Sarah (not her real name) grew up in a house with no floor. She describes her pet worms growing up with fondness. I suppose someone can find a silver lining anywhere. Sarah was adopted when she was in her early teens because of the hellish conditions in which Sarah and her twin sister grew up. Her adoption was one of the best things that could have happened to her, but the abuse had already left indelible scars. Sarah needed the Healer.
Sarah came to the university where I minister this year. Excited to start a new adventure as a college student, Sarah was also hoping that her new adventure as a college student would change something. She was lost, hopeless, depressed, and desperately trying to escape her hell of a childhood. Sarah had no idea that at school she would meet Jesus, and that He was what she wanted all along.
A Suprise Meeting with Jesus
A pastor friend of mine emailed me Sarah’s contact information to let me know she was coming to my campus. He had met her through his work in the schools and knew that I would be eager to meet with her. I emailed Sarah and set up a meeting for coffee. I wanted to welcome her to my university and introduce her to the ministry I lead. She had no idea what was about to happen at this seemingly innocuous coffee meeting before class.
We sat down on the couches in the café on campus. After an exchange of pleasantries, I asked about her spiritual background. She said she wasn’t sure what she believed and had only been to church once, but she really liked the pastor she had met in school. Sarah explained to me that her family growing up were all atheists and that her adopted family believed in God, but weren’t part of any church or anything. She was inexplicably curious about God, though and really wanted to check out what this whole Jesus thing was really all about.
Sarah had a knee brace, and after explaining that I like to pray for people for healing, I asked if I could pray for her knee. She sheepishly agreed, then the Holy Spirit began to speak to me.
“Do you get chronic migraines?” I asked.
“Yes.” She said feeling a bit puzzled.
“Do you also struggle with chronic back pain?” I asked.
“You also deal with severe depression and anxiety, and some stomach issues, right?” I said, feeling a bit bolder.
“Yeah.” She said. “How do you know all of this?”
I explained to her that God loved her so deeply and that He was real, and He speaks to His children. I told her that God told me because He wanted to heal her. She was a bit too shocked to speak, and she began to tear up.
“Do you also have a problem with your left ear, which causes your balance to be off?” I asked.
Her mouth hung open as she explained to me that she was completely deaf in her left ear and that balance was indeed difficult. I prayed for her to be healed and much to my disappointment, she wasn’t healed on the spot. I would have continued praying for her, but she needed to go to class. After walking her to class, she agreed to come and check out our ministry.
Sarah’s Journey Begins
Sarah began to come to our ministry regularly. She joined the girls’ Bible study and quickly it became her favorite part of the week. She felt at peace, and close to God whenever she was around the people of God. Slowly she opened up to as she began to ask question after question. As the weeks went by, I prayed for her ear and knee to be healed at every opportunity. She still didn’t get healed. However, she grew closer and closer to accepting Christ into her life.
One of the greatest obstacles standing in Sarah’s way was not knowing about whether God loved her because of her sexuality. Sarah wrestled with her sexual identity and felt as though God would judge her. I assured her that God did love her and there was nothing that she could do that could ever change that, but I did share with her what the Bible says about sexuality. After a few days of anguished consideration, I received one of the best messages anyone can ever receive; “JonMark, I’m ready to become a Christian.”
I was overjoyed and after one of our meetings, Sarah, Sarah’s Bible study leader, and I met in a room alone as Sarah dedicated her heart to Christ. She couldn’t stop smiling and said this was the happiest she had been in a very long time. This was only the beginning of Sarah’s journey.
Sarah came with the rest of our ministry to a retreat at a campground in a rural part of Michigan. At this retreat, I led a time of prayer around the altars. I called out several words of knowledge and many people were healed of everything from broken bones to back problems. God was moving, and the sense of God’s glory was thick in the room. I looked up and saw Sarah surrounded by the other members of our ministry and her face covered in tears. As students got up to testify about the miracles God had done in their lives, Sarah came up and simply said, “I can hear!”
As my students prayed for Sarah’s hearing she heard a loud pop and suddenly her deaf ear of 13 years was healed. Sarah’s knee was healed the same night and she was so overwhelmed that she ran out of the building and I didn’t see her again for a few hours. God was undeniably real now, and no one could ever take that away from her.
Sarah is still struggling with some of the issues from her past. Depression and anxiety are still very much part of her life. Often freedom is a journey, but God is always with us through the journey. The valley of the shadow of death is a place we sometimes walk through. However, God has promised that we would come through it, and moreover that He would be with us the whole time, just like He is with Sarah.
If you’re struggling with receiving breakthrough, don’t quit. Be persistent, and know that God is with you through the journey.
I hope this story blessed you. May God bless you and fill you with faith for the impossible situations in your life. Our God is a God of hope.
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