Feb 7, 2013

Thursday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Leviticus 16

Happy Thursday, SHINE girls! You are still hanging in here with Leviticus and me, right?

Ok, good. Don't leave me hanging out here in the Old Testament. ;)

Today, I have a special guest SHINE girl.

Amanda emailed me a few weeks ago, and I was so touched by her story. I asked her to share it with all of you, and she agreed. You will be so glad she did.

Although I have never met this precious girl, she offers such hope and inspiration. Just through a few emails, I could feel her light shining through the computer screen and warming my face! For real.

Grab your Bible, a blanket, and your coffee.

Be blessed by your beautiful SHINE sister, Amanda Dunn.

My story of healing
by: Amanda Dunn

My name is Amanda Dunn. I've been married for 4 years and I have a beautiful, precious 21 month old son. God has recently shown me his love, grace, comfort, and healing in a way I've never experienced before in my life.

Amanda, Landon, and Stephen
On Wed January 2, I was diagnosed with Bells Palsey, which is temporary paralysis of the facial nerve. It affected my left side. I went from enjoying all of life's simple pleasures, to having difficulty eating, drinking, and talking. My left eye would not close on its own, so I had to wear a patch. Accompanied with the paralysis of my facial nerve and muscles, was extreme nerve pain around my eye and neck. It broke my heart that I didn't have the ability or energy to give to my son as I usually do. Needless to say, it was a painful and emotional experience.

I never asked God "why me?" I'm honestly a little surprised that I didn't ask that question. Having all of life's normalcies taken away made me so grateful for little joys and comfort that we all have when healthy. I longed for one of those so called "bad days" I thought I was having when I was well and took life way too seriously. In my quiet time with God, I felt his love in such a peaceful way and I knew that He would heal me. I didn't know when, but I trusted that it would come. I was also so blessed to have an amazing support system in my family and friends. Prayers were going up fervently. God heard and He responded quickly.

Along with Gods love and grace, He laid something on my heart... There is joy in every single day...  Many little joys that are so easily overlooked. I had gotten so bogged down recently with stressing over the littlest things, taking on the worry myself instead of giving it to God, and over thinking things people around me would say or do. All the while, God was waiting with open arms... Longing to love me and to take over for me... Longing to free me of worry, anxiety, and stress. During my time with Bells Palsey, a friend of mine said "find your blessing in this storm." Those words spoke volumes to me. And praise God, I found my blessing! Even before God healed me, God gave me so much peace and reassurance. I couldn't wait to share what He had done to my body, heart, and mind.

The doctor told me that my condition could last 30 days or longer... But that age was on my side. Our amazing heavenly Father  healed me by 80% in only 2 1/2 weeks!! I returned to work 3 weeks after being diagnosed. And today, 4 weeks from the onset of the condition, I am completely free of Bells Palsey!! I am smiling the biggest smile as I write this; a smile that could not form only a couple weeks ago. I am free to share Gods love, grace, and comfort. I am free to live a life of abundance and joy. I am free to let Christ live through me as I speak and go through this life.

My prayer is for all of you to notice ALL the little joys around you. God has placed so many wonderful blessings in our lives, blessings that are present even during life's storms. I've realized that once we give our worries to God, we are free to rest in Him. And then we are free to let our lights shine. My light was dim before Bells Palsey, but now I am renewed by Jesus and it is shining brightly!

How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. (Psalm 31:19 NIV)

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