My tests were not for me to hold on to for myself, but to be shared with others so that they too might be saved! The Lord has made plans to use me and the devil is well aware of that. Last May, the enemy attacked my marriage. Last July, he attacked my body after a routine procedure and I almost bled to death. In late September, he attacked my husband, sending him falling through a staircase at our apartment complex, leading to an infection that almost took his leg. In early October the devil went after my children, causing two of them to fall ill and miss school. All of the events jeopardized not only our health and livelihood, but out jobs and finances. In December, the enemy attacked again, this time attacking me with an illness that 6 different health care providers were unable to diagnose. What started out as what seemed to be a simple cold lasted 10 days and left me collapsing at my job site and being rushed by the paramedics to the hospital. My oxygen level was 71% (normal being 96% or better), I was wheezing, I had lost 10 pounds in 8 days but they still couldn’t find anything wrong. My CT scans, x-rays, and labs were negative. None of the oral or injectable steroids, antibiotics, breathing treatments, or injections worked. I was sent home and advised to rest for several days. I received a call from a friend that a friend of hers, had had a dream in which there someone ill whose name was Cassandra or Cassaundra and she needed to speak with them urgently. My name is CasSaundra! When I spoke with this friend, Nikia, she shared things with me I had only discussed with God. She told what I was experiencing was spiritual warfare and that she was excited and honored to even be speaking with me because she truly believed God was using me for something great! I was shocked and moved to tears. The children of God know the truth when they hear it…and she spoke nothing but truth to me. She told me to continue to pray and to keep in touch.
On New Years’ Eve, we were served with an eviction notice from our landlords after notifying the complex that we would have to pay our rent late. We had never been late in 2 years so this came as a tremendous blow at a tough time. We had been house-hunting with no luck since August but prior to the notice, I had heard God say we would not have to pay any rent for December or January. I was confused and for some reason this caused nothing but worry and panic for me. I stressed wondering “Well where will is the money going to come from?” so I decided to talk to both family, coworkers, and friends. On January 4th, I visited my primary care physician who diagnosed me with anxiety, stress, and slight depression, and suggested I try Paxil which is used to treat Anxiety, depression, and obsessive-complusive disorder, to help me sleep. I took the pill 3 nights and had nightmares all those nights. Not ONCE did I listen to the little voice (a.k.a the Holy Spirit) that told me there was “No need to try this!” Philippians 4:6 (NIV) reads “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” I was stressed out, drained, angry, overworked, and not trusting the Father to provide for me. I was working 50-60 hours weekly including training, raising 3 daughters with my husband, involved in various ministries at church, the President for my local Medical Assisting chapter, and also on my daughters SAC committee. Instead of going to God, I broke. On January 17th, I attempted suicide using the same pills I had been prescribed to help treat the stress I was experiencing. It was God who called out to me and reminded me that I was His as I lay on the floor fading away. It was He who saved me! I spent the next 4 days in a Psychiatric unit, away from my family, my job, the people that loved me…but growing closer to God. He told me it was “time to rest” and I made the decision to quit my job. It baffled the professionals in the facility and many others, but I trusted what I had heard God tell me to do.
5 days later, my husband and I went to court facing eviction. I had written a letter to the court after receiving our summons and explained our circumstances and even our intentions to pay our debt. A favorite song of mine by Karen Clark-Sheard says “If you need a lawyer, He’ll meet you in the courtoom!” The first thing the judge said was “I have read your response and I am VERY sympathetic to your situation”, he then proceeded to dismiss our case and not pursue any legal action regarding our debt and the prosecuting attorney agreed! On February 4th, we moved out of our apartment and for the next 25 days, we were homeless. We stayed at a hotel, 2 different friends’ homes, and then my parents homes. On my Mothers’ birthday, our realtor called and told us that one of her properties was available. We had viewed over 100 houses with her but were willing to check out this one. God had already revealed to me in a dream, that our kitchen would have all black appliances, a bar, and an island. Upon entering the home through the garage, I froze in my tracks, there was the same kitchen God had showed me in my vision! As we walked through the house I held back tears until I got to bathroom and saw the bathtub my husband had prayed for! Through my tears I thanked our realtor and her husband telling her “God told me to stick with you for a reason!” We moved in the very next day. We have had our share of the enemy sneaking in and stirring up trouble, but God has covered us and kept us!
The last week of April, I became ill with what I thought was the flu. 4 days later I was in the ER being treated for a bacterial infection. Saturday May 2nd, while brushing my daughters hair and getting ready for a party, I lost all feeling in my hands and feet. Within 10 minutes, I could not drink from a cup or a straw, I couldn’t hold anything in my hands, and I could barely talk. My husband sped to the emergency room and with elevated stats, my clothes were ripped off and the doctors feared I had a pulmonary embolism. After that was ruled out, I was immediately transferred to a larger hospital for evaluation. I was suffering from involuntary movement of my extremities, slurred speech, loss of vision and blurred vision but no one knew what was wrong. The next day, I was unable to move my left leg at all and my hands would not move either. My brain would tell my toes to move, it would feel like they were moving, but nothing would happen. My leg remained cold and still I was terrified. I kept telling the nurses, doctors, anyone who would listen, “I was fine before this! And “I’m a personal trainer, this isn’t normal!”. No one understood, they were just baffled. At 30 years old, I could not hold a pen, feed myself, use the bathroom on my own, I was helpless, or so I thought.
My biggest supporter has always been my husband. He was the one who reminded me that I am a “prayer warrior”. He told me “Don’t ask God why this happened, just praise Him and pray”. He is a man of very few words but I knew that he was right. I decided instead of crying and moping, I needed to pay attention and find out what the lesion was God wanted me to learn. So I became obedient. I began waking up at 4am and praying. I couldn’t walk without a walker, I wore a heart monitor, and I had a bed alarm but none of that was going to stop me from obeying my Father! I got on my knees and prayed. I prayed while they drew my blood. I prayed during all the ultrasounds, MRIs, CT scans, and x-rays and my physical therapy. 5 days later, the doctors still had no answers…but I could walk! No walker, no help, very slowly, but I was walking! When I was discharged, I didn’t want to wait on the 5th floor for my ride, I went downstairs with God walking with me. I even gave my testimony to a woman on the elevator who had heard the nurses applauding as I walked through the hallway as I thanked them for all their help and asked what I had been through. I shared with the woman that this happened to me because God knew I could take it! His grace was and is sufficient and He will always get the glory. My faith in Him grows stronger with each trial I face. Hopefully my story can help someone else because my tests have become my testimony for His glory.
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”-Jeremiah 29:11