In February, I joined the Women’s Bible Study, Chase, and I was excited the group leader had asked me to lead one of the studies. I prayed for God to guide me and give me the words to inspire these women. During the time I attended the Bible Study, I was also experiencing the loss of my grandmother Isabel, who had suffered for over 15 years with Alzheimer’s.
Isabel’s brother (whom she hadn’t seen in over 15 years), asked if he could come visit her during this time. Word quickly spread to over fifty relatives, turning the small visit into a much needed reunion with her. A few days later, my grandmother closed her eyes and never opened them again. The night before she passed, we all gathered together as a family and enjoyed a “last supper” in her presence. The following day, which happened to be Good Friday, she passed peacefully on the Hour of Mercy. As the Lord took her to be with Him, we noticed a large shadow of a cross displayed on her body from the window her bed was positioned under.
As I prepared my notes for the section “Surrender”, from the Chase study, I began to think about the back pain I have been suffering with since I was young. This year, after giving birth to my daughter Giana (whom my grandmother got to see), my pain had become more severe and overwhelming. However, I continued to consume myself with the negative MRI reports, never really wanting to speak or pray about it. These thoughts and reports, were blinding me from the ultimate healing of God. Through the story of Easter, God showed me how He wanted me to deny myself, take up the cross and follow Him. I will never forget what a friend from Bible study told me, she said “He just wants you to call on Him and ask Him for healing” as she looked me in the eye and held my shoulders with such urgency. It was true, I never asked God for his healing, but now I do, more than ever.
The day after I spoke at our Women’s Bible Study, I discovered a therapy method that became the answer to my back pain and to this day, has improved my quality of life tenfold. I am so thankful to the women in the Bible study who encouraged me and prayed for me. Although I sometimes still allow my worries to get the best of me, I believe in the power of prayer. After hearing Pastor Danny Rivers preach the beginning of our new series, Pray First, I know God is taking me on my next step to building a healthy habit of prayer in all that I do.
When we experience pain we are most holy and I truly believe that God showed me that IF: I Pray First in all I do, IF: I Chase Him and IF: I surrender, He will show mercy on me. This Women’s Bible Study is a part of Jennie Allen’s IF: Gatherings. They exist to gather, equip and unleash the next generation of women to live out their purpose. This Bible Study allowed me to fellowship with other women and chase after God’s heart together. Life Point helps me discover my purpose in life and has been a vessel for my family’s spiritual growth.
At my grandmother’s funeral, my aunt spoke about how my grandmother would go on the porch every night to pray when everyone was asleep. She said she felt closer to God when she prayed in private and she felt His presence when she was looking at the stars. She found peace and healing in prayer. My hope, is that you too, can find healing and peace in prayer.
Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:26
Published by Luisa Garcia
Photos by: Luisa Garcia and Charmiane Garza
Graphic Art by: Gilbert Zertuche