When I heard about the Becoming Whole conference I sensed a definite Holy Spirit nudge to sign up right away. I went with a sense of expectation. I was not certain what to expect, but I was certain I needed to be there! I planned to serve, but Abba had more than that in store for me.
Do you remember seeing those magazine stress tests? “If you have experienced ______ in the past year,” then you tally up the numbers assigned to each stressful event. My stress levels broke new barriers every year several years in a row. I have gone through a lot of changes, many of them worthy of grieving deeply. Three deaths in my family of origin and closing out their homes, empty nesting, loss of employment and our dog of 13 years died. Relationships collapsed and sold my home of 19 years. I spent 8 months in “housing limbo” before my new home was ready, just to hit a few points. I desperately sought the face of God… I graciously & gratefully found Him, and yet I still had this deep, crushing grief I could not shake.
When I arrived at the church, the months of prayer preceding the actual event were palpable to me. The worship team came with their hearts set on our worthy God, knowing that their call was to participate in creating an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit could operate freely in the hearts of everyone who attended. By fixing our eyes on our maker who loves us, we began to open our hearts to participate in the process of Becoming Whole.
The teaching laid the foundation Thursday night and continued Friday evening. That second night is where God graciously highlighted what he wanted to do for me. Fr. Alex spoke on life for a baby in the womb. He showed how the life of the mother in particular, affects the life of the yet to be born child. He also shared a story of how God showed him that he was supposed to be a twin, but his twin died in the womb in early stages of development. His testimony of the grief he lived with before God brought him healing of those events in the womb, struck deep in my heart.
You see, about the time I was conceived, my mom’s best friend, her only sibling and my namesake was diagnosed with cancer. She had a tumor that actually had teeth & hair in it. Andrea was originally a twin, but the other baby died in the womb and was partially absorbed into her body, in her case as a ticking time bomb.
The entire time mom carried me she was grieving. My aunt Andrea went to be with the Lord three months after I was born. Mom struggled to bond with me, plus I carried Andrea’s name as a daily reminder of her lost sister. Mom never consciously put any of that on me, but I carried it spiritually until the Becoming Whole event.
That night I stayed for prayer. I waited for Fr. Alex. Because 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “…God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” He had already lived what I needed.
If measured in words, the prayer time was very brief and uneventful. But the presence of the Holy Spirit was strong, pulling decades of my mother’s grief out of me that had served as hooks in my life to lock onto my own personal reasons to grieve, holding me captive. No matter how hard I tied to free myself before, I couldn’t. I needed the help of others, with the touch of God, to unlock and release it all. Before we finished Fr. Alex blessed me, filling me with joy, rest, peace and sealing the work of God. Those previously painful places were now filled with the wholeness of God.
After receiving such deep transformational healing, I was exhausted for days. But even with that, friends independently began to comment how they noticed a lightness around me they had not seen before. Now, I find it much easier to laugh full belly laughs and to experience the goodness of God on new levels. I am free of my mom’s grief. I still am learning to walk out my personal freedom of joy and peace in believing, but I too notice it is much easier for me to experience joy, peace and yes, wholeness.