Brittany Garcia - Healed
Growing up I was part of the church, but I started to grow bitter towards it because I saw my childhood pastor make some ungodly choices. It hurt me to see what he was doing and put distrust in my heart. Because of this, my mom took us, and we left everything I knew behind. This caused much hurt, confusion, and anger in my life. I grew up wondering if there really was a God. I knew that what I had experienced when I was younger was, but I wasn’t sure if I could trust him.
When I was 16 years old, I got my first seizure. They would continue on severely for another 3 years. Suffering from epilepsy caused me to be filled with so much fear and anxiety. Knowing that there is power in prayer and that people can be healed, my mom would take me back to church so that others could pray over me. We went to so many different churches where many different people would pray in faith believing that I would be healed of my seizures, but it never worked.
I could feel that their prayers were sincere, but in all honesty my heart was hardened from my past and my faith wasn't ready to receive their blessings. The laying on of hands for healing turned into a routine and it became a cycle of disappointment and hurt. It became so normal that I learned to just deal with the seizures in my life. My identity slowly started revolving around my pain of epilepsy. As a result, it restricted what I could do and where I could go.
I was ready for college. I wanted a new environment and to learn how to deal with my sickness in a different setting. Quickly, I found places on campus where I could go and have a seizure so that I wouldn't bother the people around me. Sadly though, I was struggling and walking through my pain alone.
This new chapter was supposed to look different, but I had developed some of the same tendencies of isolation I had growing up. God had other plans in my life though. One day, I was walking on campus past a booth, and met a girl who would become my small group leader. She invited me to go on a spring break serve trip with her. It was such a dark time in my life that I really was open to any genuine friendship. I decided to join her small group and over time, we developed a really close relationship and I decided to join her on this mission trip.
One morning during the spring break trip, the pastor woke up earlier than the students and began to pray in the spirit over the church. I had never witnessed such a powerful prayer language before and honestly, it kind of scared me. After he was done praying, it was time for Sunday morning church to start. Whenever worship started, I made my way to the back of the room. As worship went on, the pastor did an altar call for healing and I thought to myself, “Wow someone is going to get healed today”. I prayed that others would have boldness to go forward and receive healing.
The pastor waited patiently for more people to step forward and eventually, I felt a hand on my back. I looked up and it was my small group leader! She had come to find me in the back of that dark room because she cared for me and knew that I was struggling with epilepsy. In that moment, everything was so clear and I realized that I needed healing. I knew that sickness wasn’t meant to be part of my identity. It took my small group leader, a close friend, searching after me to show me that I could trust the God who I had so easily pushed away for so long. God had used her as a vessel to seek after me in that room.
The pastor prayed over me, but this time however, I prayed sincerely alongside of him. I prayed for healing and for God to have his way in my life. I knew that his prayers were not falling on deaf ears. An overwhelming peace overcame me. I no longer felt the pain that I had felt for so many years! From this moment on, I knew that God was real and that I could trust Him. I saw that His heart for me was to walk in His ways with all my heart, soul, and mind.
Leading up to the trip, God had been softening my heart towards Him, but my mind was still occupied by worry. In the healing God brought me, He had given me something tangible to cling on to. I no longer worried about having a seizure and I have not had another one to this day! I can now walk boldly, and pray with confidence that others would be healed in the same way. It brings me joy when others ask why I love Jesus, because I know that He is faithful.