Healing Comes in Desperation|By Jasmine Beard


“I have touched the hem of Your garment.

I have felt the leading of Your hand.

But today, my eyes look much higher to see the face of the great I am…”

I love that song. As I sing those words, I often imagine myself as the woman with the issue of blood in the Bible.

Just like the woman with the issue of blood, we all have an issue, a dream, or a desperation to see Jesus show up, heal, and change our circumstance.

That issue may be for healing from an illness, conceiving a child after years spent battling infertility, the salvation of a child or spouse, or maybe freedom from repetitive bondage in life.

My issue is not something life altering or something I cannot live without, but a deferred promise. This promise God spoke to me when I was just 17-years old, the promise of marriage. My circumstance is much different from an unexplained issue of blood, but it’s still my circumstance.

It is the one thing in my life that I have often shied away from. Shied away from talking about. Shied away from writing about. And shied away from praying about. My issue, if you’d call it that, has oftentimes been something that embarrassed me rather than brought me into a place of desperation for Jesus to heal me.

Luke 8:43-48 TPT says:

43 In the crowd that day was a woman who had suffered greatly for twelve years from slow bleeding. Even though she had spent all that she had on healers, she was still suffering.

44 Pressing in through the crowd, she came up behind Jesus and touched the tassel of his prayer shawl. Instantly her bleeding stopped and she was healed.

45 Jesus suddenly stopped and said to his disciples, “Someone touched me. Who is it?”

While they all denied it, Peter pointed out, “Master, everyone is touching you, trying to get close to you. The crowds are so thick we can’t walk through all these people without being jostled.”

46 Jesus replied, “Yes, but I felt power surge through me. Someone touched me to be healed, and they received their healing.”

47 When the woman realized she couldn’t hide any longer, she came and fell trembling at Jesus’ feet. Before the entire crowd she declared, “I was desperate to touch you, Jesus, for I knew if I could just touch even the fringe of your robe I would be healed.”

48 Jesus responded, “Beloved daughter, your faith in me has released your healing. You may go with my peace.”

Recently, I turned 26-years-old, just five days after Valentine’s Day. I have never noticed or cared about my birthday’s proximity to this love holiday, until this year.

This was the first year, ever… that I thought, “I wish I had a valentine”.

I quickly shrugged off those feelings, but could sense through the busyness of life that I was a bit disheartened by this. And that I had actually been hiding these feelings for years.

I did not want to tell Jesus how I felt. I knew my singleness wasn’t His fault. I knew that I could trust Him at His word. I knew He was a promise-keeper. Yet, I was still sad, but I didn’t want to admit that to God. I felt it would be ungrateful to do so.

That is when the Holy Spirit whispered into my heart, “tell me how you feel. Whether you think your feelings are just or not, tell me. I want to heal every part of your heart.”

Just like God cared about the woman with the issue of blood and longed to heal her from illness, He also longed to heal my aching heart. He wanted me to stop hiding in the crowd pretending like singleness did not make me sad.

He wanted me to press through the crowd and say, “Jesus, I have a problem, and I know that you are the solution.”

When healing takes longer than expected or when hope has been deferred, it can sometimes feel easier not to pray about a situation anymore. The women with the issue of blood however, did not lose hope. She held unto the promise of God’s healing, and she knew He would touch her situation.

God longed for me to get real about my issue and get desperate for the healing He desired to do in my heart. He wanted me to be desperate enough to touch the hem of His garment just as the woman with the issue of blood did.

Maybe you have been battling something for years. And year after year, you have seen no avail to your circumstance. I want to encourage you to be persistent and unembarrassed by your circumstance. Will you still run after Him when that healing takes longer than expected? Will you still hope when hope is deferred? Will you touch the hem of His garment because you know He has the power and desire to change your situation?

I leave you with these verses. These verses remind me of the faithfulness of God and display the very character of who He is.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Nevertheless, the time will come when I will heal Jerusalem’s wounds and give it prosperity and true peace.” Jeremiah‬ ‭33:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” Psalms‬ ‭37:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

A Mother’s Redemption| By Amanda Maduell

image2 (2)As I lay and watch my two-year-old sleep, it is hard to believe that not long ago he started out as a tiny “blip” on the monitor. As I laid on the exam table at my OBGYN office, tears of guilt, shame, and fear rolled down my cheeks. This is not the reaction that any woman deserves to have as she experiences the expected arrival of her first child. A woman’s heart should be full of joy, love, and excitement during this time. My story is not the same.

For I know the plans I have for you ,”declares the LORD, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Everyone knows this Bible verse as it has become so incredibly popular, but it is so much more to me. This verse was my bread and butter. I had it saved on my phone screen saver for my entire pregnancy. Every time I was in despair, God reminded me of this message.

When I was encouraged by the father of my child to have an abortion, I turned to God and this verse.

I would think to myself, “God created this life inside of me, and He already knows the plans for it! How could someone want to throw this away?”

“For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:13-14

I knew from the beginning that abortion was never an option for me, but I could not convince the father of my child to feel the same way. I thank God everyday for giving me His strength to see through and overcome that. I agreed that I would trust God, and I would wear the shame of my sin in front of me, whether the father of my child was willing to stand by me or not.

I have to admit that it was not easy.

At times, the enemy convinced me to believe that it was me. That I was not good enough or worthy enough for this person, and that this is what I deserved for committing these sins. But again that was just the enemy.

I felt lonely from the outright rejection that was displayed toward my unborn child, and I was immersed in pain. I wanted nothing more than to be loved, appreciated, and respected by the person whom I had created life with. I experienced just the opposite.

I remember coming home from working one of my two jobs and crying so hard in my bathroom that I would vomit. I lived alone, and I was too ashamed to reach out to many of my friends, I felt as though I had, “brought this upon myself.” I was scared of the unknown, I was scared of what people would think of me for having a baby without a father, I was scared of being another, “single mom statistic”, and worst of all, I was scared that I would never be able to trust or love again.

I was disappointed in myself for taking a chance on someone who had consecutively lied about his commitment. I had become so consumed in sins of the flesh. Although I considering myself a “Christian”, I still thought it was okay to have sex with my ex-boyfriend. I justified it by telling myself, “we were in love”, and because we, as adults, have “needs.”

However, I was reminded that God has a purpose for us. Although we may not always understand it, the Bible clearly states that His plan is solid. God knows before we sin against Him, and He still sends His love and grace down upon us in ways we don’t even realize in the moment. For some, like myself, it takes “struggles” like this for us to see God’s unfailing love and mercy for us.

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.” Jonah 2:2

Before my son was born, I picked the name Jonah after reading the short book of Jonah in the Bible. In Jonah’s story, he disobeyed God, and he was swallowed by a big fish. He prayed to God and asked for forgiveness from inside the fish. After three days, the Lord had the fish spit Jonah out, and he was forgiven.

Jonah knew that he was disobeying God by not following his instructions to go to the city of Nineveh and speak out against its wickedness. Just as I knew that I was disobeying God by continuing a sinful relationship with my son’s father. I felt as though going through an unplanned pregnancy without the father was my storm.

However, the birth of my son was my forgiveness, my redemption, and my second chance. We are children of a loving and forgiving God. I cried out to him at my lowest point, when I experienced the rejection, fear, and disappointment, He forgave me and restored me by allowing me to be the mother of one of His precious children.

After the birth of Jonah, The Lord continued to be the father that my child and I deserve, time and time again. Just when I reach my breaking point he catches me and says, “Trust me.”

Two years later, my son and I are doing great. I am blessed with phenomenal parents who were there for me during my pregnancy and birth of my son and also now. I am part of a women’s group, and I just signed a mortgage on our first home. All of this is possible because we are the children of a perfect and faithful God who has a perfect way for us, even when we can see no way for ourselves. 

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Come Alive|By Heaven Harris

come alive

I have always considered myself a dreamer – a visionary. Dreaming came easy for me and those very words have often been used to describe me over the years. I had a big imagination, and I was not afraid to use it.  

Over the years though, often without realizing, I found my dreams becoming smaller and smaller, and my heart to dream dying. Sure, there were certain things I would find myself believing for and visions I would catch a glimpse of sometimes in the secret place of prayer, but my BIG dreams…what happened to those? The ones that made my bones rattle and my heart quiver because they required the work of my BIG God.

I think I even created the excuse that it just happens that way sometimes. We grow up; we become adults. The yearning to dream is drowned out by the weight of responsibilities and failures we have experienced. It is subtle, of course. We do not even realize it sometimes. We trudge through life, and many of our dreams deteriorate from life-like and life-size to mere bones laid bare and dry.

Ezekiel 37:3: “He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’”

This scripture was laid on my heart about a month ago. Most of us know this story or have heard a sermon on it in some form or fashion. I would venture to say that most the times we take in this story is in reference to praying for those hearts that we long to see come alive to the love and purpose of God. We pray that He breathes His holy breath on our family, our schools, our church and brings forth the army referred to in the scriptures.

The rest of the story in Ezekiel goes like this…

4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!

5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.

6  I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.

8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’”

10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

I was waiting for Him to tell me who I needed to pray for and instead He said, “See those dry bones?  These bones represent those dreams  I have laid on your heart and given you vision for but that lay dead in the valley. Can these bones live? Can these dreams and the words I have spoken over you live again?”

I was honestly at a loss for words. As I sat in the presence of my sweet but direct Savior, I began recalling those dreams and words spoken over me throughout my life, and my reality check was that most of them I had allowed to dry up and become barely a whisper in my heart.

So, let me ask you…

Are your dreams thriving and breathing before a Holy God or are they laid bare in the valley somewhere? If you are looking back and realizing that you have dreams that have no life to them, let me encourage you with this scripture:

“The earth and sky will wear out and fade away before one word I speak loses its power or fails to accomplish its purpose.” Matthew 24:35 (TPT)

When reading this. I hope that you see the pattern. That every word and dream God spoke WILL come to pass without FAIL. Let your heart rest in knowing that those beloved words, passionate dreams and those vivid visions He has whispered to you in the quiet places are alive and well and will find their way to fruition. You need only to speak.

The word prophesy simply means to say that a specified thing will happen in the future; to speak as if divinely inspired. I urge you to prophesy to your soul! Prophesy to those dreams!  Prophesy to your heart!

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

Fast forward to the here and now, as I chose to take God at His word and began speaking those dreams out loud, I have now applied and been accepted into college. I am moving out of state due to an amazing opportunity that opened up for me to stay home with my daughter and go to school. I know this is just the beginning of an amazing new season.  

I urge you to take God at His word and let the presence of God soften your heart and remind you today of the dreams He has given you.  Then speak them aloud and ask God to breathe His Holy breath on them and watch, in His timing, everything He has promised you will come to life!