The Day I Didn’t Feel Like Laughing

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My eyes fluttered open, and I was jolted awake. My heart
seemed as if it were pounding out of my chest. Where was I? Nothing looked familiar. Was I in a motel

Then suddenly it dawned on me that I had bought new
bedroom furniture, the first in 18 years of marriage. I was in my
own room.

Glancing at the clock, I could see that it was 6:03 a.m.
Slowly I made my way to the kitchen. The constant gnawing pain in my
side was growing with each step I took.

I had just had my fifth surgical procedure in as many
months, but nothing helped alleviate the pain. It returned after each

As I flipped on the kitchen light, I immediately noticed a
device sitting on the counter that I knew just had to be the answer to
this and every pain I had ever experienced. It was the Juice Boy 2000!

I promised myself that I would juice for lunch, or maybe
dinner. Instead, I opened the refrigerator and made my selection. What
could be better for me than a banana Popsicle?

I paused at the scale nearby, then stepped on it, only to
find that I had dropped another five pounds. Not good. You’re probably
saying, “Cathy, you’re crazy. Losing weight is great!”

Not for me. You see, I had already shed 140 pounds in the
previous two years, and now I was beneath my ideal weight and continuing
to drop too low for my health.

I had no appetite, and everything tasted the same. After
three bites, I wasn’t interested anymore.

For 20 years my goal had been to go into a store where
regular, misses and junior sizes were sold and not have the salesperson
ask me if I was buying clothes for my daughter. I had desperately wanted
to buy a pair of Calvin Klein jeans and have them actually fit.

Now I have three pairs: a size 10, a size 8 and finally a
size 6. A few years and 12 sizes ago, I would have surrendered a major
appendage for a size 6 anything. But now I was so sick I didn’t feel
like  getting dressed.

How Did I Get Here?

Over and over I replayed in my mind the events that had
led me to this place. I had ministered to hundreds of hurting people,
seen miracles that would blow you away and traveled the world to teach
and preach the gospel. Now I lay on my bed, unable to help myself,
frustrated because I had done everything I knew to do.

One night was particularly bad. I slept with my tape
player plugged into my ears playing praise music and my Bible on my
head. Frankly, I looked like an idiot, but I was a sincere idiot!

The more ill I became, the more I turned to doctors. Even
though my doctors were wonderful people who truly tried to help me, I
often wondered if they were secretly sick and tired of me.

The problem was, I was really hurting. It was not in my
head. People who battle chronic pain or sickness can become severely
depressed. Pain wears a person down spiritually, emotionally and

So there I was, lying in my bed after my last surgery,
feeling horribly sorry for myself. I felt that I had literally come to
the brink of hell.

My intercessors, those loving individuals who support me
and my ministry in prayer, simply did not know how to pray for me
anymore. It occurred to me that they might wonder if I was in some
secret sin, but I didn’t have enough energy to sin outwardly, much less
the desire to sin secretly.

Although the prayer group never said so, I wondered if
they ever thought, Cathy, will you please get healed so we can pray for
those who are lost and dying and going to hell?

The worst experience I had happened about midnight one
week after the fifth surgery. By this time my doctor had told me not to
expect a quick recovery because my body had been through so much.

My husband was away ministering at the time. I lay alone
in our big bed with the wooden canopy over my head, unable to sleep.
Suddenly, I felt an evil, ungodly presence in my room.

I wish I could tell you that I did what Smith Wigglesworth
did when confronted by Satan. He simply raised his lantern and said,
“Oh, it’s just you,” then blew out the flame and went back to sleep. I
wasn’t that spiritual.

Satan Gives Us a Truth, Then Tells Us a Lie

As I lay there in the dark, painful quiet of my bedroom
with that ungodly presence, a thought came to me. It sounded logical and
even expressed how I was feeling: Aren’t you tired of being sick?

Yes, I was tired of being sick, tired of being tired and
tired of not being the wife and mother I wanted to be. Throughout this
long season of suffering, I was to endure seven major surgeries. With
each one, the pain would relent, only to return with greater vengeance
than before.

That was the fact Satan fed me. Next came a lie: Don’t you
think your family deserves better? You aren’t fun anymore. Your
bathrobe has taken on a life of its own.

Meekly and with increasing guilt I answered, “Yes, they do
deserve better. At least they should have a mother who bothers to wear
underwear under her robe.”

With intensity, the thoughts continued to flood my mind,
and the enemy moved in for the destruction—first of my self-worth and
then of my value—using guilt as his weapon. Your husband would probably
be better off with another wife, and your children deserve a better

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