Redemption Comes Full Circle

by Leslie Royalty
Jan/Feb 2011

God has a beautiful way of bringing redemption full circle. He is truly a God of completion. Many of you know from an article I shared earlier this year, about my traumatic experience with eye surgery as an infant. Since then, I have received many years of prayer and have experienced profound inner healing in so many areas. As I expressed in the previous article, I received healing from a major root of fear (and all its aspects) that entered through that surgery as a baby.

What I did not describe was the whole other issue of shame. As I was born with strabismus (misalignment of my eyes), I dealt with some childhood teasing as you can imagine, which I then internalized, unconsciously developing painful insecurities. The Lord finally began to bring these to the surface as I approached college, slowly and gently addressing the deep lies I had come to believe about myself and replacing them with His perfect love. He did this over time and in many different ways. Through ministering to me directly in times alone with Him, through inner healing prayer with others, and through healing peer relationships in which I felt deeply loved and valued, the Lord has gradually peeled back the layers of shame and allowed my true self to be loved.

Of course I have countless times throughout my life also received prayer for physical healing. Although I do believe that there had been some gradual improvement over time, the physical healing was not fully realized. I struggled with this reality on many occasions. Not only is it difficult to work for a healing ministry and not receive healing myself, but it has caused me to wrestle through core questions. With raw honesty I have asked Jesus, “Are you who you say you are? Are you who I say you are?” I have always believed that Jesus healed when He was on this earth and that as Scripture, history, and present experience all demonstrate, He still heals today. But my soul needed to wrestle through these questions and receive more deeply the truth about God’s character and his intense desire and power to heal. Regardless of the outcome in my own life.

I really believe that God could have healed me in an instant. Just one word from Him is all it takes. But in the 25 years that have lapsed between my first surgery and now, I will never fully be able to capture all the internal healing that He has done. What began as a gaping wound in my soul, God has reached in, cleaned out, and turned into an increased capacity for love. He has shown me so many times that my suffering in this area has propelled me to seek Him with greater vulnerability and depth, allowing me to receive his love more than I would have otherwise. It has led me to know that my identity is fully based on His love for me, not on my appearance or other’s approval. I have inwardly experienced his fierce protection and his tender compassion toward me in every situation, every emotion, and every question. He truly is a God who understands. And through this I have personally learned the value of brokenness in our own lives. How our humanity, weakness, and suffering when completely given over to Jesus’ purposes, can be transformed and allow us to minister to others with the compassionate heart of Jesus.

The reason I wanted to share this story is to offer a sort of sequel to the previous article. At CHM we believe God can heal through prayer and He also can heal through medicine; both are gifts from Him, through which I have received great blessing. In his unfailing sense of humor, after 25 years, God recently led me to have eye surgery again. Undoubtedly he could have healed me miraculously, but in His chosen way, He truly brought the healing full circle. In his perfect timing, I had been fully prepared for this second surgery through all these years of inner healing. It was such a redemptive experience, filled with the peace and presence of God both before and during the surgery (I was conscious, only partially anesthetized). As I was lying there, in my mind’s eye I saw Jesus holding me as a baby again in a similar operating room. The room that once represented such a place of fear and darkness now glowed with a warm light. With me tucked close in his arms, Jesus paraded all around the room rejoicing. As I absorbed the scene, I realized he was doing His victory dance.

With wisdom that far exceeds mine, God chose to bring healing to me through surgery. Physical healing, yes, but also a deeper emotional healing, as He allowed me to experience first-hand the fullness of His redemption.

“Oh Israel, put your hope in the Lord. For with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption.” Psalm 130:7

P.S. I just got back from a follow-up appointment with my surgeon and he measured very significant improvement, with likely more to come!
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Leslie Royalty Leslie Royalty is in charge of Prayer Minister Care at CHM. Magazine Issue

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