When I was 14, I injured my head in a diving accident. Three days later, my parents discovered me in the middle of a grand mal seizure.
After I had nearly continual seizures for more than three months, my parents were given no hope that I would recover. But I became conscious and seizure-free without drugs after many days of prayer.
Within several months, I went back to classes and scored higher on intelligence tests than I had before the accident. I'd lost a year of high school, but ultimately I finished and went on to earn a degree in elementary education and psychology.
Having been raised by an alcoholic father and an enabling mother, I learned to see God as harsh, unbending and unaccepting of me. I believed that He would harm me at His whim and that He was never pleased with my efforts or gifts. I thought He was like my father.
As a 30-something mother of four, I was falling apart emotionally. I had seen numerous counselors and been on medication for clinical depression. But despite all my efforts, I could not find freedom or peace.
At my lowest point, a good Christian friend mailed me an awesome worship CD that was full of songs extolling God as the lover of our souls. Inspired by thoughts of His stubborn love for me, I was compelled to search the Scriptures to see what I could find about the true nature of God.
Our 16-year-old son, Zachary, was blessed with athletic abilities. He has been an all-star athlete since he was very young.
In the month of November 2001, Zachary had been practicing basketball on the days before and after Thanksgiving. On the following Monday morning he awoke with a swollen arm. We anointed him with oil and prayed for him.
Shortly after he was taken to the doctor, and medical tests revealed the presence of a germ-cell tumor in his chest behind the sternum. On December 3, 2001, the tumor was removed, and surgery was followed by four five-day rounds of chemotherapy that ended in February 2002.
Although I was raised a Southern Baptist, I was full of spiritual questions after my mother's death and the end of my 18-year marriage. On one occasion, while visiting an Assemblies of God church I observed the congregation praising the Lord in a way I had never seen. As they lifted their hands in worship, I joined in.
Each week I returned, knowing that God was drawing me closer to Him. At first I raised only one hand in worship. Then the Lord asked me, "What's wrong with your other hand?" In total abandonment, I raised both arms. God's Spirit worked in me, and freedom was released through my surrender.
Before, I learned about the prophets only in the Old Testament. My newfound freedom brought people into my life who would say to me, "The Lord told me this…" or "The Lord told me that…" Eventually, I learned to listen to God's voice and move accordingly.
My husband and I built our relationship on God's love and understanding; however, I always had a struggle with the concept of oneness. Satan was out to destroy both our marriage and our connection to God.
During our 19th year of marriage, Satan came in at full force, causing chaos and devastation. Blindly, I thought that having the attention of a man other than my husband would enhance my life. An affair nearly destroyed our lives, as well as our daughter's. Through God's grace and others' prayers, the veil of deception was removed. By the means of a vision, I was made aware of the enemy's hand at work in our relationship.
In this vision, I was standing in the center of a room and a current of energy flowed out from within me to those nearby. When the current ran uninterrupted, everything was in harmony. But broken connections brought sorrow to everyone.
In 1991 I was an assistant buyer for a large department store. One morning when I was preparing to go to work, an overwhelming sensation came over the left side of my body.
Starting at the top of my head, it traveled slowly down my body to my extremities on the left side. It took me at least a half-hour to get to the bottom of the stairs.
Numerous medical tests led to the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. I could not believe that my life had taken such a traumatic turn.
I began to search the Scriptures concerning healing. I was experiencing periods of paralysis and spent much of my time in bed, nurtured by my husband and children.
During this period, I watched a lot of Christian television. Through it I received faith for healing.
For months, I continued to receive and believe the word of faith. Then during a Sunday morning praise service at my church, I was totally healed by the power of God.
I am 42 years old and born again, and I love Jesus with all my heart. He is my Great Physician as well as my Savior.
After I was healed, God called me to minister to women with an emphasis on total healing and restoration of body, soul and spirit. He made me well, and now He is using my experience to help others. How grateful I am that He "forgives our iniquities; and heals all our diseases" (Ps. 103:3).
My ancestral roots run straight down into the Mississippi mud. My great-grandfather, seven generations removed, was the first Protestant circuit-rider in the Mississippi territory, giving me a rich Christian heritage intermingled with a traditional Southern mind-set.
Unfortunately, my Christian heritage did not tip the scales when weighed against the embedded racial views of the Deep South. My family never spoke with hatred against black people, but they certainly felt that blacks needed to "stay in their place."
When I was growing up, I was told that segregation was the way God meant it to be. It took many years for God to set me free.
For years, my husband, Jerry, and I traveled as evangelists for the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). I've been blessed beyond measure, and I've seen God perform many miracles.
For 40 years I carried around a tumor in my abdomen. Although my doctors tried to persuade me to have surgery to remove it, I was praying and hoping that the Lord would dissolve it from my body. But God decided to heal me in His own way and His own time, for His glory.
On April 10, 2001, I was in great pain. I went into the hospital the next day, and the doctors scheduled me for surgery.
When I was pregnant with my second child, I developed complications and was confined to bed. During that time, while watching a TV special on autism, I thought, Lord, I could never handle anything like that.
Later on, our son John was born. He was apparently healthy, but as he grew something seemed wrong. At 2-1/2 years old, he was diagnosed with infantile autism.
The doctors offered us no hope that John would recover. They said we should institutionalize him.
Some years ago I was impressed by the Lord to read Psalm 91 several times. I took great comfort in this passage and was moved to tell others about God's promises of safety.
I always utter a prayer when I get into my car, asking God to protect me and everyone on the road. Many times God has heard my prayers and delivered me in times of trouble.
One day, after praying for protection, I had traveled only a few miles when suddenly a deer jumped out of the woods right in my path. A second deer was right behind him.
The first deer cleared the hood of my car. The second one bumped his head on the side of the car and then turned back into the woods. I barely saw the first one, but in my rearview mirror, I distinctly saw the second one shake his head and turn back.
God protected me from disaster. For this I praise Him, and I imagine the deer are grateful too. When I examined my car, I saw there was not even a scratch on it. Praise God, for His mercies endure forever!
Throughout my life, God has been merciful to me. I am thankful for the loving Christian home into which I was born 38 years ago.
My mother prayed over everything, and our family attended church each week. It was a wonderful childhood.
But while in college, I was introduced to marijuana and cocaine. I'd nearly finished my nursing program at Georgia State University, but I left school so I could work to support my drug habit.
During an eight-month period, multiple blows of grief battered my family. The first was related to our daughter, Shela.
My husband and I had adopted Shela when she was four months old. For all of her 19 years, she battled a neuromuscular disease that crippled her body and threatened her life.
Shela never weighed more than 55 pounds and was unable to walk, crawl or dress herself. Yet, despite her disability, she was a committed Christian who had graduated from high school with honors and successfully completed her freshman year in college.
During my daughter's sophomore year in college, we received a bill from a previous semester for $850. At the time, I didn't have the money to pay it.
One day when I was at my office, I asked God what I should do concerning the balance. He told me to call the school and ask to make payment arrangements.
When I contacted the school, a woman in the finance office told me they didn't accept payment arrangements, but she would see what could be done. Then she returned to the phone, bewildered, and said that someone (she didn't know who) had paid the balance!
Times of crisis don't usually evoke cherished memories. However, it is just such a time in my life that calls up my fondest memory.
While I was growing up, my family went to church sporadically and believed in God. I believed that He existed, but other than that I never thought very much about Him.
Then in my late 20s a series of events drove me to a crisis point. My mom died suddenly, and 14 months later, I married and began a new life 900 miles away from family, friends and everything familiar to me.
In the past, I had heard teachings on "pleading the blood [of Jesus]" over your loved ones for healing and for God's protection; I'd done that many times. But until I read The Blood and the Glory by Billye Brim, I'd never heard of pleading a "blood line" around your property and possessions as protection from weather-related calamities.
At supper one night, I looked out through a big bay window in our kitchen and noticed that the sky was very dark to the south. My husband checked the weather report on television, and, sure enough, there was a tornado warning for a county just south of us.
Immediately, my husband went outside and got our sons to put any machinery inside for protection. When I looked out the window again, the sky to the south was pure white. Quickly, I turned up the volume on the television and heard that "baseball-sized hail" was swiftly moving in our direction.