For 5 ½ years I have suffered with psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease where the immune system sends out faulty signals that significantly speed up the growth cycle of skin cells resulting in unsightly and aggravating patches of skin.
A couple of years ago, when a pastor friend in Florida said that his wife had “seen” that I would be healed of a cancer-like disease (not knowing I had any health problems), I was delighted.
Since my first outbreak, I’ve seen emergency doctors a couple of times for other matters, where I had been able to bring up my skin problem. These visits yielded diagnosis confirmations and topical ointments which had little effect.
Having no medical insurance, I relied on online research and personal testimonies about the disease. Research told me that as many as 7.5 million Americans alone have psoriasis, and the “cure” was to compromise the immune system. Short of that, various prescription salves were available to bring some comfort.
Over the past half decade, I came across no shortage of personal psoriasis stories— all problems… no cures. Some had lesions on their scalp, some on their arms, legs, necks, or torso. Most tried one thing and then another. One of my friends whose entire skin was affected was eventually helped by daily injections.
The situation seemed hopeless, but I never lamented having no medical insurance. And it seemed like a waste to pursue it medically anyway— seeing a specialist who would offer me medication to interfere with my immune system. The cure sounded worse than the disease.
But there is a God who rules over EVERYTHING, and He is the ultimate physician. Though I remain a sinner, He loves me. He is my Father, my Daddy. He is the King of kings and I am His princess. So I asked myself last June “Why do I still suffer from these annoying and embarrassing lesions up and down my shins? Why can’t I be free to dress for the summer?”
It was then that I felt a rising in my spirit to seek fervently the healing I desired. For all these years I had hoped. Why not believe? Why couldn’t I press into my Heavenly Father’s throne room and find out just what was standing between me and clear skin?
“Was it my diet… an allergy?” I wondered. But my confidence rested in the spirit realm. Something spiritually was surely standing in the way, or God would have already healed me or told me how to fix this by earthly means.
I attended an evening church service shortly after that where a friend introduced me to one of her friends. The two of us discussed the issue, and a couple of revelations came.
- 1. She suggested that I take communion daily and proclaim all the provisions within it, the full forgiveness and healing offered by the sacrifice of Christ— his body and blood.
This concept was not new to me and I had tried it before, but had never stuck with it. This time was different. I would carry out the symbolic act several times a week and proclaim the provisions upon my spirit, soul, and body for as long as it took. I would fast and pray during these weeks as well.
2. She asked what was going on in my life when my first lesions broke out.
What Happened Prior to the Outbreak?
I knew this disease appeared after a difficult month prior to the wedding of one of our kids. It wasn’t the arrangements that caused the stress, but sustained strife between our children.
Deep unresolved issues surfaced, and after days turned to weeks, it seemed that I still couldn’t do anything to stop the bleeding. Family members threatened to pull out of the wedding party as the rehearsal dinner remained unscheduled.
Thank God my out-of-state family members weren’t. But was this going to spill over to the new side of the family? What would they hear? What would they think? I was frozen in fear.
The kids managed to patch things up just in time, and the wedding did go on as planned, but a week later, I reached down and felt a strange bump on my right leg. Before long, both of my shins were a mess. And over the next 5 ½ years it only got worse, even during the months I applied topical medications.
Had the sustained stress resulted in the onset of psoriasis? Doctors and psychologists would probably say it did. But could there be a spiritual connection between the disease and the pressure I had put upon myself? Something that when discovered, held the key to my healing— first in the spiritual realm, then in the earthly realm.
As I finished sharing the story with my new friend, three words popped into my head.
I Samuel 15:24 records Saul confessing this same thing to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.
Proverbs 29:25 warns us of the same, Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
It’s clearly God’s will that we fear Him in the sense that we respect Him above others and consider His perspective prior to our decisions. Deuteronomy 10:12-13 tells us, And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Later in the same book, God’s instructs us clearly, Learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 31:12
Israel’s judges are told in 2 Chronicles 19:7 to rule in the fear of the Lord, Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.”
Fearing God results in integrity. Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 25:17
Fearing God results in blessing. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own. Exodus 1:21
Exodus 20:20 reveals that God tests us to produce fear of God. Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
I had been afraid of embarrassment, and now I was living with exactly what I had feared: embarrassment─ and it was all over my shins. If I wore a dress, a skirt, capris, or shorts, I would suffer embarrassment.
I was restricted to long pants and skirts.
I had considered before that my disease was connected to the fear of man, but never put together the specifics— that psoriasis was EMBARRASSING. What other disease was so obviously visible?
There was the connection. There was what was surely standing between me and my healing. I repented. I asked forgiveness. I renounced it. I asked for the consequences to be removed. I took communion and fasted and prayed for a month.
After month of prayer, fasting, repentance and communion, the sermon in one of the weekday church services inspired me. I went for prayer from the pastor and was told I would be healed, and it would be before the next season of my life unfolded.
There were other ministers available for prayer, so I approached a gentleman I did not know. He asked what I wanted prayer for, and I told him. With full conviction, authority, and emotion, he prayed for me like I hadn’t been prayed for before.
This is Part 1 of a short series on healing from our experience. Watch for the next post.