Leigh Allison, Raceview, Qld
A compelling story that can rescue you and change your life
A TRUE MAKE OVER
No matter whether my life is easy or difficult, no matter whether I can see meaning or not, I celebrate the Lord for rescuing me in 1987 - my spirit's birth.
Joseph in the Old Testament said, ‘what the enemy meant for evil, God turned for good’ (Genesis 50:19), and that certainly is true in my life.
My testimony of seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalms 27:13), centres on my recovery from the debilitating effects of thirty years of suffering mental anguish. I like to share how my life has been transformed by the love of Jesus Christ, to engender hope that the Lord will help others as He has helped me.
Jesus took away what was important to take away: my spiritual emptiness, my broken heart, and the dysfunctional patterns of my thoughts and emotions. He unlocked the chains that had held my mind in paralysing negativity. However, the Lord saw fit to leave me with a thorn in the flesh.
Therefore, my healing is progressive. Chronic illness doesn't fit squarely into my Christian doctrine. Nor will it fit into yours. Of course, I wanted my return to health to be neatly wrapped up into a miracle. Not to be! Nevertheless, Jesus assured me He would always be with me, and I began to make real progress. God is good!
During these years, I also attained a General Nursing Certificate, a Bachelor of Arts Degree, and later, a Certificate in Christian Studies. I have worked in Nursing, Police, and the Public Service. Most of my employment was arduous and colourless. Interestingly, this experience gave me character traits that helped me later: discipline, perseverance, and attention to detail. I wonder if instant healing would have dealt with my character flaws as effectively.
Now, I believe my heart is softer and my mind stronger in God, through the way He chose for me. I have the personal evidence of the Lord's grace, power to restore, protection of my mind from attack, and provision. As Solomon wrote, Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him; And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6).
During these twenty-two years of walking with the Lord, combined with healing my wounds, He has shifted my focus to having a confident expectation of the future. ‘Wait!’ has been a frequent command. ‘Listen!’ is there too.
Significantly, I realized that in Christ, limiting barriers break. What I once thought I couldn't do, I was subsequently able to achieve. Like Jabez, I often prayed, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ (1 Chronicles 4:10) The Lord certainly has blessed me. For example, from being extremely shy and stigmatised, I can speak confidently to congregations and groups. Other keys of Scripture, the Lord has given me, have combined to unlock the chains around my mind. The Bible fascinates me, and meditation on its verses is a delight.
I sought to understand the ways in which the Lord helped me. I wanted to be able to pass on His principles and to portray His trustworthiness. Even when I couldn't handle the routine pressures of life, the Lord did not forsake me. I was always cared for by friends and others.
A testimony is not only dealing with the past, but also what is happening now. Outward actions manifest the inner change. The Lord is working on my belief in Him. There's no question, He is faithful, just, and true, and it makes sense to jump into His everlasting arms.
However, trust is much more than mental assent. I am only now embarking on this phase in relationship with Him: to break the barriers of past disappointment, reason and fear of the unknown. It was easier for me to trust the Lord when I couldn't help myself: the no-one-else-to-goto syndrome. It was a sort of childlike trust. When circumstances improved, I found it more difficult to trust God: to hand over my possessions and bank balance, my goals and decisions in general. But now, there is the hope of a precious trust that is like breaking the sound barrier: breaking an outer limit to come into a different level of faith in the supreme power of God: a place of holding nothing back. Yes! I'm a work in progress.
Trusting God means trusting people too, and from my somewhat interior life, the Lord has given me a delight in looking outwards to the variety of people I meet, as I share my thoughts in writing, I imagine my readers: what they might need or want. Are there things I can include for those who have pain, who can't or don't want to speak about it? By the grace of God, writing helps me define what is important to me, what blockages there may be, and how this can affect my readers.
Even in the Church, certain facades can be expected of the 'I'm all right' type, but if this leaves the person locked-up inside, it is sad. What a privilege it is when any of us can be the Lord's instrument here.
I thank the Lord for giving me His joy and revealing my purpose in life. From my most fundamental Christian experience of knowing how my sins, shame, guilt, and inferiority had been washed away, to my exhilaration of having a quality of peace of mind I hadn't thought possible. Constantly, I revere God and revel in His presence. No experience is wasted in the Lord when we surrender to Him. All things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Author: "You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page" - Jodi Picoult