For over two years I’ve had a lot of back and SI joint pain, sometimes severe, often just uncomfortable and annoying. Because this has been going on awhile, I started accepting this pain as something I might deal with for the rest of my life (often people do). As a physical therapist, in some ways I think I’ve gotten hardened by seeing and hearing stories of people having chronic back pain. Despite my efforts to treat it myself, it has never gone completely away. I had started praying before that night at Staff United about this back/SI pain and surrendering it to God, telling Him I believed He could take it away if He chose to. I’m not sure that I really believed He could though.
At the second Staff United of the summer, Ronnie and Matt encouraged people to go forward and be prayed for at anytime during the night about anything that they wanted prayer for. I immediately felt like God put on my heart that I should go and have by back and SI joint prayed for.
Since I was running the computer stuff at Staff United, I knew I would wait to go forward for prayer until the end…IF I went. In the mean time, from the start of the night on, the stuff going through my mind was interesting. I knew going forward to be prayed over, for me, meant that I was choosing to believe and expect that God could heal me if He chose to. Partly out of pride (the fact that my job is to “heal” people’s injured backs and SI joints and I hadn’t been able to make myself better) and also out of fear (what if God didn’t heal me and I truly believed in full faith that He could?), I wasn’t sure if I could take the step of faith and choose to go forward for prayer about my back.
Then, something made me think of the story in the Gospels about the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, who reached out and touched Jesus his cloak and was healed. I had read recently that part of the power and significance of that miracle lies in the fact that the woman had been bleeding for 12 years! Even after all the failed treatments, she still expected and believed Jesus could heal her, and He did. The next song we sang after that story popped in my head had the line "[He is] Greater than our pain". With all that on my mind, I decided I would go forward at the end of the night...if He could heal the woman who had been sick 12 years, I believed He could heal me too. I believed that He is greater than my pain.
I was still kind of scared to go forward. I was in a lot of pain that night. Going forward meant facing my fears and letting go of my pride. But, at the end of the night, I went up to Mitch and Kim Elliott and told them about my back pain a little bit and asked them to pray for me. Kim asked if she could put her hand on my back. Without me telling her the exact spot, that’s exactly where she placed her hand—the most painful spot, a very spasmed muscle. I don't remember the words that Kim and Mitch prayed over me exactly, but I remember telling/encouraging myself to believe in full faith that God could heal me. To believe that He could do it.
In my heart, I think for the first time, I believed He could. At one point during the prayer, Mitch took hold of my hands and helped me stretch my arms upward toward the sky, while praying about God giving a spiritual traction to my back and he said something about this being a prophetic posture of me praising Him with my arms lifted for healing me.
I walked away after being prayed over, and instantly the spasm that I had in my back/hip that night was gone. I've had spasms like that many times before in the past few years, and it never before just went away. It usually took weeks (sometimes longer) for a spasm like that to fully go away. And there it was...gone. My back pain, gone. My SI joint pain, gone.
I went to Dairy Chef afterwards, and as I sat there I just kept feeling my back and muscles around my lumbar spine and SI joint, and I couldn't believe how it felt. The tightness was gone, the pain was gone! I probably felt my back and my back/hip muscles 100 times that night. I believed that God could do it, but I couldn't believe that it had actually happened!
I laid in bed that night, and stretched my arms overhead, like I had remembered Mitch praying prophetically for me to praise God for what He had done with my arms lifted. And I did just that. I praised God and I told Him that whether He chose to heal me for just that night, a few days, or for the long term, I would praise Him and remember the miracle of that night--experiencing Him be my Great Physician, my Healer that night.
I woke up the next morning with some stiffness but none of the dreaded "knots" and tightness in my back and hip musculature that I have grown accustomed to having. In the days that have followed, I've had some pain in my SI joint, but my muscles do not have any of the same spasms that I've dealt with for so long.
I praise God for showing me that night what He can do when we expect him to move!