Before I go on, I must say, while my blog title points to growing up in the word/faith religion, Much of my writing deals with the aftermath and the recovery.
My husband had been overseas for more than a year. As a military wife, you really do learn how to fend for yourself. Still, support is always a blessing.
My four-year-old daughter was having surgery for an umbilical hernia. This was one of the times I just knew I couldn't do it alone. I lived near by family and nobody offered to help.
I prayed and prayed and finally, the week of the surgery, I asked family members if they wouldn't mind just sitting with me while I waited. My father is always the first one I ask. He is not into prosperity teachings. I'd say years of my mother's religion has turned him into an agnostic who wants nothing to do with religion. Interestingly enough, he was the only family member I can say who went out of his way to help while my husband was deployed. To this day, he's the only one I ask for help. Anyhow, he actually said no but said he'd stop by later in the afternoon.
And, so I thought, "Okay, I'll ask my mother." She has never been known for reliability. I remember one time during the deployment she asked me why I wasn't asking her for help. I did not want to hurt her feelings by saying, "Well, because you always say no." I just said something about our schedules being different. She insisted that I have a morning to myself and that she insisted on watching the children. Yes, this surprised by but I happily said yes. I made an appointment to have my hair cut and made plans. The day before she was to babysit, she called up and said, "No, I don't think I'm going to babysit for you tomorrow." No excuses other than she just didn't want to do it after all. So, she just wasn't going to do it. She stays in her room until the middle of the afternoon every day and this is what she did that day.
You ask why she stays in her room until the middle of every day? Well, technically, whenever there is a church function, she'll get up at a normal hour. When my father retired, God suddenly 'spoke' to my mother and told her to stay in bed until the middle of each afternoon praying. She stays up until the middle of the night every night after my father is asleep and then spends pretty much all of the day tucked in her room. They have different rooms. We used to see her pop out of her room when Joyce Meyer or Joel Osteen were on television but, now that they have a dvr, she doesn't even come out for those shows.
Fast-forward back to the week of surgery and I ask if she'll sit with me so I would not be alone. She just said no. She told me if the Lord wanted her to be there, He would have told her. Okay, I really am used to that type of response and, really, I expected it. I won't say it didn't hurt though.
So, I thought I'd ask my sister. Now, my sister is also strongly in word-faith teachings. I just thought somewhere in those teachings, there has to be some urge to want to help when needed. But, no, my sister said she would have her five-year-old daughter and being in a hospital would be too traumatic. I would have been there in a heartbeat for my sister or anybody else so, by this time, I was feeling just heartbroken.
In church that weekend, I was just fighting tears. I kept praying that the God would change their hearts because I just didn't feel I could do this alone. I had already seen my son go through surgery when he was six and nothing quite prepares you for what you go through.
After service, one of the women from church walked up and said that God had really laid it on her heart to sit with me through the surgery. I had never even mentioned that I would be alone at the hospital.
Of course, when she asked, I thought of her five-year-old daughter and my own sister's response. She told me it would be a blessing if they could both be there for us.
And, they were there for us. Even as my daughter had a really bad reaction to the anesthesia, they sat with me through it all.
and they prayed with me.
While this is only one instance, I was reminded today of the fruit of the word/faith movement. Oh yes, I won't tell you people under these teachings won't ever help. I'll just tell you, I've learned to expect help on their terms and when it is convenient for them. No sacrifice for sacrifices are terribly messy things.
I saw true Christianity at work the day of the surgery. I saw the fruit of the Spirit. I saw God answer my prayer.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.