I felt to share a little bit about myself in order to help some understand at least a small part of how my personal faith in God is rooted. To put my experience in more context it’s important to know that I am a C/S DISC personality (Competent Specialist - think “Spock”, but relational and sensitive, but averse to emotionalism) with above average IQ, Enneagram results have been 1 (Reformer) with a 5w4 (winged by: 5/Investigator and 4/Individualist) as well as 8 (Challenger) and my top 3 spiritual gifts are 1/Perceiver, 2/Exhorter, 3/Teacher. I mention all that because what I’m about to tell you I experienced would greatly challenge a person like me, a personality like mine! So without further ado - here are the few points I want to share about how my personal faith is rooted:
At age 6 I heard the audible voice of God speak to me in a meadow in Kootenay, B.C.. It was the first, and only time (so far), that I heard His audible voice (with my natural ears). I knew it was Him because He identified Himself, spoke my name, and blessed me - out of the blue - while I was minding my own business picking up sticks. His voice sounded like many waters, I found out 30 years later his voice is described that way in the Bible several times (Ezekiel/Revelation).
I grew up in a family and within a church community that believed in, and welcomed, the Holy Spirit, and as a result I witnessed healing miracles from a young age (my mom was “given” a new heart prior to heart surgery - this was confirmed by the doctors - resulting in surgery cancellation) and I witnessed people being delivered from bondage (something other-wordly would involuntarily manifest in their body and then leave them at the name of Jesus, resulting in their freedom from whatever bondage was impacting their life - fear, grief, witchcraft, infirmity, lust, etc., so that they were no longer controlled/imprisoned by it, but had the freedom to choose freedom next time they were tempted).
In my early 20’s I tested negative for Lupus - even though I had signs of it (eczema, psoriasis, Iritis). I have been healed of all 3. Most significantly Iritis. I had it for 10 years when I was pronounced chronic by the specialist and told that without treatment I would go blind and with the treatments I would get cataracts at a young age. After leaving the specialist's office I sat in my car and declared out loud that I do not receive that prognosis, I rebuke it, and cancelled the curse in Jesus’ name, declared healing to my eyes, and thanked God for my healing in advance. A little while later I went to a church service where a visiting minister was speaking, he sensed Holy Spirit was going to minister healing there and said if you feel the Holy Spirit on you right now, come up to the front. I felt a very gentle, almost imperceptible sweep across my back, like that of a soft large feather, so I went up (with many others). When I got up to the front and stood there a minute I felt heavy and sleepy so I lay down on the ground and lay there like I was tranquilized in a comfy warm feeling for about 30 minutes. When I got up, I knew my eyes were healed, and the pain I walked in with from a dental procedure was also gone, so I was able to eat after. The next morning I had my eye specialist appointment and there was no sign of Iritis in either eye, except for a tiny scar tissue that proves I had had it. The specialist was amazed. I told her what happened. She awkwardly responded that studies have shown that faith strengthens immune systems… ;-) She weaned me from my eye drops, checked me at a follow-up (still healed) and then discontinued them all together. Interestingly a couple months later my eyes flared red, but I had a choice: to falter and declare “I guess I wasn’t healed after all”, or say “No. God healed me.” I chose to agree with my healing. A check up showed it was a mere topical infection. That was 20 years ago and I have had no recurrence of Iritis. About 10 years ago I had another infection so I had my eyes checked - I told the specialist that I had had chronic Iritis but Jesus healed me. He said, “We’ll see.” He looked intently in both eyes, back and forth. He said, “Well, I see tiny scar tissue that proves you had it, but you don’t have it now, it’s just a topical infection.”
In his mid 20’s my pilot husband failed his eye exam before his career as a pilot even really had a chance to take off (he had a mild prescription for glasses he used for reading maps). The Dr told him to go home and come back for a retest after lunch. He went back to his barrack room, lay on the bed and began to pray to God. What felt like a gentle electrical current, entered his body strongly enough to make him flop around on the bed (we affectionately called it the funky chicken). He went back after lunch and passed the eye exam perfectly and no longer required his prescription glasses.
We’ve both experienced other healings and spiritual encounters.
This is my/our experience. I can’t speak for anyone else’s. Have all my prayers been answered? Yes, but sometimes the answer is not what I was asking for, or wanting, but rather: “My grace (empowering strength) is sufficient for you.” Which used to tick me off until I surrendered and realized it’s true (as an aside - if you’ve been honestly asking, but finding that his empowering strength (aka grace) isn’t there for you for a particular situation, check to make sure you followed the last direction He gave you and backtrack or move position to where you’re supposed to be. ie.: If you’ve wandered off the path - don’t ask Him to empower you in that, it’s not the best for you. You need to return to Him and get back on track. Sometimes our position that we want His grace for is not the position we’re supposed to be in. Controlling and co-dependent relationships would be an example - we put a human (or a thing) on a pedestal/throne in the place of God in our lives - since God is Love, we only want Him on the throne of our heart, He’s the only One who rightfully belongs there.). My experiences and my attitude toward my relationship with God have shaped my faith. Despite all my experiences, I still challenged God on things, but rather than turning my back, I engaged Him, I wrestled with Him, which gave Him permission to interact with me to help me understand when things were hard - and discipline me to expose any agreements I made with untruth (lies) and arrogance that blinded me. He is faithful, loving, patient, and extremely intelligent (Creator - duh) - if you genuinely seek Truth, you will find Him. The only way to get to know someone is to start communicating with them, dialogue, (not forgetting that motive matters). He’s knocking on the doors of hearts all the time…
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
There had been a point in my life where I had the audacity and ignorance to accuse God of evil. But because I chose to face Him and wrestle, rather than walk away, choosing to let it all out in His direction instead of faking piety, He met me, showed me His unconditional love, and humbled me. Those encounters turned my accusations into praise as He revealed His true nature to me. Knowing His true nature is a stronghold for my faith and fills me with His peace that surpasses understanding in times of crisis.
“Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You…”