CHURCH TOUR: CHURCH 1 – SHEPHERD’S GROVE IRVINE A Place of Healing Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
Two years ago, I felt a prompting to visit other churches. I had no intention of leaving my church; I just felt a stir by the Holy Spirit to go and see how He was moving in other churches. The big shutdown came soon after and so I shelved that call to go and meet others walking out their faith in the churches around me.
But now, God has stirred anew in me, and I set off this month to my first church in my ten-church tour. I was not intentional about going to this church first but rather led by the spirit to visit. Something was awaiting me at this church, breakthrough and healing.
Holy Spirit led me to this adventure, and I trust him to guide me to the churches he intends to have me visit. Now that I have said that my next statement may make you laugh; I found this church while scrolling through Facebook events. God can make even the unholy holy, am I right?
Anyhoo, I saw this healing event and I was intrigued. I saw that it was at a Presbyterian church, and I was even more intrigued. I felt God say…go. I grabbed my keys while my family looked at me dumbfoundedly about where I was going, begging me to not leave our church. I assured them I was not leaving our church, just visiting God’s Church.
It turned out this Irvine church with wooden pews, big glass windows, and a statue of Jesus tending sheep in the front garden is pastored by the namesake grandson of Robert Schuller of the Chrystal Cathedral. It was not Bobby Schuler that took the pulpit that evening, it was his wife, Hannah.
It was clear Hannah had a passion for the healing power of God and was eager to take him at his Word. Honest that God does not always heal this side of heaven she reminded us that God does still heal and shared some stories and invited some to the stage with testimonies of miraculous healing. She read from Scripture and encouraged with the word before leading us all in prayer and inviting people to come forward to be prayed for by her and the congregation. We stretched our hands forward and believed for each person that God would heal them.
“Now do what you couldn’t do before,“ she would proclaim to the person who was prayed for encouraging them to take God at his word and trust in his healing power. Some expressed that maybe they felt a little better, some had ailments that couldn’t be seen with the naked eye and were told to go home trusting they were healed, and one woman put down her walker and lifted her knees to her waist and praised God that she could move with no pain.
Hannah reminded us to keep praying and trusting in God, knowing that if He doesn’t heal this side of heaven, He will give us the grace we need to keep going. Then she invited whoever else that wanted prayer to come find a prayer volunteer and be prayed over. Now it was my turn.
I needed healing. Not from a physical ailment you could see but one that was deep, my very heart had been broken and had never fully healed. Each additional crack in my unmended heart led me to thought patterns that had stolen my peace, had stolen the way I operated in the world, had stolen my ability to trust. I wanted freedom from this bondage that I beat myself up for not being able to kick. I had spiritual warfare to attend to in order to get my peace and my joy back.
I approached a sweet couple ready to pray over me. I shared a small piece of recent heartbreak and the desire to be free from the heaviness on my heart and scatteredness in my mind. The wife spoke a word over me, an extremely specific prophetic word that had been spoken over me before. At that time, I didn’t want to receive it because I wasn’t sure if the person who first spoke it was just being kind because she knew me. (Talk about a Gideon and the fleece moment.) But this woman didn’t know me, she didn’t even know what church I attended. The Holy Spirit took her obedience and ministered right to my heart filling me with hope and peace.
For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21
Next, her and her husband prayed for me, and I felt a heaviness go. The fruit of the Spirit evicted all adversity trying to steal my peace and joy. I cannot explain it except to say it was a miracle. I felt a move of God in my very soul tending the wounds in me, his beloved. I felt grateful for the Church. The big C Church where God is alive and well working in and through his people.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." ~ John 14:27
I'm just a girl, standing before my God, knowing that He loves me and wanting others to know that love too.
I do that by encouraging women to live with abundant faith in moments both big and small by helping women study and understand the living Word.
When I am not blogging you will find me on nature walks with my kids, cooking with my hubby, serving at my local church or at my day job where I help ministries, christian artists & authors, and churches with their social strategies.
You'll often find me wearing my mustard seed necklace as a reminder of the gift of faith God has graced me with.