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Faith Sharing – Assurance

May 12, 2012

Faith Sharing is a regular part of our worship of God at White Plains Presbyterian Church. The following was shared by a member of the congregation on Sunday, March 25

I want to share something this morning on the theme of hearts, which we have been talking about today.

A little more than a year ago I was in the hospital for a physical illness, but I was also feeling very low about myself. Despite the fact that I knew many of you were praying for me, I had trouble drawing on the strength. When I would be reminded how much God loves me and that God intends me to be well, I would quickly forget. That powerful message would get swallowed up in my struggle with myself. In particular, I felt that if God really knew me, really knew me, that God would not, could not love me. As I said, I was in the hospital with a physical illness, but it was my mental and spiritual state which made me suffer.

One afternoon, Pastor Jeff visited me in my hospital room. Hearing my struggle, he assured me that God does know me, intimately, and that God loves me. Our talk was helpful. but I told him that I would forget the comfort soon after he left, and I would disbelieve the message of love that I learn here in church. He said he would write it down for me so that when I doubted it, I could read the paper and know that he and all of you believed it for me. So we started to search for a pen and some paper.

All this took place last February, and this visit took place right around Valentine’s Day. I found a pen, but all he could come up with was a construction paper Valentine that his son August had made. On one side we wrote: “God knows me” and “God loves me.” I would hold the heart in my hands and receive the message.

This was not only profoundly helpful, but healing. I had a promise backed up by not only by my pastor but by the entire church. I would remember your prayers.

I still have this heart. I have carried it with me at other times when I knew I would need it.

Our prayer ministry gives gifts to every child who is baptized as a sign of our prayers for them. It may be a blanket, a small cross, or a card. Two prayer ministers, Ruth and Olga, also visited me in the hospital and brought me a small, handmade cross, which said: 

This handmade cross is given to you by the Prayer Ministry of our church. We have blessed it, prayed over it and pass it on to you as a token of God’s love. May it bring love, comfort, healing, peace, courage and hope that come from God’s love for you. May you feel God’s presence whenever you touch this cross.

These physical objects can be important as we grow in faith, and as we heal. These visits, and these gifts, and the prayers of this church, have renewed my spirit time and time again when I really needed it. From the bottom of my heart, I thank God for the ministry of this church.

 

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