Books, Faith, hardship

Q & A with a Miracle Recipient

What are your thoughts on miracles?
I’ve just finished reading It’s Official It’s A Miracle by Annette Mace, a blow by blow account of her journey with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, from symptoms and diagnosis to her complete release from its grip on her life.

It’s not every day you meet a miracle recipient.
So, I asked Annette a heap of questions about it, and here are her candid and rather incredible (not to mention inspiring) answers. You can buy your own copy of the book HERE.

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1. What was your understanding of miraculous healing before you became ill?

I’ve been a Christian for most of my life, bought up in a little Baptist church and, up to the point of my healing, we attended a Pentecostal Church. However, I had never really come across anyone close to me being healed. With my Bible knowledge I was well aware that throughout the entire Old and New Testament, there are countless stories of healings. I was also familiar with the verse from Hebrews 13:8 that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. So, based on all of that, I most certainly believed in His healing power for today, yet I had not personally heard of or witnessed a miraculous healing myself.

2. Tell me about your illness and how long it lasted.

My illness began with a normal yet nasty gastro bug. What was particularly brutal about this bug was the longevity of it, the amount of weight I instantly lost, and developing dehydration. This then left me open to contract infections. After many tests and procedures, naturopaths, doctors, and specialists I was diagnosed with glandular fever and mycoplasma pneumonia, which then led to Post Viral Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) with Fibromyalgia.

My life completely turned upside down when I fell ill. I had to stop working. I could no longer drive. I didn’t go out in public very often, one because I didn’t have the energy, and two because my immune system was so low that if I socialised I could easily pick up any bug or virus going around that could quite possibly be detrimental to my health. From the very first day in 2007 to the very last day when I was healed, every second of every minute of every one of those days, I suffered with constant pain. At times the pain was manageable and, with medication, I could cope. Other times it was so excruciating I simply wanted to die.

CFS is the most cruel of illnesses, and sufferers of this disease declare that it is impossible to explain what they endure each day. The closest and most accurate way to describe it would be for you to imagine the worst flu you have ever had, and multiply it by 10.

There is a physical element to CFS, with pain in the muscles, bones and joints, along with the body feeling like lead, just so, so heavy. Then there is the brain fog to deal with, where there is simply the inability to think clearly. It’s like trying to search for memories, words, understanding, and thoughts and not being able to find what you’re looking for.

Energy is the currency for all CFS sufferers. They have to save energy, spend it wisely, continually prioritise, and if they spend beyond what they have, then it has to be paid back and, on occasions, with interest. Living every day with no energy to be able to do anything at all, desiring to be involved, but instead having to watch life pass by, felt like living in a cage. I could see and feel life happening around me, but couldn’t take part in any of it.

Another component to CFS is the emotional aspect, and generally this develops into depression.

So, with all this going on every moment of every day, I resolved that I lived a very sad and frustrating existence.

I was sick for a very long, five and a half years.

3. Had you given up being healed after all that time?

I would love to say that my faith was so strong that I never doubted, not even for a second, but that would be a lie. It was a constant battle, almost like scales see-sawing between what my faith told me and what my flesh or present situation was telling me.

On one side of the scale I had all the promises that God had given me, so many Bible verses (all listed in my book), and so many words that Godly people had spoken over me. On the other side there was depression to deal with, and the practical side of my physical being, and that’s where the doubts crept in.

The biggest question I had raging in my head was, ‘I believe God can heal, but will He heal me?Towards the end I even wondered if He even wanted to. I had to keep reminding myself of God’s truth. I had to continually do as the Psalmist examples in Psalm 103:2 where he rallies his soul to praise God. Constantly, I had to urge myself to concentrate on the truth instead of my feelings.

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4. Tell me what it felt like in that moment you received healing?

Wow! The first emotion that comes to my mind is absolute joy, complete and utter joy!

I wasn’t really aware at that moment that I was in fact being healed. I actually didn’t know what was going on at that point. As I lay on the floor, on the stage of my church, in front of 500 people, with the drummer belting out a gut-busting, face-melting drum solo, all I knew was that I felt His presence like never before. It was like He was simply surrounding and consuming me. At one point I found that I was struggling to breathe deeply, then suddenly my lungs filled with air, and as I exhaled, I felt like something very, very significant just happened. On reflection, I believe now that when I emptied my lungs, that is the moment I was healed and my illness left me.

5. Did you believe it?

At that particular point, on the stage, no! Not at all. I didn’t know what had just happened. It wasn’t until later that afternoon that I actually realised that I’d been healed, and I began to proclaim it.

My husband and I had expected that I would need to go straight home and straight to bed after church. An outing like that would normally cost me many days of bed-ridden recovery. However, on the drive home I surprised them by suggesting we go get a coffee. After a coffee I continued to amaze them by advising we should get a few groceries next door at the supermarket while we’re out. It was while walking through one of the aisles at the shops that I felt strength suddenly and gradually rise in my body.

You have to understand the magnificence of this feeling. I had never, ever, ever, felt any energy, in any measure for over five and a half years! When I felt this amazing and foreign feeling – that’s when I knew for certain, without a shadow of a doubt, that I not only had experienced the presence of God, but He had actually healed me!

It’s extremely hard to believe isn’t it? It’s difficult for even me to conceive, and I experienced it! But that’s what a miracle is, an extraordinary event that is unfathomable.

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6. What is your understanding of miraculous healing now that you’ve experienced it?

My understanding of healing now is quite different to what it was before being healed. I’ve learnt so much in the four years since my healing, and I’m fairly confident I’ll continue to learn more.

I now believe with all my heart that not only does God heal today, but His healing is for everyone, and each and every one of us who belong to Him has the authority and the power within them to bring healing to others.

When I pray for people I have to believe this, otherwise what’s the point of praying? My faith tells me that healing is one of the ways in which God shows His love to us, if only we would believe.

I was prayed over for healing quite a few times during my years of illness, and each time I walked away unhealed. If God doesn’t heal someone I’m praying for, well, He’s never doing nothing. He has a plan, and He’s doing something. This then gives us the opportunity to ask God, ‘Okay, what are doing God?’ In my case, when I asked this question, He responded continually with, ‘Wait. Be patient. The days are ordained. Wait upon me.’

7. Why do you think it took so long for God to release healing in your life?

I believe my illness wasn’t all about me. At the time it certainly felt like it was, but it most definitely wasn’t. I am convinced that my healing was about building faith in all those who witnessed it that day, and all those who have heard my story, to believe that Jesus is alive and heals today.

It took the time it took because God was orchestrating a plan, a plan I was totally unaware of, and everything and everyone had to come together for the full impact.

I could’ve been healed in quiet seclusion while someone prayed for me, but that wasn’t what God had in mind. He wanted to make a great impression, He wanted a WOW moment. All He needed was a few of His children to be willing and obedient to rise up and to be brave.

8. How has this whole experience of illness and healing impacted your faith? Has it changed you?

Oh yeah, it’s changed me big time. I don’t think anyone could go through what I’ve been through and not be changed.

During the years of my illness I endured so many things that I now have a much greater understanding of.

I have experienced grief – the loss of my life as I knew it.
I have known heartache – my heart broke continually and on a daily basis as I watched life pass me by.
I am extremely familiar with pain – insurmountable pain was my constant companion for over five years.
I have known severe loneliness – not being able to socialise, being disengaged from everybody. In addition, I have felt abandoned. I experienced abuse; physical and verbal. I am versed in defeat, despair, hopelessness and helplessness.

All these experiences I’ve been through have certainly transformed my life. My healing was not purely a physical healing. I honestly feel that God brought me back to life, revived me, restored me and renewed me.

I have now been given a new lease of life. Every single day is a gift from God which I never want to take for granted. I would never have thought I could survive what I’ve been through. So, I now have the perception that I can do anything, in fact everything, God asks me to, with the help of Christ Jesus my Lord who gives me the strength and the power (Phil 4:13).

Because of what I’ve survived, there isn’t much I wouldn’t have a go at. I desire to seize every moment and live in a manner where I have no regrets.

From a spiritual perspective… my relationship with God is certainly so much closer than it was before I was sick. I know Him now as my Comforter, and my Strength. Not only is He my Sovereign Creator but He is the Author of my life, and I know His plans for me are good. He is my Constant Companion, my Healer, my Restorer and my Redeemer. I wouldn’t know Him as all these characteristics unless I needed Him to be all these things to me.

My faith also tells me that what He has done for me, He desires to do for so many others.

9. What are you doing now?

Just before we released our book last year, we established our own ministry called Set Free To Soar. It consists of myself, my husband Glenn and our son Ben. The three of us have an amazing story to tell from three different perspectives. Together we have visited various groups and churches, speaking about what God has done in our lives, what He has brought us through, and what He taught us during those years of turmoil. We have had the privilege of meeting so many new people, and the best part is we get to pray for those who come forward for prayer. We have seen God touch and heal so many lives.

Through the ministry I also provide the service of Life Coaching. When I was sick I longed for someone to talk to, someone who cared and who would give me permission to be vulnerable within a safe and protective environment. I would have loved to have had someone who was there to encourage me, pray with me, pray for me, and speak into my life. What I so longed for while I was sick is what I now offer through Life Coaching. I aim to build faith and hope in people, providing them with the opportunity to get closer to God and grow in their relationship with Him. Life Coaching is something I absolutely love doing, it is incredibly rewarding. I thank God that I am in a position to help others through tough times.

Through the money we receive from book sales, speaking engagements, and life coaching, we in turn choose to bless other ministries. God has placed two particular organisations on my heart to contribute to financially. One is Destiny Rescue: the money we give targets the after-care and rehabilitation of the girls who are rescued. The other ministry we support is Maya Nepal, which is a guesthouse that exists to bring hope to women working in the red light areas of Nepal.

0k4a7899I find my ministry work so fulfilling. I believe it comes down to the fact that all those years ofpain and suffering are now being overturned. What the devil intended for bad, God intends for good. God is using the worst years of my life and bringing healing and transformation to others. For me, it somehow makes it all worthwhile.

Find out more and support Annette’s work here:

facebook.com/SetFreeToSoarAu
www.setfreetosoar.com.au
annette@setfreetosoar.com.au

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This entry was posted in: Books, Faith, hardship

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I am a writer, mother, wife and believer in a reality bigger than my own. I love exploring the small epiphanies of life. Nothing is humdrum. Every moment is charged with opportunity, each one mixing its ideas with the ink in my pen. You call it alchemy, I call it God.

6 Comments

  1. Maria Amore says

    A lovely and uplifting story. I certainly believe that God is still working miracles today just as Jesus did when he was on Earth. I have experienced miracles first hand. That does not mean to say my faith is unwavering because in my humanity I also have moments of doubt.
    Thank you for bringing this to us today.

  2. Phill says

    An inspiring story of an everyday person who’s experienced the glory of God in a very real way.
    Thanks for sharing Claire and Annette

  3. Thanks for sharing this Claire. It reminds me of when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick:
    But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” (John 11:4)
    And it’s a real testimony of answered prayer of the those in Annette’s church.

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