Set Free in Every Way
The testimonies from the church retreat 2 weeks ago are flooding in! If you were there, find a half hour where you can sit down instead of watching Iron Chef or cleaning the kitchen and type up a short testimony of what God was doing in you or through you during our gathering time in Michigan. We want to share these stories with those who couldn’t be there and encourage the whole body!
Val is a testimony all-star and wrote in to tell us all about NUMEROUS things God addressed for her leading up to, during, and after the retreat. Thank you, Val!
Shortly after I lost my job in January 2010, I knew I was entering a season of healing and breakthrough. My first task was to stand on God’s promises and to practice diligently what He’d been teaching me over the past several years – to take every thought captive, replacing fear and negativity with praise, worship and meditation on His word. He graciously led me to a handful of promise scriptures, and kept me there, day after day, for well over a year.
Last summer I had a dream. This wasn’t anything new; my dreams have long been insightful and prophetic, and I can track my mental, emotional and spiritual growth through them, going at least as far back as high school. This one was especially troubling however, and as I prayed for interpretation, God revealed that He (and therefore, I) was ready to tackle the two biggest, most impactful issues in my life, issues that have plagued me for the past 40 years.
The first had to do with familial relationships. As I was praying about it, the Spirit put a phrase into my head, a phrase that I had never heard. I looked it up on the internet, and sure enough, there were books on it. Though none were written by Christians, I ordered three of them and read voraciously. Two were of no real help, but the third enabled me to understand and name the issue before me, which in turn enabled me to take a stand against it, binding spirits and praying for release. The results weren’t outwardly dramatic; I just woke up one day and knew that I was free from that particular curse, and soon after I began to see the outward manifestation of that freedom.
The second issue raised in my dream, related to walls of self-protection, was not so “easy” to address. I cried out to God, meditated on scripture, bound spirits, focused on God’s word and promises, prayed continually – and made very little progress. I had minor breakthroughs: greater understanding here, a new level of forgiveness there, deeper revelation of God’s love and grace; but something was holding me back.
Over the past two years a number of wonderfully prophetic words have been spoken over me, many regarding my job situation. (Three people told me almost the exact same thing: “Your future is secure. It will be like turning a corner, and … surprise!”) A few others told me very specifically that 2011 would begin a season of great favor. Two others told me that my hands and touch would be used by God to bless people and bring them a sense of God’s presence and peace. And just recently, two more told me that my husband was coming soon. (This one in particular was interesting because one person told me this on a Saturday, and while I was happy to hear it, I thought it was more likely their own desire to see me married than a true word from God. On Sunday, a woman at church pulled me aside and told me that almost a year ago she felt God saying that my husband was coming, but she didn’t know me well at the time and hadn’t felt comfortable telling me back then. But that day she felt she was supposed to share it. Talk about a second witness!)
For a long time I’ve had a sense that I would not go back to work until the final BIG issue had been dealt with. Over the past couple of months I’ve been asking God about that, because I need and want to work, but I didn’t want to circumvent His plan for me. I also reminded him that if the prophecies spoken over me about 2011 beginning a season of great favor were true, then time was running out! A few weeks ago, He told me very clearly that while I was doing all I could do, scripturally, to face this issue, it wasn’t going to be enough. I needed deliverance. Just that knowledge brought me great relief. The next Sunday I went forward for prayer, but either I didn’t articulate my need well, or the two people praying for me didn’t fully understand the concept, because I was not delivered and I went away very frustrated. If I couldn’t find help from my brothers and sisters at CITC, I wasn’t sure where I would find it. Until the retreat.
When Ken told us he was going to teach on spiritual warfare, my ears perked up. Halfway through Friday’s session, I knew this was my time. By the end of the Saturday morning session I was telling God I was His new Jacob wrestling with the angel – I would not let go/leave that place until I had received my blessing/breakthrough! I also told Ken over lunch that day that I was going to be first in line for prayer, and that I’d push people out of the way if I had to. He laughed and said he liked my spirit. I’m not sure he knew how serious I was!
Ken started by asking those who felt God had called them to help set captives free to stand. I stood, and while Ken prayed, I felt a burning sensation in the palms of my hands. Remembering the prophecies about my touch, I went forward when called, and was quickly slain in the Spirit. It was a marvelous experience, confirming things I had already started to experience since the prophecies were spoken over me (a friend’s release from grief, my mother’s healing, two other friends’ freedom from spirits of obsessive thought and confusion). But as I returned to my chair, I said to God, “This is fantastic, but it’s not why I came here, and I will not leave until I’m set free.”
As Ken began to call out specific people for prayer, I felt like a little kid. In my mind I kept begging, “Pick me! Pick me!” As I waited and wondered, God gave me a new word related to my issue, one that I hadn’t really thought of before. While I assumed He had already revealed the deepest level of it to me, this took it one step further, and I was surprised. But I said to Him, “Okay, let’s go for it.” So when Ken called me out, I was excited and relieved, and only a little bit scared. Someone asked me later if it was embarrassing to stand in front of 70 people in that way. I had to say no, because looking into Ken’s eyes, I have never been more aware of God’s love for me, and have truly never felt safer. I knew that God was working through Ken, that I was safe with him, and that as a result, I was safe in front of my CITC family.
When my session ended, I knew I was free. I also knew that while some of the stuff related to my issue would take time to work itself out, there were some things that would manifest immediately. I even shared with a friend that if I went home and didn’t see a change – that day – in one particular behavior related to food, I would know that there was more in me that had to be addressed, and I intended to go up for prayer at church over and over and over until it was done. (I wasn’t telling God his business here; He had been revealing this stuff to me over time and I knew that taking this stand, and sharing it with a trusted friend, was part of His plan and desire for me). Anyway, it’s been five days now, and I can happily (ecstatically?) share that this first change has indeed manifested, and I know I am free.
Of course, God being God, that’s not all. In the few weeks prior to the retreat, He was already working, starting to bring about the fulfillment of the other prophecies. I already mentioned my hands. Then there is the fact that after months and months of no interest at all from prospective employers, I am now actively interviewing for four (count ‘em, four) great jobs. And last week I actually had my first date in literally years! It’s clearly time for a new season in my life, and I am anticipating amazing things to open up for me over the next few months. Praise God was His goodness and faithfulness and power, and thanks to CITC for being an integral part of this marvelous process. YES!