Recently, I was on a plane flying back from visiting my incredibly large, extended family. Almost all of them still live in Waukesha/Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I grew up.

It had been a great week, even if the circumstances were not what we expected when we planned this vacation. My 87-year-old father had a stroke just about a week before we arrived. My heart was breaking, before we left. With each update, not knowing what the future held, I just wanted to be with him. I kept hearing the enemy’s whisper to me that I needed to pack a black dress. I finally had to demand out loud that he shut up and believe that God would allow me the chance to talk to him again. To talk to my dad about Him because leading my dad to Christ was all I wanted at this point.

The spiritual warfare was heavy from the moment we arrived. I had friends in Texas praying and I kept them updated on the needed prayers. God did so much in that one week. The atmosphere within my extended family and the rehab facility went from dark and somber to filled with peace, hope, and joy. Our little Christ-filled family brought laughter and a reprieve from the enemy’s lies.

And when the time was just right, when I knew it was evident to my dad that something had changed with our presence, I brought up Jesus. I had tried so many times in the past and received a guarded, argumentative response. But this time was different. He cried as he said, “I’m listening.” As I spoke he declared Jesus was Lord, his Lord, his only God. He was receptive, especially when I talked about God being the Father he always wanted, his protector, provider, and healer.

My father had to grow up far too early to become the man of the house due to an alcoholic father. Those, I can only assume, were sweet words to his ears.

When we first arrived, all eight of us including a toddler and baby, could spend time with him altogether. We were the light that he needed. Satan hated this and suddenly, because of a “possible” bowel infection, no one with a compromised immune system could see him. Those who were allowed were required to gown up, rubber gloves and all. That meant half the family wasn’t allowed in anymore. After two days of this and no word on test results, we found out that the samples hadn’t even been sent to the lab until that evening.

I had a Holy Spirit led inkling that the tests would come back negative. So after praying about it, in faith I declared to my entire unsaved family that dad did not have any infection. The tests would come back negative, in Jesus’ name! They looked at me like I was crazy and then my oldest brother said while he hoped I was right, he was pretty sure I wasn’t.

It was walking in the next day to see all the gowns gone and an “All Clear” sticker on his door that told me that God’s hand was upon us and it was time to talk about Jesus.

What an amazing answer to a scary step of faith. We must always remember that we serve a God who greatly rewards faith. Those who trust in the Lord will never be put to shame.

When we planned this trip months before, we could not have known how perfect the timing of our visit would be. Even so, I remember telling everyone that I believed that this trip would be more about my elderly parents than about vacationing. God in His sovereignty knew all and He compelled us to be there. God’s presence was needed and we made sure to usher Him in.

There is nothing better than co-laboring with the Creator of the universe.

Our God is healer!  We watched that week as life came back to his left side. His smile, straight smile that is, returned. He moved and also lifted his left leg. God is reclaiming his movement that the enemy tried to steal.

So as a co-laborer and in faith, I declare that my dad is whole and healed, in Jesus’ name. To God be the glory!