Hi, my name is Sarita. I grew up in California. My parents emigrated to America in the 60s. I’m the first of two Christians in my family. My younger brother is also a Jesus freak like myself. And as it turns out, all of my blood relatives are Hindus, except for my brother. As a Christian though, I am the unofficial black sheep of my family, especially because I’m a first Christian – first of two.
I did not know Jesus growing up. My parents are pretty conservative, by Western standards at least. They came from poverty and my father was an engineer. My parents placed an enormous emphasis on education, because to them, that was the ticket out of poverty.
So growing up for me, there was no other option but to be a nerd. I mean, I won multiple spelling bees. You know, that’s a cliche. I was known as the trigonometry geek varsity cheerleader in high school. That’s what I was known for.
Okay, so I came to saving faith in 1991. I was in college at UC Davis, kind of near Sacramento. There was a Creation versus Evolution debate on campus, and I was invited by a friend and it blew my mind. Completely. The debate itself was pretty simple, but it was the way the individual, the debater on the creation side, the way he…his demeanor. There was something about his demeanor that I had never seen before.
The man on the evolution side was a philosophy professor at our college. He was an excellent debater, very articulate, pretty arrogant, and he was in a local timezone, California. The guy from the creation side, he had flown in from New York. So he was three hours off his timezone and he was very tired. By the time this you know, his evening time, he was exhausted. And the guy on the evolution side was…I mean, I’m sure he thought he was annihilating him. Right? And you could tell the guy on the creation side was getting really flustered. He was tired. And the guy, the evolution guy, he was kind of making fun of him a lot. He’s just being real sarcastic and rude.
So as a debater, the guy on the Christian side wasn’t winning. But there was something about his demeanor, like I said. That was like, uhh, there was just so much grace. The way he carried himself, like, I just had never seen that. He didn’t attack back. He wasn’t defensive. He was just sticking to well, you know, this is what I believe. That’s what drew me in. It was that. I was just blown away. I have never seen that kind of, I’m not gonna say that I’ve never witnessed humility, I have. But there was something different about that. When you’re on the hot seat like that, all the lights are on you, there’s 1000s of people watching, and you’re being humiliated, and made fun of, and treated like you’re missing 20 IQ points…He just, the way he carried on. I was like, there’s something, there’s something about…I want to know, I want to know who his God is because I’ve never come across something like that.
Fast forward, I moved to Texas in 2022. That’s where I met my husband. We’ve been married 19 years. We don’t have kids, not by choice. It’s just the way it turned out. My husband is a psychotherapist. I’m also a health care provider. I’m a pediatric health care provider. And we are both seminary grads from Dallas Theological Seminary, as well. But I am more of a parachurch ministry person with women’s Bible study, women’s ministry is my thing. So my passions are Bible study, teaching, and writing. I have led women’s Bible study for over a decade. I would say the loves of my life include Bible study, Jesus, and not in this order. This is not in order. Jesus is first, of course, Bible study, and I am obsessed with cold pressed coconut oil. So those are my top three.
So today, I have a story of healing to share. Before I do that though, I should let you know I’m a woman of logic and a woman of reason. Like I said, I’m a healthcare provider. So science, science, science is my background, science and math. I’m a nerd. I believe in evidence based practice. If a friend were to tell me, um, you know, I’ve got all these essential oils. I’m going to put garlic oil in my child’s ear for his ear infection. I would let her know that there’s no evidence for the use of garlic oil in the ear for an infection and it’s probably not a good idea. It’s probably ineffective and it’s probably pretty painful. So don’t do it. So that’s me.
Speaking of healing oil, I’m gonna get into my story now. I had surgery about a year ago for a problem that never went away. So this was my second surgery for the same problem. The first surgery was in 2020 and the second one was in 2022. Anybody that’s ever had surgery knows afterwards it’s a lot of clear liquids, jello, make sure you take your pain meds. The evidence shows pain hinders healing, so make sure you take your pain meds. I mean, that’s always pushed, like don’t try to tough it out. Just take your pain meds, it’s okay, you know. And being the rule following, compliant patient that I am, you know, I just do everything on the list.
Surgery was in the morning. I get sent home later that day, and that night, my stomach started hurting. Now mind you, the surgery was nowhere near my stomach and had nothing to do with my GI tract. So but killing me, like there was a knife below my sternum. I mean that’s how it felt. It was like a sharp stabbing pain. In healthcare we have, you know, we ask patients like, Where’s your pain level? Zero is no pain, 10 is like the worst pain on Earth. My pain level was an eight out of 10. So pretty intense. Eating made it worse, lying down made it worse.
I contacted my surgeon, and I also contacted a GI doctor. Both of them decided or determined that my gut had not rebooted properly. Whether it was the anesthetic gases or whatever medication they put in the IV line, my gut had not rebooted properly. So it was just angry, like madder than a wet cat angry. The recommendation was to eat from a very short list of foods, very bland, simple, like applesauce, rice, mashed bananas, basically baby food. That’s what you can eat now. You can eat baby food.
The surgeon and the GI doctor both agreed that I needed to stop taking all of my pain medication, because the pain meds were irritating my stomach lining. The GI doctor was also pretty sure that I had an ulcer. So remember, this is the day after surgery. So stop all pain meds, the day after surgery, whether it was prescription pain meds over the counter. So no Codeine, no Motrin, like they wouldn’t even let me take Tylenol. Then the GI doctor put me on many stomach medications because he was suspecting an ulcer. So I was taking like eight pills a day just for my stomach but no pain meds. And nothing worked.
I would go a few hours, a little bit of relief here and there. The pain would maybe drop down to level four or five if I was lucky. But then I’d eat, because you know, we have to eat and then the pain would come right back. Remember I’m eating Jello, pudding, bananas, like I’m not eating a meatball sub sandwich. I’m not eating shrimp fried Diablo or not eating curry. I’m not eating Indian food.
Between the stomach pain and the pain from the surgical site, I couldn’t get comfortable. Nighttime was pretty treacherous. I would just toss and turn all night like I just couldn’t get comfortable. Anybody that’s ever had surgery knows that the recovery time is supposed to be a time of rest. You know, you don’t go to work. You’re taking it easy. You’re eating comfort foods, you’re watching movies. Two of my favorite activities, eating and sleeping, were completely just gone for me.
So the GI doctor, he was pretty concerned because now days had gone by and nothing was relieving the pain. His medications weren’t working. And like I said, he suspected an ulcer. He said, “You know, I think you’re gonna have to have an emergency scope procedure. Because we just have to figure out why you’re in so much pain. This is not normal.” We had scheduled that. The earliest I could get in was like, I don’t know, a few days…It was like two weeks post surgery.
After all these days of like, day and night, day and night, day and night, I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, my stomach hurts, my surgical site hurts. I was exhausted, probably a little crazy. I felt sorry for my husband during that time. I probably wasn’t very pleasant to live with, sleep deprived, not eating enough and you know, your body can’t heal when it’s not getting nutrients, and you’re not getting rest.
This must have been about maybe the eighth or ninth night, I was getting ready for bed, in tears, just not looking forward to going to bed because going to bed is supposed to be restful, but for me it hadn’t been and I knew it was going to just be another hard night. Now, my husband, he’s a psychotherapist, like I mentioned. So he said, “Let me try this technique on you. It’s called A.R.T.” Don’t ask me what A.R.T. stands for. It’s not what I do for a living. But he’s like, “I’m going to try this technique on you to try to bring the pain level down.” And so he tried that technique on me and the pain went from an eight to about a six – and I’m being generous. So, you know, not low enough to sleep. But you know, I mean, I was grateful to try whatever.
Then Sam said, “Well, let’s try something else.” So he busted out this bottle of oil that his pastor friend had given him, like seven years prior. I didn’t even know we had this thing. I’m like, “What is that?” He’s like, “It’s anointing oil.” And it had never been opened. And I’m like, “Well, should we smell it first? Because it’s been in the drawer for seven years.” And he’s like, “No, it’s not from Bath and Bodyworks. We don’t have to smell it first. It’s anointing oil.”
I had never had anointing oil put on my person before. I hadn’t even, I’d heard of it. Like when you read the Bible, yeah, I mean, you know, you hear, you read about it. But I didn’t know it was still a thing in the 21st century. So I’m like, “Okay, well, you know, I’m desperate.” I’m like, “Let’s just do it. I don’t know what you’re supposed to do, but just do it.”
He put the oil on my forehead. He made a cross on my forehead, and then just under my ribs, where the pain was and he started praying, and I’m crying. So I’m not really paying attention to his prayer, because I’m just sobbing because I’m so uncomfortable. I’m not really hearing his prayer. But I do remember two things, two things like really stood out. He prayed fervently, for one, and within what must have been about three seconds, the pain just balled up inside of me. Like it got really intense and then it just shot out of my body. Like, it shot out. Like, down through my legs, through my feet, and out.
I opened my eyes and I was like, “What just happened?” And he’s still praying because it just happened, like about three seconds into the prayer. After he finished praying, he asked where my pain level was. I said, “I think it’s a one. But I don’t even know if I’d really call it a one. I don’t know if I’d call it pain because I just feel a sensation in my stomach. But I don’t know if it’s really pain. I feel something there, but I don’t know if a one is even accurate.” By the next morning, my pain was a level zero.
I didn’t know this, but Sam said that while He was praying, I was breathing funny and I gasped. So I think I mentioned that. Like, I gasped because the pain balled up inside of me. Like, it was really intense. But he didn’t know why I gasped. And he said, “Well, you gasped in the moment that I said, ‘in the name of Jesus.’” See, I didn’t hear his prayer because I was so distracted from the pain. But when he said, “in the name of Jesus,” I gasped, I didn’t know, and then the pain shot out of me.
So the next morning, like I said, the pain was down to a level zero. From an eight to a zero, which to me is nothing short of Supernatural. My GI scope was coming up in a couple days and Sam asked me, because by then a couple days went by and still pain was zero. I was able to eat. I was able to sleep. Like all the things I couldn’t do, I could do. And he said, “Well, what do you think the GI doctor is going to find on your scope procedure?” And he knows I’m a total healthcare nerd. Like, I read articles like crazy, I research, and he’s like, “What do you think the GI doctor is going to find on your procedure?” And I said, “Nothing because I think, I believe that God healed me. So that’s what I think he’s going to find is nothing.”
I knew He could do that. I wasn’t expecting that kind of healing though. So that’s what blew my mind. Like God showed me, I’m bigger than all your scientific articles. I have never experienced something like that in my life. I’m a scientist, I’m very much a scientist. I’m very logical and very like, that doesn’t make sense. And it doesn’t make sense from a science perspective. I don’t think such immediate healing. Maybe more like yeah, you know, I was diagnosed with this illness and I’ve been under treatment and you know, a year went by and now I’m healed of it. That’s different from this.
This was like immediate when, two days later, I go in for my scope and all the tissue’s normal. There’s not even evidence that there was inflammation or an ulcer or anything. You’d think like two days later, there’d be something that they would see, that the doctor would see and there was nothing. Like, he’s like all, “You look completely healthy on the inside. I don’t know why you were in so much pain.” Stomach, esophagus, duodenum, all healthy.
I think back to pastor Matt Chandler, when he announced his diagnosis of oligodendroglioma and his oncologist had given him 18 months to live – which was over a decade ago – and he’s alive and doing well. His miraculous supernatural healing defied medical science. I realized that my story is not nearly as mind blowing as his, but it’s just as miraculous. Because it defied medical science. And I love stories like that, because it proves that the unseen world is very real, and God is very much at work.
James 5:14-15 says, “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church. [Sarita cries.]
I’m gonna start again. “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick.” Amen.
That’s my Unseen Story. Thanks for listening.