Rev. Bruce’s Healing Testimony

Bruce.color.smallRev. Bruce’s Healing Testimony:
How I Was Undragoned

I simply could not go on.  For over sixteen years I had struggled with my allergies and I was losing the battle.  My weight had dropped dangerously low, and I was wasting away before my very eyes.  There was absolutely nothing left that I could eat.  Even the air and water made me sick.  I was in my second year of an experimental allergy treatment that had only succeeded in making me worse.  After all those years, I had nowhere else to turn – except to God.  I cried out to the Lord in utter despair, begging for deliverance.  In anguish, I  pleaded to Him that I’d had enough – that I just couldn’t take it any longer.  Like Job, I felt completely broken, rent in two.  It was as if I were rung out and left to hang damp and limp over a rail.

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Since the sixth grade, my life had been a fruitless struggle of trying to “figure out” a solution to my allergies.  In every way, my allergies had become who I was; they were my identity.  From the very first day that I brought foods like Mako shark and frog legs to lunch, I became know as “that kid with allergies”.  In a strange way, I didn’t mind this label at first. (I had been adopted when I was an infant, and had struggled with identity issues.)  Not only did my allergies get me extra attention at home, but they gave me a distinctiveness that I managed to translate into a false sense of security.  The trouble was that as my life progressed, I remained trapped inside this identity and it became unbearable.  But the Lord saw my struggle and had other plans for me.  He set out to teach me that my true identity could only be found in Him.

Beginning in the spring of 1997, soon after my wife and I started attending Truro, God began to heal me.  It was slow going at first, no thanks to me.  It actually took me about a year and a half to let God really get down to work.  I was so stubborn and stuck on trying to figure everything out myself, that I failed to see that God needed me to trust in Him completely.  By the fall of 1998, however, I had at least finally realized that I was running out of my own ideas.  With nowhere else to turn I let God lead me to one of Truro’s healing prayer teams.  I had attended Truro’s various healing services, and been prayed over occasionally after church on Sundays, but had never sought prayer as an answer  in and of itself.  Rather, I thought that I could use prayer to ask God to help me figure out the solution to my allergies.

But as I let go and finally began to prayerfully submit myself to God, I found that He began to change me.  He revealed painful experiences from my past that I had left unresolved.  He made me realize that I was hauling around a horde of excess baggage and was layered with so many different identities that my true self was buried and virtually unrecognizable.  I also learned that I was so wrought with fear–fear of being sick and fear of letting go of the sickness–that I was physically and spiritually incapacitated.

To be healed, I literally had to let God undress me – a process which proved to be painful at first.  In the words of the boy-turned-dragon, then turned boy again, Eustace, in C.S. Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader, “The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart.  And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse that anything I had ever felt.  The only thing that made me bear it was the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off.”  As God purified me by stripping away my own ugliness, he also worked to make me completely dependant upon Him.

God led me to fast for a week.  It actually wasn’t a full fast, but a diet where He did the menu planning.  I would literally stand in front of the open fridge and ask Him to show me what to eat – and he did.  It was never much, but always just enough.  I learned to trust God in an amazing new way.  By the end of that week I was ready to let God tear deeply into me (though I did not realize it until it occurred).  God began to strip away the fear and pain that had tormented me for so many years.  I was brought to my knees and shaken like a leaf – a process he has repeated several times since.  When he was finished, I felt lighter than before.  I was freer, less burdened, and very conscious that His Spirit was at work in me.  In the words of Eustace: “And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been.”

The following day, I found that I could eat!  God had begun to physically manifest my healing!  I was awestruck.  It seemed almost unfathomable that a God so huge could love me so much that he would spend that much time working on me.  I was (and still am) humbled to my very core.  In the days ahead, I continued to ask God what to eat at each meal and found that He pointed me to things I would have never dared to try before.  God also taught me how to eat – I simply did not know how to make a balanced meal or even how much to eat!  I quickly gained over 15 pounds and began to look healthy.  People repeatedly told me that they could see a difference in me, both physically and emotionally.  Eustace explains:  “I found that all the pain had gone…. And then I saw why.  I’d turned into a boy again.”

Since the day God began to manifest his healing, He has actively been at work within me, stripping off old layers and setting me free.  I am now a totally new person.  I feel reborn, cleansed and whole.  God’s work in me is far from done, but when I look back to where I started, I can hardly believe how far I have come.  God is now giving me an entirely new identity.  It is a self that is rooted firmly in Him.  I still do struggle at times.  Allergic symptoms arise when I am anxious or fearful for one reason or another.  But these symptoms are merely the residue of an old self.  God is now dressing me in new clothes – clothes that He has chosen just for me.

(February 1999)