As we drove away after my last presentation at Manna From Heaven Ministries last Shabbat I tried to speak and discovered that my voice was completely gone. Nothing. 30 minutes before I was doing a photo shoot in a field with a bunch of Teshuvah Youth, but now I began to waste away into a sick darkness that lasted for a whole week.
I have been very sick and am still recovering. Every swallow painful and every inhale strangely raw and uncomfortable. I had congestion, swelling and phlegm that threatened to close down my airway and would make me panic in my restless sleep. I would bolt out of bed at night and in a surge of panic scramble across Isaac to the door of the RV so I could stick my head out in the cool air to breath. I didn’t sleep for nearly 5 days because I felt like I was drowning when I would begin to fall asleep. Weakness, fever, body aches and headaches took over my body. Life was totally miserable and everything in me was screaming against it. I forgot why I wanted to live and I felt so much guilt and concern about putting other people out and infecting the people around me that I could barely relax. Isaac, Maggie and Hadassah all got some form of this, their bodies fought back fine but I went down harder than them all.
We tried to treat it naturally — I gargled salt water, sucked on garlic, ate honey mixed with cayenne and garlic, drank tonics made of turmeric, garlic, cayenne and ginger, had baths with essential oils, sunbathed and breathed moist air with essential oils from Amber’s humidifier. Those closest to me did all they could: prayed over me, generously shared their oils, baths and anything with me. Being sick on the road and in a small RV is no fun. All I wanted to do was ‘go home,’ but we have no home. We are on the road for this Teshuvah College Tour–for many months. Our ‘home’ is our extremely small RV. Jeremiah and Amber’s was the closest place to ‘home.’
Unfortunately none of the things we tried worked, I was just getting worse. So Isaac took me in and I was diagnosed with strep throat. Yes, antibiotics for now and then damage control.
Illness will make you mad. It is from the pit of hell and everything in me is outraged at it and all the evil that controls this planet and its inhabitants. Isaac said I needed to stop fighting it because that wasn’t helping. But I fight it because I want to live –– I don’t know how to be okay with being sick. We were not made to be sick! Anyone who says sickness and death is just part of life has drunk the wine of ha’Satan and has forgotten Paradise and are far from their heart! Yahshua never said to anyone who requested healing, “This is just part of life, girlfriend. Go and let it run its course. Here’s some garlic to chew on.” I prayed prayers that were “daughter-to-daddy,” “subject-to-king,” “sister-to-brother,” “lover-to-lover,” “best friend-to-best friend”! Elohim and I are no strangers to each other. The Scriptures make it clear healing is available. But I did not get the healing I desired––I had to turn to medicine no matter how much I pleaded for healing. Isaac says that I won’t stop and so sickness is a way to get me to stop. I’m not sure why I’m supposed to be stopping. I dunno. I guess I’d stop for a vacation if I had the money to take one. I stop every 7th day for Shabbat. I have the presence of mind to rest and relax when I need to so I don’t feel I need to get sick to take a break.
To exasperate my situation we happened to arrive at Jeremiah and Amber’s home in Boise during an inversion. But I’m coming to believe that there is always an inversion here. “Inversion” is a nice way to say “pollution.” And “pollution” is a nice way to say “poison in the air.” But it was so thick that I suffered more. Yesterday during Shabbat (on Purim), Jeremiah loaned us his car and Isaac took me up the Payette River to get out of the poisonous air of the Treasure Valley. It took driving 1.5 hours to get out of it. We went to our favorite beach and laid in the sun next to the river for a couple hours. I felt a difference immediately. The air was cool and fresh. It was pure and I drank deeply. It was striking how much better I felt there in comparison to how I felt down in the Valley. I would have given a lot to have stayed on that beach all night. I felt like I would have gotten better so much faster there.
But I’m glad I came back, because I ended up watching a very powerful movie.
In my sickness, I began to question my dream to build Teshuvah College and the craziness of this road trip. At first I believed Evil was trying to shut me up by attacking my voice. In that idea I had seen the “for such a time as this” quality of what we were doing and I rejoiced that I was on the right path. Then as I got worse, I began to hear things like
“You won’t be able to do this!”
“You don’t have what it takes.”
“Your voice will abandon you after every presentation.”
“This will take all you have.”
“You will get sick a lot after being in people’s homes.”
“It’s not worth it!”
“People will forget your goal and will turn on you.”
“You have worn out your welcome!”
“There is no room in Israel for you!”
“You are insane!”
“People will get tired of supporting you.”
Ha’Satan and his demons decided to hunt me with these questions while I was down and taken out. The bastards threatened me with lies and tried to poison my dream and assignment from the King.
I’m glad I wasn’t able to spend the night on the Payette River because last night, after joining the Dobkins for a Purim dinner, I slumped into bed with my laptop. There has been a movie title that has been calling to my spirit all week. It did again. So I started it. “The Gabby Douglas Story” is the story of the first black Olympic gymnast to take gold in both the team and individual events in the same year. It was just what my heart needed to see. This whole movie spoke volumes to me. It opens with these lines:
“You want to know how to become a champion? It’s easy, turn your dream into your goal. Plant it deep in your heart and for the next 10 years eat, sleep, breath, laugh and cry without ever taking your eye off your goal….not even for a second. You want to know how to stop becoming a champion, I tried that once. Believe it or not that was a lot harder.” — Gabby Douglas
As she gets closer to her dream Gabby incurs a hamstring injury and loses her courage. She loses heart and decides she wants to quit, doesn’t want to be exceptional anymore and just wants to go home. When the mom discovers that Gabby wants to quit 210 days before the Olympics this is the conversation that incurs:
Mom, “You want to quit?…You are going to have to better than, ‘I want to go home’ because this isn’t making any sense!”
Gabby, “I just want to be normal, ma!”
Mom,”Baby, you weren’t born to be normal. Everything you have done your entire life has been exceptional!…No! You are not going to quit! … Exceptional people don’t…..”
Gabby, “I don’t want to be exceptional!…”
Mom, “….You signed a contract! What you are doing is dishonorable! If you want to quit you tell Coach Chow yourself and after that you tell everyone else whose heart you are going to break!”
It was like Papa spoke directly to me. I have never been ‘normal.’ Most of the time I am okay with that. Yet there are times when all I want is to ‘go home’ and be ‘normal.’ I don’t even know what that looks like. It has never been part of my world and understanding. This past week when I was so sick my heart screamed out for normalcy. But as the mom says, “you weren’t born normal!”
Every since I was a little girl my calling and being ‘exceptional’ has only grown stronger and come clearer as to why I am here on this planet at this time. My Elohim created me exceptional and that will never go away! I am who I am. And those around me will be affected by me whether they want to be or not. Being exceptional and the responsibility that comes with it has pressed hard upon me all my life, driving me… keeping me from quitting, keeping me from becoming stuck, keeping me from normal. Oh, I pray that I am at least a fragrant aroma to the people around me and make their life better not worse by my presence in it.
The next day the coach says to her:
“A champion isn’t made of muscle. A champion is made of heart.”
Man! I can’t do the assignment in front of me by muscling it done. I have known this deep in my heart. It will be accomplished by the power of the heart.
But probably what spoke deepest to me was when during a practice session Gabby falls off the high bar and the coach reveals to her “the secret of gymnastics” which truly could be the secret to what we were created to do.
After falling off the high bar, Gabby questions, “What if they are right? What if I do cave under pressure?”
Coach leans towards her and says, “You can’t think of it as release the bar – catch the bar. There’s no release. There’s no catch. It’s all one…When you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing it’s all one. You are not reaching for the bar because you already got it… You are the bar, you are the air, you are the catch… It’s all one reality. Every moment of your life has led to this….You are not separate from the skill. You are the skill. It’s all part of the same epic moment.”
Gabby says it sounds like fate. I think it sounds like intended destiny.
Everything I am pursuing now, the building of Teshuvah College and uniting the youth of this Hebrew Roots/Messianic Movement is the uneven bars that I am mastering. I have been trained for this moment. I feel like I am one with the assignment. There is no catch. There is no release. Finally, I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life! It is all one to me.
Yahshua cleared the temple with passion. It was written that
‘Zeal for your house will consume [him]’ (John 2:17)
Zeal for my kingdom assignment to build a school of the prophets (Teshuvah College) for Israel consumes me! I am in good company. Thank you Papa for the movie. It’s the first time in a very long time that I have heard you speak through a movie or any media for that matter — directly to my heart!
I hope you, my reader, watch this movie and let your heart listen to it. Maybe you will discover a renewed vision for your destiny and what you have been trained all your life to do for the Kingdom of YHVH. You have to see this movie! The Gabby Douglas Story