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  • Debbie Howell

When the Family Hurts – Jasmine’s Journey of Healing

Every time I think that our time here at the Riordan Clinic can’t get any more emotional, I find out just how wrong I am.


This morning when we arrived at the clinic for Jasmine’s blood irradiation treatment the head nurse pulled me aside to talk to me. With a beautiful look of compassion she said, “I just have to tell you how moved I am that you have such a close relationship with Jasmine. I can see what a huge support you are for her and I have to tell you that we don’t always see that here when parents bring in their older kids for treatment.” I was so touched by her words that I thanked her and gave her a huge heart-felt-hug!


Her comment has gotten me thinking today. People who are healthy cannot relate to or understand the heavy burden that people live with who deal with chronic pain and/or depression. And even though they are the ones who suffer the most it also daily affects those that they live with.


I’ve been praying about what words of encouragement I can share with those of you who have to watch your loved ones suffer day in and day out. I know that my husband and I have gone through frustration and grief time and again because no matter how long and hard we searched we couldn’t find a cure for Jasmine. That can really wear on a marriage. With so much time and energy focused on trying to get Jasmine well, we’ve done our best to also spend time with our younger daughter, Camilia, but I know that this all has affected her too.


A lot of us can hold onto hope if we can see a solution in sight or at least a new treatment to try. I know a lot of my strength has come from releasing Jasmine back to God by praying His Word over her. But to be completely honest, if I take the time to look back over the past 11 years and think about all of the ways that she has suffered it breaks me somewhere deep inside and I just want to curl up with my pillow and cry.


I say all of that to let you know that I feel your pain. God feels it too. However, I refuse to give you a well-intentioned “Christianeese” answer for all of your pain. There’s a lot I don’t understand regarding God and His ways but I won’t stop seeking Him until I feel His very heart beat and Hear His voice speaking light over all of this darkness.


The Holy Spirit has been stirring a lot in my heart for the past couple of years. Growing up in this world of sin it’s a part of life to see people almost daily who are handicapped or physically ill. What used to be something I could have a moment of compassion for as I walked by, now disturbs me. If I see a young person in a wheel chair who is physically and mentally handicapped I can’t just walk past him anymore. My mind immediately goes to prayer as I think, “Jesus, if you were here right now Your shadow alone would heal this young person in a moment. We are supposed to continue the work You began and it’s not right that I just walk by and not be able to heal him.”


God is moving in the hearts of many members at our church and we decided to meet every week beginning in June. Our goal is to call on the Holy Spirit for our prayer ministry and church. We are believing for a spiritual revival that will lead to spiritual cleansing and healing. After everything we’ve been through with Jasmine I am fully committed to believing in God’s power to heal those who will come to us for prayer.


I heard Joyce Meyer say once, “I’d rather believe for everything and get half of it than believe for nothing and get all of it.” It’s time for us to stand up and believe again. Let’s pick up our Bibles and ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to use the Word as He teaches us how to pray. That’s the most hope I can give anyone.

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