It’s my practice to spend a few minutes listening to the Lord prior to each Prayer Ministry session. I always write down my ‘impressions’ at the top of my note page. On this day I was seeing a woman by the name of Joy to begin a 12-hour Intensive week of ministry.
I prayed, listened and wrote.
- Confused socially
- Standing on the edge
- Grey hair
- Furtherance of the gospel
- Child sexual abuse
Not all of my ‘impressions’ are prophetic in nature. Before they arrive, I’ve learned quite a bit about them by reading and studying the extensive questionnaire they’ve sent to us in advance. So, by that point, I’ve gotten to know them a little bit, and I know why they’re coming for counseling.
Still, I often wonder if my impressions are substantial. On this particular day I was thinking that the one on the list about ‘Grey hair’ couldn’t be right because after a quick glance at the basic information on her Life History form, I could see that she was only 37 years old. I shook my head and thought to myself, “How many 37 year old women have grey hair?”
Just before our appointment time, I walked past the receptionist station and was taken aback to see a woman in the waiting area with a full head of grey hair! I remember glancing at her a few times to make sure I was right.
I’ve learned over the years that prayer and listening are essential ingredients in prayer ministry. Doing this prior to each session helps me to receive insight, knowledge, direction and sometimes information that enables me to better connect and lead. When I share my impressions with the client there is often a sense of leading by the Spirit that helps to build trust.
Since I was right about the ‘grey hair’, I wondered if I was also correct about the ‘Younger, Youthful, Teenager, and the rest of the impressions. It wouldn’t be long before I found out that I had indeed connected with her concerning the words on my list.
Joy indicated on her form that she was coming for help for several reasons. She wrote, “I was sexually abused a few times, once as a 4 year old, once at age 11 and once at age 17. This was more devastating than I realized because I put up walls to keep people and feelings out, and I haven’t allowed myself to have a voice in almost all of the relationships in my life, and because I really believed that I didn’t matter.”
Often the first session is a getting-to-know-you time, and I spend a lot of time listening to their story. Sometimes if the person is new to Elijah House teachings I’ll spend some time teaching the basics. I’ll give an abbreviated version of some of the teachings in the *Basic 1 School of Prayer Ministry such as Honoring Father and Mother, Inner Vows, Forgiveness and Repentance. At other times the Lord will lead me to pray though some of the issues presented. Our first session was both a listening and teaching time.
Joy made some important statements during our first 3 hours together. Here are her statements that confirmed my list.
I don’t feel like I’m my real age. I feel more like a teenager. – younger, youthful, teenager
“I feel like a Chameleon, I have to be what they want. – confused socially
Everything we’d built on was crumbling – it was a scary edge – standing on the edge
She said that she is a licensed and ordained minister. – furtherance of the gospel
A neighbor boy may have done something to me… – child sexual abuse
Sometimes I listen and write down things that I’m led to share, and at other times I don’t feel that I’m supposed to bring something up at that time. This also is a matter of listening in prayer. Much of prayer ministry is waiting on the Lord and discerning his timing to move.
As the week progressed it became clear that she was getting revelations about her own history. She discovered that the sexual abuse was more extensive and her need to protect herself and go away to survive was pronounced. She had developed various parts of her personality that she hoped would help her navigate through life. She had to control everything, protect herself and try not to feel. Her parents hadn’t protected her so she believed at a young age that she would have to take care of herself.
The healing she received throughout the week of ministry was nothing short of amazing. Nearly six months later she expressed her transformation eloquently.
January 19th 2015
I have never quite felt at rest, never quite still, never quite at peace, never quite fully present at any given time. I was slightly behind, living in the past, and slightly ahead, trying to figure out what was around the bend trying to solve the problems that were yet to come. I was on the run.
At times, when I slowed down just a bit, I felt apprehensive, on edge. Something might catch me. Or maybe, I might catch up with myself. I might fully show up at any given moment and have to face what was really there in my life. That was the scariest possibility of all. So, I stayed on the go for as long as humanly possible. I worked. I micro managed. I made everyone happy. I kept all eyes from noticing the full, real me, especially my own. I didn’t think I could bear seeing that.
Over time, life wore me down and I couldn’t run any longer. All of the past, present and future came crashing in. It was unmanageable. So, I did the one thing that I knew in the back of my mind I would always have to do when this time came: I went to Elijah House. When I was honest with myself, which was rare, I knew it would take a breakdown, or as I now call it, an awakening to be myself again.
After several productive sessions with Jeff Crum during my first two days at Elijah House, there was a day that I’ll never forget. It was really a pivotal point in my life. I entered one way and left another. I was never the same again. I was given a chance to be who God created me to be.
At the beginning of the session, we spent a long time trying to find out where I was in my spirit. I had used *dissociation as a survival technique in my life as a child, and it has occurred a few times as an adult as well. So, in an attempt to heal from the wounds that caused me to do that, we were trying to find the real Joy underneath all the layers so God could minister to the truest part of me. There were large parts of my emotions that were undeveloped. In a very practical way, I had been going through stages of growth in my daily life, catching up with my teenage self, my child self and my infant self.
When we prayed and tried to find the real me, I saw three distinct parts: a selfish (teen), a scared (child) and a sweet (infant). We kept asking God for the real me, not the separate parts, but the whole and I started feeling like I was spinning. I saw a picture of a merry-go-round and I felt like I was on it going around and around, so fast that I couldn’t even see myself. We kept asking to see the real me. I felt as if I became one with the merry-go-round, and I kept looking around to find myself. I wanted to be the middle part of the merry-go-round, the solid, stable center from which all the movement and music comes, the motor. I turned and looked at that part and was relieved because it wasn’t moving. Then, I realized that I was in there and as I entered the center, I dropped down, down, down a shaft into a pit that was deep underground.
When Jeff asked how old I was, I responded, “I’m all ages.” This was the real me. And, I said, “I’ve not been here before.” It was like meeting me for the first time, or at least the first time in a long time. I looked around. It was dark. I felt alone. I was scared. As I felt around, there were walls surrounding me, but I sensed something, and it was comforting and creepy all at the same time. It became clear that this something was not helpful and it was keeping me in the pit.
When I started at Elijah House, there were a couple of things that I made clear, or at least knew in my mind, that couldn’t happen. These were my last ditch efforts to maintain control – my requirements. One of them was that I did not want to do any sort of demonic work. I believed that if I found out there was some demonic activity in my life that would be the end of me. But, at that moment, in the pit, it was obvious that this requirement wasn’t going to survive. I had to face a spirit of fear.
I didn’t want to do it. I was hesitant. I held back. At first, I had to just make a conscious decision to let it go and say the words. But, I didn’t want to, and then I saw a picture of it in front of my face, and it terrified me. I wanted it gone. So, we prayed and asked God what to do and I heard the words, “shake it off.” So, I did. I couldn’t believe I was doing it. I felt like a fool, but I couldn’t stop and I just shook until I felt it go. I opened my eyes immediately and said, “Something else has to come in right now.” I felt the void that had been filled for my whole life by fear. Fear had been my “guiding light.” the one consistent companion. The only emotion I could really identify. The only time I felt alive. Fear was what had directed my life, my every choice. So, we asked God in to that space, to come join me in my truest part.
Then, when I looked again at myself in the pit, God invited me to take his hand and he pulled me up, up and up the shaft back to level ground with the merry-go-round. And, I felt like I was the center stable part that made all the horses go around. I wasn’t just stuck on a horse doomed to ride wherever it went, however fast it went. I had some choice in the matter. I could make the music. I could make the motion. I wasn’t subject to it anymore.
As we asked God if there was anything else he wanted to show me, I felt him pull me up out of the merry-go-round, up above, high in the sky. I looked out and I saw the clouds lift. Fog rolled away and I could see there was a whole world out there outside of the merry-go-round. It was a world I had never known, sights I was too blind to see, feelings I was too numb to feel, experiences I was too afraid to live. We flew around as I looked down on everything and I felt free. For the first time, I was really free. Free to be who I was meant to be. He told me that we may go back to the merry-go-round from time to time and that it would be okay when we did. I wouldn’t have to stay there. I would never be stuck there again. I could always fly away free.
It’s been only 5 months since that day, but so much has changed. The core of my existence is new. Every time I face something since that day, it’s like experiencing it for the first time. It is hard sometimes because I’m learning how to live all over again. I’m catching up on my undeveloped emotions because I wouldn’t let myself exist before. There is sorrow for the time that was lost. I’m constantly realizing what I’ve been missing for so many years, seeing now how things could’ve been. But, I get to really walk through each moment, fully present. I feel both the good and the bad. I am now in touch with all my emotions, not just fear. I’ve read that it’s impossible to numb selectively. If we numb the pain, we numb all the good feelings too. So, now I can feel it all. Happiness feels amazing; sadness is hard, but bearable. Every day I’m astounded by how easy life is from this perspective since I’m not spending so much energy on keeping myself hidden in that pit. I get to be here, in the world, alive and awake.
Prior to writing her testimony above, Joy came in for her first follow up appointment after four months had passed. She commented effusively about her experience in August.
This place and seeing you, is me taking care of myself. Scales have fallen off my life! I liken it to being saved, and now I have eyes to see and ears to hear. I was so not able to take care of myself. As a whole, things are great by comparison. I’m able to access my thoughts and feelings. I don’t know how I was even alive before. It’s great and amazing. My nerve endings are even aware of touch whereas I couldn’t sense as much before. The degree to which I was dead was remarkable! The other day I hit my head and cried like a baby ’cause it hurt so much. Prior to my healing I wouldn’t have felt as much.
Joy is continuing on her journey. Centering in on her personal spirit as the core of her being and connecting with Jesus there was the catalyst to her healing, deliverance and freedom from captivity. Jesus did the work and we’re so thankful for the transformation he brought about in Joy’s life
By Jeff Crum and Joy
To schedule prayer ministry contact Jeff at 509-475-5378