In order to receive healing, you have to want the Healer more. And Jehovah Rapha, our God, is the ultimate physician.
After losing everything that mattered to me in January 2020, God met me at Mercy, exactly as I was, where I was.
Depressed, full of fear.
And something we don’t often talk about in today’s culture, though it’s perhaps more relevant than ever- is He dealt with my sexual immorality.
Sexual immorality is having sex outside of marriage. And it encompasses more than simply intercourse, by the way. And for more on the specifics, may I direct you to your Bible.
But among those verses in the Bible that discuss sex outside of the marriage bed, it’s very clear.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Sex was something that I’d walked into Mercy declaring I wouldn’t give up. In fact, I clearly remember telling my counselor about two weeks into the program that I knew what the Bible said abou sex. And I would do whatever I had to graduate.
But I wasn’t giving up sex.
The thing was though, that if I’d been absolutely transparent with my counselor that day… I didn’t think I could give up sex. Even if I wanted to.
Because that’s the thing with addictions. They’re near impossible to give up, short of having God on your side.
And as sex had manifested itself as an addiction in my life… I was caught. Stuck in sin, and all the consequences of it.
But God did a miracle in my life, really and truly. And He freed me from my sex addiction.
Thus, when I gave my testimony at graduation, I was able to stand before my fellow Mercy sisters with confidence and declare that I would not be engaging in sex again until I’m remarried.
Now THAT is a huge victory.
And I plan to stand by it.
While at Mercy, God really spoke to my heart. He taught me, healed me, and changed me.
While at Mercy, I learned the power of praying aloud.
I heard God speak to me, voice w/in a voice. Which I was not prepared for by the way. But even thinking back to that day in November, I still get chills. It was powerful.
During my last month there, I had a prophecy spoken over me by Apostle Jane Hamon and Jermaine Francis of Vision Church C.I. And God’s words to me through them were accurate down to the detail. Things I’d told God only in secret, or never even voiced out loud. But God showed me very clearly that none of it had escaped Him. He heard even the thoughts of my heart. He’s seen me writing in my dreams book about what I want to do with my life. And He has heard my prayers.
For the God of the universe to tell you He has heard your prayers… wow. It’s life changing. The whole prophecy was.
Because it was so personal. The promises He gave me that day. And the things He’d seen me doing, heard me speaking…
Prophecy is so powerful because it gives us a true, crystal clear glimpse into God’s heart for us.
I was privileged to witness and hear several of my closest friends be ministered to. And every single person in that room, God spoke to their heart and told them things that meant the world to them and them alone.
Some of my friends were told they had futures in law. Some were told they’d be worship leaders.
And never try to pull the wool over God’s eyes, by the way. He sees and knows all. And our time with the prophets confirmed that for each of us.
It was life changing because it made clear to us how GOD sees us. And the way God sees us is special.
He sees each of us as amazing and incredible. And hearing how He speaks about us, it’s clear He loves us. Really loves us.
After witnessing the prophecies, it’s hard to dislike a person. Because when you hear how much God loves them…
That kind of love changes you.
It breaks down walls.
I can think of a couple of people in my life that I battle with. I’m sure you can too. But we don’t see eye to eye on much of anything. And their presence in my life is more a hindrance and a hurt than a blessing.
I know that if they stood before God, just as I stood before those prophets, that God would tell them how much He loved them, too.
No matter how unloveable I think they are, God sees them as children.
He loves them.
It really brings to life the verse 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some count slowness, but is long suffering towards us- not willing that any should perish…”
While at Mercy, I was also able to be a part of a miracle there, seeing the sky clear of smoke after a single, corporate prayer. Now that was pretty amazing- a story for another time, but certainly just as powerful.
While at Mercy I too was able to witness some of my own prayers answered- like me being able to go off my antidepressants. That was no small feat, but God came through there too. Another story for another day.
And while these examples of the miraculous may seem small to some, none of them were small to me.
Thanks to my time at Mercy, I know now that if it matters to me, it matters to God.
He hears my prayers. He’s said as much.
And I’ve even had a vision of a home I believe God is going to give me and my kids some time in the future- down to the address.
Yes, God is still speaking. He is still speaking in dreams and visions.
And I had several God-given dreams while at Mercy.
I also, while at Mercy, had people lay hands on me and had things physically happen to me. And if you’ve never had the Holy Spirit show up like that, I encourage you to seek it.
God is so powerful and miraculous. None of that changed from Jesus’ day to now. None of it.
If anything, I’d wager God would be more powerful and more likely to show up now that Jesus has ascended to heaven and we’ve got the Holy Spirit living inside of us.
As far as more proof of the healing work God did in me while at Mercy?
God broke the power of fear in my life.
After years of living in fear, that’s no more.
I can go to sleep and dream and there is no fear.
That too is no small miracle.
Prior to immediately before leaving for Mercy, I’d never voiced to anyone about my experiences with the demonic.
It’s honestly something I’m still weary of doing for a couple of reasons. One of them being because I think we should focus not on what the enemy is doing, but on what our God is doing.
That, and I have personally prayed that I would see at least twice as much light as I do darkness.
But I will mention I’ve seen demonic darkness.
I’ve seen and experienced nightmares that aren’t dreams.
But I now know I have authority in Christ to drive them back.
“I’ve not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self control.”
2 Timothy 1:7
So after years of living in fear, I’m now free. Free to sleep, free to dream. And there are few greater feelings than the peace and freedom that comes from that.
Peace to dream is freeing.
So after years of living with fear controlling me, I can say now that’s not the case anymore. And it never will be again.
2020 was hands down the hardest and yes, worst year of my life.
In January, I lost everything.
But despite all that loss and pain, in my 5 months at Mercy I received the most spiritual growth I’ve ever had.
And once you know better, you do better. And I can never go back.
Prior to God healing me and freeing me at Mercy, I never pictured breaking the cycle of depression.
All I wanted for years was peace. Peace I thought could only come through sucide.
I believed the lie that I was worthless.
That I’d never get it right, never get life right.
And due to memories I can’t escape, I thought I’d never be free.
But to drive home how far I came in 2020, on Oct 28, a hearing was held to determine custody of my children.
And I lost.
It was held via Zoom while I was at Mercy.
And the loss was unexpected. It was crushing.
But after hours of praying, crying, and seeking support from staff, I realized I wasn’t ready to give up.
I didn’t want to die.
But I did want to keep fighting.
We’ve since had at least two other court hearings. Both of which I’d count as a victory, despite how hard walking this path has been. And the battle is far from over. And yet. I’m holding tight to the promises of God.
With my unshakeable faith.
And I’m already declaring victory and thanking God for what I know He’s doing and is going to do for my family.
God DOES have a plan for me and my kids. I know it.
And I now trust Him fully with their futures, and mine.
After so much healing and victory and just amazing, supernatural experiences of God, I sincerely wish I could tell you that my life having left Mercy is now all rainbows and unicorns.
But as of right now, it’s not.
Despite running a blog, as of the time of this writing, I still don’t have a paying job, or even a stable home.
And while I’m hopeful of full restoration of my family, I know the next couple of months are pivotal. So I’m in prayer daily declaring the promises of God over us.
As far as the people who have caused me and my children pain through the years, I’ve forgiven them. And will continue to do so- since it’s a process.
And I’ve forgiven them not because what they did was justified. It wasn’t.
But I do it as an act of obedience to my Father in heaven, and as an act of love.
Because as Andy Stanley says, “In the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is just a gift from one undeserving soul to another.”
I’m also finally at a place where I can genuinely pray for my kids’ dads, which is huge.
I’m finally at a place where I pray for their salvation and their own healing journeys. And I’m able to do that only by the grace of God.
Forgiveness is so powerful. As is our God. And he who is forgiven much should be forgiving of much.
Despite all of the uncertainty, I do trust God will fulfill His purpose for me and my kids- because as He told me Himself, He loves them even more than I do. And for that, I’m forever grateful.
My name is Tara Warford, and this is My Story.
If you’ve found my testimony to be encouraging, I’d appreciate you commenting below. And sharing is caring because you never know who needs to hear of the goodness and faithfulness of God.
And if you’d like to learn more about the ministry I was blessed to be a part of, Mercy Multiplied, you can learn more at https://mercymultiplied.com/
May God bless you!