Testimony by Tegan Peterson
When I was 15 years old, I became ill. It was a combination of a chronic virus, chronic excruciating pain, and hyperacusis- extreme pain that comes with sound. I was sick for 3 years. My life was ripped away from me- I lost almost all my friends, I could no longer attend school, and could not participate in my great passion, Irish dancing.
The thing about excruciating pain is that it travels to all parts of your body, so while it was my auditory nerves that were shredded, my entire body was in intense pain. My headaches were bad enough that at first the doctors thought I had a brain tumour or brain bleed.
Sometimes the pain was so bad I could barely breathe. Sometimes it was so bad I couldn’t move, it was as if I was paralyzed. Sometimes I truly thought I was about to die. I was never suicidal, but when the pain was at that level, although I did not want to die, I needed to go to Heaven and be with Jesus and be free of the suffering. The illness and pain would last for 3 long years. The first 1.5 years I can barely remember as the pain has wiped my memory, which I think was a mercy from God. For 2.5 years I was too ill to even leave the house. The last 6 months there were some improvements, but I was still very frail and had constant pain with numerous bad relapses when I could not get out of bed.
The pain was centred in my ears, we think I was attacked there so I wouldn’t be able to hear God’s words. However, the remarkable thing about these 3 years was that I never- not once- felt angry or bitter or depressed or hopeless. A few times I felt sad, but immediately I ‘righted my compass’ and looked to God and the sadness went away, only ever lasting for a few seconds. None of my many doctors or non-Christian friends could believe this. They were shocked that I was not depressed and was so full of peace, hope, and even joy. Everyone who walked into my house said they immediately felt at peace.
The entire 3 years I only felt an all encompassing peace, God protected my heart in a way I didn’t know was possible. My family and doctors tried so many medicines and therapies and nothing really helped, yet instead of despair I felt strongly there was an important purpose for all this and even a whisper of ‘not yet’. Looking back on journal entries, some which were written when I was in extreme pain and could barely breathe, the phrases that repeat again and again are ‘my heart feels as if it is soaring’ and ‘thank you God’.
My faith was a bright shining light that could not be dimmed. This was truly a gift from God.
This summer, I felt a shift in my heart. I had a picture of a large red ball that was at the top of a hill, starting to roll. It was going faster and faster, and I knew it would get to a speed when nothing could stop it. God told me this was about my healing. God also told me that great things, powerful things, and wonderful things would happen this year. A final conviction I had was that this would be a year of healing.
Nearly exactly 3 years after I became ill, my church had a weekend conference led by Ken Grenfell. It was only the second time I was physically well enough to go to church. On Friday night, a young woman came up to me and said that she had a burning message from God for me. She said ‘God feels your burden. He feels your pain, and He loves you so, so much’. She had no idea I had been ill.
Saturday was my third time at church, and it was a miracle I was able to stay the whole day because as normal I had no stamina. But I prayed to God for strength, and I knew He wanted me there, so I stayed with very little problem of being tired. During worship, we sang the song “Take Courage”. There’s a line that goes ‘hold on to your hope / as your triumph unfolds’. As soon as I saw the word triumph, I knew that was for me from God. The entire time I was ill I had been calling it a trial, yet I said I was so thankful for it because of how I grew closer to God. But I knew then that it was a TRIUMPH, not a trial- it had been a triumph from the second I became ill.
On Saturday afternoon there was a ministry session. As soon as I walked in I felt a tenseness in my shoulders that I could not loosen and my stomach was churning. When it was time for prayer, I was the third person Ken prayed for. I was shaking and sobbing with the power of the Holy Spirit. Ken made me look in his eyes, and I desperately wanted to but I couldn’t for very long because of the Holiness I saw there. In his eyes I saw the infinite and indescribable Love of God. I have no words for the experience.
In total, Ken prayed for me three times. Three times I felt a lovely golden warmth in and around my ears. It was as if hands were cupping them. After the second time, I took off my sound generators. They were similar to hearing aids and a treatment for hyperacusis. If I didn’t wear them, I would be in excruciating pain. But God told me to take them off, and so I did. I placed them in my mom’s hands and told her I didn’t need them anymore. After the final time Ken prayed, I turned to my mom and said ‘It’s done. I’m healed’.
God gave me a miraculous healing. He lifted the burden, He lifted the pain. And so the triumph was completed.
Immediately after I was healed, God told me to pray for two other people. My mom says I marched over to them with such authority, and it’s really not in my personality to do that. But I was overflowing with something, and I knew I had to pray for them.
I no longer wear the sound generators and I am completely healed. A little bit of pain stuck around for a few days, but I just said to it, ‘No. You have no place here, God healed me. You are not from God.’ The pain abated, and now a week and a half later it is completely gone.
During the illness, I started feeling a call to mission work. I didn’t know when I would be well enough to do that, but now I can. I can’t wait to see what God has in store!
The entire time I was ill, I prayed and prayed that I would have a testimony that would touch and encourage even just one person. This reminds me of the verse that God will give you more than you could ever ask for or imagine. My testimony and miraculous healing are already being heard by others, and if it helps just one person that is all I could ever want.