My mother’s diagnosis taught me the power of the disciplines of prayer and fasting. On this Christian journey, fasting is not an option. The bible does not say “if you fast” it says “when you fast.” And at this point in my walk fasting was a fairly regular practice for me as my church fasted every Tuesday and also during the Lent season for 40 days. But now, I was fasting for my mother’s healing.
But, before I go any further though I must divulge a secret. As easy as it is for me to pray with people, I found it extremely difficult to pray with my mother. Because of that I questioned everything. I questioned my walk. I questioned everything I had been taught. I questioned if I were truly the prayer warrior I claimed to be. I told a friend how I was feeling and what she said made sense to me. She said the reason I was having a difficult time praying with my mother is because…..well….she is my mother. In that moment I was not a prayer warrior, I was a daughter…her daughter. A daughter that was also dealing with the emotional baggage, if you will, of having a mother who was sick. My emotions got in the way of my ability to pray with my mother and for a very long time I resented myself for that.
But every day I prayed for my mother. And every day I fasted for my mother’s healing from 6am to 6pm. For those twelve hours I ate no food and only had water or juice. I was determined to continue with this fast until the Lord healed my mother. And I believed in my heart that God was going to heal my mother. Oh, but the enemy was on a mission to steal that belief. He was on a mission to kill my joy. And he was on a mission to destroy the faith that I had.
In 2007, while at work, I received a telephone call that my mother was in the hospital again. Once again I left work, jumped in my car, and headed to North Carolina. When I arrived I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. She was in pretty bad shape and would be in the hospital for a while. I stayed in North Carolina for as long as I could. Two weeks after I returned to Philadelphia I received a call from my dad saying they were going to release her but she would have to keep the tubes in and a nurse would come to the house every day to care for her. The doctors were not very optimistic that she would pull through. That was not the news I wanted to hear, nor the news I was praying and fasting for. Immediately a flood of emotions came upon me. I began to cry and just like that unbelief began to set in. But God…….the Holy Spirit reminded me that the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. The Holy Spirit reminded me that God is faithful. And the Holy Spirit reminded me why I was praying and fasting….for my mother’s healing (or so I thought). So I quickly dried my eyes and begin to let the enemy know Who was really in control! I was praying and quoting scripture and declaring in the name of Jesus that my mother will not go home with tubes, and that she will not die!! I reminded God of his promises and I told the devil to kick rocks!!
Three days later I received a call from my dad saying that my mother was doing much better and that she would be released, without any tubes, within 48 hours! My journey of trusting God and having faith the size of a mustard seed had begun. God was showing me that it was impossible to please him without faith. I was developing my own faith and not my mother’s faith. It was another moment of growth and I was grateful. But, the enemy was not finished………..