In May of 2005, our lives were turned upside down. What every family fears was happening to us. A Pentecostal family who were taught well intended but misconstrued doctrine on life, trials, and suffering.
In high regard to our beliefs at that time, we acted in faith, prayer, fasting, praise, and worship. This was around the hospital bed of our 9-year-old daughter Jenae. Many around New Mexico and other parts of the US prayed for Jenae. Many Pastors and others in person from our own church and surrounding cities.
Previously Jenae came home from the last day of school not feeling well. Jenae was a very healthy athletic and loving girl. We had no knowledge that Jenae had a condition known as Cavernous Angioma. Although Jenae only seemed to have the flu, she actually had a bleed in the brain, just above the brain-stem. Emergency surgery did not help and she lay there in the hospital bed in a comatose state while we prayed and read scripture with her almost nonstop for three days and nights. On Memorial day – May 30, Jenae went to be with our Lord, Jesus Christ.
In losing Jenae, our faith was extremely tested. We were deserted by most, judged, told many platitudes, and avoided. We had some guidance at first and then none for quite some time. On top of the loss, praying was difficult, we were confused and felt we were alone adrift at sea.
Because our own church denied us counsel, we sought for it elsewhere. For about six months we did what was called “Christian Counseling”, but the counselor could not understand what we were going through or point us towards anything helpful. Through prayer and God’s timing, God provided counsel, this time for free with another local church. I was hesitant of the offer at first, but through prayer and the consent of other family members, we took the willing Pastor’s offer.
It was through this Pastor that healing began. When this pastor became ill, God lead us to another to continue. Through these men, God taught us His truth that corrected wrong teaching and understanding, and things began to make sense. Like a Berean, I began re-reading the entire bible pursuing absolute truth; challenging everything I had been taught by my parents, schooling, and religion/church through the lens of scripture.
One of the key verses that came alive to me was 1 John 5:14-15, dwelling on God Sovereignty. We found that Jesus alone is the wonderful counselor and is sufficient in all things. Early on, in pursuing healing on my own strength and sometimes through Psychology I was forsaking God. I was substituting the fallible and errant philosophy of man for the infallible and inerrant truth of God. In repentance, drawing closer to God brought insight, healing, and even joy. I give thanks and praise to God for intervening and drawing us closer to Him.
It was through our dire circumstances that God stirred our hearts for others who are trudging through the mire of grief. Many years ago, my wife Sandra and I began preparing to help those, who like us, were tired of being stuck in grief. Pointing others to Christ through His truth brings healing. Jesus wants to lead us to the spiritual and emotional promise land.
Psalm 25:4 “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.”