Lori’s mother said, “I don’t know if you have noticed, but since you were baptized on Friday, you don’t have a lisp anymore.” Friday night, July 23, 2010, at Bethel Church, Lori was baptized by Chris Overstreet in the Pool of Bethesda, behind the Alabaster Prayer House. She had prayed she could go to ministry school (which she did in May in her home state of Alaska) and that she could be baptized. Lori came to Bethel to say, “Thank you, Bethel, for introducing me back to God so God could do His works through me.”
The glowing and beautiful 41-year-old shared with us the testimony of how God healed her from debilitating MS and other problems in January of this year (2010).
MS attacks the spinal cord or the brain. Lori had it in the T7 area of her spine and in her brain. That made it so progressive. She was fighting it in both areas. The lesions on her cranial nerves most likely, doctors wrote, caused her “visual and vocal impairments.”
Beginnings of Problems
She was about 24 when she started getting the symptoms of MS. She thought she was having a heart attack because her arm went numb. They couldn’t find anything wrong with her at the hospital. She had suffered with little attacks like that since 1992. In 1996 was the first drastic attack she had. She had numbness in the top of her right foot. She couldn’t feel anything from her chest down the next day. They did several spinal taps and MRIs in the hospital and found bands in her spinal fluid. She lost her eyesight here and there through optic neuritis. Some days the inflammation of the optic nerve made one eye look the wrong direction. She had no control over it, so they put her on steroid drugs. Those drugs made her gain weight and feel miserable. After constant attacks and going to the hospital and taking medicine, two years later she had another MRI that showed lesions on her brain and spine. On Friday Feb. 13, 1998, she was diagnosed conclusively with MS.
She could not feel from her thighs down. She had no feeling in her hands or feet. She had a personal care attendant to check for cuts or skin problems. Once she stepped on something and was bleeding and didn’t know it. About a year ago, she stepped on a carpenter’s tack somehow going from her wheel chair to her bed. She didn’t feel it going in and it stayed there until the next day.
In March 2007, she had 20/60 vision because the MS had attacked her optic nerve and had shredded it; in 2008 she lost sight in her left eye.
She didn’t have quality of life at all. She said she was so desperate for God because she was fed up with not having any quality of life. She couldn’t go out in the summer; she had no tolerance for extreme temperatures because of excessive nerve damage. Anything over 65 degrees, and she couldn’t cool off, and in the winter she couldn’t warm up. As she shared that, she remarked, “And here I am; it’s 105 degrees [in Redding] and I’m like ‘Yea’!”
She was not a Christian at the time she contracted MS. She grew up in a church, but from the age of ten on, she and her family quit going to church. It wasn’t until watching ibethel TV in January that she was introduced to church. She had been afraid to go to church as an adult.
From the first time that she watched ibethel TV, she had such a connection with the Lord. She said, “Pastor Bill would have a sermon, and the way he would talk, I understood.” She loved it. Having dinner and listening to the music, she could feel the Spirit, and her soul was just dancing. Lori and her new Christian caregiver, Michelle, would spend their days watching ibethel TV. It would fill Lori with hope. She was so desperate for God, she would say repeatedly, “I give you everything.” He would say back, “I love you my daughter, and I give you everything back.”
One night her friend said, “Can I pray for your paralysis?” Lori said, “Absolutely.” Her friend had never done that, but after the prayer, instantly, Lori said, “I feel the carpet.” She wrote about that moment, “By the end of that prayer, I had feeling from head to toe, which I had not had for 16 years. All I could do was touch everything—sweaters, carpet, leather and my face. I had forgotten what my own skin felt like…so lovely. Thank You, Jesus!”
Veins Plump Up
In January, the neurologist said, “We have to put a port in you, surgically in your chest” because they had such difficulty finding her vein. When they would find the vein, often it would collapse. She said no and prayed and prayed. By March, the nurses said, “What’s going on with you? We haven’t had any problems with your veins.” She said, “Yep. God restored my veins just like an athlete’s.”
Six or seven years ago, Lori was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She was on lithium and all the really heavy drugs. Lori testified, “After I fell in love with God, I said, ‘I don’t need this anymore.’” In March, she was praying that she could get off of her medications for that. Before she went to see her psychiatrist, she prayed God would give her the right words so he wouldn’t put her on more meds. He listened to her and said, “I do believe in faith. I don’t know if we can do it, but let’s try to wean you off these drugs.” She was on 24 medications just for bipolar. She and her psychiatrist agreed to have her decrease the medications safely, and by mid-May, she was off all 24 bipolar medications and has had no need of them since!
No More Migraines
Up until January, she had had migraines for two years straight, and she was bed bound. If the two pain medications she was on didn’t work, she would have to go to the hospital to get morphine. She was on medicine for her stomach to survive all the other medicines. When she asked God into her life, the migraines left.
In April, Lori started to volunteer at the office of Wellspring Church in Alaska, putting together the information for the ministry school. She wrote, “This was so exciting and fun! I had not been physically able to work since 1998. It was like starting your first day of school. I am so thankful and blessed for God, Art Mathias and Wellspring Church.”
No More Asthma or Narcolepsy
In May, she attended Wellspring School of Ministry and Art Mathias prayed to break agreement with asthma. She has not needed her asthma medicine since. During her second week at ministry school, she noticed that she had not taken any of her narcolepsy medicine. She is no longer taking medicine for that.
In June she wrote, “I am enjoying the sun and warmth on my skin while I walk or hike along Alaska’s trails. Thank You, Jesus!”
Without a doubt, her MS symptoms are gone, and she looks forward to having an MRI in six months that shows no brain or spinal lesions.
This is a new life with our Lord. I am healed of paralysis, bipolar, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, asthma, allergies, migraines, bladder issues, acid reflux, and there are others I have forgotten about….Thank you, Holy Spirit for wiping my memory clean…wink, wink….Today I walk without a walker, orthopedic shoes or use of a wheelchair. I worship our Lord and dance.
I said, “Lori, your caregiver is out of a job!” Lori laughed. “She says it’s OK. We’re in the healing ministry!” Truly Lori lives to praise Jesus and to see others come to know Him and His great goodness.
First published on the website of Bethel Church, Redding, CA.
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