Suddenly life was exciting! I was alive! In fact I was more alive than I had ever been before.
Two weeks after my first visit to TACF, I was asked to share what had happened to me with the congregation. As I did, many people were touched by the Holy Spirit. What a surprise it was to discover that my experience could be "passed on" to others!
Soon I was sharing my testimony of the power of God quite often. In the spring of 1994, several friends asked me to join them in traveling around the world to tell my story and minister renewal to others.
That is when life really became an adventure! For the next few years, I often felt as if I were dreaming. In the summer of 1994 I got to share my testimony in the United States. That fall, I accompanied my friends to Europe and told my story there.
By 1996 I had begun to travel and minister on my own—something I continue to do to this day.
I love my life! After being sick and bedridden for 20 years, traveling and sharing about God's love and power is a wonderful, overwhelming experience.
I know that God can heal because I have personally experienced His healing power. I know that Jesus has come to give abundant life (see John 10:10) because He has made my life full beyond measure.
How wonderful it is to share in God's ministry of touching people with His love and to see His joy and healing transform lives! Truly we are living in a day of miracles. I am so glad to be alive "for such a time as this" (Esth. 4:14, NKJV).
BELIEVING THE TRUTH
Have I had to face difficulties and challenges over these years of traveling? Oh, yes! In 2001, just as I was getting ready to preach in a church in the Netherlands, I suddenly experienced terrible back pain and spasms. I returned home to Canada and endured nearly eight months of excruciating pain in my lower back, along with numbness down my leg.
I canceled my itinerary. The only explanation the doctors could give was that my lower back may have been damaged in that long-ago car accident. For some reason, the injury was just now manifesting more than 25 years later.
Pain medication and routine treatment failed to relieve the symptoms or improve my mobility, so I scheduled a meeting with a neurosurgeon to discuss surgery. I was terrified of the idea of being paralyzed and ending up in a wheelchair.
Questions began to invade my thoughts: Where was the God who had touched me so powerfully in the past? Why was He not hearing my prayers and taking away my pain?
I did not entertain these thoughts for long, however. Instead, I made a deliberate decision to believe the truth: My relationship with Jesus was not dependent upon what He would or would not do for me physically. The joy in my life was deep; it wasn't contingent upon how I felt from moment to moment.
I decided that I would not let what was happening in my body rob me of my joy or keep me from loving Jesus. In the past I probably would have continued questioning. I would have felt abandoned and unloved. I would have allowed fear to overwhelm me.
This time I purposed in my heart that I would trust God, no matter what.
I began to read Eugene H. Peterson's contemporary Bible translation, The Message, for hours every day. As my mind began to be washed with the Word, I found that I was able to focus on Jesus and not on my circumstances.
I listened to worship music and worshiped the Lord. I reflected on His love, His Holy Spirit and all that He had already done for me.
My friends, who had continued to travel and minister, prayed for me the whole time they were away. When they returned home, they prayed with me in person and anointed me with oil.
The pain left! I was able to move and to walk. Within weeks I began to travel again, sharing the story of all that the Lord has done—and continues to do—in my life.
Since 1994 I have had to deal with other, less incapacitating health issues. In the process, I have come to realize that I have a responsibility to take care of my body because I need this body to take me wherever God sends me. Doing what it takes to stay as physically healthy as possible is an important part of my lifestyle now. I never thought that I would live to see so much of the world, so much of the beauty of creation. I never dreamed that I would have so many opportunities to share the love of Jesus and watch Him touch so many lives.