On January 18th, 2016, I woke up with my limbs alternating in numbness and pain. This is not unusual. For the past 18 months it’s been a challenge that dogged me daily. Always varying in intensity, duration and location it was difficult to diagnose, apparently impossible to treat, and something that disrupted my life. Throughout the day my legs settled down, my left arm became mostly functional, but my right arm got worse. I couldn’t grip or feel anything. My arm felt like a dead thing hanging at my side until it would spasm or shoot with flares of pain. It hadn’t been quite this bad for many days. My right arm was useless and dragging the rest of me down with it.
Three of our church Connect Groups gathered together that evening for a time of teaching and prayer. There were two people in the room I hadn’t yet spoken with or met. During prayer one of those two, a woman I did not know, had a prophetic word for me: “I see you with a pencil and paper.” Half the room chuckled. God has called me to write the stories He gives me and it is something many know and have supported in prayer. This reminder was both encouraging and frustrating—I want to obey, but am physically unable to write much of the time due to this frequent numbness and pain.
Yes, I spent a season in disobedience trying to make God’s call into something it was not, but once convicted of that, I repented. Several months later, still trying to obey and write, I constantly run into obstacles I fight to overcome but cannot get past. Doctors seemed to not hear the words I said describing my pain and numbness. Treatments and medicines had little or no effect. When I felt well enough to write there was often no place to do so, or once I began the numbness and pain would quickly set in. After receiving prayer for the condition many times I began to lose hope it would ever go away.
So, to be given a confirming word to write when there was no way I could do so, spurred me to ask for healing prayer. As Michelle and I began to pray not much happened with my arm. God began showing me images of being stuck behind a foggy wall with dark skies overhead. We prayed through some more and eventually got to my heart—where healing needed to happen. As God began to breathe His resurrection life into my hurting and broken heart, His restorative power started pumping into all the cells and tissues of my body. My arm tingled—prickly and sore—but I could feel it again. Though stiff and still clumsy, something had begun. God started a process deep within: a change in my heart that is now affecting other parts of myself and my life. Changes I may have to wait to see or understand, but one thing is certain, I am no longer the same.
Thirty minutes later I had full use of my right arm. No numbness. No pain. Michelle encouraged me to write down what God had shown me. As I did so my right hand began to tingle again as I gripped the pen. “I do not receive that,” I said. It went away.