Paid in Full
Agape Love 3:16
"Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what He did for me."
The purpose behind our testimony, is to give hope to those whose faith is in doubt; and a reason to believe to those who are most in need of Christ's saving grace, specifically, those who not only doubt but deny.
The following testimonies are actual events that occurred in the lives of real people. Their testimonies are true and can be found in full length in my up coming book, "Through the Fire". Read on and may your faith be encouraged.
Testimony #1 Baby Daniel
It was around May 2004. My baby boy, Daniel was a mere and precious 18 months old. Danny was always a very happy baby; always smiling, laughing, rarely ever cried which is why this one day was especially concerning. Daniel was uncustomarilly irritable and refused to eat, though he continued to take his bottle. But with the approach of the second day, Daniel grew even more irritable, crying, easily agitated, and not only did he refuse to eat he now refused to drink his bottle! He had also been running a temperature. Daniel's attitude was quickly taking an extreme nose-dive as the fever medication wasn't even working to calm whatever pain he was in. Daniel was prone to ear infections and given this extreme concern, I decided not to wait until the third day of his temperature to call the doctor (the Doctor's office has a policy to wait until the third day of a child's fever before making an appointment.)
I called the doctor's office and explained the seriousness of this situation. I was so worried at this point because my baby boy hadn't eaten in two days and seemed to grow more ill. The pediatrician checked Daniel's throat and discovered something very serious; "I can tell you why he's been crying as much as he is...his throat is RED and very RAW....I'm going to check Daniel for Strep." My heart sunk! Not my 18 month old son! Strep??? The doctor took a swab of Daniel's throat. Daniel gagged on the long "Q-tip" looking device the doctor stuck to the back of his throat. We waited 15 minutes for the results. The doctor warned me, "Well, the test came back negative for Strep but Daniel still has a very sore throat; his throat is very red and very raw. He will continue to be this irritable; crying, refusing to eat or drink for between 3 to 5 days, beginning TOMORROW".
Another 3 to 5 days, starting TOMORROW? No way! On the outside, I simply nodded to the doctor but in my heart I REFUSED to ACCEPT this professional's bad report about my son. The reason? Because I had been praying the Word of God for healing over my son. While it may have been God's permissible will for Daniel to be so ill, it was definitely NOT God's PERFECT will for him. God's perfect will is for Daniel to be perfectly healthy and to enjoy the gift of life so new to him. The doctor reiterated his dark warning, "he's gonna be irritable like he is now, for the next 3 to 5 days, beginning tomorrow". He stressed, "this means he won't eat or drink much. There's nothing you can do except give him pain medicine and let it run its course."
There was nothing I can do except ACCEPT this bad report for my son? Inwardly, I disagreed with all my heart, believing in the healing power of God's word. God WILL bring His Word to pass. After all, God is not a liar.
Danny and I left the doctor's and arrived home. That night, Daniel stopped crying. He wasn't quite his happy self yet and still refused his bottle but he was not irritable as before. He slept through the night and in the morning my son's laughter filled the house once again! He even ate breakfast and drank a bottle of milk! My son, who was supposed to have continued to suffer for the next 3 to 5 days from an extremely red and raw throat was completely and miraculously healed!!! I prayed in faith using the holy and infallible word of God over my son. And due to this faith in our God to not only desire to heal but to have the power to do so, I completely rejected the good doctor's professional opinion that promised only misery for my baby boy. Though God is a compassionate God, more than tears is He moved by our faith. Face it, God enjoys our trust in Him. And that day in May 2004, as in so many others, trusting God at His word really paid off!
"If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14
Testimony #2 & #3 Food for thought
#2. The kids and I had just left church. It was a bright and beautiful Sunday afternoon except for the fact that we had very little food in the house and no money to buy the kids milk. I have four children and my husband had recently secured a job after almost two years of unbearable unemployment. But his one month on the job was not enough time for us to catch up on the bills we had fallen behind in, let alone be able to fill the refrigerator. My agony over the dilemma of how I was possibly going to feed my children quickly grew into anxiety. Instantly, the Holy Spirit gave me one of His good ole spiritual kicks and asked almost with disgust, "haven't you learned anything?" Immediately I understood! All those lessons the Lord had taught me in trusting for His provision during our 20 month bout with unemployment were seemingly and all to soon forgotten. "Oh! I'm so sorry! Please forgive me! Of course You'll provide! You always do!" After a few more deeply felt apologies, the Holy Spirit gently encouraged, "By 6:00 tonight, you will have what you need". We arrived home from church. And at 2:30, a knock was heard at our door. I answered the door to find a woman from our church who stretched out her hand and gave me a TWENTY dollar bill! I was so surprised! "How did you know we NEEDED this?!" I asked. She said, "It must have been the Holy Spirit" she said. She then said she'd come back shortly with some food. Sure enough, by 5:54PM, (just six minutes before 6 PM that night!) she returned with two bags of groceries!!! Just as the Holy Spirit promised, "by 6 PM that night" we had "all that we needed".
"Your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs and He will give you all you need every day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. So, don't worry about tomorrow..." Matthew 6:32-34
#3. Marty had been working now for about two months, after almost two years of unemployment. But it was hardly time enough to financially recover. Our refrigerator, as had become the custom during our bout with poverty, was almost completely empty, save for a small amount of milk, some ketchup and a few hot dogs. Because it was so empty, I decided to clean the fridge. As I was scrubbing the inside, it suddenly dawned on me that my motivation was not one of faith but of lack. I decided to turn this situation into a faith-filled event and began to thank God, ahead of time, for His imminent blessing; "Lord, I'm not cleaning out this fridge because it's empty, I'm cleaning it out in preparation for the great blessing You're going to give us! Thank You, Lord!" More then tears, God is moved by our faith. Three nights later my friend, Tabitha called. "Linda, what are you doing?...I'm picking you up in 30 minutes and taking you grocery shopping". When asked how she knew we needed food, Tabitha replied, "The Spirit told me!"
"And this same God Who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches which have been given to us in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19)
In May 2005, the Lord gave me a vision. In the vision, I saw us living in our new home. Along with that vision, God said "by the time of Jeremy's (my son) next birthday, you will be in your new home". This seemed almost impossible because at that time, Marty hadn't been working for over two months! And no job was foreseen! So, our moving into a new home within the next year seemed, from a logical standpoint, impossible....except for the fact that it was God Who promised it. About nine weeks later, Marty did find employment, but even then we wondered who would qualify us for a home loan if he'd only been on the job for a few weeks??? Nevertheless, Marty and I had searched for seven to eight months for some land upon which to build our home, but to no avail.
It was now February 2006. Realizing that it would require at least three to six months to build a home, I wondered how God was going to accomplish our moving into our new home by the time Jeremy's next birthday rolled around in May. And I did wonder whether we would qualify for a loan since Marty had only been working since July 2005. Still, I trusted Him. If God said it was going to happen then it surely would. Unfortunately, every piece of property we found was either too expensive or turned out to be swamp land and was unfit to be built upon. It was also about that time that Marty and I were beginning to wonder if we should give up our pursuit of land on which to build and start looking at homes in neighborhoods.
It was the beginning of March 2006, and though I trusted God, I was having some trouble with figuring out how God was going to work this one out! It was just two months away from His promise of having us in our home no later than May 2006. Marty and I were about to give up. We had looked at several properties and new homes. But nothing was panning out. We decided to give it one more try and just happened to find some new homes for sale on the Internet. We jotted down the directions and were off! Although we followed the directions completely, we could not find the home we searched for. We realized that the neighborhood of model homes we searched for was actually a neighborhood of homes containing families! We saw one home for sale but drove off. I suggested to my husband, "Marty, why don't we check that house out? We drove all the way up here...we might as well" He agreed and turned the car around and drove to the home. As soon as we walked in, we knew we wanted this beautiful home! Papers were signed, the contract was finalized and we moved into our new home three weeks later, on March 28, 2006, just eight weeks before the "cut-off" for God's promised time frame. What a complete surprise! We spent the first eight months of that year looking for land on which to build a home, not realizing what God had in store for us all along was something totally different. (We later discovered that the previous owners had put the house on the market six months earlier and due to their inability to sell, had lowered the price by about $30,000!) True to His word, we moved into our new home in time for my son's next birthday.
Still doubt the bible? Ok, so you believe in God...but you just won't make the "plunge" into making Him the Lord of your life...if He isn't the Lord of your life, who or what is? SOMETHING is. Listen, let me share something with you....it may change your perspective.
It was a cool Saturday afternoon in February 2008. A knock was heard from the front door. I opened the door and instantly a FedEx ...envelope was firmly pushed toward me. The man spoke not a word. After I received the envelope, in like fashion he presented some sort of electronic board to me for signing. Bewildered, yet I signed. The silent man broke his silence with "thank you", turned and went back to his truck. I didn't know it then but upon opening that envelop, I would embark upon a journey in faith, plagued with bitterness, slanderous lies, injustice and extreme trial.
The letter was from a man whom I had considered to be a good friend; this man would call me when he was in need of prayer; this man would share in the birthday parties I threw for my children; this man I would feed every time he made the three hour trip to our home, twice a month; this man I had considered to be a part of our family; this man is the father of two of my sons and is my ex husband; and this man was bringing me to court.
The accusations were many and all of which were false. In fact, throughout the years, as old accusations were shot down in court, new ones emerged. As a narcissistic sociopath, he just has to win at something, and it doesn't matter who he steps on in his attempt, even if it is his children.
The week that followed the receipt of that fateful envelope was filled with countless anxious moments, disbelief at what was happening, and cries out to God for deliverance and protection from this evil. The whole week, one thought repeatedly encompassed my mind, "The battle belongs to the Lord....The battle belongs to the Lord...." On Friday, the Holy Spirit unexpectedly reminded me of all the battles the Israelites endured and how God heard their cries for deliverance and protection from their enemies by going before them in battle; in essence, the battle belonged to the Lord.
This reminder filled me with a hopeful expectation that God would do for me just as He had done so many times for the Jews. It was then that a "knowing" filled my being...I just KNEW that Sunday's sermon would be God's way of reaching out to me audibly; I can't explain it, I just KNEW that the sermon would speak DIRECTLY to my situation.
Sunday morning arrived but the kids and I were running late. I almost decided to skip church that morning except the Holy Spirit urged and told me that if I didn't hear the sermon that day, that I would be missing something very important.
We arrived with only about 20 minutes left to the sermon. Surprisingly, the pastor was teaching on the VERY ISSUE that the Holy Spirit had brought to my attention just two days earlier! Specifically, the pastor taught from the Old Testament, recounting King Jehoshaphat's trial with the enemy. King Jehoshaphat was a godly king and was in desperate need of God's deliverance and protection. He cried out to the Lord for deliverance and the Lord delivered him from the injustice of his attacking enemies. The enemy had attacked King Jehoshaphat without cause, just as my ex husband was doing to me. But the king cried out to God for deliverance, just as I had done, and God delivered him. God was reassuring me that He was with me, that He would deliver me just as He had done many times to the Israelites. And just as God had promised victory to the Israelites, God was promising victory to me as well.
Strange isn't it? The pastor "just happened" to be preaching on the SAME subject that the Holy Spirit had reminded me of just two days earlier? Truly, had I missed that Sunday's sermon, I WOULD have missed out on the CONFIRMATION provided by that sermon regarding God's promise to deliver me from the hand of my enemy. Think about it...what are the chances that the pastor JUST HAPPENS to preach on the exact subject that the Holy Spirit spoke of just two days earlier? Some would reduce the importance of this to mere "coincidence". But to them I would humbly ask, what are you running from?
Without going into lengthy detail, I can tell you that God has indeed granted me victory at every turn in this continued legal battle with my ex against his false witness against my good character. God has lifted me in my time of trial and continues to do so. I know fully well that whatever plans that my enemy may bring against me, God is bigger and "badder" than him or any of his devices. What God promised to do for me that Friday, He later confirmed on that Sunday and has been PROVING His promises to be reliable and true with every ensuing battle my ex has unrighteously thrown at me. God is real. He delivered the Jews, He delivered me (and continues to do so) and He can deliver you, too.
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of every one of them." Psalm 34:19
His Joy, Your Strength!
You know, many years ago, Marty lost his job and remained unemployed for nearly two long years. Though we both searched, neither could find jobs. It was at that time that unemployment was at 10% in Washington and in Oregon. We had four children, one of whom was just a wee baby. It was during this time of hardship, when we often feared for our children the most...there just never seemed to be enough food. Though I would never chose to endure this tragic time again, yet am I grateful for the experience. It was during those terrible 20 months that I learned to TRUST God for provision, regardless of circumstance. My faith grew by "leaps and bounds"! Quite the opposite response that one might expect given the degree of hardship we suffered for as long as we did. And it was then that we experienced MIRACLES of God's provision. It was a time when neither family nor friend could help us (except my mom and step dad paid our rent TWICE....for which we remain so grateful!) My children's clothes I purchased twice a year...using half of their Christmas and birthday funds (the other half they were given to purchase toys from Wal Mart.) So, they were blessed! And as a mother, I too was BLESSED to see that my children enjoyed their birthdays and Christmas, even if the gifts were few....it was more than many other, far less fortunate children had at Christmas and birthdays, for sure.
But I learned to pray SCRIPTURE over our situation....and we witnessed the hand of God MOVE on our behalf, time and time again!
So, I tell you now...regardless of your circumstance, TRUST HIM!
Let His presence fill you with His joy....in so doing, you will be freed from depression and experience His strength in your situation!
"Do not sorrow for the JOY of the Lord is your STRENGTH". Nehemiah 8:10