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chapter 8

Jesus’ Healing Touch  

10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
~1 Peter 5:10

I have come to learn that tears are healing. They mean that God is working on something in you or someone you are praying for. It is humbling to allow tears to fall and a display of submission when you allow God to humble you to the point you allow your tears to fall in front of people (Bible study, church, prayer).

As I was preparing to attend my first UPCI East Coast Women’s Conference, I felt overwhelmed. To put it mildly, I was a nervous wreck. I was not accustomed to being around a lot of people and if you are familiar with Spirit-filled Christians, we can be a lively bunch. I was concerned about the sensory overload I was almost certain to experience.

Most of all, though, I was concerned about how the change in routine would affect me. Change tends to upset me and exacerbate my negative reactions to sensory input. I would likely be singing songs I had never heard, much less knew. I would be attending services that would be different from the services I was accustomed to attending. I would be around a bunch of people I did not know and who did not know me.

I didn’t know if they would accept me or view me as some sort of weirdo. The enemy was really playing with me head, telling me that I was different, that I did not fit in with “those women.” He set me up to be rejected. In fact, in my mind I was rejected before I even got there.

As much as I want people to like me and accept me, though, the biggest issue for me was the change in routine. When things are “out of order” I get very disoriented, even dizzy. When things are out of order and it is very active with lots of noise, it leads straight to a meltdown.

The worse part, though, is that I get deep pains throughout my body, like electrical shocks. There is an “undercurrent” that pulses through my entire body, and pain “surfaces” in various areas, the location changing rather rapidly. It may go from leg to hand to neck to foot in a matter of seconds. It is as if my brain is trying to find or create the neural pathways that can manage that sensory overload.

It can be very uncomfortable, painful. I have been this way my entire life. Because of it, I have often avoided large crowds, events, even certain church functions.

As I prayed the morning I was to leave, though, Jesus spoke to me and if I hadn’t been cultivating a relationship with Him over time and stopped to listen I probably would have missed it. Daily prayer is so important!

He said, “I am healing you.” He didn’t say, “I will heal you” or “I am going to heal you,” He said, “I am healing you.” It was right then, right there, I was being healed as I sat on that bus praying.

I understood, in a flash, that the pain and disorientation are not the result of my being “broken” or defective. They come from healing. I was being healed.

I understood that my scars are not from my sin or my defects, but from my healing.

Jesus gave me permission to be distressed and to react to the discomfort and pain. But by powering through it (even if I cry or react in ways that exhibit my discomfort) I am allowing His healing to take place. And the next time it won’t be so bad. It will get better and better and easier and easier. I have to get there because He has shown me that one day I will be speaking before groups. I can speak in front of a group, but the socializing part terrifies me. This was His way of letting me know that He is in control and He won’t turn me loose on a crowd until I am ready.

If I had not had a prayer life I would not have understood that. If I hadn’t been filled with the Holy Spirit I would not have understood that. All of these things are like pieces of an intricate puzzle. They support each other and each has a place to fit. It takes work, though.

I got to the conference and it was just as loud and active as I thought it would be. And I did feel the pains, the shocks, but I knew what they were. By the end of the morning service on the second day, they were significantly less noticeable. I did not have the first problem with sensory overload.

I was in a room of 800 weeping, crying, wailing, travailing, dancing, praising yelling women and I did not experience the first instance of sensory overload. In fact, I was more focused on God, more in touch with him – and infinitely more grateful to his loving, healing touch.

At one point, in one of the services the Holy Spirit had broken out amongst the women and they were dancing, weeping, singing, yelling – it was very loud and very active. But I sat right there in the midst of it all, calm. I felt a hand on my right shoulder. My pastor’s wife and a friend were sitting behind me and I thought, “Oh, how nice! They are praying for me!”

But when I looked back, no one was there.

I still felt the hand and felt an arm across my shoulders.

Then I became aware of a peaceful, calming presence beside me, on my left – with His arm around me. I just leaned into that presence and, for the first time in my life, took in all the noise and lights and activity without any anxiety. Never had I been able to be in an environment like this without medication.

By the time we left to go home, I realized that I was looking people in the eye – something that had always been extremely difficult for me to do.

I never asked for this healing, but Jesus gave it to me anyway. I certainly did not deserve such a wondrous gift, but He gave it to me anyway.

From the book “More Fringe: My Growth as a Spirit-Filled Christian with Asperger’s Syndrome”