Joseph Herrin (11-29-08)
God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble.
Two Testimonies of Healing - Yahweh Rophe
As I read of your trials regarding your son, I was reminded of a similar situation with my son at the age of six.
Jacob had started complaining about a pain in his chest. The fact that he was only six years of age, and healthy as most those age are, my wife and I both decided that it would pass. As of that time, he had only experienced discomfort that one time, and did not complain about it after this. Some months went by, and he started to feel this pain again, and once again, we paid little heed, as children tend to exaggerate, so it went, for the most part, unattended. As time went by, he started to experience this pain more and more frequently, and he had even been referred to the school nurse for the problem. At this point, we decided to take the next step to determine what exactly was going on. We made an appointment with his doctor, and a cursory exam determined that he was okay. However, the complaints became more frequent, and more severe.
We were directed to the next level of examination, and this continued until we were in the office of a heart specialist, where we were told that Jacob was suffering from a prolapsed valve of the heart, and that the condition was potentially dangerous. What followed was a dizzying journey to a multitude of doctors proficient in that field, and the final result was that Jacob was required to wear a halter monitor that reported the condition of his heart via telephone to LIJ hospital. While this monitoring was going on, the pains were steadily increasing, again both in frequency and severity, to the point where the child would cry uncontrollably in response to the pain. The feeling of helplessness and inadequacy we felt could not be described, and the doctors were still unable to nail down the exact cause, and were considering exploratory surgery to help determine it. The thought of my six year old son being subjected to this was more than I could handle.
Upon receiving a call from my wife advising me of another episode, I went off the deep end. I found myself angry with God for allowing this to happen to my son, and I questioned the reason for it. As I recall, I spent the better part of about three hours engaged in this, and it went from anger, to questions, to intercession on my sons behalf. I remember kneeling on the hard cement floor of the shop, and pleading with God to release my son from this. I had no idea the human body could produce such a profusion of tears, and at the end of what seemed an eternity, I was exhausted. The outcome of all this was, that I realized that I was powerless in this, as were the doctors who still had no idea what was wrong. At that moment, emotionally exhausted, afraid for the health of my first born, I was surprised to hear myself saying, "but Father, Your will, not mine". I had truly realized how inadequate I was in this situation, and relinquished all control to God, then promptly feel asleep on that hard cement floor.
I have no idea how long I had lain sleeping there, as I had lost all concept of time during this, and awoke needing to take a moment to determine where I was, as I had lost track of this as well. I remember feeling as though I had just been in a tremendous battle, and felt even more exhausted than before, not understanding how that could be possible. I also remember feeling broken and defeated, unable to help my child. I ended my day and went home to spend time with Jacob, still in a fog.
When I arrived home, the phone rang. Answering it, the party on the other end was one of the doctors who were charged with Jacobs care, and his first words were, "I don't understand this, but"...Apparently, the team had gone over the results of the latest examination, and were forced to call a leading specialist to consult with due to the fact that they could find no abnormalities with the rhythm, structure or performance of Jacobs heart, despite the results they had been receiving previously, and the latest monitor readout confirmed it.
Jacob today is 19 years of age, blessed with intelligence and abilities far beyond what I would have expected from one so young, and has never complained about chest pains since that day.
I have not thought of this for many years, and it is well that you prompted me to, for I was reminded just what it is we have to be thankful for....relationship with a kind and loving Creator, for whom nothing is impossible, and wants only good for His children. May you be blessed with peace this day, and those that follow.
A Second Witness
Dear Brother Joseph,
Though there have been many times in my life where Father has shown His faithfulness, the time that will always stand out most for me is when our 8 month old first-born child...our son... was diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer. Though I had never missed a Sunday in our Baptist Church for the first 15 years of my life, and though I was aware of God and "dedicated" my life at the tender age of 9, I had never sat under good sound teaching. About the only thing I remember from those years at "church" was the extreme emphasis on giving money and Sunday school attendance.
At age 15 I became interested in other things and stopped going to church. Though I thought of God a lot at Christmastime, I really didn't know what I was suppose to do with my "faith" and was certainly unaware that there was a relationship with a "Father" to pursue. Besides, my concept of "father" was skewed by the verbal and sometimes physical abuse of my earthly "father." He had deserted us when I was four then suddenly reappeared when I was twelve to step into that role, spending what little time he was home trying to "fix" two well behaved little girls. He was a merchant marine who was thankfully gone 9 months out of each year or the damage could have been much worse. Needless to say, the idea of an all-powerful God being a loving Father has been an elusive concept that was an ongoing struggle for me then and has been so throughout my Christian life.
However, my heavenly Father was faithful to me before I ever truly committed my life to Him. Upon hearing the cancer diagnosis, I immediately began analyzing my life and came to the conclusion that God would never listen to my prayers, so I called in the minister that married my husband and me. He immediately came to the hospital, prayed with us, and put us on every prayer list he knew about. There were even nuns praying for us as far away as the Bahamas. Meanwhile, surgery was postponed twice because the radiation and chemotherapy treatments weren't shrinking and hardening the tumor as doctors had hoped, and the latest tests had shown that the cancer had infiltrated the liver and the main artery to the legs and was therefore inoperable. Fortunately the doctors consulted with one another before telling us they were canceling the surgery. Instead of canceling surgery, they miraculously decided to "at least go in and take a look." Upon opening up our son's belly, the doctors discovered the largest tumor ever found in a child that young. In fact, this type of tumor usually wasn't discovered at all until age six, and by then it was always terminal. This tumor that was half of our then 9 month old son's right kidney and...after shrinking by 1/3 and weighing over a pound...was the size of a small grapefruit and had compressed the liver and the artery. Miraculously it had not even spread into its own capsule or anywhere else in our baby's body. The doctors were able to just peal the tumor right off of his liver and artery, and safely removed tumor and kidney without spilling any cancer cells. The tumor was put on display in the Medical Museum in Washington, D.C.
In spite of the successful surgery, the medical team decided that our son would have to undergo an aggressive and caustic form of chemotherapy until he was over 2 1/2 years old. They wanted to "play it safe," warning us not to expect him to weigh more than 20 lbs until after the treatments were completed. Imagine a 2 1/2 year old weighing under 20 lbs...he'd be a mere skeleton with skin stretched over bone! They told us that his veins were so tiny they'd have to administer the treatment through veins in his feet, and one of the risks was that the needle could penetrate completely through the vein and the caustic poison would then burn the surrounding tissue inside his foot, causing a third degree burn from the inside of the foot to the surface. They also told us that because of the location of the tumor, all the radiation they gave him would cause scoliosis in his lower spine and that he would be uncoordinated and drag a foot. They also informed us that we were to keep him away from other children because chicken pox would look more like small pox and simple colds would develop into pneumonia. Additionally they warned us that he would lose all of his hair.
The effects of the first course of chemotherapy typically ravaged our son's little body, landing him in the hospital with severe dehydration. Of course, he lost his hair...sporting a very shiny, smooth pate...and his bones were showing through his transparent skin. He looked like one of the malnourished children you see on television. This was after his treatments in January and April. By June, I was saved through a "strange" circumstance. We had just moved into a rental house and suddenly met our neighbor from across the street when her daughter backed into our little Austin Healy, placing a dinner plate-sized dent in the trunk. In the course of the incident, my neighbor witnessed to me, my heart leaped, and I was gloriously "saved." By July I was "baptized in the Spirit" and was made aware of the power of prayer and anointing with oil. By the way...the dent came out of the trunk of the car without a trace when my husband closed the trunk!
The first Scriptures that the Lord led me to were the ones on healing because I desperately needed that teaching at that time in my life. Because I was not steeped in the traditions of men taught in most churches, I was wide open to the Lord's revelation. I was simple enough in my child-like faith to take what God said in His Word as absolute Truth. When our son had his next treatment he experienced some nausea and vomiting a few times, but once I began "standing against" the nausea in Yeshua's Name the vomiting stopped. I began recognizing the "urpy" look on his face and prayed as soon as I saw it. The more I did so the less the incidents occurred, until finally the nausea and vomiting stopped and never happened again. Our son became stronger and healthy, looking like any normal child of his age...except for the bald head. In fact, he became so strong that he began to fight his treatments and had to be put in a straight jacket. In spite of the restraint, it still took a male nurse and myself to hold him down so he'd be still enough for the treatment to be administered. Then I learned that I could silently pray in the Spirit and he'd settle down. Eventually, they stopped putting the restraint on him and he'd lay there during the treatment and look at a picture book. At his last treatment he weighed 29 pounds and had a full head of hair!
One time the dreaded thing happened...the poison infiltrated the tissue around the injected vein and his foot was burned. The doctor told me that he'd have to go to a plastic surgeon within a week to undergo a graft on his foot. Meanwhile, I was to soak the foot in a warm Betadyne water solution to avoid infection. I watched in horror as the small, white pin-prick-sized blister within my son's foot emerged to the surface and became a blister that covered half of his foot. I dutifully soaked it, but then the blister broke. I cried out to Father, asking Him how I could possibly put an open blister into water. I prayed in Yeshua's Name as I gingerly placed the gaping sore into the water. My son didn't even wince...he just sat there with his foot in the water and played! In a week I took him to the plastic surgeon, who couldn't believe it was a second degree burn and decided against the surgery... it healed without a scar too!
When he was almost two, I took our son to the zoo. I was pushing him around in his stroller when a woman stopped me and asked me what I had done to my son's hair. I was upset with the lady's brash outspokenness, but I was more concerned about the affect her outburst would have on my son, as he was very bright and understood what she had said. For that reason I asked the Lord to please not allow my son's hair to fall out after the next treatment and miraculously it didn't fall out again until his very last treatment, after which he ended up with a head of curly hair!
Every time the doctors would come up with some negative prognosis, I'd pray against it and Father would take care of it. Once the doctor told me that our son would always be tiny. He's about 5'8", which...considering that his dad is 5'5" and mom is under 5'4"...is another miracle. Remember when the doctors told me that he'd drag a foot and wouldn't be coordinated? Well, our son has black-belts in two forms of martial arts and is into outdoor sports! The scoliosis reared its ugly head when he was four. I had just given him a bath and was drying off his back when I noticed the curve in his lower back. I had been to healing services where I had seen people with bad backs healed. Generally they had one leg or arm shorter than the other, depending on whether the problem involved the upper back or lower back. The evangelist would have them hold out their arms or legs to demonstrate that they differed in length. Prayer would be offered to God to heal their backs and suddenly the arm or leg would "grow" to the length of the other one. When I sat our son down and measured his legs, one was a good inch longer than the other. I told him to remind me Sunday to take him up for prayer, but I sensed inside me that the Lord said, "No, you do it." With my son's feet in my hands I obediently prayed. I no sooner spoke the Name of Yeshua when my son's leg lengthened right before my eyes!
My son never got so much as the sniffles during his months of chemo. The miracles didn't escape the notice of the doctors or medical staff...our son was the talk of Walter Reed Hospital. In fact, at the end of our son's last treatment the oncologist confided in me that because of my son's case he had committed his life to God...a great miracle!
At this time I want to say that when I prayed in the Name of Yeshua, I wasn't using the Name as some kind of incantation or mantra. It not with an air of presumptuousness, it was all about trusting in His character and His Love...Who He is and what He is willing and able to do for us, in us, and through us on behalf of others for His Own glory and for His Name's sake.
Aside from my son's healings, I could go on and on about other miracles that the Lord has done during my times of need...even down to drying our son's diapers while they were hanging on the clothesline in the rain. I didn't have a dryer and I had no more clean diapers. This may seem to be a small thing to some people and presumptuous to others, but it had been raining for a week and I was in a desperate situation. It rained everywhere but over my clothesline...the clothes didn't even get wet when I took them off the line and carried them into the house! God is faithful...even in the "small" things.
Praise You Lord...great is Your faithfulness!
A Testimony of Provision - Yahweh Yireh
Dear Joseph Herrin:
The Lord has led me in so many ways and provided for me in so many ways since He brought me to Him in the fall of 2000 it is hard to pick out one to report on. I can't say that any are as dramatic as your son's healing but I feel His hand on me daily.
Recently, He brought me to quit working full time and take a per diem position. He spoke the name of the facility He wanted me to go to and that is where I now am. Going from full time to per diem (meaning I am not promised any time, but fill in only when needed) has significantly decreased our disposable income. I have felt that this is to prepare us for the days ahead when there will be less money all around - we need to be getting used to spending less, consuming less, requiring less.
We certainly, now, are not starving and can pay all our bills (He did arrange for us to have free cell phone use and free internet and tv use so we are not paying those bills) but there really isn't any extra and we are used to being able to give where we are presented with a need. I have told the Lord that we really want to be able to continue to give if there is a need we learn about and it is His will, but He will have to find me the time to work, or get us the money some other way. For instance, last year we were able to assist a family whose father/husband lost his job and whose mother was unable to work due to illness.
Now that vacation season is over, there is not much work for me, especially nothing scheduled. I asked the Lord, what do you want me to do? and He immediately said "wait, don't do anything quickly" (shades of a parables blog!). So, I haven't looked for another job, I've just waited. Last week, I ended up working 4 days - more than I have worked in one week all summer! All from being called in at the last minute, or from another nurse asking me to work for her so she can take it off!
This week, I had one day scheduled and thought that is all I would have. Then, just this afternoon, I received a call asking me to work tomorrow (Thanksgiving Day) for four hours in the morning. Because it is a holiday, I will get paid for double time - eight hours - and still be able to attend my daughter's Thanksgiving meal! And by working four days last week and two this week that averages to three a week which allows us some extra to save for some future need when it comes along. God is just awesome!!!! I've also noticed that my husband is being sent farther away from home in his consulting and he gets milage for his travel - so our travel checks have been much larger and that is also an extra source of income. Just when we need it, it seems to come in. Again I say "God is just awesome!"
I am very much looking forward to reading of others experiences with God. I know that, when I first read your account of faith living several years ago it greatly encouraged me and frankly gave me a direction to pray towards.
May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
With love in Christ Jesus my Lord,
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: http://www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063