A wonderful lady in our church, Debbie Pratt,  wrote her testimony and sent it to me.  As I read about the life changing power of Jesus I thought it would be inspirational for others as well.  Below is shortened version of the email she sent me.  I hope it brings joy to your heart as it did mine.

Pastor Chris

July 3rd 2014 my husband and I rolled into Tyler.  We were on the Loop and I noticed a sign that about NCC.  I felt God nudge me, “This is your church!”  A few weeks later I limped into this church and to say it helped change my life is an understatement.

The last 13 years had not been easy. In 2004 I needed to have Gastric Bypass after failed attempts at weight loss. I had ballooned to 329 lbs. and realized my family history of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes could be my future. In one year I lost shy of 200 lbs. and that was the beginning of the end of my life as I knew it. I was hospitalized so many times I honestly can remember being told the doctors didn’t know what to do.  I had my gallbladder removed, blood infusions, constant dehydration and an emergency appendectomy.  Add to that and I went through full menopause in roughly 3 months.  My bones started going bad and no one knew why.  I was sick mentally and physically to the point where I was prescribed anxiety meds and morphine for the next 7 yrs.

A lot of the years from 2004 to 2014 are really vague but in August of 2014 things got real.  I decided I was sick of my life on morphine, plus doctors were now reluctant to prescribe it in Tyler.  (Thank God). I quit “cold turkey!”  I had no idea what the next few days would bring.  It was a hell no one person can imagine unless you yourself experience it.  I believe withdrawal are the main reason people fail at recovery.  I couldn’t sleep, extreme sweating, restless leg syndrome, feeling like bugs are crawling under my skin, head pounding and uncontrollably vomiting.  The second night lying in bed I prayed for God to let me die. All of a sudden I felt a presence, a peace that only Jesus can bring and He was telling me He was there and understood my pain!  Was my withdrawal and hell gone? No, but I was no longer alone and that next morning I entered a rehab center.  The first 24 hours were hard but I stood on the 1 Peter 5: 7 “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He care for you.”  I kept repeating it and made it my own!

Over the next few months I attended outpatient groups five times a week and stayed in the Word.  I remember during prayer time a recurring question would pop into my mind.  “Do you want to be healed?” “Of course, I do Lord”.  I shared I would never let anyone give me morphine again after going through withdrawal.  I kept saying I am healed but the question kept plaguing me.  One day at group we had a lesson on “Enabling” and boom it was like a slap on the head.  I found my other addiction.  All my life I would make it my job to try and fix everyone’s problems.  I learned that was my way to feel needed and loved.  Was this the healing the Lord wanting for me.  I continued to pray, study His Word, eating right and working out for the first time in years.  I have learned to spend real one on one time with God and it became so real to me.

In January 2015 I looked at my grossly deformed toe and foot and said “God I want my foot to be straight.”  I had seen so many orthopedic doctors.  They would tell me I was too high risk for surgery since I had already had 7 knee surgeries and I wouldn’t heal.  There’s that word again “Heal” so I searched the Bible about healing.  Ps.103:3, Ps.147:3 and Mark 2:17.

The next morning my search began to find a doctor and I did.  He was the first doctor in 10 years who was willing to help me.  He advised they would start with fixing my foot because he needed a “good foundation” to build on.  I liked his way of thinking so February 2015 my foot was made straight.  July 2015 I got a brand new knee.  I was a little worried about pain meds, so I stood on my healing and basically had little pain.  I was cruising the halls just hours after surgery and went home in only 3 days.  Six weeks later I had my hip replaced and again God’s grace was upon me.  My walker and I were cruising again.  I now felt bionic with all these new parts and when going through airport security I buzz and light up like a Christmas tree.

Funny thing about healing I it seems that it never ends there are always other areas where God can make changes.  In May 2016 God starting dealing with me again about healing.  This time it was financial and a new purpose in life.  I always enjoyed working and prayed for direction. One day I went into Brookshire’s Floral Department and asked for a job.  They hired me right away and I have been there for over a year now.

I have learned you can serve God and show the Jesus in you even at work.  I feel like I work in the Garden of Eden and have the privilege of caring for God’s beautiful creation.  He also taught me that my “spiritual gift” is to encourage people.  I have come so far from my days as an “enabler.”  Now before I go to work I pray, “Lord, let me show someone the Jesus in me!”  I have had the honor of buying lunches for our military, thanking Vets and first responders, rejoicing over new births, anniversaries, birthdays, weddings and holidays galore.  I have even had the opportunity to bring some kind of comfort to those who have lost loved ones.  What a privilege God has granted me to work in an environment where prayer is not discouraged and Christian music plays throughout the day.  The freedom I feel is awesome and I am “Saving the World” just a little one person at a time.

I walked into this church 3 years ago a cripple with a cane and a broken life.  Today I dance for joy in what God has done for me.  Occasionally, I hear “Do you want to be healed?” Now I look forward to what healing God has in store for me next.

Debbie Pratt

Student Ministry

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