My prayer one afternoon was to be struck with lightening, and without harm, for me to know what God’s will was for my life – would I stay in England or leave? Wanting to leave, I felt to stay, but I did not want to stay. More than either, what I wanted is to know what God wanted, for sure. I wanted to know He was with me. I have come to find that if I believe God is with me, I can handle anything – if I know the path I’m on is His.
I know God is with us whether we make our bed in hell or heaven, but because I felt like I’d been in hell already there, I was looking to depart. If I knew He was with me, and it was His will for me to continue on, I would be able to do so with grace.
Praying my desperate prayer for confirmation, I felt badly right afterwards, for wasting God’s time. Like, what a stupid prayer. Just face up to your responsibilities and do it, if that is what you feel you are to do! Well, He was merciful toward me, and He did not strike me down, but I had my prayer answered. Lightening struck, and I stayed.
Work was better than ever, but more “problems” pursued personally with living situations, but God used everyone of them to show me Himself in my circumstances, only making things better and better every time and growing me and drawing me more closely to Him. Incredible situations presented where I was able to find Him loving me as a Father, Jesus as my brother, and the Holy Spirit as my gentle peace followed by an ever increasing faith in Him. That was the best gift, well, knowing He really cared for me and loves me was the best, and is, but having circumstance after circumstance show me that He Is, and He Is for and with me.
What a great time in my life. All the struggles to find Him. All worth it.
I have retained my abhorrence of being poor for some time – keeping the reality of it to myself. I never really cared much about it or even thought much about it. I never really felt poor, but it had become an issue to me, however, since living in England.
CAR TROUBLE, NO TROUBLE AT ALL
This story is about when the “bottom dropped out of my car” in an answer to a prayer to God when He showed me he would help me and cover me when I couldn’t afford to help myself financially at this time. He’s so good! (13:55)
The main thing that I remembered from that prayer was the emotional aspect of it. All of the sudden, I began weeping for the woman as I prayed. I felt so much compassion for her. I felt sad for her, by the fact of what must she feel like on the inside to be so mean, and so rude and hateful, and at such an older age, too. It was sad really. I felt sorry for her. After I prayed, I just let it all go. It was like it was released and flooded out by the compassion.
Written and Recited by Holly C. O’Brien
One afternoon at work, I had a colleague stop by my classroom to visit me for the first time. I would see her at lunch as we ate with each other and other colleagues at times. I thought it was a nice surprise. I didn’t normally have visitors.
However, the reason for her visit was not a social call, it was a mission to collect gossip – and it was gossip on me. She was a forthright Russian woman who came fearlessly down to collect what she could. Bold. She came to confront me about what was being told about me.
She was there to find out if the rumors of me ratting out another colleague to administration for her smoking during her lunch break were true. I was disgusted and pissed-off at her coming to me with this. It was not true at all. I was bothered and disappointed about the whole thing, and I let her know it. I thought I was going to have a nice visitor, and I’m being ridiculed by people for something that never occurred. I expressed my disgust to her while also hoping to find out why I was being targeted, how did they pin me as the “rat-er” in this error of accusation?
I was piecing it all together in my mind as she spoke. I was also thinking of how I saw “the ratted-out” with these other woman with whom I used to have lunch when I was in a different area who I found were all of the sudden treating me poorly when I’d see them in the halls, for no apparent reason. These women were being mean to me with their looks and snippy remarks, and behaviors. I didn’t understand it, until this. I surmised that is why I was being treated rudely by them – these women had chosen to erroneously believe in what I’d done, and they were standing with their friend in solidarity against me. Oh well.
I never told that colleague out-rightly that I was innocent of what I was being accused. Perhaps I should have righted her, but I didn’t. All that I could think of was how ridiculous this whole thing was – it was all so high school. Pun intended. I was surprised that it was all going on.
I would let them keep their beliefs, at least for a while. If the woman wanted to know the truth, she could come to me herself. I let that go.
My colleague left with little more certainty than she had come with. I deliberately left her confused almost making it seem like I had done it because I refused to admit anything either way. I may have done the wrong thing there. Either way, they would likely have thought what they wanted to despite me telling them the truth.
I thought about the situation after she left. I was mad that I was being targeted unfairly, and being marked by their meanness, really. It was stupid, really, too. I don’t like injustices, either.
I then thought, too, about another injustice that was occurring simultaneously, again, toward me, in part. One of the women in the mix who’d been rude to me, was, separately, unfairly making these “rulings” about a going-away party she was hosting for another colleague. She was ostracizing from the party everyone who did not contribute to it financially. I didn’t even see the original email. She dis-invited all who did not contribute. I went to explain the situation to her in person. She ignored me. She was, at one time, so kind and respectful to me. I was figuring it was all a result of this rumor-mill, and was bothered by it.
I thought about it more after the colleague left. I was pissed about it. I did not like the unfair treatment I was getting, nor that colleague coming to my classroom like that bringing all that garbage. I was hurt and bothered. This was right on top of the emails from this rude colleague which compounded my “righteous anger.” I was feeling accursed by the damning.
As I thought about all that had happened, I was reeling. I was then reminded, quickly, of the duty of Christian’s to pray for their enemies. That was the thought that came to my mind. Pray for your enemies. I didn’t resist too much at all because that’s what we’re to do. There’s got to be some logic to it if we’re told to do it, right? So I, began to pray. That is the only reason I did it.
Jesus instructs Christians in Matthew 5:43 – 44: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”.
The main thing that I remembered from that prayer was the emotional aspect of it. I recall that as I was praying, the only woman I prayed for was the one who’d sent me the emails who I felt really hurt by; the whole situation itself other than that seemed to fall by the wayside because it was all so trivial, despite it pissing me off.
All of the sudden, I began weeping for the woman as I prayed. I felt so much compassion for her. I felt sad for her, by the fact of what must she feel like on the inside to be so mean, and so rude and hateful to be that way toward me, and at such an older age, too. It was sad really. I felt sorry for her. After I prayed, I just let it all go. It was like it was released and flooded out by the compassion.
While I prayed, God handled it. I did my part, and actually got peace from it. I got some perspective, too. It was healing, my prayer, and all was well from then.
1 Peter 3:9 in another instruction by Jesus tells us: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
I got a blessing with my prayer for that woman that afternoon. I got compassion for her. I got free of the whole worry and “wrongs that were being done to me.” I was no longer angry or bothered, at all.
I eventually came clean sometime over that year to the woman who thought I ratted her out. I told her I never did it, and she accepted it. I just wanted her to know the truth.
I learned that my obedience to the instruction of praying for my enemies freed me up, and I also trust that it helped that woman, too. That’s how it works.
I believe we are to pray for others because their hearts aren’t right with God, and we can help them by praying that God change them to be more pleasing to Him, too. It’s important to remember too, that, according to Ephesians 6:12, ”We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
They clearly need help. That’s why they are acting that way. They are love-less in some area, right? According to scripture, however, it’s a spiritual issue. People who are hurting, hurt people. So, we can pray for them for Jesus to help them – to free them up from their loveless state – whatever it may be. They are not right and need help. We do too. If we take on that bitterness that ensues from wrongs committed because we do not understand, we may be subject to perpetuating and perhaps worsening the situation. We are to pray for our enemies, simply. We are also going to get a blessing by doing it because we become freed in it. At least that is my experience. We are free from our accusation and self-righteous judgement, maybe also resentment and hurt, as well.
I found a blessing in the prayer offering. I received compassion, replacing my indignation, and it freed me. I clearly needed a miracle too. A treasure of obedience is clearly a blessing, always. Thank you, Lord.
Thank you for helping me and this woman. Thank you, also, for letting me get a blessing for the obedience to your word. I got to experience the “why,” at least in part, of why we are to pray for our enemies. I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit for this experience for I believe He brought to my attention the thought to “Pray for my enemies.” I am grateful to Christ for helping me see His instruction in practice and the blessing that flowed from that. The bible says that grace and truth are from Jesus Christ. I believe by reverencing Him by praying the word, as He commanded, that He bestowed his grace upon me that day for, my colleague, in the form of compassion for her and the grace to let go of the hurt I felt from her and for giving me peace.
I am grateful to God for giving us Jesus, my brother, to have Him give us the words of life that lead us to walk in paths of righteousness. Thank you for showing me the blessing of praying for our enemies – a double win – and for always leading me in your ways. Thank you for helping me, and for helping my colleague.
I got this camera in response to a prayer to God to help me get a camera to capture the beauty around which I found myself. I was too poor to afford one, so He helped me out! The next day! And, it was only like $2 – $3 bucks. I had been seeking God pretty hard during this time, and this was just another reminder that he loves me, helps me, and shows me. And, it was another thing that “He added unto me.” 🙂 Love that! He’s so awesome. Thank you, Lord! (7:50)
Malachai 4:6 And the Lord will turn the hearts of the father’s to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Had this prayed over me for me and my pop for a harmed relationship we had, and within a week I had grace pour over me randomly, washing out my hurt and pouring in the love and compassion of the Father for my dad. We would have a new relationship from that point forward.
Here are some excerpts from the audio file, below.
I told him in an email. I wrote it with the intention of hopefully coming clean with everything with respect to how I felt about him and that type of treatment, everything hoping he’d acknowledge me, that my feelings matter – I even used my siblings hurt too about some of his behavior toward them with respect to this, which maybe I shouldn’t have – it crossed a line. I just told him all of the hurts. I was done pretending, and my build-up, boiled over.
I was honest. I was a little mean too, I guess. It included my fears and hurts about some ways he’d treated me over the years and how I was not interested in that relationship anymore. I wanted and deserved more and better from him. For us.
We had this relationship much of my life where he would do what he would do and I would just accept it whether I liked it or not because mostly I wanted him to love me, and I did not want to rock the boat so I wouldn’t tell him how certain behaviors affected me. I would just blow it off – accepting it as him.
My hope, that he would treat what I was saying with some kind of respect and honor what little I was asking. I was hoping for a somewhat favorable response. Not. He answered, “I think it best that we no longer communicate with one each other. You’ve crossed a line.”
Anyway, though I felt resolved and good for me for taking myself and my feelings into consideration finally, more than his for once, I still wanted my dad. I’d always wanted my dad. That never goes away. I believe even if we are right or justified with our actions, the case remains that we wish for our parents to love us and to be the mature, guiding family they are intended to be, and to do what is right, always – for everyone, but they don’t always.
I believe that if we are without a good relationship with our parents, it hurts us. We are made to love and to be loved, you’d think especially by those who brought us into this world.
Accepting what he wrote, and taking full responsibility for what I wrote, my reply to him was, in effect, “I am sorry for what I wrote in that it came across meanly, but, I am in no way sorry for the content of what I wrote. What I wrote was all true, and if you cannot handle that, then that is on you, but I will in no way apologize for what I said.”
I felt strong and right for having stuck up for myself. It was the first time in my life with my dad like that. I left it at that. I was glad I didn’t feel diminished. Though I was sadly devastated, I was glad not to have caved, and wrote something back weak and self-denying, like, “Oh forgive me, I am so sorry, I don’t mean it. Please forgive me. Come back.” Essentially begging him not to leave me all the while not acknowledging the truth of who I was and how I have felt hurt by how he had treated me in certain situations. I was tired of the denial and deceit of what not standing up for me represented – a façade, as saying to myself that I don’t matter. I wasn’t willing to tolerate behavior that was deceitful nor was I willing to let myself down anymore essentially accepting that I did not matter. If I don’t matter, then let’s be true with it. I was done with all of that though. I could at least stand tall even know I was a sad on some level too.
Having come to a sadness within myself of not having a home of my own, I found myself very sadly crying one afternoon in a parking lot wishing, praying to God, for a beautiful home of my own
surrounded by a place of beauty.
I didn’t know a Gerry, but having prayed a prophetic prayer a few months before, I trusted that was the Holy Spirit praying through me, again, according to Romans 8:26 – 27.
Gerry Occurred August 2010 This story is what has inspired all of my other stories. It was truly God’s greatness answering me, evidently. Love to you, Father. (1 Gerry 26:31), (2 Gerry 14:40)
The recovery process has had its literal and figurative ups and downs. I heeded the verse that instructed me to strengthen my feeble knees, and the result of me getting up off my bum, of the keeping of persevering despite every physical set-back I had, of the continually holding fast to the truth of what I know scripturally, and by continuing to speak healing over my knees as they ached while running or otherwise, I have been made well.
Following is a 27 minute audio podcast. I have put a couple of excerpts below, but take the journey with me. This is a fun audio podcast of my experience being injured while running, and how healing took place through other mechanisms of exercise. This is rife with scripture, major lessons learned, fun and joy in my process of recovery God took me through.
What God did was to help me out anyway. As I was readying myself to read the bible one night, I opened to this passage “accidentally” which listed my instruction for my knee. It is found in Hebrews 12:12-13 “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down and the feeble knees and make straight the paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.” Amen to that.
God’s way may prove hard, but He will always give us the grace to accomplish whatever we need to do, as well. God may be working other things, too, necessary for our growth about which we have no knowledge. I like to say, as I have experienced, when teaching, God has used this profession to work things in me and to work things out of me. But, He is always working to perfect us, to help us. That is what we are called to be, “Perfect, as He is perfect.” But the good thing is that he helps us accomplish this through His son, Jesus Christ, through accepting Him, then God sends His Holy Spirit to aid us in all we need to do.
God always tries to help us, to divert us from disaster, but we have to choose down which path we are going to follow. He even tells us, choose the path of life. God could have touched my knee and made it perfect, but he chose to take me through the long route for which I am grateful. Otherwise, I would have missed out on so much. I would have missed out on the growth process of healing. I love that. I love God showing up for me. That’s the neatest. That is truly awesome. Growing is part of this journey, if we so choose, life. The journey can be fun too. The journey is great. The progress is cool to witness too. I like that. The ups and down are all a part of it. The destination, then, is the celebration. Then, there’s another journey.
The four plus years I have endured of this leg pain has found me at the end of these four plus months in a pleasant place. I am healing. It is working. I’m strengthening. I am keeping working out with weights, running and biking. I continue to heal. I can now successfully run on the beach too which I like a lot – watch out Jason Bourne. I like the treadmill too. My healing has enabled me to do what most take to naturally and without any thought or pain: bending, walking, stretching or sitting. One of the greatest achievements is that I can actually cross my legs now without any pain. That was amazing when it happened the first time. I didn’t even realize it until it happened. I just naturally tried to cross my legs without thinking about it, and then voila, there I am all cross-legged excited for my recovery. That was so huge when I realized that. That continues to this day. Kneeling was a similar feeling of achievement. I love progress.
I can walk down stairs with only minor pain, I can put on my pants, shorts, etc. without the need to kick out my leg, and I can run on concrete, but that causes the most pain maintaining its first place position for the #1 worst exercise for me. I can, however, also run over the bridge, a favorite exercise of mine, without being out of commission for three weeks which is incredible! I am healing, continually. I’m learning to control my desires to run more even when I want too to slowly build and not to destroy the progress I have made. Moderation and not overdoing it is how I am progressing well.
I will say I love the transformation of my body. I’ve never had to worry about weight in my life, but having hit 40 and beyond, gravity was winning the skin’s losing reality. However, I have found that what’s headed south is seeing its way back up north again which makes me very happy. Another triumphant moment in my life transformed.
The recovery process has had its literal and figurative ups and downs and it’s been a good ride. It’s been a good run as they say. I doubt, however, if I did not have this condition that I would have ever been diligent enough or persevering enough to have stuck with it. I like that it’s shaping me up. It’s helped me to disciple myself too which is so crucial in life for success and I have needed that desperately – peace has come as a result too which was promised in the scripture – less pain, less worry about the pain, less fatigue because of the pain, and therefore less overall stress is what I’ve gained with all of this. Follow-through on the short term makes the long-term a whole lot better. I feel better, I look better, I am better.
I am grateful for lent, a period of 40 days in the Catholic Church of fasting, prayer and almsgiving. I’m grateful because part of what I did for that was to commit to working out at least 3x/week (I fasted slothfulness/lack of discipline), every other day with the exception of Sunday. I don’t know if I would have stuck with this if it weren’t for that. Diligence is a man’s precious possession.