Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Angels & Healing

Merry Christmas from Virginia!
As Christmastime approaches, I cannot help but think of God's holy angels and the night two millennia ago when they burst with joy as they announced the birth of a newborn king. Our King. 

Since that time, they have continued to minister to God's children in countless ways, most of the time unseen, but once in awhile, they somehow manage to make their presence known. 

I could be wrong, but I am convinced that angels play a role, if not a significant one, in our healing. 

I remember one holiday about ten years ago when my heart was so full of despair that I could not bring myself to step outside and pray my most heartfelt desires the way I normally did on Christmas Eve. Call me foolish but for me, December 24th always feels as if it holds the greatest potential for the manifestation of miracles. It's only a feeling, but if holiness could ever be tangible or even palpable, I do sense it rather strongly on Christmas Eve. 

But on this particular year no prayers came forth, and I walked back into the empty house where I was of all things, dog sitting for a Jewish family*. This home, totally devoid of any reminder of our Lord's birth, only amplified my despair. Tears streamed down my face, and at 7:30, every minute until bed time seemed like an eternity. 

At 9:30, I finally headed to bed (which is extremely early for me). As I pulled up the covers around me, I prayed, "Maybe Christmas miracles aren't even real. Maybe everyone is right and I'm as naive as the day is long. I don't think I believe in them anymore. It's really time for me to grow up." 

Then I settled down to get to sleep, expecting this to take at least an hour, if not two. Depression tends to keep me awake. Surprisingly however, I fell into a deep, deep slumber in about five minutes. 

Then I had a dream. I was sitting at a desk, trying my hardest to write something but couldn't because of an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. I got up and began to pace back and forth in this little room. As I headed back toward the desk, I heard something. 

When I turned around there were three identical looking monks standing in a row. They had on brown cowls with golden sashes tied around their waists. They also all held a golden tablet in their hands. They had brown hair, but their faces were not entirely distinct. 

One of them stepped forward while the other two remained both still and silent. He said, "My name is Sean, and I have a message for you. Do not be afraid." 

Such a simple dream, but even as I slept, as soon as he said those words a peace in the physical realm was released. The feeling was so powerful that I woke up with a start and literally half ran and half fell down the stairs to get to a computer to see what "Sean" actually meant. I reasoned that if it had anything to do with God then the dream was from Him (I had never had a dream from God until that point). 

Sure enough, Sean is the Gaelic form of John, which as many of you know means, "God is gracious." It was 4:30 in the morning, but my heart was so full of joy, I could not get back to sleep. This is important because I went through almost two decades of major clinical depression. Nothing could ever lift my despair. 

Yet on the hardest day of the year for me, I had a dream that lasted no more than a minute. There I was laughing just hours after declaring that Christmas miracles were not real, and that I was a fool to ever think they were. 

Later that day, I saw a friend of mine who was shocked to see me in such a joyful mood. I decided to share my dream with her. I didn't think she was going to believe me but instead of doubting, she smiled and said, "Kelly, those men were not monks, and that was not a dream. They were angels, and that was a visitation." 

Well, that kind of rocked my world. I didn't know what to make of it. But given the sudden change in my mood (and that sense of unshakeable peace lasted for weeks), it was hard to deny that something out of the ordinary had happened. 

Since that night, I have had several more dreams along those same lines. Sometimes an unseen person holds my hand. I feel a presence even while I'm asleep. Sometimes I do see some people, and they share with each other attributes of God and I'm just kind of listening in on their conversation. And when I wake up, I know I have been changed. 

Angels are not meant to be worshiped. We are not even meant to seek out their names. In the case of my dream, I did not ask the monk for his name, yet it was told to me because it (Sean) contained a message about God Himself--that He is gracious. In this way, the dream was healing, and the healing came through a message told to me by an angel. 

So in that regard we may all do well to learn more about the role of angels and how they function in the heavenly realm. For me, knowing what they do and why has recently helped my prayer life flourish, and prayers are the gateway to greater healing and of course, intimacy with God, which is all He desires from us anyway. He loves us, and in understanding His world and realm in deeper ways, we learn of this love in previously unimaginable ways. 

That is my hope for you all during this Christmas season. I hope the knowledge of God's love coming down for you will break your chains of hurt and pain and that you will experience freedom like never before. Thank You God for Jesus and His healing heart. 

Merry Christmas, Beloved. 


*Many of my friends are Jewish for whom I have a deep and profound love as well as for their beautiful faith. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ginger & A Little Discovery

So about eight years ago or more, one of my wisdom teeth decided it wanted to make its debut in the world. In microscopic increments it has been pushing through my gum every few months or so, causing me to easily imagine what it feels like to get punched in the face. Yet another reminder that growth hurts.

My usual remedy for the pain is ibuprofen. Except a few months back, my stomach began to hurt all the time, too. A little research uncovered that ibuprofen can cause stomach ulcers. Well, the pain in my mouth was harder to bear than my stomach woes, so I decided to see if eating a ginger chew (from Trader Joe's--this product is actually made with real ginger) would offset the gastrointestinal issues and allow me to keep treating my jaw ache for awhile with pills. It did. 

This week, the old wisdom tooth went through another growth spurt. I had run out of ginger chews so I hopped over to Trader Joe's to pick up some more. I came home, popped one in my mouth and then decided to give it a few minutes to do its magic but something sidetracked me. So, about twenty minutes later when I got up to take some ibuprofen, I was like, "Hey, wait a minute. My jaw doesn't hurt anymore!" Then a few minutes later, "Hey wait a minute. Maybe now I don't have to take NSAIDs anymore, either!" They are the only "medicine" I take, but I am just not a pill popper. I don't even know the last time I took an antibiotic.

This incident made me wonder if ginger had anti-inflammatory and pain relieving qualities. Well, I don't know how true the online information is, but the consensus seems to be that yes, ginger does apparently relieve pain and assist with inflammation problems.   

Since people on the autism spectrum often seem to have autoimmune problems, this happy accident seemed too good not to share. My apologies if this is old news to you. But for those of you just stumbling upon better health as I have been doing, at least you have some anecdotal evidence to support what you probably intuitively suspected.

As always, when trying something new (in this case--finding a ginger supplement to aid with pain relief), go for balance. Too much of a good thing never ends up being a good thing. Be well.