Persisting In Faith
(Listen by clicking the white play button at the top of this post. You can read the transcript of the story below.)
So I grew up in a very loving family and I always loved Jesus. I really did. I was that kid who was always singing. I would dance around my backyard with my little Walkman CD player and be listening to Rebecca St. James and just be singing to Jesus and having so much fun. And unfortunately, because of some of the, for lack of a better word, just lack of understanding that I had, I ended up falling into some traps, later though, in my teenage years.
2009 is when my world fell apart. And I remember feeling like life was never going to be okay. It was such a vicious year that I lived in fear of fear. And suddenly I started having pains in my body. My joints became really loose, I would wake up feeling like I got hit by a semi truck. So I just tried to be the best little Christian girl that I could. Meanwhile, you know, continuing to go to church, even receiving a call to ministry, but not not understanding, like, God, why aren’t You healing me? Like what is going on? Why am I just getting sicker and sicker? Why can’t I break free from any of this stuff? And so in 2015, I finally received a diagnosis.
They said, “What you have is incurable. You have Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.” It’s a connective tissue disorder. They have no idea what causes it. There are a bunch of different things that can happen as a result of having that, and I resigned myself to “this is my new reality.” I mean, when you’re prayed for 10 times, and nothing happens, and people start to tell you well, it must not be God’s will to heal you. And you have your own family members telling you, you know, this is just your thorn in the flesh and you need to bear with it, again, what are you supposed to do with that when you don’t know any better? And there’s a verse in Hosea 4 that says, “My people are destroyed, for a lack of knowledge.” I was being destroyed by the destroyer, for a lack of knowledge of the Word of God. And I, even if I had the discipline to read the Word, because of the lens that I was seeing it through, because of what people were speaking over me, even if I read it, I would have thought, well, that’s cool that He healed them, but He’s not healing me. And yet, despite all of that madness, the Lord started speaking to me about healing.
And I’ll never forget it in 2016, in the fall, I was at a conference. Sheila Walsh was speaking and she said, “I want everybody to take a moment right now and to just sit in the presence of the Lord and ask Him, what’s one thing You want me to believe You for?” And so I did that, and the Lord very clearly said, He said, “Believe I can and will heal you.” Okay. But nothing changed. In fact, my health got worse. And in 2017, I was so mad at that point I was like “You said believe and I’m believing!”
We ended up moving to North Carolina that same spring. And in the fast pace of life, I was doing ministry, I was speaking, I was writing, because I loved the Lord. I did genuinely. I just wanted people to know about Him. But I wasn’t healed myself. And so, I’m doing all of these things. I’m doing, doing, doing, doing, doing, but I’m getting sicker and sicker and sicker and sicker. Meanwhile, pursuing every type of medical treatment possible, because when prayer didn’t work, I just stopped praying.
I vividly remember one of the most powerful God encounters of my life. We were on the beach, and I couldn’t even walk on the beach on that vacation because my hips hurt, you know, every single joint. There’s like an issue with every single joint from this disorder that’s overtaking my life and destroying me. And I remember my family, they were walking on the beach, and I couldn’t keep up with them. And so I just turned around, because I was like, I can’t walk with you. I have to go back. And that, that was my whole life for so long. I couldn’t do so many things that normal people could do because there was something wrong with me. And I just got so mad and I was just cursing at the Lord and I said, “I have served You my whole life. I have loved you. What did I ever do to make You this mad at me?” Again, cuz you know, you’re speaking out of your heart. You’re speaking out of an ignorant heart that doesn’t know what it doesn’t know. And so I’m saying all these things and all of my yelling, it ended with one final saying. I said, “God,” I said, “all I wanted to do was get in the salt water, because you know that salt water is so healing to me, it brings so much healing. And I can’t even do that because it’s cold and it’s raining and we’re in the Bahamas and this is horrible!” And I’m just screaming at Him. Y’all should have been there it was, I’m sure, it was quite a sight. But all of that to say, um, the moments that followed were a complete Isaiah moment. And I will never forget it.
The Lord said to me, it wasn’t an audible voice, but it was the loudest inaudible impression/inner voice I’ve ever heard in my entire life. He said, “The saltwater is not your healer, Lauren. I am your Healer.” And I didn’t know what to do with that. I’m like, Well, okay, then, why am I not healed?
What? You know, and so again, I go home, and nothing’s changing. I don’t, I don’t really know what to do with that. It’s not like I had all this new revelation. I just had this powerful encounter with the Lord. But I went back to what I knew, which was medicine. By the winter of 2018, I had tried all but one medical treatment and decided to go ahead and give this last treatment a final try. And it didn’t work. We raised $10,000 miraculously; it was a miracle. Like, I told the Lord, I said, we can only afford $2500 and the Lord brought in the other $7500. So again, He meets you where you’re at, but I was heartbroken. I was absolutely heartbroken. This was, by now this was June of 2019, and I could officially say that I had tried every supplement, every medication, every treatment possible, and there was no hope left for me. I literally had my pain management doctor say, “We can’t do anything else for you. We’ve done it all.”
So at the same time we’re moving into a brand new house and I’m getting hit with these visions of like children running around in the backyard. My husband and I, we’ve been together eleven years, married six, but no kids yet, for several reasons. One because we’re business owners, and those have kind of been our babies, but also because of my health. So I’m getting hit with these visions, and then I’m unpacking boxes and I pull out this Bible verse, and it’s Isaiah 33:6, and it said “He will be the stability of your times.” I’m thinking to myself, well, that would be nice cuz my whole body is unstable, you know, like…and then I’m unpacking all my supplements and I hear Holy Spirit say, “This will not always be your supplement cabinet, Lauren.” I’m just like, You know what, I am so glad that You’re speaking to me, but I’m clearly still not getting it. God, You need to heal me. I knelt down in our stairwell and I said, “You either need to heal me now or kill me. I’m done.” Because I had nothing. I had nothing left. I literally had nothing left, there was, there was no hope of going back to medicine. There wasn’t anything that was going to fix the hell that I was living in. And, and I didn’t, if He wasn’t going to come through, I didn’t want to live.
So I wake up the next morning, and I go to the gym as always, because I’ve always tried to stay active. The doctors told me that if I didn’t stay active, I would end up in a wheelchair like most people with this condition. I’m on the elliptical and I get off the elliptical and Holy Spirit highlights this purple t-shirt of this beautiful black woman, this older woman who’s exercising to the left of me, and I knew, I just knew it was Holy Spirit. The t-shirt said Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you.” Come to find out this woman, her name is Shirley, she grew up in the Bronx. She had a really, really tough life. She ended up coming down with a brain tumor. Very long story, but the Lord healed her and she came out of it smarter than before she had the brain tumor. And she loves to talk about that. She’s like, I told the Lord, ‘I want a better brain.’ And, you know, she, she got healed of a DVT and she starts talking about all these things like the Lord can heal through persistent prayer and, and she’s like, “I tell you what, Lauren, you’re going to be healed. And I’m going to be seeing you a year or whatever from now, and you’re going to be pregnant and you’re going to be healed.” And I’m like, Okay, this really has to be God, because I asked Him yesterday to either heal me or take me out, essentially. And this is not coincidence. Like there’s just no way.
Well, it gets better, because later that day, someone tagged me in a Facebook post of a woman that I didn’t even know, and said, “Tara, you need to share your healing story with Lauren.” So that same night I get on Skype with this woman. She was healed of the same condition, the incurable condition that I was struggling with. And she was healed through persistent prayer.
So I have to pause because that day, everything started to align. Because something that I didn’t share was that when my first book came out, I asked the Lord, I said, “What’s next?” And I heard Him say, “The persistent woman.” And when she shared her testimony, Holy Spirit brought back that persistent woman word that God had spoken to me eight months before that. And I was like, “Oh, my gosh, this is what You’ve called me to.” I had to hear those testimonies. I mean, even before I heard Tara’s. Tara was the first person who told me “it is finished” and that healing was part of the atonement. What happened after that was the next morning, I got up and I said, “God, everything that I thought I knew, I don’t know. And so I need You to show me.” And I reread the Gospels. It was like I was seeing Jesus, THE REAL JESUS, for the first time and how He healed them all.
I think I know 20 people at this point, a year into my journey, who the Lord has sovereignly introduced me to who were supernaturally healed. He’s just given me this army of people to champion me on. That they’re like, I know that you’re not where we are yet, but you’re going to be there very soon. And so that’s why I’m really passionate about sharing my story. And I love what you guys do. The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy. And so we’re releasing–when we share testimonies, when we hear testimonies, it’s releasing something into the atmosphere that carries power. And I don’t think we realize just how important they are. And they have been an integral part of my journey.
So, two days from today that we’re recording this, was the first miracle that I saw happen in my life. And it was, I had not had a period for 11 years. I had hypothalamic amenorrhea on top of all of my other issues, and I couldn’t have a period off of birth control. It didn’t matter what weight I was, it didn’t matter how calm my life was. It just, it never came. It’s like that was one of the first things that broke after the anxiety attacks. It’s a year now that it’s been regular, and so glory to God! I have had to walk out, you know, persisting in faith for the whole healing and May 1 was kind of that turning point for us. May 1 was really the day where I can say that I ceased from my works. Because by May 1, I had done every inner healing program possible, restoring the foundations. So now listen, I’m not saying that those are bad avenues for people to go down. I’m just saying that in my journey, that’s not how the Lord chose to manifest healing.
So I’d done everything.
And I just, I had a good laugh with the Lord. He was like, “Are you done now?” And I was like, “Yeah, I think I’m done now.” Because I realized that it was no different from me doing all the medical things. Except for I’m now, I’m just doing all the spiritual things. I’m fasting and I’m praying and I’m going to inner healing and all this stuff. And He was like, He was like, are you done now? And I, when He said that I got hit with all of these flashbacks over the last year that He had whispered to my heart, “My daughter, you’re healed. My daughter you’re healed.” I had a friend give me a bracelet for Christmas and it said, “I am healed.” And I wept. I bawled Holy Spirit tears, because I knew. But I still, there was something in me that couldn’t receive it in my heart because I was like, well, it’s not manifesting. There’s still some symptoms that are in my body. Like, I certainly have to do something else. Like maybe there’s an open door or another curse that we didn’t figure out. It’s just like, was the cross enough or not? Did Jesus leave anything undone?
No, He didn’t leave anything undone.
It’s not about what we do. It’s just about what Jesus has done. The last year has been the most beautiful year of my life. Because I feel like my life has come full circle, only when I say that, it’s new and it’s beautiful. And yet, I feel like the little girl dancing around in her backyard singing to Jesus.