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Leading people into a maturing new life in Jesus Christ

God’s Timeframes

Narrator: The story you are about to read is true. Pay attention to the timeframes–they’re important. The setting is Seattle, Washington, and when the story begins, the date is May, 2015.

Ciara_Used_with_PermissionCiara finished the work day completely exhausted – again. This new design job was not going the way she had imagined it would. Her work group consisted of a creative firm of four, and her design coworker (we’ll call him John) had not had a good word for her from day one. In fact, he actively looked for opportunities to criticize her work and her personal beliefs. Office work hours were often filled with tension and she learned to be guarded in her interactions. The only good news here was that she could occasionally work from home and she had negotiated a four-day work week. Those two perks were proving to be a God-send. She told herself that she could stick it out for a year– only 11 months to go!

The other issue that concerned her was her health. For over a year now she felt like she was fighting a losing battle: her head would start hurting and her mind would get foggy, her joints and muscles ached all over, and she had no energy for anything. Some days she would just give up and go home and fall in bed for the rest of the day. The problem was that no amount of sleep seemed to help much. After seeing several physicians with no clear diagnosis, she finally went in to see a naturopath, Dr. Vo. After doing extensive blood work, Dr. Vo’s diagnosis was Lyme Disease! Lyme is associated with the bite of a deer tick, and Ciara’s blood work had confirmed three different strains. Ciara was immediately started on a three-month regimen of antibiotics (this is the only known medical treatment), but Ciara’s body revolted after six weeks and she broke out with a body rash from head to toe. Unable to continue with her prescription, all her symptoms returned, further complicated by a rash that wouldn’t go away.

Narrator: I’m going to interrupt the story here: Okay, so now you know what the problems were for Ciara in May of 2015. I need to back up to January of 2015 and tell you about some things that happened so that the rest of the story makes sense. Ciara had agreed to attend a small group gathering for 40 nights in a row beginning on January 1, 2015 with her brother and some close friends from Edmonds Adventist Church. The purpose was to start the year with God and be intentional in seeking His presence through worship, prayer and study. The easiest way to explain what happened during those 40 days is to simply say that God showed up! Everyone who was there was affected by His presence in some significant way. Ciara was given a heart’s desire for the living God– and it’s never left her. The Ciara I knew prior to January of 2015, was a different person than the one that was born during that time! Ciara made a decision to continue to seek God’s presence regardless of her circumstances, and to find reasons to praise Him, no matter what! Now we are going to jump forward to June 17, 2015 and look in on Ciara — it’s a Wednesday night, she’s at home– in bed since 3:00 pm– feeling very achy, with a strong headache and a very foggy brain.

Ciara’s cell phone was ringing. The noise jarred against her nerves. She should have muted the phone before crawling in bed. It was not a good day. She had left work at about 2:30 pm with the familiar flu-like symptoms of the Lyme Disease that owned her–this was the second time this week that she’d left early….
“Hello?” Ciara sounded weak and groggy.

“Ciara, where are you? Are you coming? Do you remember that we’re meeting tonight to pray?” Andrea Pulido’s voice sounded loud and insistent.

“I’m sorry, Andrea, I forgot. I’m in bed–I’m not feeling very well. I don’t think I can make it.” Ciara vaguely remembered now that she had agreed to go to Andrea’s house to pray for a friend that would be traveling to a dangerous part of Mexico the next day.

“Well, there’s a group of ladies here including your mom–but I think we are going to pray for you first,” said Andrea.

“Thank you, I would really like that,” said Ciara and she tried to reposition herself to receive prayer. Her throbbing head only felt worse. She gave up and leaned into her pillow, pulling her cell phone close so she could hear.

“Papa, I thank you that through Jesus’ sacrifice, He has carried all our sins and diseases. Your Word says that ‘by His stripes we are healed’. So we claim that promise and declare healing for Ciara, in Jesus’ name!” Lana Dahl’s voice was exuberant and full of expectation. “How are you feeling, Ciara?”

Ciara tried to move again — this time she found she could move her head back and forth — it wasn’t throbbing anymore!

“What’s happening, Ciara?” asked Lana.

“I think my headache is going away!” exclaimed Ciara.

“Thank you, Father, for your mighty power! Holy Spirit, finish the work You started. We declare complete healing over Ciara, in Jesus name!” Ciara heard her mom’s voice on her cell phone and she smiled.

“Ciara,” it was Andrea now, “how are you feeling? Can you get up?” “I don’t know…I haven’t tried.” Ciara hadn’t gotten that far yet in her assessment.

“Well, get up and walk around and tell us how you feel!” Andrea sounded expectant and eager.

“Okay, I’ll try…Whoa! I can move–I can walk! The pain is gone…Oh, my gosh!” Ciara could hardly believe it! Not only was the pain gone, but she had energy! She couldn’t remember the last time she had this much energy! Her eyes welled up with tears of joy that she didn’t try to hold back.

She could hear the cheering on her cell phone and all she could say was “Thank you for praying!” and “Thank you, God!”

Narrator: It wasn’t long after this that Dr. Vo had Ciara redo her blood work and, as expected, there was no trace of Lyme. But there’s more to tell: One of the things that Ciara had prayed for back in January of 2015, was for a good job–actually, a great job. But the job she got was anything but that. Regardless of that, she thanked God for it. Her attitude was, “God, you gave me this job, so I will stick it out for a year!” Here’s what happened: 348 days after starting this job, Ciara’s coworker, John, suddenly quits and goes to another agency; 362 days after starting this job, the three of them are “acquired” by a large, very prestigious ad firm in Seattle that many designers only dream of ever working for. On top of that, Ciara got to keep her four-day work week and got a raise!

So…the real question is: How does all this relate to your life? Truthfully, I don’t know. But if you were to ask me my opinion, I would encourage you to go talk to my daughter Ciara –and tell you to go spend 40 days with God and see what happens!  

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Contributions by Lettie Hylarides


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