Let me tell you a story about what’s been happening in my life recently.
This story begins a long time ago, when I was a little girl. Really, though, the most important background information you need to know is that I always was incredibly shy. I suffered from timidity, and, starting in fifth grade, I began to struggle against it. It was a long battle, always me fighting what seemed like the deepest, most natural thing for me to do, which was to curl into myself and be quiet and not make any sound.
Also, which will become important later: My whole life, people like my teachers, classmates, and parents have told me I am great at writing. My whole life, every time someone has complemented me or tried to encourage me, I have immediately twisted it around in my head to say, “So-and-so is better,” or, “But I’m not as good as those people.” My whole life, there has been this voice whispering in my ear, “YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!”
Last fall, I was asking some of my friends for prayer that I could be bold in a certain situation. I don’t remember what that situation was, but God spoke directly to me through one of my friends. My friend said, “Beth, you are not timid. You are the boldest person I know. Do you know how I know that? Because, your whole life, Satan has been telling you you’re not.”
My whole life, the enemy has been telling me I’m not bold, because he’s terrified of what will happen if I realize that I am.
That really stuck with me over the past months.
Then, a bit ago, I entered a season of learning who I am as God’s daughter, and who He is as my Father (I’m still in it—He is rocking my world). Well, soon enough, my right hand started tingling.
That’s weird, you say. You are right about that. That is very weird. But I do this thing, when something’s weird with my body, that I ignore it for a while, until I finally have to admit that there might be something wrong, and I might need to get medical treatment. So, finally, I told my parents, and my dad said it sounded like carpal tunnel.
I do not know what most medical ailments are. I knew very little about carpal tunnel, other than it makes your hand un-usable. Now, everything I do, I use my right hand. I write, I crochet, I play the guitar, I write, I type, I sew, I write, and all the while, my left hand’s just kind of there. It’s such a baby weakling. I’ve tried to use it, tried to become ambidextrous, but in the end, my left hand always just throws a hissy fit and won’t do what I tell it to do. So, when I find out that I have carpal tunnel, and when my parents don’t tell me more about what that actually means, you can understand that I began to freak out inside. Whenever I thought about it, I came near to utter panic.
Finally, I just stopped and prayed. God told me, “Rejoice in Me.” I told Him, “God, my hand’s tingling, and I can barely write, and I’m freaking out. It will be hard to rejoice.” He said, “Daughter, I know. Rejoice in Me. That’s how you need to fight this spiritual battle right now.
“Rejoice in Me.”
So I said, “Okay, God. I’ll do my best to rejoice in You.”
A day later, I went over to a friend’s house, where another of our friends was there with her friend from Discipleship Training School (DTS) in Japan. I was telling my friend that apparently, I had carpal tunnel now. My friend gave me the weirdest look, then turned around and yelled for her friend from DTS. (Because I am leaving out the names to preserve privacy, let’s call the friend’s friend from DTS “Jane”.) “Jane! Get over here!” my friend yelled. “Guess what? Beth has carpal tunnel.”
Let us take a brief back-track trip down another timeline. A little bit before, Jane had started feeling tingling in her hands, like she was getting carpal tunnel. She thought that was weird, since she doesn’t use her hands a lot, so she was praying, and God told her she was interceding for someone.
So, it turns out, that someone was me.
Jane asked if she could pray for me. I said, “Of course!” and my two friends and Jane gathered around me while Jane prayed. So much happened in that prayer that I wish I had written down so I could remember better, but the thing I do remember was her saying this about me: My whole life, people have been telling me I’m not good enough. God wants me to know that I’m His number one—meaning, I’m His first choice to do what He has prepared for me to do. I’m not His back-up plan. I’m His first choice. I’m good enough to do what He wants me to do.
There was a sudden release from bondage inside me. Since then, I have just been soaking in the truth that I am God’s daughter—God is my Father—and I’m His number one choice for His plans for my life. There is so much freedom in that! So much power! This is the God of the universe, and He chose me! I am amazed. I am in awe. I don’t have a word for it.
After her prayer, though, my hand still kept tingling. It even started to hurt when I used it, which was a new thing. The difference was, whenever my hand wasn’t feeling like a normal hand, whereas before I would freak out inside, now, I was just so full of joy, and said each time, “God is going to do great things with this hand.” The fear was gone, utterly and completely.
My mom works at a therapy clinic, so her bosses know how bodies work. A couple days after Jane’s prayer, I went to my mom’s work for her bosses to look at me to try to figure out if I could do stretches or exercises or something to make my hand better. Her boss looked at me and said, “Oh, she just needs to put her head and shoulders back.” My posture was pinching some nerves, which was what was wrong with my hand.
Let me tell you how INCREDIBLE this is! God set this whole thing up, this problem with my body, to bring me to someone He had prepared to pray to free me from bondage in my soul. Then, He did this in such a way that, afterwards, He would point to me and say, “Daughter, you’re free. You need to have a posture of boldness. You are filled with my Spirit of power, love and self-discipline, and it’s going to affect every aspect of your life.”
Another thing: My whole life, I’ve shunned wearing bright colors in favor of calmer, muted colors. Well, suddenly I’m drawn to wearing brighter, bolder colors. A friend saw me wearing a new, bright-yellow shirt and said, “Yellow looks good on you,” and my spirit immediately heard God translate that to, “Boldness looks good on you.”
Praise the Lord!
In summary, I will share with you a passage from Luke 13:
“On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.”
In Bible study last Monday, we studied this passage, and I started crying. This story is about me, too. For most of my life, I’ve been hunched over, ducking my head, curling in my shoulders, until I literally could not stand up straight. Then, Jesus came to me, called me His daughter, and touched me—now I am free. Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.