I always remember hearing God speaking to my spirit. I know that He has always been with me. For some people it might seem strange to hear “When God Speaks” but in my mom’s house God always was speaking. Back then, I didn’t realize how growing up in a spirit ﬁlled home would help carry me throughout my life. My mom had a strong gift of discernment. She knew far too much. Even in her former years, I learned to be careful because she never missed a thing.
Her openness to the Holy Spirit taught me not be afraid of my spiritual gifts. I too have the gift of discernment. I see it in my brother too. It allows you to listen more carefully. It’s almost like an alert at times and calm at other times. The village of saints that taught me about the Lord is strong and powerful. They rely on the Word of God and the move of the Holy Spirit. I was taught to turn my heart over to Jesus. To allow the Holy Spirit to ﬁll and guide my life. To live a Holy life dedicated to Jesus. I learned to listen when God speaks.
It was June 14, 1986. The church was open but the ﬂorist was late. My ﬂowers are late, my mom is late, everyone that I know and love is moving into the church, and I despise being late. But nothing was going to keep me from marrying my handsome spirit ﬁlled man of God, whom I loved with all of my heart. Finally, it all came together. We were wed with a beautiful set of ﬂowers sitting near my beautiful mom. Nothing, much about the wedding went as planned that day, but we had no idea how small it would be compared to the life that was set before us.
May, 1987, Dr. Sharon Hawthorn, in Oklahoma City said to me, “I know you’re sick but I just don’t know what’s wrong with you.” And with those words that you never really want to heart from your doctor, I was admitted to the hospital. The next day my kidneys failed. I had ten pounds of toxins in my system. I was assigned a team of doctors. One whom I believe God had placed as a guardian over my life. Dr. Frederick Delaﬁeld, was a young Rheumatologist who stood by his diagnosis that I had a rare disease that he was going to aggressively treat.
He took my case to a Worldwide Conference being held in Oklahoma. Doctors poured into my hospital room. Some agreed with him and others did not, But Dr. Delaﬁeld never budged. Later, I would learn what I thought to be true. That he was a dedicated, God fearing man and this team of doctors was no accident. After a whirlwind of tests, I started dialysis, chemo therapy, and a bundle of medications. While the medications helped save my life and I went into remission after two years; they tore my body up. Yet, I did not go through this alone. My dedicated husband was right there and so was my God.
On the day I ﬁrst arrived at the hospital I heard the Lord speak. He said, “Walk in my Spirit.” I knew then that nothing that was about to happen would get past my God. I told my husband and we have held on through a lifetime of battles. His young, healthy, athletic twenty something bride would turn into a weak, puffed up, barely a hundred pound woman. Struggling to be alive before our ﬁrst wedding anniversary. To look at me you might have feared death but my spirit was alive and well. I had to take everything that I knew and trusted about God and hold on.
I knew that I was made up of body, soul and spirit. I knew that God would never leave me Heb 13:5 NIV. I knew that this would take the supernatural to survive. God said, “Walk in the spirit.” And so, I let go of self and connected with my God. His Holy Spirit was would bring me through test and unimaginable pain. God would do miracle after miracle. When God speaks everything obeys. Together we lived in and out of the hospital. They wanted to ﬁnd proof of disease even though I was extremely sick. They took a chest x-Ray and wanted to operate on a portion of my lung that had a large spot.
But God spoke to me and said, “tell them to take another X-Ray.” They took another X-ray. Dr. Delaﬁeld came in and told me there would be no surgery because the spot was gone. They wanted to take a piece of my lung but God Spoke! On July 30, 1989, I went to my Kidney doctor’s oﬃce and he told me that I would need a kidney transplant. Immediately the Lord spoke and said, “get your bloodwork now.” I told him that I wanted to go straight to the lab. Normally there is quite a process but he was the doctor that I previously told, “One day you will walk in here and I will be oﬀ of dialysis.”
I’m sure he thought that I was crazy. Until, a few months later when he came into the dialysis unit and said, “you don’t need dialysis anymore.” I gathered up my things and gave praise to the Lord. Here we are about two years later in his oﬃce. When I asked for immediate bloodwork, he sent me to the hospital to get all of the needed labs. He told me it would be about a year or more before a transplant would be available. I said OK.
On August 30, 1989, one month later the nurse calls and tells me that they have a kidney for me. I ask her how do you have a kidney? She said, all the people on the list ahead of me tested positive to the kidney. They could not use it. I was not a great ﬁt but it could be ok. I called my husband, grabbed my bag that the Lord had told me to pack two weeks earlier, and left for the hospital. The surgery was a success and they hoped it would last for ﬁve years.
What was happening? God had spoken. Two years earlier, I came oﬀ dialysis. Two weeks after being told that I needed a kidney transplant He said, “Pack your bag for the hospital.” A year of waiting on a Kidney Transplant is cut down to a month. A not so good match lasts not ﬁve years but twenty years. Somewhere in this process people who became close to us became believers. They wrote of our faith in my medical records. We only learned about it from my new doctor when we PCS’d to Maryland. My husband was in the Air Force.
The night the doctors thought that I would die, I had been rushed to the hospital from the Church’s annual conference. It was signiﬁcant that the bishops were in town. That evening the doctor was sitting with my Pastor and told him that he thought I was about to die. My Pastor, now the Late Councilman Goree James, asked, “who are you” and he said, “I am her doctor.” then Goree said, “but I am her Pastor.” He knew what I knew that it was not my time. To make sure, I heard down in my spirit, “you shall not die but live.” The night ﬁll in doctor knew that I was burning up with fever. But God had spoken, to me and my Pastor.
You need to understand that Pastor Goree was also there the night God told me to have the X-ray redone. I believe that miracle changed something in him and strengthen his faith. I had made it through the night. The next day Mrs. Anwine and Bishop Brown came to the hospital and ordained me. While in this spiritual battle, we were appointed our ﬁrst Pastorship. I could continue on but the mere fact that I am here today is a miracle in itself. I don’t know who this is meant to bless. Perhaps you are ill or your spouse and children need encouragement. Maybe you need to know that God is always with you and Yes, He Speaks.
There are a lot of voices out there coming from all directions. Learn the voice of God in your spirit. For when God speaks all things obey. “He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28 NIV “for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” Luke 12:12 NIV “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:18 NIV.
Listen to God.
We love you
Pastors Willie and Rochelle McIntosh
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