I was born in Texas into a pastor’s home and am the oldest of three children. Vocational ministry has led my family from Texas to Florida and to Louisiana where I spent most of my childhood. I have known I wanted to become a registered nurse since I was 14, but the road to achieving this goal has been paved with adversity. When I was 16, my family and I moved to serve at a church in California. I was devastated and grieved the loss of my life as I knew it—my friends, school, and church. I had to start all over.
Two weeks after our move, I began waking up with terrible joint pains in my hands, hips, and feet. A couple of months later, when I was 16, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I had no family history of RA and no medical cause for it. With no hope for a cure and only prescriptions to mask the symptoms of pain, stiffness, and swelling, I was left walking with a limp.
I was broken. I cried out to God, realizing that I desperately needed Him. I knew, cognitively, that He was my healer, but I needed to know it in my heart. I was determined and strong, knowing that nothing would stand in the way of the dreams God placed in my heart. I wish I could say that Jesus instantaneously healed me or that the doctors’ medications helped, but this was only the beginning of my 14-year fight. The disease worsened and I sought help everywhere--alternative therapies, naturopathic physicians, specialists, chiropractors, special diets. Treatments included medications, IVs, oxygen therapies, saunas, colonics, etc.—and nothing worked. It was awful! My arms were swollen and black and sustained permanent damage from the IV treatments (one of which was a port that had to be surgically implanted into my chest). Worse than that, my parents spent a fortune and saw no improvement.
In the midst of it all, however, I was diligent in my nursing training. I remember many tearful talks with my dad about how I would be able to complete the tasks of a nurse with swollen painful hands. Dad was my coach, my motivator and taught me to never quit. He was a constant reminder that God would be faithful to me—and God infused His presence to keep me going.
During this time, God opened doors for me to walk right into the nursing program in a season that was extremely difficult to be accepted. As hard as it was physically, I knew God’s grace would meet me every step of the way and that He would be faithful to me. And He was.
After 9 months of tetracycline IV treatments, the port failed and it was surgically removed. I then started on oral antibiotics for 7 years. Fortunately, by the end of nursing school, I was feeling the best ever, taking only an anti-inflammatory to control the pain. At age 22, I started my nursing career in orthopedics/neurology. After 9 months of 12-hour shifts, however, I had to take medical leave because I was barely able to walk. No cause could be found and nothing helped. To make matters worse, I was taken off the antibiotics which caused an extreme arthritic flare-up; additionally, I developed a cyst on my ovary, TMJ, and was anemic. One painful and sleepless night during this time, I looked at the clock at 3 a.m. and said, “Lord, let this cup pass from me.” The following day, I read Luke 22:42-43 where Jesus had prayed this at the Mount of Olives. God didn’t remove His cup, but He did send an angel to strengthen Him. I was encouraged that God was with me and strengthening me, even through disappointment.
Disappointment is difficult to overcome and I had to learn that I cannot blame God when things don’t go as expected. Quitting wasn’t an option for me, and even in the midst of seeming hopelessness, I could not believe that this was what God had for me. I began to write out fresh vision for how God was going to use me. My symptoms didn’t change, and my six-month medical leave from work was over and I couldn’t go back, not even for eight hour shifts. I resigned and prayed for something else to open up. I was 23 years old, disabled, and unable to receive financial support. In my utter brokenness, I again cried out to God for help. He then took me back to a time, almost two years prior when I was in my last semester of nursing school; I asked Him what He wanted me to do for Him. What was my purpose? Unlike most of my times with God, He immediately answered me and I was consumed with His presence as I spoke the word, “wholeness.”
There was a certainty in that encounter, but I never thought that “wholeness” could be a purpose for my life—but that was it. That was my purpose—to minister to God’s people with my nursing talents/gifts. I knew what I had to do. In January of 2001, I called my dad and asked him if I could serve in our church’s hospital visitation ministry. He was humbled and overjoyed that in my sickness I was going to stand in faith for other people’s healing. That was the start of my healing process and wholeness ministry to Calvary Temple called Total Nursing Care. There was peace and joy being in the perfect will of God, which yields wholeness in life.
I was thankful and my ministry as a parish nurse and pastor continued to flourish. The Lord had truly blessed my ministry, but I still believed for my husband. Just one month later, at age 27, the Lord brought me my husband, Michael Williams, a minister in Phoenix, AZ. We talked for a month, and then he came to Modesto to meet me. Three days later, he asked my dad for my hand in marriage, and three months later we were married.
Around that same time, I saw Jordan Rubin on the cover of Charisma magazine and read his story. As I read, I was stunned…completely blown away as I could relate to so much of his testimony. Jordan’s ministry was complementary to mine and by January 2006, Jordan came to our church, Calvary Temple, and shared his message of health and wellness with our congregation.
Following Jordan’s presentation, I launched his 7 Weeks of Wellness class with 430 in attendance. It was time for me to get well and for our church to get healthy! Jordan listened to my struggles and opened his heart AND his schedule to help me. He rekindled my faith to believe again. Jordan is one of my heroes.
God continues to make me whole and well. In March of 2007, my husband and I found out we were expecting our first baby—another true miracle. I believe I will be truly healed and whole. I know that God wants to bless abundantly (John 10:10) and make each of us whole (1 Thessalonians 5:23). I stand on those promises.
Believing for Miracles,