From: Ruth Dreher
This is a testimony that I should have written almost four years ago, which is the last time I contacted you. How are you? I pray you are doing well. Thank you so much for your web site - it continues to be a source of strength for me.
Perhaps you remember me - my name is Ruth Burull Dreher. At the time, around Christmas 2003, my sister, Erica Burull, wrote you to pray for my heart, which had started skipping beats. I had also written you earlier about my concern for the shape of my son Paul's head, when he was 2 1/2 years old, as it had developed a flat spot on his head from when he was a baby because of the position I put him in when he went to sleep. To me, it had been very noticeable and caused me great angst. His doctors all said that his head would round out as he got older, but at the time I did not believe them and felt such guilt and sorrow that it felt like a real physical weight bearing down on me.
During this time I begged and begged Jesus to heal my son's head shape. I would pray to God for hours after everyone had gone to sleep, crying to God to heal him. I quit watching television and movies and the news on the Internet as I had read that much of what we put into our minds from these sources is not good and separates us from God. I did this for 2 and 1/2 years and received no answer from God, and I had difficulty perceiving any improvement to my son's head shape.
Also, during this time, we were all sleeping poorly and waking up about three times every night. This was the result from a combination of a house with an uneven temperature, my running into Paul's room to check on him every time he made so much as a peep, and Paul being somewhat sensitive to any light or sound. We were all pretty sleep-deprived, and hadn't slept much for 2 and 1/2 years.
Shortly before that Christmas of 2003, there was one day where I was particularly proud of myself. Even though I was exhausted, through a superhuman effort, I had been kind and loving towards everyone, had resisted being upset about Paul's head shape, played educational games with Paul, and made wonderful meals for everyone (on time). I sauntered into the bathroom and said aloud to the mirror: "Ha, I wonder what the devil will try to do to me now!" And then, suddenly, I heard a voice say into my head: "Your heart." I thought, Oooh, that's strange! And I brushed off those words. But sure enough, three days later, my heart started skipping beats. This threw me into a tailspin, and I went to the emergency room and a number of doctors to receive a diagnosis. It was 6 and 1/2 weeks before I was able to see a cardiologist. During that time I prayed and prayed to God to heal me, and I was so scared. Also, previously I had been able to maintain a semblance of balance about my concerns for my son, but with the advent of my heart problem, I plummeted into despair about his head shape.
Finally, I saw the cardiologist and received a diagnosis that I had premature ventricular complexes, a fairly benign condition brought on by poor sleep and poor diet. This should have made me feel better, but it didn't, and every time my heart skipped a beat, I felt anxious. I thought this whole thing was a sign that I needed to repent of certain things. I had a terrible habit of procrastinating when it came to writing people back after they wrote me letters, and I had actually lost some friendships this way. I wrote these people to tell them I was sorry and to ask for their forgiveness. This did make me feel a bit better.
Around February 2004, The Lord of the Rings III was up for many Academy Award nominations. Now, I had not seen this movie, but as it showed the triumph of good over evil, I was rooting for it to win. I hadn't watched TV for a long time because I felt it had a bad effect on me, but I really, really wanted to watch the Academy Awards to see how Lord of the Rings did. But, how could I watch it when I was so full of despair about my son and my heart and I was doing everything in my power to get God to listen to me (with no discernable results)? All of a sudden, I said to myself that I was really sick and tired of worrying about Paul and my heart, and that I was just going to trust God that Paul was going to be OK, that my heart was going to be OK, and that it was OK for me (I hoped) to watch the Academy Awards. I got down on my knees and said, "Lord Jesus, I'm just going to trust that you're taking care of Paul and that he's going to be OK, and my heart's going to be OK - and I hope that it's OK if I watch the Academy Awards tonight."
Immediately, I felt an actual weight leave me. I felt happy, joyous, for the first time in a few years. I put Paul to bed that evening and told my husband, John, that I was going to watch the Academy Awards. That was fine with him, as he was tired and was going to bed.
I stayed up until 11 p.m., watching the show. The Lord of the Rings had an overwhelming victory. Oh joy, a secular organization had honored a movie showing the clear triumph of good over evil. I went to bed very tired, but very happy.
As soon as I had gotten to bed, Paul woke up crying. (His room is right next to ours.) John said that he needed sleep, and that if it was OK with me, that he would sleep upstairs, which I said was fine as I knew he needed sleep to function at his job as an engineer, and neither of us has had a full night's sleep in months. John went upstairs, the stairs creaking, while Paul continued to cry.
I went into Paul's room, handed him his stuffed kitty cat, and told him that he was OK, that the noise he had heard was the kitty cat door opening and shutting from our cat Misty, and that he needed to try to go to sleep by himself. This was the first time, ever, that I had asked him to go to sleep by himself. Usually, I would rush into his room at the merest sound and stay with him until he went back to sleep (which is why I was so exhausted and why Paul wasn't sleeping through the night).
I went back to bed, with Paul still crying in the next room. I prayed to Jesus with a lightness and actually a touch of humor that I had not felt in a long time: "Dear Lord Jesus, please, please help Paul go to sleep!!" I rolled over in bed.
Suddenly, I heard a Voice talking to Paul from Paul's room. It was a male's voice talking in low tender tones to Paul. I could not make out what the words were, but they were louder than a whisper. Paul instantly stopped crying within a few seconds after the Voice started talking, and I could hear him murmuring and going back to sleep.
I sat bolt right up in bed, listening. Had John somehow come down our creaky stairs, without my hearing him, to go to Paul's room to comfort him? I scrambled out of bed to go to Paul's room to investigate. I stuck my head in his room and I whispered loudly: "John, John, is that you?" No answer. Paul started to murmur again after hearing my whisper. Then, suddenly, the Voice spoke again from the far corner of Paul's room, saying: "Sh-sh-sh, sh-sh-sh," just like someone does when they are trying to calm a baby. Paul instantly went back into a deep sleep again.
The hair on the back of my neck was standing on end. I backed out of Paul's room, terrified, too scared to go in there. I went back to bed and heard the floor boards creak above my head as John moved around on the bed upstairs. That Voice in Paul's room had not been John's! Even though I was exhausted, I was too scared and stunned to go to sleep. I thought and thought over the meaning of what had just happened and whether the Voice was good or bad. At 4 a.m., I finally decided that the Voice was Good - He had helped Paul go to sleep.
I awoke at around 6:30 a.m. and met John as he came downstairs. I asked him, just to be sure,"Did you happen to come down here last night to comfort Paul, to help him stop crying?" John said, "No, I didn't, but I wanted to ask you what you did to get Paul to stop crying. I had only been upstairs for a few minutes, and Paul all of a sudden stopped crying, almost instantly. I was impressed - what did you do?" Then I told John that it hadn't been me, it had been Someone Else. John was stunned, too, and didn't quite know what to make of the whole situation.
For almost a month after I heard the Voice, I was too scared to go around the house at night without a flashlight. I was scared Someone would jump out at me! But, I know now that He is too much of a gentleman for that.
Even though hearing the Voice was one of the most frightening things that happened to me, it was the most thrilling. It chased away any doubts I had about the Bible, and it absolutely confirmed the real presence of Jesus, Angels, and the reality of the supernatural. It has made my faith rock solid. I know that what the Bible says is true, and that Jesus IS who He says He IS.
The Bible says, "Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4: 6-7). It was only after I stopped being anxious and fearful in this situation that I received a spectacular answer to my prayers. That I was to indeed trust the Lord to take care of Paul and that he would be alright. I have also come to the conclusion that I was under heavy spiritual attack during those 2 and 1/2 years. When I decided to trust God, the release of heaviness was palpable.
It's been almost four years since I heard the Voice. Whenever I feel anxious about anything, whether it is about my son or anything else, I remember the Voice and trust God to take care of the situation. And He has!
Paul has grown into a smart, handsome 6-year-old with a well-rounded head. We have also been blessed with a beautiful little girl, Sarah, who is now 2 and 1/2 years old. My heart is much better and has improved tremendously with a better diet and more sleep, and only skips a beat occasionally. The Lord has truly blessed us. He has brought joy into our lives, and the gift of faith. Praise the Lord and all that He has done! He IS Real, and His WORD IS the Truth!
May God bless you, Ferd, and your family, and may you have a truly Merry Christmas!
Your sister in Christ,
Ruth B. Dreher
Of course I remember you. This is a wonderful testimony.
Sorry that it took so long for the Word to sink in..:-)
Jesus says it in Mark 11:24 "When we pray believe we have received and we will have what we prayed for." Jesus wants us to believe in Him first. When we do that, He will handle the problem.
If we keep praying it means that we did not believe Him. So nothing happens. But when you turned your problems loose and gave them to Jesus ... He immediately, started taking care of business. Solving your problems.
Ruth, if you ever hear that voice again, do not be afraid, Jesus would not harm a hair of your head. Just say Jesus I hear you and I would like to speak with you. Thank you for saving my family, thank you for never leaving me. Thank you for healing my heart and my son's head. I just want to tell you how much I love you.
As a matter of fact Ruth, you do not have to wait for the voice again, you can tell Him right now. He hears every sigh you make.
Your brother in Christ, Ferd@2jesus