"A Smell & a Memory" by Lauren Watson

While watching TV I saw a commercial for ToysRUs with trolls and I suddenly saw in my memory an orange hair troll toy I was given when I was in 3rd grade. I had fallen off my bike (before the days of helmets) hit my head and spent 3 days in the hospital with total amnesia. My parents not only gave me the troll but a bouquet of carnations in a white poodle vase. When I remembered the troll, I suddenly smelled not only the flowers but the distinctive enamel paint of the vase. I don’t remember too many tender moments in my childhood, but this fragrance memory did bring back the picture of my mother sitting on my hospital bed and kissing my forehead.

The next morning I woke up with the realization that my mother’s kiss came during the 3 days of which I have no memory. As soon as I knew who I was in the hospital, there was no touching or tenderness: in fact, one of my neighbors told me how worried my parent had been and I was shocked. So this was not something I had forgotten, it wasn’t available to me before. Miraculously, it was given to me with a physical smell that penetrated the darkness and void of a severe concussion.

What an amazing and powerful God to restore things lost in total darkness. He has shown His power and His love by giving this memory to fill the void where I have no loving recall of childhood. My upbringing was not nurturing, especially when I was sick or injured, I am learning to accept support, concern and love from my church family. He is restoring my ability to receive and believe I am worthy of being a part of the Body, I feel this is a special gift to remind me He is in control of my past present and gives me hope to the future.

Ps 68:5-6, Jn 1:12, Rms 8:15,2 Cor 6:18


"The Rock" by Lauren Watson

At our monthly prayer group Pastor John had the group praying around scriptures based on The Rock. Stability, safety, eternal, strength and unchanging all are images described in the verses and show different aspects of the character of God. As we sat quiet in listening prayer, I saw a couple pictures that have stuck with me. In Israel everything is stone; Jerusalem is made of stones and in the garden of Gethsemane is a sculpture of Jesus entreating the Father before He went to the cross, made of stone. I saw the image and realized He and the rock were one. He fit comfortably and perfectly into the rock and it was there He met with the Father, pleaded with the Father and acquiesced to the Father’s will. I saw that he was inviting us to be as intimate with Him, the Rock, and be in the same position while we joined together to pray.   

One of our party prayed we would have the eyes to see in the spiritual realm and the courage to join the battle. My mind went to the Oregon coast and the large rocks at the beach that are littered with broken crab, clam and muscle shells. The sea gulls, from a high perspective, drop the seafood against the firm surface to break the hard shell.  I knew that we, like the birds, need to drop the difficult issues from a perspective higher than ourselves and let the solidness of our Rock smash them.

Prayer is conversation made intimate by relationship. We can nestle in closely into the bosom of our Rock or we can join in the fight and battle using His strength because He is our Rock.

1 Sam 2:2, Deut 32:13, Ps 18:31, Ps 27:5, 1 Pet 2:8

"Expect the Frogs" by Lauren Watson

One of my favorite places is the Oregon Garden, it’s where I go to have a date with Jesus. I walk through Creation, enjoy the beauty of the flora, listen to the birds and to the Holy Spirit. Recently as I was wandering, I found myself getting excited as I approached a certain location and realized it was a spot where I had a treat a few years ago. My friend and I had been photographing a stand of dahlias, and noticed some adorable little tree frogs hiding inside the very large blossoms; it was such a surprise and gave me some of my favorite photos. Since then, I have found them only occasionally in that same area but each time I expect to see something special there. I have also seen them in other types of flowers in other areas, but I know to look and HOPE to be delighted.

As I walked towards the dahlias and felt my excitement grow, I heard the Lord say it was just like prayer. We go to a lovely place to invest time with the Lord, knowing the time itself is an amazing experience. However, since I have had a supernatural healing, I believe and expect there to be the extraordinary replies, like the charming little critters.

I often go to this place physically and spiritually and each time it’s different, but what I heard on my stroll is to not overlook the garden and its beauty while searching for the revelations. I have--right now--a huge Gift of faith and am enjoying His Presence and it is enough to be with Him and know that the heart of our loving heavenly Father is to give beyond what we need, to delight us.

Why are some prayers answered and others not? How do we believe when some people are healed and others suffer and even die? How can we trust when we ask according to the Scriptures but don’t see the expected results? These are big stumbling blocks for so many Christians and since I’ve experienced my own miracle, a topic of discussion that comes up often in my hearing, I’ve pondered and asked how to represent why I got a Gift of healing and my friends still hurt, and I got frogs. 

We don’t know what the answers to our prayers will be but when we take time with God and expect the best, sometimes we get to experience the miraculous. I am convinced that when we have the ability to look back on our lives and truly see the trail we’re on we will see how many frogs we missed along the way. They might be hiding in the pretty flowers of blessings or may be in the murky waters of suffering, but they are there and the Creator knows where each is and how it benefits our path.

So keep your eyes open for those frogs.


"One More Night with the Frogs" by Lauren Watson

Recently I’ve been reminded of the choice Pharaoh made in Genesis 8. Pharaoh asked Moses to plead with the Lord to take the plague of frogs away and in return he would let the Israelites go. Moses replied, “You set the time” and Pharaoh answered “Do it tomorrow”.

Why would he not say “RIGHT NOW”? Why would he choose to spend another night with the slimy, smelly, noisy frogs? Why not ask the God of the Universe intervene ASAP? I have always thought Pharaoh short sighted and downright stupid, and hoped I would make a more intelligent response. However my recent journey shows me how easy it is to delay expectation of God’s Power and Promise.

I have suffered an undiagnosed pain for a couple decades. At times it has been tolerable and others, debilitating. There have been several types of doctors, exams, tests, ultra sounds, theories and referrals, but no answers. These last two years have been the worst and have damaged my general physical health through inactivity, my soul through isolation and darkened my spirit. Many health care providers discounted what they couldn’t explain and in the process caused me to doubt myself and lessen my self-worth. Trying to work eight plus hours wore me out and sometimes I couldn’t make it through the day. Movement caused pain and anyplace I couldn’t control my circumstances I wouldn’t go, I felt captive in my own body and “mostly dead” (Princess Bride reference).

When the opportunity to go to Bethel Church in Redding, renown for successful healing prayer, I was sure that was the answer, it had to be- I was desperate. The worship was amazing, the teaching was inspired, the company was delightful, and the prayer was anointed. During worship the first night I saw scar tissue over my spiritual heart caused by the relationship trauma throughout my life. The last service I saw a bolt of lightning go into my mouth, but had no idea what it meant; since that time I feel that it was the Holy Spirit melting the wounds and freeing my heart. We all came back richer for having been there and I came back feeling less the pain and feeling that I had been healed.

Four days later I was in more pain than ever and incredibly discouraged, I felt a failure…

While in California, we saw our friend Lee posting testimonials of his most recent trip; he operates in the gifts of the Spirit, especially healing and had even prayed for my pain several years ago. When my pain came back I called him to see if he had any insights as to why this had been a temporary relief. We went over the process through which Bethel took us, and Lee offered to pray for me again, after fasting. I took the next few days and inquired of the Lord, and then along with his wife Lisa and some friends, we met. The two women on whom I have most depended were present, each has a wealth of personal experience with inner healing and had received her own treasures from Bethel. By the end of the session, I felt no pain and knew the heaviness of spirit had lifted.

The first day after, I kept poking myself to see if the pain was still gone and at the end of the second day I realized it was so completely gone, I hadn’t even tested it. I have had soreness from the muscles and ribs that are two years out of shape due to protecting the area of pain and right away there was the accuser trying to snatch away my healing. It’s been a delight to see how quickly it comes to my mind to STAND in my health – physically and spiritually, I have learned to contend for that which I have been given. My heart is open, my mind is clear, my spirit is light, I feel more whole than I ever had.

So those frogs????

Why did I not go to the available resources before? Why did I spend all that money and time with doctors? Why did I endure years of pain? I knew Jesus heals. I knew Lee prayed successfully for people all over the world. I knew miracles still happen. Why did I spend years with the frogs when the Creator of the universe (and me) was available to touch and mend me? I have pondered this for days and now have a thought on it-a few pictures actually; a recipe, a jigsaw puzzle and a mountain path.

While the group was praying for me I felt like there was a recipe and each of these intercessors were bringing different ingredients to add to the whole of my healing. Physical, soul, mental, spiritual and relational pieces were all there and together, these wonderful friends presented the substance the Holy Spirit needed to mend me.

Jigsaw puzzles are put together piece by piece; the structure of the whole is assembled with common connections. I saw my life being fit together by the hand of God, some sections went together easily, and others were very elusive. Once constructed, sections joined together showed big surges of growth but I had key pieces missing. As the Hand worked I saw more of what to expect the finished project was to be, but until those missing links were joined I was still fragmented. I longed with all my will to be complete but had to wait as bit by bit, with Divine strategy the image became more complete. This time of prayer had to wait until the adjoining pieces were in place.

The mountain path image comes from an experience decades ago when my friends and I decided to climb the Middle Sister. Because of many delays we didn’t start the ascent until dusk and the majority of the climb to base camp was done in the dark. All I could see mile upon mile was the back of the foot of the climber ahead of me, illuminated by my flashlight. After hours of dark path we finally set up camp in the blackness. The next day, in the light, we scaled the summit and got ready for the descent the following day. Trekking the territory we had traveled in the night, I realized I could not have made it had I seen the entire mountain. I would have been overwhelmed by its enormity and by the dangerous cliffs at the edge of the very path on which we walked. Because I could only see the next step, it was something within my ability and I had faith I could move my foot one more time. Then in the light of day, that amazing panorama was visible.

Another night with the frogs? No. My images convince me that I had to wait until the needed ingredients were available for the recipe, the connecting pieces were not yet in place and the toughness of this path would have again overwhelmed me if I concentrate on anything other than the next step. I do believe that I am seeing one of those vistas right now because my pain is gone, my faith has been amplified, and the Touch I received is one of Love that has melted my calloused heart.

I am grateful.