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MY TESTIMONY

CINDY SHOULDERS

My testimony is one of healing... and learning to make Jesus Lord in my life.

Many people have heard Tony’s testimony of how God healed him of a traumatic head injury… but it was the same event that changed my life. It happened July 4, 1985, in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. The injury was the result of a bull kicking him in the head, severing an artery and causing a blood clot to form on the left front lobal of the brain. This was a life or death situation. The doctors had given him less than a fifty-fifty chance to live.

We had been married five years and I was a young rodeo wife. Together, we had dreams, visions and goals of reaching the National Finals Rodeo. We had received Jesus as our Savior but we had not made a serious commitment to know Him as Lord. Tony and I faithfully attended all the Cowboy Church Services Coy Huffman and Glen Smith had while competing at the PRCA rodeos. I knew we were saved from hell, but I also thought that a spiritual osmosis had automatically taken place to solve all life’s problems. Obviously, I didn’t really hear the Word that was taught. Nor did I take the time to learn it. I had my own ideas on how it all should work.

I was shocked after hearing the doctors report. I had expected to hear some good news, something about his recovery… but nothing about death! Being a bull rider’s wife, I had seen injuries before, but this time I knew I desperately needed God’s help! I also realized that I only knew Jesus as Savior and not as my Lord. I repented and cried out to God and asked forgiveness. Then I prayed and asked God to heal Tony’s injury, but I knew I had to have His Word to back it up.

Being a babe in the Lord, I only knew a few scriptures to stand on...

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13;

By His stripes we are healed…” Isaiah 53:5; and

“No weapon formed against me shall prosper…” Isaiah 54:17

The only other thing I knew to do was to pray in the Spirit and give praise and thanks to God for Tony’s healing. I did this driving home from South Dakota, after Tony was transported by Life Flight to St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Long story short, surgery was performed to remove the baseball sized blood clot from the brain and the procedure was a miraculous success. The doctors were even amazed at Tony’s recovery and after only 4 days he was released from the hospital without having to go through any rehab!

I was praising God for him being released so soon… but at the same time I was still concerned. This wasn’t just another emergency trip to the local hospital... HE JUST HAD MAJOR BRAIN SURGERY!!! Now they were sending him home already? Was this really of God or did the doctors have brain damage? I tried to prepare myself for some intense doctor’s orders to follow for his recovery at home. They simply told me to keep him out of the heat so his blood pressure wouldn’t go up and he was to play video games to develop his hand, eye coordination! That was it! No pain pills, no medication, no physical therapy, no intensive care… just a demonstration of God’s amazing grace!

To this day, we still thank God for His healing.

Needless to say… our lives were changed forever. We had just learned the hard way that it’s our relationship with Him… not religion, that really matters. We both realized that we needed to make a sincere commitment to know Jesus and not just know about Him. We started attending a church in our home town that taught the Bible, Word for Word. Our pastor was not only an excellent teacher, but he demonstrated how to be a doer of the Word of God. We were so excited, we were in church every time the doors were open. We wanted to learn the Word so much, we always tried to sit on a front row seat so we would not be distracted by others.

Tony was a very diligent, disciplined student of the Word. He spent hours in the Word receiving all he could from God. John 15:7 says, If you abide in Me and My Words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” His discipline and obedience, encouraged me to pursue a deeper relationship with God. There was more to it than crying out for help in a tragic situation! Having won the battle over Tony’s head injury, I knew the power of prayer, coming into agreement with God’s will, God’s Word. This is where I began my walk with God. Daily, Tony and I would stand in faith, confident that God heard our prayers, believing that what we asked for was already ours. (Mark 11:22-24)

Later, Tony told me he felt called to the ministry. I thought he had finally gone crazy! I knew I could not stop him from what he felt called to do. So I joined him. I knew I had to prepare for what he was going to do… so I took a 2 year bible training course through our church to prepare me for the ministry.

My love for God grows each day. John 14:21 says, “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” God has made Himself real in my life. I’ve experienced His presence in prayer and while studying His Word. The wisdom we can receive from His Word is such a valuable treasure.

It has been seventeen years since Tony’s head injury. He is healthy and doing well. I thank God for loving us so much and sending Jesus. What I have learned and experienced in my relationship with God is for everyone who receives Jesus. God is a loving and faithful God. His Word does not return void. The answers to all of our problems today is in the Word of God. When tragedy strikes we are to go to the Word of God.

Once we receive Jesus as Savior, we have a salvation package available to us that we need to work on. It is personally up to us to learn how to pray, how to receive healing, how to acquire success. What Jesus did on the cross is for us here on earth! Heaven doesn’t have trials and tribulations. Satan is the god of this world, seeking whom he may devour. But praise God! ”…because greater is He that is in you, than he who is in the world.”  1 John 4:4

As Tony has said in his teachings, “God doesn’t sprinkle magic Christian fairy dust on us so all of our problems will quickly disappear.” Our walk with God is a process. It takes effort and work on our part to know Him, His Word and to be an over comer. My prayer for everyone is to take another step and do more than say the "fire insurance prayer". Take advantage of what God has available here on earth for our success!

In His Love...

Cindy Shoulders

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