Mental and emotional weight that just wouldn’t go away prompted me to make an appointment with my church Healing Prayer Ministry. Perhaps God would speak to me through the prayers. Perhaps I would receive some clarity, direction, a revelation that would help me. I felt a faint ray of hope rise up inside me but did not want to expect too much. I was tired of disappointment.
I filled out an online questionnaire, emailed it back, and waited for an appointment. Months passed and no response. A few more months passed, and I reached out to follow up. Good thing I did, because my request had somehow fallen through the cracks.
I had been asked on the form why I wanted healing prayer. I wrote something amorphous along the lines of “I can’t become or let myself become the person I want to be.” I didn’t write (or was too embarrassed to write) that my problem was I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with my career and hated myself for it.
The long-awaited appointment finally came. I met three women in the church lobby who took me to our prayer appointment room. They said an opening prayer and asked me a few questions. I spilled out some incoherent explanations of my incessant striving and disappointment with not finding a career path despite decades of schooling and trying new things, how although I had a wonderful husband and I loved being a mom to little ones, I was lost and unwell. It sounded so simple and yet so difficult to explain. The more I spoke the more uncertain I was of what was wrong with myself.
Instead of asking me more questions about my present dilemma, the lead person started to ask me about my childhood. And if I needed to forgive my parents. I had already working through such issues some time ago, so I had become unaccustomed to visiting those places discomfort. “What would you have said to your mom if you could have spoken up in the past? ” she asked. I started to explain that she was doing her best. The problem was me. I didn’t have anything to say. She suggested I start with “Mom, I wish.”
“Mom, I wish you ” I can’t remember what I said, just that the words were cloaked and flat. ” Mom, I wish you didn’t. I wish you…liked me?” After several minutes of labored trying, the three women prayed for me and the leader told me that we would be ending the session since I was having difficulty connecting with my emotions. The ladies told me they’d set up a follow up appointment and we prayed to close our time.
It was then that I realized our prayers were not for answers. They were for healing.