God is always moving, sometimes in big ways and sometimes in small. We are interested to hear how you have encountered God in your life. We are gathering our own church family’s experiences to share with each other to encourage and boost our faith. Could you share a recent or not so recent time that God broke into your daily life? Click on the button below to submit a testimony. Please include your name and phone number.
ENCOUNTERS...WHEN GOD TEACHES US
Over a year ago, during the pandemic, I was returning home from an errand, to find a package on my porch. It was a large, flat, soft paper one, whose top was badly torn causing the shredded paper inside to pour out. The return address indicated a friend who had moved out to Idaho—I was not expecting anything from her! I hurried inside to inspect what I hoped wasn’t a torn or damaged item. To my immense relief, the torn paper was all that was torn. Inside was a beautiful shawl she had crocheted for me, in all my favorite colors! Marveling at how not one thread was cut, I brushed off all the shreds of newspaper and tried it on. It was so beautiful I almost cried!
I felt the Lord taught me some lessons from this incident:
A. The packaging of something is not always an indication of the condition or value of its contents. (Don’t judge a book by its cover!)
Often, some of the dearest friends, and most meaningful happenings in our lives will spring from something/ someone who doesn’t look at all promising!
B. This friend had worked for about a year on this labor of love-totally unbeknownst to me! Jesus assured us: “My Father is always working and I am always working!” Even when I am UNAWARE, God is at work on my behalf, and for my prayer requests, and those I love, even when I have no indication that any such work is going on!
ENCOUNTERS...WHEN GOD ANSWERS PRAYER
A number of years ago I was having a lot of trouble with my lower back and pain down my thighs. It was decided that I would have an MRI to diagnose for any problems. The instructions paper offered a sedative, to be taken ahead of time, to make sure I could lie still in the machine. I thought, “Oh, no big deal, I’ll be fine.” I was naively forgetting my ongoing difficulty with claustrophobia! So I was ready to enter the machine, and slid in, having obtained the instructions from the tech.
Immediately I panicked! I pushed the button and she slid me out. I asked if I could have the medicine or could my husband come to be with me, but her schedule was totally packed. She left the room and I tried to calm myself. As I prayed, I decided to give it another chance. When she returned, I told her to repeat the test. As I entered, I felt God’s perfect peace envelope me. A song I’d heard—“You are the Lord, the famous One, the Famous One, great is your name in all the earth!” I was able to stay perfectly still but inwardly rejoicing for the great deliverance the Lord worked for me!
ENCOUNTERS...ON SABBATH REST
Coming to CCC has been such a healing, and restorative time for me and my family as we came bruised, empty, and burned out in church service activities, tired from life in general. And the Sabbath series has brought it all together so clearly: the Sabbath is a gift, a freedom from the slavery of busy-ness, pridefully thinking it is all up to me, trying to meet people-pleasing expectations. This “hurry mentality” has made me miss the moments right in front of me. Taking the time to pause, to give margin has helped me to see and prioritize what matters, to hear from God. Thank you for the life changing truth that has been shared in this series.
ENCOUNTERS...WHEN GOD BREAKS THROUGH
One day, in 2014, I had been praying and talking with God. I told him that I don't even know if He heard my prayers anymore. I was doubting Him based on my guilt about not measuring up. I believe that conversation was either the day of or a day or two before I was leaving for my first K-Love (a radio station sponsored) cruise. It was Jan. 24th, 2014. (I looked in my journal to see what date it was) I had been sitting in the aisle seat on our way to Atlanta. There was a man and his wife sitting across the aisle from me that I had never met. If I remember correctly we were getting close to Atlanta and this man, Mark,(he told me his name later) asked if he could tell me something. He said he was a Christian and that God had been convicting him almost the entire time that he needed to tell me something. I said I was also a Christian and that it was okay. Mark said, "God wants you to know He still hears your prayers." It took my breath away. The tears came then, of course. And even now, I cry anytime I tell this story. I thought I had been so bad in my behavior that God had written me off. He let me know that He still hears me, sees me, and loves me, regardless of whether or not I think I deserve to be heard, seen or loved. What an amazing and loving father He is!!!
ENCOUNTERS...WHEN GOD STEPS IN
The last 4 years had been hard years for me physically and emotionally. The winter of 2017 I struggled in my marriage and my expectations of my husband. I was tortured emotionally with my desires for the perfect, “everyone do what they are supposed to” type of relationships and the reality of what was happening around me. My kids were having their own troubles which only compounded things. A bit after this, my health (I have Cystic Fibrosis) began to deteriorate and I was unable to get my pulmonary function tests(pfts) into the 40’s again. An average person’s test are around 80-100. I had hoped to get them back up there so I could qualify to participate in this study for a new medication that they were trialing. Instead, I began to hear about the positive things participants were seeing, but I wasn’t one of them. I knew that in the spring, the trial of this medication would be ending, allowing them to begin the process of applying to the FDA for approval of the drug. LOTS of waiting. But my lungs may not make it in time for me to get the opportunity to try this medication. My doctors began to be concerned about my shortness of breath, my tiredness, my lack of ability to make it through the day, so they said that I should begin the process of evaluation for a lung transplant.
I had to undergo many different tests in a span of 3 months. I was approved by the institution to be eligible for a transplant.
What many people don’t understand about a lung transplant is that for many people who receive one, the clock for the end of their life begins to tick. They say people with lung transplants typically live for 5-7, maybe 10 years. Occasionally, you get the chance for a 2nd set of lungs but it’s a rarity. It’s not, “You got new lungs. Now you’ll live for another 40 years!” So a lung transplant is a bit of a last resort. Albeit a good resource to have when you need it!
In early summer, I heard that they had finally decided to go ahead and send the medication/study results to the FDA for approval. This was great news. Sometimes, when they’ve seen promising results from a medication in the trial phase but know they could be potentially another year out from FDA approval, they begin one last phase known as a compassionate release of the medication. Each medical center names 1-2 patients who would really benefit NOW from this medication to allow those patients the opportunity to begin taking it, prior to FDA approval. For a good month, we did not know if the company was going to roll out a compassionate release of this medication. My family and friends began praying specifically that they would! My CF center put me on this list. I was thrilled when news came down that they would!
After so much waiting, I began the medication. It was a miraculous result. After 2 years of being on the medicine, my lung function tests were up by 12 points (which means I can breathe and do things without noticing any lack of oxygen) and I had gained weight (which is a good thing…in my case.) But hear me now, the absolute life-altering thing that has happened on this medicine from the very beginning was this… Energy. Before, I would hit a wall around 3 pm daily for at least 5 years. I had to have a nap everyday. Even with a nap, it was hard to clean the kitchen after making a meal because I would just run out of steam. Now, my kitchen gets cleaned (mostly) and as I’m doing it I’m noticing not an ounce of energy runoff. I just keep going without even thinking about it! I feel so much happier and have found myself laughing so hard at things…and I don’t cough afterwards! I told my mom recently that I feel like I did in high school only smarter.;)
3 years ago, I had a list of things I needed God to step into. I pleaded for him to move the needle in one of them because the pressure of each thing was pretty imposing. My health…the deteriorating lung health was pretty much the last thing I expected God to change without undergoing a lung transplant (and with that came more difficulties.) The fact that He stepped in to help scientists find the gene mutation that is the cause of my CF, in the late 1980’s, and then used science to find a fix for that mutation through this medication is an amazing thing for my disease. In James, it says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” This is a good and perfect gift that I am joyfully accepting from Him!
- Anne Fickel
ENCOUNTERS...WHEN GOD STEPS IN
I had received prayer and instruction on the gift of speaking in tongues, but it did not happen right away. So I prayed and asked God to give me this gift without anyone else being involved – then I would know it was from Him. I was praying out loud and interceding for a Women’s Walk to Emmaus weekend (they were experiencing spiritual warfare) and all of a sudden instead of English I was praying intensely in tongues! I felt blessed that Father answered my request in this way.