Family curses are real. My family tree is a tangled up mess. Generations have battled depression, bitterness, shame, sickness and more. For years, when I thought of my paternal grandparents I couldn’t even bring myself to say a prayer. When I knew they needed prayer, I delegated. I asked my husband or my children to do the work because my heart couldn’t find the words.
I’m not sure how, but I didn’t see this as unforgiveness. God knew my limitations though. He understood that years of rejection had left me speechless and hard. There had to be grace for that, right?
Since I was 3 years old I have felt the physical curse of my family line in the form of migraines. At 32, my doctors diagnosed me with Arnold Chiari malformation. Recently they added Temporal Lobe seizures to the list of ailments. As a believer, I have prayed for healing more times than I care to admit. My faith didn’t waiver. I knew God was capable, but the healing didn’t come.
1st Timothy 2: 8 says: “Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.“
Oh, I was lifting my hands. I was praying, but deep in my heart I was holding a grudge.
On Sunday, June 28th I was at a conference. The speaker explained that we would be seeking healing that day. I recalled my prayers from that morning. As I lay in that hotel bed I had asked God “Do you even care about me anymore? When will you ever heal me?” What a whiny brat I’d been.
The speaker began to explain that God often caused him to experience a person’s pain in order for him to know what to pray against. That morning he woke up with a migraine. “If you suffer from migraines, stand up.” As I stood I heard God whisper I haven’t forgotten you daughter, your needs are the top of my list today. Then, the speaker told us to sit down and said it was more than just a migraine. He described Chiari! My jaw dropped.
Eventually, people from the audience came forward to offer prayer and receive it. A woman approached me and began to pray. In her prayer she said “This goes way back and stems from a curse.” Tell me what I don’t know, I thought. As she prayed God opened me up completely. A sobbing ball of goo, I knew healing even as she uttered the final Amen. Then she looked at me and said “What else? There’s more?” I shrugged and told her we’d covered it all. She was hesitant but said “Okay, while we wait for God to reveal that. Will you pray for me?” I agreed and asked her name. It was my grandma’s name. I started to cry. How special for God to use the prayers of a woman with that name to redeem me from a curse put there by my grandmother? My prayer buddy insisted that we pray for my grandmother. I was uncomfortable. As I said, I didn’t pray for my paternal grandparents. I couldn’t. This prayer warrior wouldn’t back down or let me delegate. I had to do it. I had to pray. As I did, healing came. Forgiveness flowed from me. I felt broken and free. God laid it all out for me, exposed the tree of bitterness that had seeded in my heart and cut it down at the root.
Forgiveness heals. I felt myself exhale with sweet relief and the full knowing that my heart was clean. Don’t you want that?
Psalm 51: 8-13 says:
“Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.”
Truth: Unforgiveness can keep you sick. Ask God to expose any area where your prayers may be blocked.
Prayer: Abba Father, I invite you to turn my life upside down and break down my false perceptions of myself. Humble me so that you can raise me up in your time. Sweep away the cobwebs and uncover any hidden sin so that nothing can come between us. Forgive my sins as I forgive those that have wronged me. Heal me inside out and upside down so that I am made new in you. Amen.