Dealing with Stress

creative commons + stress

In 1992 I was under an incredible amount of stress after three years of major spiritual warfare. In 1989 I was hit with GBS during a mission trip to England. I was paralyzed me from the shoulders down. On returning home, the doctors told me there was major damage to the neural system from this GBS. The two longest nerves in my body from the hip to each foot were gone, among others, and could only grow about an inch a year. I would need two wheelchairs for the rest of my life. I didn’t see their prognosis as theologically correct. A little over a year later was walking again with no wheelchairs or crutches.

As I began to walk again, my wife was diagnosed with leukemia (AML) in April of 1991. I walked with her through multiple chemos and a bone marrow transplant. The transplant was successful; but back home in Portland the local doctors made three mistakes and I lost her.

As I looked very high personal stress level then, I discovered T.H. Homes and Richard Rahe at the University of Washington had done some major research on stress as it related to disease. You can take a simple test and identify the stress issues in your life, look at your score, and from that you can determine the probability you will me hit with a major illness within a year. The research has been updated since their original 1967 research, but you can take the test yourself and see your score at:

Stress Test and Scoring

There are several web sites that expand the research if you wish more information. You will see, however, that the death of a spouse, divorce, or death of a child all score the highest and almost assure you are set up for serious issues yourself. This was August of 1992. My score at the time over 300. I was set up for serious problems!

During the next year I kept very close watch on potential stress issues as well as staying close with high-level mentors. By May of the next year (1993), my friend and mentor Bob Waymire was asking me to travel with him to visit a Christian research center in London and do a teaching there. This was where previously I got hit with the GBS in 1999. I did a “Gideon” here and asked the Lord for signs. God gave me 11. I consulted multiple mentors. They all said “Go”. Fear, they said, was not a reason to turn Bob down. My pastor even made a decision to go with me after a prophet told me not to go alone.

A month before leaving I came down with shingles. I called Bob to let him know the trip was off. I was down with shingles. Bob said nonsense. He was on a lunch break with a board meeting that included some other Christian leaders. They would pray at 1 p.m, and that would fix that. By 5 p.m. that day the shingles was gone and I let Bob know the trip was back on. On Monday I checked again with my doctor. He verified the shingles was now gone but I needed to kick the immune system up for the trip and gave me a very high-powered antibiotic.

The trip was great, and my pastor was with me. Peter Batchelder is gifted with a very strong intercessory prayer gift. (Thank you Peter.) At one point while there, Peter told me a man from Germany had driven all night to join us and wanted some time with me. We decided to spend some time with him at a nearby coffeehouse. He asked me one question: “If I could tell him the single most important thing in spiritually mapping an area what would it be?”

I looked him straight in the eyes. “Prayer.” I said. “Spiritually mapping an area is highly strategic. The enemy will do everything possible to discourage to shut you down. Make sure you are covered with prayer constantly. If you don’t believe it, look at the book of Nehemiah. Read it, mark each time he prayed, and see what he was asking each time.”

Resources:

Here are a few resources we suggest for this. To save postage, order more than one. Catch Carl at church or about and he should have the latest book with him and maybe more.

Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality – $18.86 by Carl Townsend (PB) (Non-fiction)
Carl in this book tells the story of Nehemiah. The nation was without vision, passion, or security. Sounds like America today! He turned the nation completely around in 52 days. At the same time he faced internal and external warfare.

Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero (PB)- $9.90 by Carl Townsend More information (“fiction”)
First book in a fictional novel series about what happens in America when then the Nehemiah strategies are applied.

 

 

 

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