When I received the request to write an update on our lives, a myriad of things came to my mind which I could share regarding what the gift of healing has made possible. Through the cross of Jesus and the grace that came to us through Living Waters we celebrate a truly wonderful marriage of 32 years, and the joy of our sons and their families, including our three grandchildren.
However, there is more to share. After my time with DSM we served at the Las Vegas Vineyard. Near the end of the third year we received a call that my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. We made a trip to Oregon where we not only visited my parents but also Jolene’s. While on that trip we heard God speak to us that we were to go and serve our families. Intrinsic to our understanding of this call was that it was time for us to work out the gift of healing in a state (Oregon) and in family systems we felt we had ‘escaped’ from many years before.
Within a couple of months we moved and found jobs, while we turned to serve our families. Jesus strengthened us so that we did not fall into old patterns of relating based on the old family rules. God not only challenged us to serve but to set the tone for the care of our parents. He wanted us to give to them what they, in their brokenness, had been unable to give to us.
It was not long before my mother died as I was holding her hand. My dad followed her a year and a half later. I had time to be with him and hear his heart in a way I never had. God filled me with enough healing that I could be there for him while he grieved. I loved him in a way I had not been able to before. In the end, my hand was on his chest as his heart quit beating. Had I not experienced the gift of healing I could not have done this. Nor could I have led each of my parent’s memorial services while facing my own loss.
Jolene has become a source of life to her parents, serving them in such a way that her family has not only noticed but has come to respect her for doing what none of them have been able to do. They each see the trust, wholeness, and care she brings into the family.
If there is anything we have learned in this time it is that many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Pv. 19:21) We never desired to engage with our families in this way, yet God has proven to us that His healing power has not only changed our lives but also enables us to bring that healing to those family we once fought hard to be free from.