our only source of power. When we, even in our own homes are praying alone, the truth is we are NOT alone. We are joining with other saints with a united heart. It's our unity under the banner of Christ that also defeats the enemy.

Guns and gun control are peripheral issues that are reasonable to discuss with each other but not at all an excuse to be divided with other Christians. If you feel that way, the enemy has already won. I think he's won enough battles for now. I do not wish to add to his victories. 

It's Christmas. Peace on earth and good will to men. Let's try to live that out. And Lord forgive me when I do not. Please help me. And please forgive me for putting others last in my carnal desire to be first. Help me to love my neighbor with my prayers and help me to do for my brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers what it is I know I can do. We are all family. I hope we will never forget this.

Blessings and Merry Christmas, 


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Listen Up!

Last Sunday at church, I had breakfast with a few of my fellow worshipers. If ever I was inclined to feel self-conscious about having an autism diagnosis, this was not the day. 

Why? Because although there were just five of us eating together, I do not think the other four managed to complete one thought without  interrupting and talking loudly over each other. It wasn't quite a screaming match, but it was close.

I struggle with interrupting and listening well, too, but not to the degree that I observed. And given that all were educated adults with the exception of one person (a young teen), I think maybe it's not just autistic people who need to be concerned with learning social skills. 

Listening well is probably one of the most important abilities a human being can have. This skill communicates love in a way no other can. My prayer is that all of us, autistic or not, will be motivated to fine tune our hearts and ears to the voices of others and find those people more interesting than we find ourselves. 

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry... ~James 1:19

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sound Sleep At Last!

When I was a baby, I never slept like one. And as I grew, getting a good night's sleep became more of a miracle than a normal, everyday occurrence. For most of my life, I walked around in a fog, chronically exhausted. 

For autistic people, sleep is a rare commodity. For me, the lack of it kept me from living a healthy and involved life, so in March I wondered if an extended period of prayer might help bring this problem to an end. 

I prayed for three days and nights. I asked the Lord to heal me as well as give me wisdom as to why I could not sleep. To my surprise I received a number of answers (Oh me of little faith to not really expect them!). 

It turns out that my insomnia did not have one single cause! But here are some reasons why getting some shut eye was so difficult:

  • A melatonin deficiency AND taking melatonin incorrectly to combat that problem.
  • Dreams from the Lord! They were so wonderful, I was waking myself up in order to remember and understand them.
  • Exposure to too much light after 7 pm.
  •  Recurring noise.
  • My body was either too hot or too cold for a good night's sleep. 
For me, the inability to sleep was a stronghold. During sleep is when the healing of our bodies and our emotions take place. The enemy did not want me to rest because he did not want me to heal on such a deep level. 

You may be asking about the recurring noise. Well, I just had odd experiences with smoke alarms with no batteries going off, phone calls to a wrong number (mine) in the middle of the night, and extremely loud, nocturnal neighbors to name a few things. On nights when I couldn't be any more exhausted and was actually sound asleep, this is only when the noise occurred. Once I woke up I could not go back to sleep.

When this happens--when you see a pattern to things and there is no normal explanation for the occurrence--generally there is a spiritual battle going on, which takes prayer to discern and to defeat.

Essentially my insomnia turned out to have emotional, physical, and spiritual roots. Some solutions involved prayer and even spiritual warfare (which is how I got rid of the noise). Others involved a change in routine, and sometimes I just had to reeducate myself about things I thought I already knew (how to take melatonin). 

But I did the work, and since March I have slept through almost every night. I am so happy! Insomnia is supposed to be incurable and a terrible problem for autistic people but again, prayer changes things, and we need to push through until we see a difference. Change is always possible and is to be expected when we pray. 

This is a long post, but I have met so many people who tell me they've heard from God that their child will be healed and they think the word alone is enough to bring about that healing. Sometimes it is, but many times it actually isn't. 

He speaks life into us to draw us closer to Himself. Always. If you hear God intends to heal you or your child, start praying. Pray for wisdom, pray for answers, pray for God to uncover hidden wounds in your life, praise Him with your prayers. Just pray. You will be amazed where your words to Him take you because when you speak He responds.

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. 

~Jeremiah 33:3

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ryan's Healing

Another wonderful testimony of God's ability to heal autism! Be blessed and encouraged by Ryan's story. Remember...never give up (Luke 18:1).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

First Sign of Healing

Autism affects so many areas of a person's well-being. For me, one of my most problematic symptoms was hypothyroidism (and is a common illness associated with autism). My entire endocrine system was severely imbalanced. As a result, from the age of sixteen, I did not sweat a drop. 

It gets seriously hot in South Carolina from April on, so I hardly went outside. Quickly overheating was always an issue and remained one for more than twenty years. 

But in 2008, I went to a five-day Christian Healing Ministries conference which was about the fundamentals of the healing prayer ministry. On the third morning, I woke up early to exercise in the hotel's gym and after about twenty minutes on the treadmill, the back of my head itched. To my shock and amazement, my hand was soaking wet when I pulled it away. My scalp wasn't dry. It actually itched because I was sweating buckets! 

I ran faster and faster on the treadmill, but despite the speed, my face never turned red. My insides no longer felt like they were going to spontaneously combust. This, I knew, was the first sign of healing in my brain. I could hardly contain my excitement. 

On the day I finally sweat again (glamorous, huh?), I was taking 250 micrograms of Synthroid (300 mcg's is the maximum dosage) for a problem my doctor said was wildly out of her control. The medication never worked. Even so, months later after my healing, the dosage was reduced to 100 mcg's, and now I take none at all. I am totally healed of hypothyroidism (confirmed by my doctor and a blood test last year). 

Just an aside here...I never asked for or received prayer for this healing, but there are times when just being in an environment where the Holy Spirit is present is enough. When He is around miracles happen. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Healing & Faith

Faith. Faith moves mountains. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. So much can be said about the subject, but is faith always necessary for healing to occur? In a word, no. 

Seven years ago, when I was diagnosed (again) with autism, the thought of healing was nowhere on my radar. I imagined living with this for the rest of my life. Case closed. 

But just a few weeks later, I ran a shower. When I was just about to hop in, a voice told me to test the water with my forearm with my palm facing down. The water felt fine. Then the voice said to turn my hand over and put my forearm under the water again. The water scalded me. There was a command to repeat this several times.

Within a few seconds, I understood. For thirty years, every single day, I burned myself when getting in the tub or shower. I also forgot from day to day that this even happened, so I couldn't correct the problem. Yet, on this day, the Holy Spirit taught me that the part of my arm that I used to ALWAYS test water temperature was hypo-sensitive. I couldn't feel the heat, but by now making me aware of this, I finally learned how to avoid burning myself in the future. 

This incident was the beginning of my healing journey--this sudden awareness of stimuli (and a new ability to remember it the next day) that caused pain, extreme discomfort, and suffering. In other words, dots of all kinds--at the age of 34--began to connect in my brain for the first time. 

Did I have any faith for this healing? Not at all. I had never even uttered one word of this in prayer. Just like the occasion when Jesus raised the widow's son from the dead, He simply showed up in my life, touched me, and brought me back from the grave. 

While there were times (many times) in the Bible when a person's faith did save them (the woman with the issue of blood for example), I believe that Jesus also healed in order to give people a greater faith in God (which is what happened to me). His mission here on earth was to show people the Father and His love, and one of the primary ways He did that was through healing. 

God remains faithful even when we are faithless because He cannot be contrary to His own nature. Rather than strive in your own flesh to obtain healing through "your" faith, try surrendering. Raise your hands up to the Lord and say, "I believe! Help my unbelief!" This is a prayer He honors, and it also gives the weary ones rest for their souls. The burden for the Lord to heal is on His shoulders. Not yours. 

Remember this when someone tells you your child is not healed because of a lack of faith. It is a lie. Renounce it immediately. While we should not give up praying (Luke 18:1)...if there's a lapse, it doesn't matter. God does not heal because of our faith. He heals because He loves and because of His love...we have faith. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Autism & Love

Everyone wants to fit in. Everyone wants acceptance. Usually, an autism diagnosis means both will be a struggle. I understand the desire for these things, but generally my biggest concern lies not in how an autistic person will be loved and accepted. Rather, my question is, without healing how will an autistic person love and accept others? Most importantly, how will she be able to love and relate to Jesus as her friend, Lord, and Savior?

Until recently, I've been more of a casual reader of the Gospels than an intentional one. But yesterday I was truly struck by something I never noticed--beginning at John 14 and ending at John 15:17. It is in these verses, Jesus mentions not once, but five times, the relationship between obedience and love. "If you love me, you will obey what I command (John 14:15)." 

He then goes on to say, in John 15:16, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name (emphasis mine). This is my command: Love each other."

Amazingly, there is a sequence here--and even a secret in terms of power in prayer. Generally, we think if we have a strong prayer life we will bear much fruit, but this Scripture suggests the opposite. First we are appointed. Then we go and bear fruit from that appointment. The fruit being the result of loving each other. When we do this, and the fruit is apparent, we can ask for whatever we want in Jesus' name and it will be given. 

And what does it mean to ask for something in Jesus' name? It is not just mentioning Jesus in a petition. It is actually praying in accordance with all that the person who bears the name is. You are praying in love's name, and in the name of gentleness, kindness, goodness, patience, humility, and every aspect of Jesus' character.

In the midst of your concerns about the social acceptance of your children, my prayer for you is that you look at the bigger picture here. When you pray for healing (which I hope you all are doing), make salvation for your kids the primary goal, that they may forever dwell in the heart and Kingdom of the Lord, that they may bear the fruit of His Name which is love, and that they know the security and sweetness of His presence. Jesus loves you, and He so loves every autistic child. He longs for their freedom.

Come to His table today and feast on His goodness. Healing is possible, and He will do it all.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Autism & Gifts

Along the journey of my healing, I have met many parents of autistic children. Most of them desire to see their children healed, yet surprisingly, there is some hesitation to pray for it. As a child ages, sometimes gifts emerge. As a result, people fear that if the autism goes away so will the talent that often times gives a disabled person some form of validation. 

Lovingly I say to those of you with this fear, our gifts come from just one source. That source is God. Not a disease. Furthermore, these gifts can serve as a catalyst for freedom. If your child sings, the praise to Jesus weakens the chains of autism. If she paints, whether she knows it, she is connected to God's creation every time she looks at her subject matter. If he is an early reader, the power of story has the ability to kindle the fire of a dormant or imprisoned imagination. 

My Latest (Copyrighted!) Sketch by Kelly A. Noll

Remember, the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Romans 11:29). Nothing we are given in terms of gifts and talents can be taken away from us under any circumstances. If your daughter is an artist now with autism, she will be an artist tomorrow--without autism. It's that simple!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.   ~James 1:17

Friday, April 13, 2012

Healing Prayer Resource

If you are looking for Scriptural prayers to pray for the healing of autism, The Sword of the Spirit by Joy Lamb is an invaluable resource.

This wonderful book, written by the creator of CHM's intercessory prayer program, is based upon the fact that God's inspired Word is the best way to pray and to combat evil. Through this powerful handbook, Mrs. Lamb teaches Christians how to pray Holy Scripture in specific situations, whether they are praying for their own needs or interceding on behalf of others.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Call for Prayer

Beginning this Tuesday, from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m., I will be spending time in prayer each week for those seeking healing of autism. I will specifically be asking the Lord to move the hearts of religious leaders all across the country--that they would begin to have a burden for the healing of autism--and that they will unify and begin to pray and be given wisdom on how to effectively minister to those afflicted. 

Because the cause of autism is not known, yet more and more children are diagnosed each year with an ASD (Austism Spectrum Disorder), I believe literally tens of thousands of people will need to stand to together to pray in order to take a firm stand against this terrible disorder. 

While it is natural at first, we cannot continue to blame our leaders for their fear or ignorance of autism. We must need to remember they are human beings, but with our prayers behind them, they can be equipped with the boldness and courage they need to face this giant in our land. Together we can all make a difference. Now is the time to begin the work to set the captives free. 

Please join me each Tuesday for this half hour of prayer. Where two or more are gathered, the Lord Jesus is in our midst. 

Thank you. 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Healing & Humility

I am thrilled to see people rediscovering the Lord's ability and desire to heal His children of any affliction. Especially autism. Yet, as I look back over my own life, I cannot help but remember with some embarrassment the many times I demanded to be healed because in my estimation, I had suffered quite long enough. 

It is true that by Jesus' stripes we are healed. It is true He said that believers would lay hands on the sick and the sick would be healed. It is also true that Jesus healed every single person who came to him. The Lord never turned anyone away. 

Despite His demonstration of love towards us (through His healing touch), I'm not sure that entitles me to make demands of the Lord. Sometimes there is more than one lesson involved when we have to wait for something we thought would be instant or was just rightfully ours. Sometimes the lesson is simply learning how to wait on the Lord or to accept His sovereignty in all situations.

I am not trying to say a lack of healing is due to pride. Healing can take place through all sorts of circumstances, but...if you have a hit a wall, and you have gotten to a place where, like me, you might be demanding your healing, or you are angry with church leaders and prayer ministers for not understanding you or your autistic child, try to remember all the stories of those healed in the Bible.

Every single person who came to the Lord for healing, that we know of, approached Him with great humility. Like us, they suffered for years, lived in poverty because of their affliction, and they had no more hope. And also like us, they were condemned and misunderstood by the religious leaders of their day. They could have complained to the Lord about their plight, but they didn't. 

There is so much more to our walk with Jesus than just being healed by Him. In relationship, there is giving on both sides. I encourage everyone to go to Him for healing, and to never give up. He does heal. But He loves a contrite heart, and He is moved by the brokenness and repentance of His people. 

Be blessed today.