A Testimony of Victory
My daughter Susan and I struggled with our relationship after my salvation in 1985. She watched her parents undergo first a separation, and then a divorce. To her, my newfound Christianity caused nothing but pain for our family.
She traveled to Ames, Iowa, after her second year of college for a weekend visit with me. I looked forward to showing off my beautiful daughter to friends and enjoying her company, but she was sick most of the weekend. She said it was due to a bad tooth.
When I drove her back to Ottumwa on that Sunday, she curled up with a blanket and fell asleep in my Ford pickup. I used the quiet time to pray softly in tongues, asking the Lord for an answer about her sickness. The Holy Spirit eventually spoke to my heart: “Susan is very sick. Tell her mom to take her to the doctor right away tomorrow morning.”
I related the Holy Spirit’s exact words to Susan’s mom.
The doctor admitted Susan into the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City the next morning. Her mom phoned and said she needed surgery to remove some kind of growth. I notified the Des Moines Vineyard Church, where I attended at the time, so as many people as possible were praying for her.
The physician delayed her surgery for a week because she had a fever. I continued painting houses in Ames while fasting and praying for her.
My prayers were not vanilla flavored ones like: “O Lord, if Thou art not busy next Tuesday, could Thou stop by the hospital and touch Susan. Thy will be done in this matter. Amen.”
Baloney! This was my daughter −not a roast beef dinner needing some pastoral sounding words prayed over it before being eaten. The same God who told me about her sickness was the same One who could heal her with just one word. His power remained the same yesterday, today, and forever. As His son, I had a right to burst into His presence and ask for Susan to be healed.
I prayed prayers like this: “Lord, heal my daughter Susan. You’ve given numerous promises to me about her life, none of which have happened yet. You saw this sickness when You gave those promises to me so I know the sickness has not taken You by surprise. The Bible states You are not a liar and I believe those words. Heal her now and fulfill all of Your promises for her life.”
I bombarded heaven day and night for my daughter. I continually asked the Lord to give me a word from His mouth so I could use it as a sword of the Spirit to battle in spiritual warfare. The Lord did not speak to me right away, but I kept pursuing Him like the woman did the unjust judge.
On the night before the scheduled surgery, I drove my pickup truck to Iowa City. I stayed overnight in one of the hospital’s waiting rooms, sitting in a recliner with a blanket covering me. The Holy Spirit whispered to my heart as I sat there with my Bible: “Isaiah 54:17.”
This was my sword of the Spirit.
I began praying: “No weapon that is formed against Susan shall prosper, and every tongue that accuses Susan in judgment I condemn in Jesus’ name. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication is from the Lord.”
I prayed all night and even though at times, I drifted off to sleep, my mouth went back to praying as soon as I woke up. I continued in this manner until 7 a.m. when I spent time in thanksgiving, praise, and worship. Waiting in His presence, not speaking a word, I had a vision of a Christian bookstore in Iowa City and felt an urgency to drive there. Did I know why? I had no clue.
This was 1995 and neither Google maps nor GPS were available as yet. So, I checked for a Christian bookstore using the old-fashioned way: a phone book. Looking at the stores in the area, I chose the one that felt the best to my spirit.
I drove there and walked in the door at 9:05 a.m. A pretty young girl with long hair stood behind the counter.
“May I help you?” she asked with a smile.
“The Lord sent me here, but I don’t know why yet.”
My prophetic gift kicked into gear at that moment.
“The Lord doesn’t want you to listen to your parents and others who are telling you to go to Bible school. The Lord wants to train you in His own way for your calling. Listen to His voice and not to other people on this particular matter,” I said.
Her hands covered her mouth and tears flooded her eyes.
“I felt this was what the Lord wanted me to do, but my parents and pastor insisted I was wrong. I asked the Lord to make Himself clear on what I should do. Thanks.”
We chatted a bit, hugged each other, and I left.
Later that afternoon, I walked alongside Susan as she laid on a bed being wheeled into surgery. A nurse stopped me at the doors.
“You can’t go any farther,” she said, pointing at the red line on the floor.
I nodded and stood there with tears streaming down my face. My daughter was going into surgery and I wanted to be with her. I turned around, headed to the waiting room, and sat with my parents and Susan’s mom. My eyes closed almost immediately and I fell asleep.
Five hours later, Susan returned to her room. The surgeon removed a noncancerous cyst, the size of two 2-liter bottles of soda from her abdomen and her appendix.
Susan continued to have a fever after her surgery, which frustrated her. Her doctor refused to allow her to go home until the fever dropped into the normal range. She phoned me one afternoon.
“Dad, will you pray I can go home tomorrow?”
“Okay,” I said, “you’ll go home tomorrow.”
Susan went home the next day, eighteen days after first entering the hospital. Her recovery took many weeks.
(Excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2014, Amazon eBook)
This testimony is a short compilation of all the chapters in this book. It’s not that I’m so unique or special because all believers can do this for their own children. But at the same time, I must admit there is a price for us parents to pay. It comes down to whether or not we want to pay it. You see, we must be willing to seek the Lord with all of our heart and follow Him in the same manner.
I believe most of us will say, “Yes, Lord.”
(The above is an excerpt from Praying for the Frozen Chosen: Our Children by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2016, Amazon eBook)
(Continued in Part 8)