Thursday, September 17, 2015

How Deep and How Wide is His Love

For about two weeks before I started this journey with breast cancer I kept receiving emails, reading blog posts, quotes, verses in scripture, and listening to teachings online that all spoke about God's love.  I mentioned it to Joel.  "God really wants me to know how much He loves me right now."  I figured He would reveal to me why as time passed.  I guess I thought it was to help me through selling our home and the move from the Midwest to the Arizona desert.  I did not think it was preparation for the storm ahead.

God has been sending so many love taps to me before and during all this drama.  I have been storing these expressions of His love in my mind and heart and wanted to share some here.

Let me start with the church we are attending.   As you probably know, Joel finished up working at the little church with the big heart ~ Faith Lutheran~ in mid July so we no longer had a church home to worship in.  You just don't go back when a new pastor comes in.  Well, several weeks ago our repairman came to fix our oven and while he was here he mentioned the church he goes to, Praise Community. It was new to me, so I decided to look it up, and what I saw intrigued me.  It is a church started by an ex-Methodist pastor and it is a Spirit flowing church where you can hear the prophetic, speaking in tongues, praise music, and teachings on healing.  Because we had heard some negative rumblings about this church,  and how the pastor left the Methodist church to begin a new one, we went with caution, but as soon as we entered the building we felt welcome.  The presence of God was there, and the pastor could preach.  Having listened to Joel for so many years I am kind of biased when it comes to preachers.  We have been going back ever since that first week and as time passes we feel very much like God has provided us with this church during this season of our lives. How deep and how wide is His love for us.

I am going to jump ahead to last Wednesday night when we went to the class on Healing. (We have taught those classes ourselves, but felt we needed to sit under the teaching to glean even more and especially during this journey.  I immediately felt comfortable when the pastor said, "I believe totally that God wants us well.  Period.  But even though I believe this and have seen healing manifest in myself and others, I have also had surgery twice when healing did not come through prayer, but through the medical world".  Okay then.  He had us nodding in agreement.

Later that night I went up for prayer and one of the pastor's wives prayed for me.  She had just come back from Andrew Wommack's healing conference so we were smiling inside about that.  When I told her I had been diagnosed with breast cancer she laid her hand right on the spot ~ even when I had not told her which breast or where it was.  Then when Joel walked up to pray with us, she put her hand on Joel too and said, "The two of you are going to have a ministry together".  She did not know who Joel was and we had not said anything about our desire to have a new ministry.  She also gave me the verses in Hebrews 4 that speaks about resting in God, in the finished work of Christ. God has also been sending me scriptures and other inspirational thoughts on resting in Him.  Over and over.  I have this need to strive.....instead of resting. That Thursday night we went to a worship and prayer service at church and another woman, who we had talked to on Sunday, came up to me and said, "God woke me up with your face and name this morning and I have been praying for you ever since". ALL of this wrapped me in a warm blanket of God's love. How wide and how deep is His love for us..............

Now, going back to when I was diagnosed, I shared it on Facebook and with family and friends.  The outpouring of love was overwhelming.  So thankful for all those who are praying, sending encouraging words, and praying some more.  With Joel having served in so many of the churches in the area, prayers are coming in from many.  Thanks to email and texting, everyone stays connected which is another blessing at times like this.  My sister Jan has her church cousin in Oregon has hers praying.............friends across the world are praying.............the Knee Team is praying.  And there is power in prayer!

So many scriptures coming my way to hold on to.  More than Malachi 4: 2....with healing in His wings.  I will be writing a post about that soon.  His Word is living and powerful!

I mentioned before, the day I woke up angry and then ran into someone at the grocery store who has gone through breast cancer twice in 22 years.  She told me, "You can do this!" I had been wanting Joel to let a parish he served as an Interim at know so they could pray, and this woman was from there. She asked me as she was walking away if she could put my name on their prayer chain.  Only God.  How deep and how wide is His love for us..................

Our home not selling in the two weeks on the market?  Not even one person coming through the door to see it??? That was totally God preparing the way.

And connecting with old friends from our former parish and spending time together in prayer has been another love tap from God.  M. had been praying for me as soon as she found out and along with some personal convictions, God told her to "stand back and watch Me heal her"!  A colleague of Joel's and his wife called with encouragement and prayers offered.  A family member and friend came by that first week, driving from near by in MN to see us.  My sister Kay and BIL Dan coming over when our need was great to talk and pray together.  Another love tap from God.  Our friends from seminary have called and encouraged us with love and prayer. Two high school friends have called with love and support.  And my two precious prayer warriors who stand with me daily, Kerin from Canada and Katherine from New Hampshire.  So thankful.  Family has called.....texted......supported.....often when I am struggling.

It goes on and on. Today the woman who cuts my hair came and we talked at length.  She is from a former parish and I am blessed to call her friend.  She told me that the doctor I have for surgery goes to their church, is a strong Christian and even speaks at their church sometimes.  It just affirmed for me that he is the right one for me.  How deep and how wide is His love for us............

Even the movie War Room was a great reminder of the power of prayer.  Prayer is warfare and this is a war with the enemy we are engaged in.  He also has let me know that I can trust Him t fight for me. I need to hear that since I am too good at fighting and not so good at resting and trusting the most powerful Warrior of all.  I feel bathed in love.  How deep and how wide is His love for me...................

Isn't God good?  I know each of you can remember times in your lives when you felt His presence in such a deep and profound way.  I have heard some of those stories from you.  Our story.....HIStory.  We are so blessed to experience a taste of this deep and wide Papa love for us.

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