Monthly Archives: October 2013

Do You Want to Get Well?

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“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him,
Do you want to get well?’”  John 5:1-15 (NIV)

“Sometimes it’s easier to hide behind the familiar pain, to replay the same movie,  repeat the same mistakes, blame the same people.  But that’s not God’s plan.”
Jo Ann Fore

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What about you, dear reader? Do you want to get well?  As Jo Ann Fore says in her book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice:

 “Being healed changes everything.”

But oh how blessed the change is! The pathway to healing is like a marathon, not a sprint. Are you willing to press on in Him?  The rewards are eternal.

Experiencing victory involves walking through the pain of our past. It involves confrontation.  And as Jo Ann says,

“Speaking out means being real and being imperfect.”

This has been one of the hardest things for me in finding my voice; I have had to speak out about my past, revealing where I’ve come from.

Yes, I am a Christian.  Yes, I am a pastor’s wife.  And, yes, I have a painful past.
Yet my past no longer defines me!

And you, dear reader, “Do you want to get well?”

Jo Ann’s book has helped me work through the pain, by using my voice to make a difference.  She has assisted me in this journey to freedom and purpose:

Enabling me to move beyond lingering hurts and reclaim my stalled dreams.”

Purchase your copy from Amazon today, and join the FREE online book study:

http://joannfore.com/find-your-voice/

Or consider joining the Facebook party on November 4th.  She will be giving away a complete Book Study Package.

https://www.facebook.com/events/652230054808731/

I close with a quote from Matthew Henry on why Jesus asked the invalid if he wanted to get well:

“To teach him to value the mercy, and to excite in him desires after it.   In spiritual cases, (sometimes) people who are willing to be cured of their sins, are (still) loth to part with them.  If this point therefore were but gained, if people were willing to be made whole, the work were half done, for Christ is willing to heal, if we be but willing to be healed.”

Damaged Emotions

“Being honest about our hidden hurts is important.  To heal the pain, you must acknowledge it.” Jo Ann Fore, When a Woman Finds Her Voice

We were driving along in my 1984 red hot Mustang, arguing about something; when he suddenly grabbed my long dark ponytail; and whipped my neck against the back of the seat.  I was mortified as I looked to my right and saw the guy in the car beside us, staring in disbelief.
I was an attractive and capable 18 year old girl, working and going to college.  Why was I putting up with this?  We were in MY car!
Why didn’t pulling into a public parking lot and demanding he get out of my car, and threatening to call the police if he didn’t, ever even enter my mind?
Or why did I go to the beach with him the day after he slammed my head against the concrete driveway in front of my parent’s house, after a fight we’d had at the bowling alley?
Why did I put up with that type of verbal and physical abuse for four years?

I now see it was because I had bought into the lie of Satan long ago; that I was stupid, worthless, and unlovable; and that people had the right to treat me however they wanted.  Deep down, I didn’t believe I had any rights.
Childhood sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse had left me silent. I believed my job was to keep everyone happy, and never rock the boat.
My emotions were damaged.

“Swimming on the surface is easy when you’re steeped in denial.”  Jo Ann Fore

Friends, did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month? Have you ever tried to help someone escape an abusive situation, only to see them return to the abuse?  I remember my friends would get so angry with me, when after helping protect me in the moment, I would soon return to the volatile relationship.

“Manipulators can derail God’s purpose for your life if you let them.”  Jo Ann Fore

My emotions were damaged.  But praise be to God that through Jesus Christ and His healing power I have been set free.  God has taught me that my true identity is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Will you help walk along side one that is caught in abuse, living with damaged emotions?

Will you help teach her her true identity in Christ?  That is what Jo Ann Fore is doing through her book, When a Woman Finds Her Voice.  You can order your copy through Amazon today.

I’m amazed when I contemplate the fact that I never told anyone about the abusive relationship I had been in as a teenager, (not even my pastor/husband) until I told a counselor around 5 years ago.  I allowed silence to continue to hold me captive to the lies of the evil one.

“There’s an undeniable healing power in telling the truth to someone who validates you by simply listening-
honor washes away the stench of shame.”  Jo Ann Fore

I’ve found my voice.  You can too!

I close with the following scriptures from, Freedom in Christ Ministries.

I AM SECURE

Romans 8:1-2  I am free from condemnation.
Romans 8:28     I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:31-39  I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22   I have been established anointed and sealed by God.
Colossians 3:1-4        I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
Philippians 3:20        I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7   I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
1 John 5:18     I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

Purpose in the Pain

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As the tech wheeled me down the long halls of Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, all I could think about was finally having an answer.   An answer for the plethora of bizarre medical symptoms I had been experiencing for months.  I had four little ones at home ages 1-8 years, who desperately wanted their mommy back.
He wheeled me into a room, the doctor walked in, closed the door, and began speaking to me as if I were a naughty toddler.
She explained to me that the EEG was completely normal, as well as the other tests. She condescendingly informed me that I did not want to have seizures, “people with seizures can’t drive”; she then explained that I did not want to have Myasthenia Gravis either, because “it is a terrible disease that sometimes leaves ones in wheelchairs.”

Did she honestly believe I was there because I really wanted to have some terrible illness?!

She then let me know that they had ruled out the possibility of there being anything organically wrong with me; and that she had taken the liberty of making an appointment for me with one of their leading psychiatrists. 

As she spoke, I felt myself slipping into a black hole.

Fourteen years and many doctors, counselors, medications, and prayer vigils after that devastating day, it was confirmed last week by a neurologist in Georgia,  that I do indeed have Myasthenia Gravis.
I did receive that diagnosis by a separate doctor in Indiana shortly after the Northwestern experience, but until last week it had been debated. A main part of the confusion was the fact that I continued to complain of “seizures”, and seizures and MG do not go together. However, it has now been discovered that when the muscles become fatigued by the MG, they can shake and jerk as they fight to work, which of course to the lay person could appear to be a seizure.

Dear friends, I want you all to know that there has been a distinct purpose for the pain, humiliation, and confusion that I have endured for the last 15 years.

God has used the time to cause me to deal with the spiritual warfare aspects of my problems, as well as the mental and emotional scars of my past.

He has truly used my time serving on the launch team for Jo Ann Fore’s book, When a Woman Finds Her Voice, to give me boldness to find my own.

As soon as I stepped out in obedience to share my painful past; He revealed the final puzzle piece to my issues, the physical aspect.

I began a new medication last week. Please pray that it might be effectual, and that surgery to remove my thymus won’t be needed.

“Sometimes a stronger, more realistic faith is birthed in the darkest of pits.”
Jo Ann Fore, When a Woman Finds Her Voice.

Order your copy of this amazing book today!

His Sheep Hear His Voice

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“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;”
John 
10:27

I was a newly wedded pastor’s wife, recently returned from a delightful honeymoon.  I was enjoying some early morning reading time, on a hot South Texas day.  While perusing 1 Timothy Chapter 1 in my Bible, suddenly verse 15 leapt off the page.

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”  (NIV)

The Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart, that like Paul, He was going to use my past to glorify His name, and help others. At times He chooses the “worst of sinners” to minister for Him.  The impression was so very clear, I was suddenly filled with joy and anticipation.  I had been so ashamed of my background.  Constantly plagued by the taunting of the evil one.  “How can you be a pastor’s wife?”  “If people only knew….”
Yet for this brief moment the fear and shame were gone.  The veil departed and I distinctly saw a purpose for my painful past.  Yes, I was called to be a pastor’s wife, just like Paul was called to be an Apostle, in spite of my/his past.

I excitedly called to tell someone close to me, when she quickly shut me down.  “No way.” Your past is just that, the past.”  “Leave it there.”  “Keep it private, or people will use it against you.”

And just like that, the euphoria was gone.  The lies returned.  I shut my mouth.

Friends that was 24 years ago, and God recently brought that day back to me, as clear as if it were yesterday!

I am His sheep, I did hear His voice 24 years ago, and I will follow!  I have also learned a valuable lesson.  When the Good Shepherd speaks to our hearts through His Spirit, that doesn’t mean it is going to happen that day, or that year.

Jesus was 30 years old before His ministry was launched.

Moses was 80.

If you’ve heard His voice, wait for His timing, then He will give you grace to obey and follow Him! But remember, His voice will never contradict His Word.

“There comes a time to stop fearing God’s plan—a flash-point where we stop thinking about ourselves and we start thinking about what we can do for others.”
Jo Ann Fore, When a Woman Finds Her Voice

I’ve found my voice.  You can too.  Take the pledge!

http://joannfore.com/take-the-pledge/

And pre-order your copy of, When a Woman Finds Her Voice, by Jo Ann Fore.

http://www.amazon.com/When-Woman-Finds-Her-Voice/dp/0891123873