Woodseats Healing Rooms

Sheffield

Our God Reigns! Over M.E.

By Sue

I remember it well!  The 2nd of September 2000, our son Seamus was discharged from the Sheffield Children’s Hospital, and we headed off to Tenby for a late start to our holiday.

I had spent the last five nights sleeping alongside Seamus on a camp bed, whilst struggling with a rather persistent chest infection – not to mention asthma, which had been with me for many years.

Not surprising then that I slept for the entire seven hour journey to Tenby.  Or indeed that once unpacked, I went to bed and slept still further.  The surprising thing was that I slept for most of the two week holiday, and carried on sleeping on my return.

Unfortunately, now I couldn’t sleep the day away, and had to go to work.  Things soon got worse!  People would speak to me and I would look at them with a vacant look, not because I hadn’t heard them, but because my brain didn’t seem to be making sense of the words.

I would suddenly remember to tell my husband David, “ Oh, did I tell you, Ray rang earlier, there’s no house group this week.”  The look on David’s face said it all – when I questioned what was the matter, he told me it was the third time I’d told him in the last two hours.  He was worried, and so was I – my prayers ran along the lines of “God, I think I’m loosing it, Help!”

Physically things were no better either.  I would wake up at 07.00 am feeling as if it was 2.00 am in the morning, and someone had just thrown me out of bed and said, “Right jump to it.”  My whole body ached, just as it had felt once when I’d gone down with a bout of flu when I was sixteen.  I would start to walk towards the door in the bedroom, and instead of walking through it, collide with the door.  My co-ordination was completely gone, I couldn’t walk in a straight line, and what walking I could do, I would suddenly stumble and fall.

Identifying objects was also a problem, seeing a bottle of milk left on the kitchen side, I asked David if he’d put the tea in the oven!

Sleeping Beauty

The final straw was whilst nodding off on the sofa, our son Seamus (who was aged four at the time), saw a production of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ on the television.  “Look Mummy,” he said, “That’s you.”  As I knew I was no beauty, I realised that sleep and exhaustion had not only taken over my life, but was definitely affecting my family around me.  A trip to the Doctors was required to find out just what was going on – something I’d been putting off, telling myself that I must be ‘run down’ , and that sleep would help.

Several phials of blood later, not to mention a trip to the Hallamshire Hospital, I was told that I had a sluggish liver, and Chronic Fatigue.  Due to several viral infections hitting my body at once, my immune system was low, and Chronic Fatigue had taken hold.

I was hoping that a course of tablets and a good rest would cure all, but alas that was not the answer I received.  Chronic Fatigue was the new name for ME apparently, and did I know much about it.  I was told there was nothing that could be done – my body would get back to normal once things settled down.  Try not to get stressed, it doesn’t help I was told.  I questioned how long these ‘things’ would take to get back to normal.  Any thing between 6 months and 2 years (later when I had reached the 2 year mark, I was informed by another Doctor that he had a patient who had had similar problems for nine years).

So to sum it up!  I was sleeping 14 hours a day, and feeling exhausted with aching limbs when I actually was awake.  I had no energy; a shower in the morning left me falling asleep afterwards.  Work seemed a hazy memory, I was struggling to make a cup of tea in the morning without scalding myself, let alone make decisions about work related matters.  The more I pushed myself the harder it got, with dizzy spells to add to the confusion.

In order to try and alleviate any stressful areas in my life, and I think on reflection, to try and make me accept where I was at this point, I was advised to have counselling.  I must confess, I found talking to someone helpful, I could say what was worrying me instead of keeping up a brave face for the sake of those around me who loved and cared for me.

The one person that seemed to understand more than anyone was my Saviour.  So many times I would wake up and find the house empty, not sure how long I’d slept, or even what day it was.  Tears fell from my eyes as my whole life had turned upside down, and I couldn’t see a way forward.  At these times in particular I would reach for my Bible at the side of my bed and ask God to send some comforting words to help disperse the dark cloud that seems to hang over us all.

Cinderella

The years rolled by, and people said how much I had improved.  I was seen to go out for an evening, but usually left at 9.00 pm.  The family started to call me Cinderella, rather than Sleeping Beauty.  I was managing to work full hours (just), but still always in bed before Seamus.  David and I had no life together as husband and wife; it was more like patient and nurse.  Making sure when I said I was going to bed that I actually made it that far, and had not fallen asleep on the landing as I had been known to do.

There are those who are sceptical about such illnesses – it really is all in the mind they say, and that it’s just mind over matter.  If you are one of those people I thank you for taking a giant step forward by reading my testimony.  I can assure you that on waking one morning to find small plastic sheep and fresh daisies on my pillow I cried like I never had before.  It was a Sunday, and Seamus had placed them there for me to see when I woke up.  To see my family, and especially my son, suffer the way they have, if I could have done anything to cure myself I would.  I have lost six precious years of our son’s childhood that can never be replaced.

Again, my strength came from my Lord and Saviour, I kept praying that he would help David and Seamus understand, and that whatever he wanted to teach me through all this, I would try and learn.  Through it all, my faith stayed with me and grew stronger.

I tried alternative medicine, homeopathic remedies which made some impression on my health and gave a little bit more energy.  But still I could not manage a day without 10 hours sleep at least, and still the same old flu like symptoms, lack of co-ordination existed.  I had reached a stage of frustration, six years had been a very long time, and whilst improvements could be seen, it was clear that I was not cured.

A Journey begins

A very dear friend of mine handed me a leaflet.  She felt whilst praying that God had wanted her to give me the leaflet.  It was about the Healing Rooms at Woodseats.  This is at the same site as John Wesley preached many years ago, the site now being a very large public house!  Strange how times change, what good news that God’s message stays the same.

I read the leaflet, and asked myself, “Does my God that I believe in want me to continue like this, or does He want me to be well?”

For once in my life I felt my faith was being tested, but what was even more alarming was I felt that God was testing it!  So many questions kept running through my mind!  What if I asked but did not receive, how would I feel knowing that God wanted me to continue this struggle.  I prayed about it, and knew that my faith would still be with the Lord.  But I was also very worried whether deep in my heart my faith would take a battering so to speak.  Perhaps God wanted things the way they were, it kept me close to Him when darkness fell.

I prayed about the whole situation, and in my mind I saw a picture of my Lord standing in the middle of a large calm lake – well stood on top of the water to be correct.  Isn’t it amazing what the Lord can do?  He was smiling at me, and I was standing at the edge with just one toe in the water, afraid, unsure and very worried!  I think the very worried bit came from the fact that I can’t swim!  And there the picture ended.

As the Hymn states ‘Be bold, be strong’.  Yes Lord!  I am going to ask you to heal me – brave words from such a feeble body.  Once I had prayed the matter through and came to the decision to ask the Lord I decided it might be best if I tried to sweep a few of the not so clean areas of my life out.  So I took all the faults I could find (I am sure I have many others), went on my knees and asked God to forgive me of the sins I had mentioned, and help me to make a fresh start.  This I continued to do over a period of several weeks, until I felt sure in my mind I had been as open as I could with God about my faults and sins, and had asked for his forgiveness.

It was Wednesday evening!  So off I set determined to be brave.  I decided to catch the bus; one ran from the Hillsborough Leisure Centre every 20 minutes.  I started to walk to the bus stop across the many pedestrian crossings between Leppings Lane and Penistone Road.  I also started to panic; it was dark and traffic seemed to be coming at me in all directions.  Usually I am fine about walking, so it was somewhat strange that things were starting to worry me now.   Not deterred, I prayed that God would be with me and deliver me to the bus stop safely.  Like magic every pedestrian crossing I approached after that switched to green and I was able to walk straight across.

I arrived at the bus stop with time to spare!  I waited, and waited, and waited.  By now I was beginning to realise that there might have been an element of the ‘other side’ trying to put a spoke in the works.  This made me even more determined to carry on!

Eventually after 25 minutes wait the bus arrived.  I jumped on and asked for “The Big Tree Pub, Woodseats please.”  I did not get a good response.  “I’m only going as far as the City Centre, I’m half an hour late as it is, and I’m supposed to finish at 7.00 pm.”  On reflection I decided that the City Centre was 3 miles nearer my final destination, and got on the bus.  We travelled at what seemed to me break neck speed, and with my meal that I’d eaten earlier now wedged back in my throat not my stomach as previously, we reached the City Centre.  Where upon the bus driver announced, “I’ve made some time, so I’ll go as far as Meadowhead, but there’s no way I’m going to Lowedges.”  I sat back and prayed that God would see me to the right stop, as with the speed we were travelling, my poor geography and the dark wet night it was not easy to see where we were heading.

Sure enough, the Lord answered my prayer as the bus driver shouted “Who was it wanted the Big Tree Pub?”  Not the best exit line I’ve heard, but I smiled and thanked him all the same.

Healing Rooms

Once inside, like most ladies I made a quick trip to the loo, think the bus journey had something to do with it!  Decided also to ring my friend and share the good news that I had got there, and ask for her prayers.

This done I climbed the stairs to the upper room.  A warm and friendly lady called Debbie who asked if it was my first visit to the Healing Rooms greeted me.  She offered to make me a cup of tea, and asked that I fill in a short form giving my name and details of what illness I would like prayer for.  I sat and filled in the details and handed my form back.  It was explained to me that there would be a team of three people praying with me if that was okay.

The team I met there were very friendly and there was a relaxed atmosphere, with low background music, and as much tea as you could drink!  Although thinking of the bus journey back I declined a second cup.

Debbie called me through to a small room and introduced me to Caryl and Louise.  They all in turn prayed for God to heal me of Chronic Fatigue.  I just felt like a wave of relaxation and peace came over me.  I had never felt so at peace before, and felt that God had blessed me.

I thanked my prayer team, and made my way to the bus stop to head for home.  Also at the bus stop was a young man who had obviously drunk a little more alcohol than was recommended.  He asked me what times the bus ran, and if he could get to the City Centre from here.  Strange, but normally I would have been rather concerned; just me and a stranger at a bus stop, but God’s Spirit was with me, and I felt calm and able to handle the situation (which got a little worse as the man insisted that I catch the same bus as him as I had been so helpful).

Once sat on the bus I needed to get home, and not the one the man affected by alcohol had advised, I rang David.  He offered to drive down to the bus stop to meet me as it was nearly 9.00 pm, and I had work in the morning.  I told him I was fine, and was looking forward to the walk home!

Again God stepped in, and made me get off one stop earlier than I should.  But when I alighted from the bus, I felt about a foot taller, my legs didn’t ache, I felt as if the pavement under my feet was clouds not hard tarmac.  My prayers had been answered!  I was so excited.

Thank God!

I noticed Saint John’s Church, Owlerton was lit up as I approached, and could hear what sounded to me a beautiful choir.  Amidst all the excitement I decided to go into the Church and give thanks to God for His wonderful blessing of healing.  As I opened the door I found the sound I had heard outside was not the same as the sound I heard within.  At the front was a group of three young boys playing electric guitars  - very loudly I might add.  One of them came across and asked if he could help me.  He must have thought me mad, but I explained that I had just come from the Healing Rooms at Woodseats, that God had healed me, and I wanted to give thanks.

The young man said he would stop playing whilst I prayed if it helped, but I said I wouldn’t dream of interrupting, and I could pray along side an electric guitar.  And pray and praise I did - between us we nearly lifted the roof off.

The pavement seemed to drift below my feet, and although it was late evening I felt wide awake and so alive!  Sleep was out of the question for a few hours yet.  Eventually I made it home and told David all about my adventure with my Lord and Saviour.  How I had been brave enough to ask God for healing, how the Lord had guided me and given me strength and courage, and how the Holy Spirit had healed me of the dreadful Chronic Fatigue that had plagued not just my life, but our lives for the past six years.

To say we all lived happily ever after would be wrong.  Even now several weeks on, if I suddenly yawn my family go into panic mode, and ask, “Are you okay?”  To which I reply “I’m fine, don’t worry, I’m just tired – it is 10.30 pm at night, and I have been awake since 05.45 am.  Why aren’t you tired too?”

God has cured me of Chronic Fatigue, but at the same time He has also taught me that a ‘comfortable’ faith is not what He wants from me.  I feel He is telling me to be brave and walk with Him, step into the lake that I had seen in my prayers, even though I can’t swim, and just trust in Him.  I look forward to sharing more adventures with my Lord!

I would like to thank those at Wadsley whose prayers have been with me over the last six years; Debbie, Caryl, Louise and Janet from the Healing Rooms at Woodseats; my dear friend Grace, and of course David, Seamus, and my Mum and Dad for all their care and love.

Thank you for reading this testimony.  I pray that it will go to show just how wonderful our God is!

Our God Reigns!  Alleluia.

 

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