Today, Joanna speaks to us about her healing and powerful encounter with God, her experience when she was asked to pray for a particular person and how now is not the time to be lukewarm. It’s time to get “boiling hot.”
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one;
and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.” EPHESIANS 6:10-18
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Authority. One of the most helpful books I have read on this besides the Bible of course was The Believer’s Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin.
Profession: My first profession is momma– I have four daughters. My second is ministry– I do nursing home ministry where I go to different nursing homes three days a week to teach God’s word and pray for residents. I also hold Bible studies in my home weekly for single mothers.
A one sentence bio of yourself: I am a child of God, Jesus follower, wife, mama, kingdom-minded, encourager, minister, and faith blogger.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? We had attended a small church in Arkansas in 2015. The church was holding a revival in June. I had never been to one before but any chance to see Gods glory poured out count me there! I sat in the back with my husband and a few family members. It was amazing watching God sweep through a church and move people from out of their seats to their knees, people were laughing, crying, and praising God. I was just watching in amazement at the pastors, prayer leaders, and prophets.
Then, a prayer leader came to the back he stopped at our isle and said you, I just looked around me and then he said again, you child. I felt as if the whole church became quite. He grabbed my hand, and he said (the devil has stolen very important things from you and God wants you to know He is going to give you double for your trouble. That He has never left your side and He knows the truth. That He loves you unconditionally. That you are His daughter. And that every wrong done to you will be made right.) I was shaking and crying, [as] no one in that church knew my troubles or my feelings. I knew this was God! He then asked me to come up front, so I did several people came up to me laid hands on me and began to pray.
The prayer leader was in front of me with his hand upon my forehead praying. Suddenly, I felt this force of a beam of light sort of like sunshine push me back down to the ground! I was lying flat as a board, my eyes were shut, and to could not open them, trust me, I tried. The presence of God around me, His holiness was too powerful for me to fight. I could hear everyone standing over me praying. I was listening to their prayers and trying to move but I couldn’t, I couldn’t even move my hand.
I then heard the voice of God whisper Joanna it is time! I am healing you; please stop fighting me. I had this sudden relaxed feeling I could feel the heartache leaving my chest and peace Gods peace and love flowing back in. His love overwhelmed me! I heard the prayers ending. I slowly was able to move my hands, arms, and legs, but I was so shaky I just waited.
When I finally got to my feet, I felt so full like all the pain and strife and heartache that was on my heart was gone, and it was now full of peace and a love I had never felt before. The prayer leader said to my husband that your household was getting ready to be turned upside down and then to me your going to do amazing things for the kingdom of God. We thanked him for praying and then walked back to our seats. I said to my husband, Wow, that all happened so fast, he looked at me like I was crazy and said Honey, you were lying there for an hour! I was shocked! We sat in our seats and this woman who was just visiting our church that day walked up to me with a piece of paper and handed it to me, written on it was Philippians 4:6 (Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your requests known to God.)
I still to this day have that piece of paper stuck in my Bible. This was my first encounter with God this way and even though I had such joy from it, I was a bit confused. Confused because I never thought He would heal my heart like that. Confused because His presence overwhelmed me, and confused because what did He mean my home is going to be turned upside down, what good was I going to do!?
I underestimated Him. I knew He healed and loved but never thought He loved me like that and would heal me. I guess you could say I never felt worthy of His healing and love. This changed everything for me but it took time. From the way I prayed, to how I reacted to those who hurt me in the past and continued to hurt me, to two weeks later we found out we were pregnant, I was finally able to rely on God, I truly felt like He really cared about me and my heart. That His love for me was unconditional, like nothing I had ever felt before!
“I underestimated Him. I knew He healed and loved but never thought He loved me like that and would heal me.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? What has helped me grow in this season is full surrender to God. Surrender is one of the hardest things on a Christian walk, but once you finally fully surrender, and I mean knees on the ground hands in the air God I’m all yours here I am send me, surrender, He will flip your life upside down but in all the best ways.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I actually have three current reads, right now: Smith Wigglesworth The Complete Collection of His Life Teachings; Rediscovering the Kingdom by Myles Munroe; The Authority of the Believer by John A. MacMillan.
Top three essentials:
#1 God’s Word – without this I would be lost looking for answers this world could never give. #2 Worship Music – I play worship music ALL day long, it gets me trough my day. Singing God’s promises and Jesus’ name is powerful warfare. A few of my many favorite songs right now are Tremble by Mosaic, Even So Come by Passion, and Surrounded by Michael W. Smith.
#3. Prayer – I literally pray through my day, I constantly thank God for His protection over my family and thank Him for what He’s doing through me and for me.
How did God speak to you recently? God speaks to me daily on little things, but I’ll share one of the more lesson teaching ones. I pulled up to a nursing home where I minister, already praying that God would fill our Bible study this afternoon, when I put the car in park I started praying in the spirit just then a Robin landed on my mirror then move to the windshield and was looking at me; I was still praying and I felt God tell me to go in and a woman named Mary needed to be prayed for.
I said to God, There is no Mary in our Bible study, and He said Mary needs to be prayed for.
I said, Yes sir, I’m going in now. While I went in and went up to Bible study, there was one woman and then there was another, then there were two men, then there was another woman, then there was another man– none named Mary, so we continued on through Bible study the whole time I felt the Holy Spirit rising up in me, you need to pray for Mary, so I individually looked at all the people in the room questioning whether God got the name wrong, and I was supposed to pray for that person, but He kept telling me, No, her name is Mary, all through our Bible study.
He also made it clear that it was something in her head, I didn’t know what, but it was in her head, and I was to place one hand on the back of her head and one on the front. I was supposed to set her free, so as Bible study finished we prayed for everyone in the room, and then I prayed for Janet the other lady I was doing Bible study with, as I was praying for her one of the men from the Bible study came back into the room and said Miss Joanna can you come pray for my friend?
I said, Yes sir, I’ll follow you. So as we were walking down the hall, I said, Genn what is your friends name? He said, Her name is Mary.
I said, Thank you, Jesus. I am supposed to pray for her. We went to her room, and she was not in there, so we went downstairs and asked the front desk if they knew where she would be. They said she was probably in a friend’s room visiting, and they would call that friend and let Mary know that I wanted to see her. So, I waited in the lobby The ladies at the front desk continue to tell me not to let what Mary says get to me that she says very random things because she schizophrenic, so I waited for 15 minutes and Mary was not down there.
I knew the devil was trying to hold her up, so I went back up to the front desk, and I asked the room number of her friend because if the devil was going to try to hold her up from coming to me, I was going to go to her. The Lord’s work was going to be done, just as I was making my way to the elevator Mary got off. I said, Hello Mary, the Lord has sent me to see you, and He wants me to pray for you.
She said, Oh, He does? Have I done something wrong?
I said, No, He wants you healed. She looked at me surprised, I then kneeled down in front of her, and I grabbed her hand. I looked her in the face, and I said, Mary have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? She said, Yes, ma’am. I said, Okay, then now, I’m going to pray. I stood up, my hands were shaking uncontrollably the fire in my fingertips was burning. I put one hand on the back of her head, and I laid one hand on the front, and I prayed. I thank the Lord for doing this work through me, and I told Mary everything the Lord wanted her to know. I told her she is set free and just as I said the words, Mary, you are set free, her body relaxed into the chair, and I could feel the Spirit run through me into her. It was the most amazing feeling. I ended my prayer, and I took my hands off of Mary, once I felt the Holy Spirit was done. I stepped back and the look Mary’s face was so calm and loving and thankful.
She said she has never felt this good in her life and that she was thankful, and she knows what the Lord just did. I told her, We thank Him and give Him all the glory. The Lord set this woman’s mind free from the attacks of the devil. He set her free from schizophrenia. How great is our God, and I will forever remember that divine encounter and the way the Lord had everything set in place that day!
Hobby: Reading would have to be my favorite hobby. I love learning everything I can about God and His kingdom.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: #1. PRAY everyday, all day. #2. Know your weapons of warfare and understand that we are not fighting flesh but enemy spirits. #3. Time with God every morning. If you start your day fellowshipping with God. He will strengthen you for whatever comes in your day.
Favorite person in scripture? My favorite person in scripture is Jesus of course but, second person would be Paul. I am intrigued by his story and his transformation from Saul to Paul.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? What I want people to learn about God when they look at me is that He turns broken into beautiful. That His love is greater than anything on this earth. That He is overwhelmingly great in every way. That you are who He says you are. That He heals.
Favorite season? My favorite season is spring, when everything is made new.
Favorite holiday? My favorite holiday is Easter (aka Happy Resurrection Day, is what we call it in our home). We are so thankful for Jesus!
A dream you have? To be a pastor.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Our family’s special tradition is to every day pray individually with each of our children before bed.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I can’t think of a question I will ask when I get to Heaven, but I’ll tell ya I’m just really looking forward to thanking Jesus and praising Him. And hearing, Well done my good and faithful servant.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Something I want to raise awareness about is that our days are numbered. We are not promised tomorrow, and we are most certainly in the end days! Now is not the time to be lukewarm for Jesus, get hot, boiling hot, and do it now!
“Get hot, boiling hot, and do it now!”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? My alarm is set for 6 a.m.,every day. I get up, get my coffee, and come into my office and commune with God, pray, read my Bible, and get myself spiritually ready for my day. Then my girls wake up around 8 a.m., and we have breakfast and start our day.
What is on your nightstand? On my nightstand is a lamp, my glasses, a bottled water, and the three books I’m currently reading.
Define Christianity in a sentence: To be Christ like.
For more Joanna:
Until next time, keep witnessing!