When I was a teenager, I was mad at the world.
The only thing more crushing than my list of disappointments was my concern over my brother’s health and Down Syndrome diagnosis.
My brother was born in 1972 and at that time, parents of Downs Syndrome children were strongly encouraged to place them in institutions. Thankfully, my parents declined that nonsense.
I loved my little brother fiercely and was willing to do anything to see him get better. Perhaps that’s why I accepted an invitation to attend a healing service at a local church.
I Thought They Were Fakes
The odd thing about accepting that invitation was that I had no interest in church. I thought at best most Christians were well meaning, and at worst most Christians were fakes.
By the 7th grade, I was skipping school and experimenting with drugs. I was the kid you didn’t want your child/ren to be around. I was on a bad road with zero plans to attend church. Somehow, I thought there was a certain amount of honesty in my jaded disposition and I was content to remain there.
Then there was this church invitation. Yes, I would sit through a boring church service if someone would pray for my brother. If healing was any sort of possibility, I was all in. I didn’t really know what a healing service entailed but I was willing because I loved my brother.
My Muslim Grandfather Went to Church
Actually, my whole non-church going family wanted to attend. Even my Muslim Grandfather and his family accepted the invite. We were certainly a unique looking bunch. There we were all sandwiched in one pew wondering what would happen next.
None of us had ever been in a service where there was so much singing, clapping, and raising hands toward heaven. After what seemed like endless hours of singing, came the healing service. After they prayed for my brother, I thought the service was over.
But no, the pastor stood up and said I can’t dismiss the service yet. He proceeded to say he couldn’t end the service because the Lord told him there were 10 people that weren’t saved yet, and he wanted to give opportunity for people to commit their hearts to Christ.
Tears Streamed Down My Face
Then there came the moment I didn’t see coming. I felt tears stream down my face. My throat seemed to close, and my heart felt like it was on fire. I realized I was one of the ten that needed to ask for forgiveness and give my heart to Christ.
I ran down the aisle for prayer. As the pastor prayed with me, I felt the weight of my sin dissipate. I felt the love of God for the first time in my life.
I didn’t see it coming but my life changed that night. I went from skipping school and getting high to reading my Bible and attending church. After that service, my brother was never hospitalized again. While he still has Down’s Syndrome, the heart murmur and respiratory issues that plagued him were healed that night.
I Didn’t See it Coming
There may be people or situations in your life that seem hopeless. Perhaps you’ve prayed for years and yet you don’t see answers. I never saw the night I gave my heart to Christ coming, and neither did anybody else.
Today’s Secret from the Studio: God is always working — even when you can’t see it.
Monica Schmelter is the host of daily show Bridges on CTN and she enjoys sharing the secrets she’s learned in the studio. You can watch Bridges TV show or the Bridges podcasts on demand at monicaschmelter.com