“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, Father.”
“Give the devil a black eye for me” said my friend in an email that made me chuckle. Preparing to leave for a women’s retreat, we were encountering the usual demonic resistance that comes when God is about to do something special in people’s lives.
Intent on doing just that I hurried around the house trying to finish putting things in order so that the youth could crash there for the night as part of their weekend event while I spent what I expected to be a wonderful time with about 600 women and girls.
The women from our church were very excited about the event and I was in a rush to meet them at church so we could get started on our journey. Opening the hall closet to put something away, a large object fell down and struck me in the face. I saw stars and am sure the impact would have knocked me to the ground had it not been for the long leg cast that is a part of my usual attire.
Quite honestly, I did not have time to think about the pain because I was experiencing a serious adrenaline rush trying to get ready. I did hop by the mirror and saw a little “mouse” forming near my eye (boxer term for small bruise that will turn ugly) but just kept moving because I was a woman on a mission—and you know what that means!
By the time my husband and son walked in, I was hurrying out the door. My son said I looked like a fighter who had lost a bad fight. My husband just asked if I wanted some ice. All I wanted to do was make it to church so I could get the women to the event.
Thankfully, I did not have to drive the church van and only had to give directions. Better yet, I am not someone who does much self-inspection in mirrors or carries a compact around to check their makeup. Had I been, I would have been aghast by my developing “quasimodo state”.
By the time I arrived at the church, my eye was swollen shut. When we got to the location of the retreat, we had to go straight to the auditorium. The first strike of the cymbal resonated in my head as if I was the instrument, but I had no clue that I was rapidly swelling and had hemorrhaged down the entire side of my face. All, I knew was I was in incredible pain and even with the theme “Diamonds In The Rough” I was having trouble feeling like a lump of coal.
The rest of that retreat is very much a blur to me. The music, the speakers, and activities were something for the most part I endured. However, during the last session the speaker did use an illustration about how she and her husband had encouraged their little boy to take the training wheels off and allow them to teach him to ride his bike. They would encourage him to say, “I can ride this bike” as he pedaled along.
It was something most of us could relate to because at some point our fathers, or big brothers helped us learn to ride our bikes and get rid of those hideous training wheels. I remember when I was a little girl, and my father took the training wheels off my purple bike. He went running down the street holding on to the seat behind me, encouraging me to pedal away. He promised not to let go and told me that I would not fall off if I would just keep on pedaling and keep looking forward. Finally, when I got the hang of it he was able to let go and there I was riding along like the “big girl” I had become.
Quite honestly, I cannot remember the story entirely but I do remember her sharing about her reaching a very low point in her life. She was going through some difficult times, particularly with her business. One day she went to her office and sat down in the floor. There with all the financial statements and unpaid bills around her she sat repeating, “You can ride this bike, you can ride this bike.” Her employees, fearing she had experienced a breakdown called her husband. He came in and understood exactly what she was doing. Sitting behind her he began to pray and together they prayed through that situation believing that “Abba, Father” their “Papa, God” would not let them fall but would allow them to move forward if they would keep pedaling and not give up.
Isaiah 41:10 is one of many Scriptures that tells us this is true. It says, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Sometimes it my feel like we are on our way down but if we will hold on to our Father’s hand He will not let us fall down…and when things come tumbling down around us He is right there to give us the strength to make a new plan.
Something about her story stuck in my spirit though I did not know at the time just how much it would come to mean to me in the coming days. We went back home and I began to experience severe headaches. Finally, I went to the emergency room to be treated one evening. Nothing major—really. They asked if anyone had gotten any pictures of my face. I said, “Why would anyone want pictures of this?” Of course, they meant x-rays not photos and no bones were broken.
Several nights later, I was standing in my kitchen and dropped to the floor. My family tried to rouse me but was unsuccessful. They finally called 911. I started to come around just about the time everyone arrived. I was very confused and could not understand what everyone was doing in my house. They insisted I go to the hospital to be examined. After hours of tests and observation they allowed me to go home attributing the problem to the hit I took to my head. They, of course said I was to return if I blacked out again. Fat chance…I thought. Never happened before—why would it happen again?
The next evening, I was standing next to my husband. The phone ring and he answered it and that is the last thing I remember. He was unable to find a pulse or any breath sounds so once again he had to call 911. What I am sharing is based on what others have told me, because I was unconscious for over an hour and do not remember anything. It took two EMS crews working to try to stabilize me to get me to the hospital this time. Completely unresponsive to everything, I knew nothing and no one when I finally did begin to come to. It took one full day in the Critical Care Unit to get my personal information straight. Yet, through all of this, I experienced overwhelming peace because though I had forgotten EVERYTHING including my name God was overseeing it all. “Abba, Father…Papa, God” kept His child.
One of the women who attended the retreat came in and the first words out of her mouth were “you can ride this bike.” Strangely enough, in my foggy state I knew exactly what she meant. I would need that reminder in the days ahead as this would not be my last blackout experience. I am currently dealing with “post-concussive syndrome” and blackout without warning at any time or place. This condition will pass in time and I believe God is my Healer. In the meantime it is good to know that if I will just keep pedaling and not give up that He will run behind me holding on to that seat until my training time is complete!
Whatever challenge you may be facing today…”You can ride that bike!”
My precious sister in Christ. This is a very excellent encouraging article. I enjoyed this immensely. And very well written; good choice of words!!
Your website is pretty amazing too!! God bless I look forward to reading more of your blessed and anointed writings. Love from JOHN3-34 Evangelist xxx