Oh Lord, my God I cried out to you and you healed me. Psalm 30:3
I have been a Catholic my entire life…I consider my Catholic roots the greatest gift my parents ever gave me. I have missed Sunday Mass only three times in my whole life; all were due to things out of my control like snow and cancelled flights.
I don’t mention that because I want you to think I’m some kind of “holy girl” but because I need you to understand my faith is that big a part of my life.
Now, that being said, I’m going out on a limb here and admit that until two weeks ago, I’ve never had the courage to attend a healing service. I’m blessed with terrific health so I always tuned out the information thinking I had no need to go; even though I knew they were intended for more than just physical healing. I’ll even admit that I’ve been ignoring this nudge for more than a decade!
Then along came Fr. Matthias…a very young, completely dynamic, amazingly inviting and inspiring priest. The Holy Spirit just bursts out of him like water from a faucet…and it’s contagious! He recently announced that we would be having a healing service at our parish…on a Sunday night. That meant I had no ball games or speaking events or school meetings to conflict. Plus my daughter would be part of the Praise and Worship singing AND she was coming straight from the Homecoming week Powder Puff Football game in order to be a part of the Holy Spirit’s work that night.
What kind of mother wouldn’t do everything possible to respect and support that kind of faith from their 17-year-old daughter? Yup…I pretty much had no more excuses and it was time to leap in and see just what was in store for me.
When I look back on all the reasons I didn’t want to go, it all boiled down to the stories I had heard of people “fainting.” I had no desire to be horizontal in front of a whole church full of people but as the date came closer I was overcome by this deep desire to experience more of the Holy Spirit.
When the service began Father talked about “resting in the Spirit” and explained how some are so filled with the Holy Spirit they simply and gently fall and rest. There were men there to “catch” people but I quickly realized it wasn’t like stiff bodies crashing to the floor; it was almost as if they floated down to the floor which wasn’t nearly as frightening as I had imagined.
When I say it took great courage for me to go, I mean that completely. This is about to get very personal and very real so hang on to your hats!
I have spent several months asking God in prayer how He wants me to serve Him and He has gently pointed me to thing after thing that was standing in the way of my service to Him. By His great grace I’ve been able to move most of them away but a couple big ones remain.
The biggest one is my eating…I’m guilty of turning to food in times of stress, sadness, happiness, celebration… you name it and I’ll find an appetizer or a snack for it…and it shows because I wear them in fluffy layers for everyone to see! I realize I should be turning to Him with all those emotions but it’s a hard hurdle to hop over!
I didn’t expect to go to that healing service and never again be attracted to potato chips or Snicker bars but I did hope that He would heal me of the desire to go there first. Now that you know what my number one issue was, you can certainly understand my apprehension about having someone “catch” me if I rested in the Spirit. When I saw the two gentlemen “catching” in my line I distinctly remember sitting in the pew thinking, “If I go down and they don’t expect it I could snap those boys like a pickle!” I dismissed that thought as the work of Satan who was really trying to convince me that God isn’t big enough to tackle what I had to bring.
God is huge! I kept my courage right up to the front of the line and for that I am enormously grateful! It took trust and courage I didn’t know I was capable of…that in itself was gift enough but God wanted to give me more; more than I had asked for, more than I deserved and even more than I’ve been able to process and put into words.
Father was supposed to ask me what I wanted to be healed of so I practiced it in my head for an hour while I waited my turn. I didn’t want to sound shallow…I didn’t want to sound vain…I didn’t want to ask too much or too little. I didn’t want to be bossy or selfish so in my head I thought I would just ask the Holy Spirit to heal me of anything in the way of serving God in the way I was intended to. When it was my turn, Father laid his hands on my head and he didn’t ask…he didn’t say anything except, “Come Holy Spirit” and that was it…I went down.
I could hear voices praying over me, I could hear laughter, I could smell the oil he had anointed me with, I could feel tears running down the side of my face and then I started to shiver and a sweet lady took my hands and prayed over me…it was so tender, so powerful, so deeply touching and when I opened my eyes I was staring straight up into the rafters of our beautiful high Cathedral ceiling church and I felt a strength and a comfort I still can’t describe with words. It was kind of like God saying, “I made you, I love you and see, I told you I’m bigger than anything that troubles you!”
As the days have passed since that amazing experience, He reveals a little nugget of His healing love each day. I have no doubt that He will show me how to pass over, though, or around each of those obstacles that stand between us…I don’t just know it; He allowed me to feel it through His amazing, loving, powerful Holy Spirit! I am humbled, blessed and loved! If you have never gone to a healing service, GO! If you have, GO AGAIN! Nothing will help further the Kingdom than a bunch of folks running around FILLED with the power of the Holy Spirit!
Blessings on your day!
Copyright 2013 Sheri Wohlfert
About the Author
Sheri is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker and teacher. She uses her great sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Her roots are in Kansas but her home is in Michigan. The mission of her ministry is to encourage others to look at the simple ways we can all find God doing amazing things smack dab in the middle of the laundry, ball games, farm chores and the hundred other things we manage to cram into a day. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.