I experienced another miracle healing this week.
It proved to me that miracle healings don't all work the same.
And it has left me pondering the question, "What is prayer?"
You might recall that I've been terrified of heights my entire life. Like, not just scared of being at the top of the Sears Tower (yeah, I know it's now called the Willis Tower, but I don't have to change with that)...like, scared when I stand on a chair. The fear has been strong, visceral, a physical sensation not just in my stomach but in my entire body, combined with a whole lot of mental/emotional baggage.
You might also recall that the Lord has been doing a work in me, where that is concerned. First I crossed that bridge along the Chicago bike path near downtown without fear. Then I moved back here and have been running on the Centennial Bridge (a place high enough that it was once bordering on debilitating for me to walk it) without fear.
Still, there has been one holdout: the bicycle bridge that connects Illinois to Arsenal Island. It sort of hangs off to the side of the regular road bridge where the cars cross. It is made of light silver metal grating. Light passes through it easily, meaning no matter how intensely I stare forward, I get constant flashes in my peripheral vision of how high I am. The bridge also makes this whole series of crazy noises when I cross it. A banging and clanging. A rattle. A jingling sound. It basically sounds like it's about to collapse under me as I ride.
That combination of factors has brought out an intense physical reaction in me. My stomach clenches, my entire body tenses, and I feel a little dizzy. I've been combating that by singing old hymns aloud as I drive across (and staring fiercely ahead, trying hard not to see out of my peripheral vision). I was just telling my mom on Monday night that this has not gotten better with time and repeated practice. In fact, I noted, sometimes I find it getting worse. This, despite my concerted effort to think rationally, to refuse to surrender to panic, to intentionally force my body into unclenching if it can at all, while I cross. I have now fought it long enough and hard enough to be sure: I cannot practice my way or talk my way out of my fear of heights as it exercises itself on that awful bridge.
I love that phrase!
But God apparently heard my sharing with my mom as a prayer, a request. And ummm... HE ANSWERED! I was stunned to find on Tuesday that the bridge bothered me exactly zero. I noticed in the morning, and thought for sure the fear would be back in the afternoon.
But it wasn't.
So this morning as I rolled up to it, I was both excited and nervous. Was I REALLY healed? Only this test would tell.
Annnd...NO FEAR! It was like a little crowd inside my head went wild this morning as I crossed, just cheering, celebrating, in awe, in wonder. Saying to God, "Did you read my conversation with my mom as a prayer?! TOO COOL! THANK YOU!"
Again today: in the morning, in the evening, it all didn't matter. That visceral physical fear in me about that high place...it's gone. Dead. History. I was so tickled that I exited the bridge, literally laughing aloud.
I'VE BEEN HEALED!
I guess...just because He could? Just to teach me another unexpected thing about His ways?
How about, just because He is good, He loves me, and He's willing to keep peeling back my layers and redeeming them from darkness, one at a time. And maybe, too, because of doors in my heart and mind that are propped wide open to His voice, His ways. I'm not getting it perfectly, by a long shot...but tonight...I am very grateful that He answered my little prayer that I didn't even know was a prayer.