My Journey to CHM

by Leslie Royalty
Sept/Oct 2010

Here at CHM, with many people briefly coming and going from out of town, we consider it a true privilege to observe a person’s transformation over time. One such woman is a local friend who has recently become involved with CHM, attending different ministry opportunities over the past few months. In particular, she has come fairly consistently to our Tuesday Open Prayer, where people receive approximately 30 minutes of prayer, no appointment necessary, and God brings powerful healing! Although it’s impossible to completely explain all the wonders that God has done, she has graciously agreed to share glimpses into her journey of healing. It’s our prayer that her story brings you great encouragement.

My journey to CHM coincided with my journey to Christ. It really began 5 years ago, with the death of my parents in April 2005. My father died on the 3rd, my mother on the 23rd. I was very close with them, and while their deaths were not unexpected, the suddenness and closeness of their deaths left us reeling from the loss. In response, my husband and I agreed that we must re-focus our lives and have God be the center. Up to this point, we had never worshipped together, nor had we professed to each other or anyone else a belief in Jesus Christ. What we had done was conveniently dance around our beliefs, being very reluctant to commit and pursue a relationship with our Lord. In addition to feeling very wounded by our recent loss, we both carried the baggage of beliefs (or lack thereof) over the last 35+ years.

We each began a spiritual journey, which, in hindsight, required us to “bottom out” before we could begin to be lifted up. I had several different jobs, including buying and selling a business for a tremendous loss. Each one was a bigger disaster than the previous. I was falling apart. I detested who I was as a wife and mother. Days would pass where I would do nothing. Depression and desperation were gaining a stronghold over me. Every word out of my mouth was negative, not only towards me, but also to my loved ones. As a friend recently said to me, I made it easy for Satan, never putting up a fight and inviting him in with each breath I took. I was still being controlled by persistent grief and other emotions- the only thing that was clear was that God wanted me and I began to listen.

One particularly bad day, I found myself at Mass – a friend saw how desperate I was and told me to stay afterwards for prayer. I agreed, not knowing what else to do with myself. My friend arranged for Catherine (a CHM prayer minister) and two sisters to pray over me. I sat there, not knowing what to expect, but eager for something to happen. Catherine laid her hand on me and asked me what I wanted Jesus to do for me today. I was dumbfounded. I could ask Jesus to do something for me? I could ask him to take this pain away? I contemplated for a moment and responded that I wanted him to take the anger and fear from me. They prayed over me for what seemed like an instant, but actually lasted for over an hour. Catherine prayed in tongues; I was amazed that I could understand what she was saying. That first prayer relieved me of so much physical stress and anxiety, yet I knew that it was only the beginning.

I shared my experience with my wonderfully supportive group of friends God has given us. Of these friends, a couple had been attending prayer sessions at CHM and suggested that I join them one Tuesday evening for prayer at CHM. Although eager, I was also quite nervous and a bit scared. God compelled me to move forward, but agreeing to let go of my comfortable relationship with my demons meant accepting Him into my heart and changing my ways.

That first Tuesday at CHM was monumental. I was fortunate to have three prayer ministers. I know now that each one was there for a purpose. I briefly told them my story, surprised at how much pain and anger was spewing from my mouth. Norman, one of my prayer ministers, looked at me and asked if I was ready to forgive and ask for forgiveness. How could I possibly do this? We bantered back and forth; with each word he spoke, I knew it was God telling me that I must do this to move forward. I agreed with much reluctance. They guided me through a forgiveness and deliverance prayer. It was terribly painful. I actually fought it, both emotionally and physically. It was as if I was not in control of my body. I resisted each and every time he told me to speak the words. As we came to the end of the third part of the prayer, I experienced a physical release, and felt my body going limp. The tears flowed and I knew that there was no going back on this journey to healing. At the end of our session, Bettie looked at me, and said that Jesus wanted me to know that “I have a sound mind.” What a blessing this was. I had truly begun to believe that I was going crazy – what other explanation could there be for my behavior? As we were concluding, I noticed I was continually compelled to turn my head to the left. They all asked what I saw, but I was not able to understand this physical reaction for many months to come.

After this prayer session, life slowly began to change. Day by day my disposition improved, my relationship with my husband and children was shifting. Communication was opening up. I began to recognize where I needed to change my ways.

Our friends that are involved in CHM graciously provided for me to attend the Journey to Healing retreat, which was a major milestone of healing! After the retreat I continued to pray, and even today, I regularly make CHM a part of my journey. A group of us attends the open prayer on Tuesdays at least every other week. I remember one recent Tuesday that I went without expectations or strong desires of what needed to be healed. I was totally receptive, but almost jokingly wrote my standard “please heal me of all remaining fear and anger and replace it with love.” As I sat patiently waiting for the rest of my group, Leslie approached me. I felt compelled to share with her – she had recently written an article in the CHM newsletter on fear and how she had come to remember that she had undergone eye surgery as an infant. As I read this article, I was so overcome by the Holy Spirit. He guided me to remember, that I too had surgery, around 9 months of age for blocked tear ducts. I was not anesthetized during this procedure and remember screaming and trying to turn my head away from the fear and pain. As I read and reflected on Leslie’s story, I felt healing coming over me. I felt the familiar compulsion to turn my head to the left, straining my neck, just as I had done after the initial prayer session with Norman and Bettie. I felt the fear of being a child, unable to control what was happening, and fear throughout my entire life where I would always turn and run away, unable to deal with anything out of my control. As I relayed this to Leslie, she prayed with me and remarked how it appeared that Jesus was ministering directly to me. I can only attribute this to the healing received through CHM, and the skills that I learned on my journey.

What has all of this meant to my life? When I came to CHM, I was broken: a bitter, angry, fearful woman. I had also faced significant loss– the loss of my parents, my immediate family, finances, lifestyle – everything other than my husband and children. I was so weighed down with pain and negativity. God is now restoring me – only in His image. With the most recent prayer time, I am now moving forward in getting a job; for months I was immobile – unable to pick up the phone or submit a resume. I approach each day now with a new purpose, knowing that I am on His path. The calls and interviews are coming, and I am hopeful for a new career. I am forever changed. I recognize that healing continues and am forever grateful to God, and to the beautiful ministers at CHM.
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Leslie Royalty Leslie Royalty is in charge of Prayer Minister Care at CHM. Magazine Issue

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