Healing Line

Healing Line

You are God's Pearl

by Kathi Smith
Oct/Nov/Dec 2012

I spent my childhood growing up in the Middle East, where I experienced multiple traumas that led me to an unexpected place in life. At age 37 I found myself in a wheelchair with a rare autoimmune disorder that rendered me unable to walk. The doctors told me I might stay in the metal chair for life. It was at this point when I started my healing journey. I went to Christian Healing Ministries for prayer and asked for physical healing. The prayer ministers asked about my childhood, at which point I told them I had a normal childhood. My "normal" included wars, evacuations, abuse from strangers and an abduction. I casually told them I had gotten "past" these events, but what I soon discovered was that prayer for inner healing allowed God to fully heal what I had hidden in a closet marked "fear" inside my heart.

As a healing ministry, CHM is always looking for teaching tools and testimonies that relate to healing. Putting people on the pathway to healing is one of our mission goals. The prayer ministers at CHM were able to pray to release the things which my heart had buried and hidden. In the present I was out of physical danger but my heart still held fear and anxiety. God allowed me to take off the glasses of fear and put on the glasses that gave me God's perspective and foundation for my thinking, my parenting and even for being a spouse.

Now on the other side of healing, I no longer operate with fear as my foundation. I am out of the wheelchair enjoying a full life. I have stopped fear–based parenting. My high school daughter was in Costa Rica for the summer and my college–aged son was in Hollywood for the summer, both enjoying full lives without their mother being neurotic about their safety.

If any part of my story about "getting past" my childhood wounds resounds with you, I want to recommend a book to you. The book is not a how–to book, nor is it a study guide. Before I tell you about it, I want you to know — I picked it up one afternoon and had a well–planned meal that became a pizza delivery menu because a tumultuous storyline could not be released from my grasp. The book I want to recommend is called Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning as I turned each page that Iranian–born Tessa had penned. I followed the riveting Biblical historical fiction thread of Rahab, the woman in the Bible known by the title of "prostitute" and also known as the woman who allowed the Israelites to escape from the walls of Jericho. Tessa turns a Biblical narrative that is quite functional in the telling into a three–dimensional, unforgettable life as she weaves the story of Rahab's pain of rejection and abandonment (historically a lot of young girls were sold into prostitution by their parents in order to keep their families fed), to a story of redemption (how Rahab is used by God to save the Israelites from a life–threatening situation).

Why am I recommending this book? Why did my heart connect so closely with Pearl in the Sand? Along her path, Rahab receives inner healing. She suffered self–worth issues that were similar to mine. My shame and insecurity from my childhood events had come to a point of literally (not just figuratively) crippling me. I connected with Rahab. Different issues, same pain. Tessa's telling of Rahab's story shows how God allows both her heart and her head to be transformed and healed from the pain of her past. In quilting the pieces of Rahab's life together, Tessa's final blanket became a covering of hope to me, and I hope to you — hope in the desert.

We at Christian Healing Ministries love to teach and pray to bring light to darkness, to bring healing from pain, so all prayer recipients and school attendees might begin to operate from a foundation free from fear, free from shame. God's "Garden of Eden" intention is for us to operate from a foundation of knowing how much He loves us, how much we can trust Him.

I grew up about 170 miles north of Rahab's Jericho home. I felt a kindred spirit toward Rahab and her struggles with identity. "So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall. Now she had said to them, ‘Go to the hills so the pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there three days until they return, and then go on your way.'" (Joshua 2:15,16) Today I am so privileged to be a prayer minister at CHM. Like Rahab, I am blessed to participate in the freeing of captives, helping the Lord bring liberty to the brokenhearted and oppressed. If you follow Rahab's genealogy in the Bible, it leads to that of Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer. Reading Pearl in the Sand reminded me that I am also a pearl that has experienced both hope in the desert and a greater understanding of God's love for myself.

Tessa just came out with her second book, Harvest of Rubies, which is just as riveting as her first. She weaves healing and hope into her writings and once more gives hope in the desert places. May God bless you and your loved ones in their healing journeys.

Kathi Smith Kathi Smith is the Senior Editor of Healing Line and an active CHM prayer minister. Oct/Nov/Dec 2012