An Encouraging Testimony

This testimony was sent to me today by a precious sister in our church. She and Her husband have stood with us in the Gospel for many years. I found this testimony so encouraging I wanted to share it with you…enjoy, Pas Bill
(I know this is much lengthier, with the added testimony, than the typical prayer request you would receive and post;  but prayerfully consider and add if able.
I’ve felt led to share these things, and thought to share when Pastor asked for testimony last Sunday, but I felt the Lord wanted it in writing, and perhaps where more could read than what was in attendance at service.
Thanks! – Annie)
Please pray for wisdom for the doctor as I go to see a salivary gland specialist on Tuesday.  Symptoms of what is pointing to potential Sjogren’s Syndrome manifested very obviously in January when I lost my sense of taste along with having a very dry mouth.  I’ve also had very dry eyes and other symptoms.
Testing has so far ruled out suspected brain tumor (praise God!), and other possibilities, so doctors are zeroing in on SS (an autoimmune condition) which has no one good means of diagnosis, and no cure.
It has been frustrating at times, but the Lord has sweetly used this time to instruct me in His wisdom for this day we live in, and I feel I’ve carried this affliction partly so that I can now share what I’m learning from Him.  (Please pardon this more lengthy “prayer request” as I share some of this journey!!)
With the loss of taste and dry mouth, the foods that I could get down were few, and those I could enjoy, none!  My appetite was normal, and food smelled wonderfully tempting, but it was like dirt in my mouth!  I began to grumble and complain, and became depressed.
Numbers 11:1,5,6
And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord… We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
The Spirit sweetly reminded me of those grumbling in the wilderness that all they had was the manna God gave them!!  I realized what a sin it is to grumble – how it displeases God -, and how truly blessed I am, with God supplying all my needs.  I truly lack no good thing!
As to not being able to taste any good thing, I was reminded of Psalm 34:8  – O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
And again, the sweet Spirit prompted me to give my soul a good “talkin’ to” with Psalm 103… reminding me throughout its 22 verses to Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits!!
God literally used the mouths of babes then, to instruct me to focus only on Him and His goodness.  When visiting Vanessa’s family, our 2 year old grandson dropped everything one day when the “10,000 Reasons” song came on, and began singing “Bless the Lord, O my soul…” with all his heart, raising his eyes and his hands, dancing before the Lord, totally oblivious to anything else going on in the room, anyone watching… YES, a TWO year old BOY, totally undistracted, fixing his eyes and heart on blessing the Lord!!  It humbled and blessed me so!!
My eyes, too, began drying out then, but with my eyes fixed on Him and His goodness, how could I be downcast?  And when the first 2 specialists I saw spoke immediately of brain tumor and gave me option of Mayo or UI… I kept talking to my soul and rejoicing in the good God Who I knew I could trust.
Then one day, as I read Psalm 32, vs 4 jumped out at me:  “…my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.”!!  Yep! – that’s me!!  I realized the Psalm was speaking of unconfessed sin, and the Spirit quickened to me a bitterness I’d been holding against a relative who I considered a sister in the Lord, but had been betrayed by and falsely accused.  I’d “argued” for some time that I was just hurt, not bitter.  But I cried out, asking God to put His love for her in my heart, and He enabled me to do as the next verses say:  I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.    For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found:
I confessed my sin, and forgave the offense…. And the bitterness became sweet freedom – bitter waters made sweet by the Tree of the Cross!!
When I realized there had been bitterness there, God spoke to me about my sense of taste.  As some aspects of my taste started to return, I could taste saltiness, but I could still taste nothing of sweetness… anything sweet turned to bitterness in my mouth.  When the doctors did a taste test on me, even the sour I detected as bitter… and yet I didn’t recognize the bitter as bitter!… I couldn’t detect it at all!
Oh how deceptive our enemy is!!… that bitterness hides itself so easily!!… and yet it has the power to turn even the sweetest sweet to bitterness, and distort everything good!
It was shortly after that we had the blessing of the Conference with brothers Prasch and Nathan, and David Nathan spoke on bitterness.  Please get the CD or watch/listen online if you’ve not heard it, and listen again if you have!  SUCH a vital message for these last days when our hearts must be purified for our Bridegroom!
Prior to the Conference, I’d prayed for God to show me what else I needed to learn from this condition, both for the health of my body and my spirit and soul.  In my reading, there was much emphasis on people with Sjogren’s needing to keep water with them at all times!  In past years, I’d said often that I need to drink more water, but never did… Now I have that constant reminder with the dry mouth, so I drink!!  Similarly, in recent years, I’ve preached to our kids and grandkids about the vital need in this day to stay constantly in the Word (the lifegiving & cleansing water of the Word!)… yet not practicing what I’d preached!  The first of this year I carved out times in my day, and a quiet place, to draw aside and drink of the Word… and oh how full it has been!!  Even what I considered the “dry” Old Testament books have spoken directly to me day after day so richly!!  I see more than ever how I NEED that constantly with me, just like those with Sjogren’s have constant reminder of their need for water!  With that in mind, I can no longer resent the dryness of my mouth.
I also learned those with Sjogren’s have a great need to take in good oils for the body’s health!  At the conference there was emphasis on the need for the Holy Spirit oil in these last days… that we be found with our lamps full, giving light, doing the work of the ministry by the Spirit!
And more recently, as my eyes have had drier days, I’ve been reminded of the need for eyesalve in  Revelation 3:18, another pertinent end time message for the church, spoken of at the conference – I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
We need that understanding only the Spirit can give for these days, opening our eyes to see, that we be not deceived and fall away from Him before His coming!!
God is so good!  It is our prayer that we all be found faithful at His return, having endured all testings to purify and prepare us as His bride!  I have gratefully endured the affliction of these symptoms, for the instruction and constant reminder they’ve provided of my need for Him, these last several months!!  Please receive anything from what I have learned, if the Spirit is speaking to you as He has to me!
Thank you for your prayers!
Annie Pedersen
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14 Responses to An Encouraging Testimony

  1. Alicia Odens says:

    Wow! I am so moved by this, no words just tears! Thank you for sharing! Will be praying for her💗🙏

  2. Rich says:

    God is oh so good when we take our eyes off ourselves to focus on Him!
    Thank you for that.

  3. ali says:

    Thank you both, Annie and Pastor Bill. What a loving reminder of the goodness of our God. In all things, choose to Praise the LORD. LORD. Bless. Ali Winters/TX

  4. jamie says:

    God is so good! Thank you for this wonderful testimony that reminds me of Paul’s words in 2 Cor 4…

    16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
    17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
    18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

  5. Maureen Leigh says:

    What a wonderful testimony! Thank you for this, I will pray for you, and please let me share one of my favourite verses, which struck me like lightning some time ago and I remember often:
    Psalm 94.19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.
    Isn’t that just beautiful?

  6. Rich says:

    Psalm 25:15 NKJV
    My eyes are ever toward the LORD, For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.

  7. Dmarie says:

    Wow, THANK YOU for sharing the beauty of all that the LORD is doing in your life –
    using physical suffering/challenges to draw you closer to His GOODNESS…

    So many would miss what you are able to ‘see’ through all of this… and they would become angry and bitter. I am not counting myself above that temptation, so I sincerely thank you for the reminder.

    You are TRULY blessed. Thank you for such a GREAT encouragement….
    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

    • Annie says:

      Thank YOU for the reminder of that beautiful Scripture! Yes!… blessed be our God!! His sweet presence with us is truly our comfort!

  8. Kim says:

    Loved that!!!! Thank you so much , wow the Lord is inspiring!!thank you!!!

  9. Sue Ackerman says:

    Dear Annie,
    I am so blessed at how you have taken the things you are suffering and sought the Lord for His comfort and His understanding. The correlations are amazing between your symptoms and the spiritual symptoms we all struggle with. I feel compelled to share with you my own experience with lung cancer. You can read about it on my blog. I was diagnosed in January, 2013. I did a natural therapy, the Gerson Therapy, and I am cancer free and very healthy today. I did not do the prescribed surgery, and had no chemo or radiation. God was so faithful through the whole experience. He led me every step of the way. Be sure that He will show you what to do as you seek Him first. He will give you His wisdom. He knows your body better than anyone, and He knows what can help you be healthy. Of course, we know that He does miracles, but sometimes He chooses to use ordinary things to do them; like something as simple as our food! Thanks for sharing your journey. I enjoyed reading about you. I pray the Lord will just continue to draw you nearer to Him through it all. Sincerely, Sue Ackerman

    • Annie says:

      Thank you, dear sister! I couldn’t agree more that God will give wisdom of HIS “prescription” for us! I look forward to reading of His faithfulness in your journey! He has already healed my husband of an incurable rare cancer years ago, through the wisdom of juicing certain fruits and vegetables; and He has led me to find “remission” of 2 other autoimmune diseases after leading me to some supplements (of mostly fruits and vegetables, aloe, etc) and other wisdom, avoiding what I was told would be inevitable surgery after, as they insisted, one of them “WOULD come back”! I have shared your link with another dear sister who has been battling breast cancer with the wisdom the Lord gives, to encourage her as well! Thank you and bless you!

  10. Maureen Leigh says:

    So very encouraging! God bless you all. JESUS IS LORD!

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