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Thursday
Mar172011

Tenacious Faith in Jesus

Andrew stands with Lori Lalonde during campus days at CBC Colorado. (Click to enlarge)Lori Lalonde is a busy part-time Charis Bible College student. She is currently balancing her class schedule and studies with full-time work at a walk-in medical clinic. Lori has been in the medical field for twenty-seven years, serving the last eleven as a nurse practitioner. Her position gives her the authority to diagnose and treat patients as well as prescribe the appropriate medication if required. So in early 2007, when Lori suddenly became ill, she was aware of exactly what her problem was—she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Lori struggled with intense pain and swelling throughout her body, particularly through her joints, and she also suffered from severe fatigue. "Really, all I could do was work. I was in bed if I was not working. After Lori was dignosed with RA she was prescribed 15 different drugs including steroids and an oral form of chemo. Side effects included hair loss and 75 lb. weight gain.
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My children shopped, cleaned the house, cooked and car pooled. They picked up the pieces," said Lori.

Her case was extreme and Lori quickly became a slave to fifteen different medications, many of which were prescribed to offset conflicting symptoms created by drug interaction. Her medications, which cost $3000 per month, included anti-seizure meds, anti-inflammatory, chemotherapy and high doses of steroids. The steroids caused rapid weight gain and Lori put on seventy-five pounds, and because of the chemo she lost two-thirds of her hair.

After wrestling with the symptoms and medication of a medically incurable disease for nearly a year-and-a-half, Lori sought the Lord for His direction. She had been born again when she was six years old, and had been involved in religious circles and movements all of her life. Lori had even spent time in Tulsa, Oklahoma sitting under Kenneth Hagin's teaching. Lori underwent surgery nine months after receiving her healing from RA to repair severe damage to her abdominal wall caused by the medications. (Click to enlarge) Yet for all of her Christian exposure, her religion had held no answers when it came to health issues. Still, she felt drawn to the word. It was then that her eyes fell on Romans 8:11, and she asked the Lord how she could tap into the Spirit within her, so she could be healed.

At this time, a new friend, who had been ministering to her, introduced her to Andrew's teaching. "I didn't want to die from a lack of knowledge, so when my friend told me about Andrew, and that he had a website where I could download all his teachings for free, I went nuts. I started with Spirit, Soul and Body and that opened the dam so I could pour in the rest," Lori said, "Andrew's teachings opened my eyes to the love of God."

As Lori listened, she became empowered, and after six weeks of constant hearing, she asked the Lord to show her how to walk in divine health. She wasn't interested in a fast healing miracle at the hands of a man; Lori, her son Hunter and her daughter Alison just before the start of Lori's first year at CBC. (Click to enlarge)she wanted the health she could see that God had already provided. Lori knew that once she learned to walk it out she would never be sick again.

One day while working in her clinic, Lori prayed for a reprieve from seeing patients so she could focus on her own healing. She began to speak to the pain in her body. As she did, she would feel temporary relief, but the pain would resurface in another part of her body. Frustrated, she prayed with more determination and commanded all pain, swelling and fatigue to leave in Jesus' name. Lori left work, pain and symptom free. "That day I became more tenacious than my disease, I went home pain free, no redness or swelling, and feeling energized. I was determined to take my authority and never look back," said Lori.

Lori in class at CBC.
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The next day Lori had strange new symptoms, things she had not struggled with before. She asked the Lord what was going on and He showed her that her body was healed and now her medications were causing problems. Lori knew what she had to do, but her medical training and experience gave her pause. "I knew I was to stop taking my meds, but I had seen people die as a result of quitting this many drugs all at once," said Lori.

Lori stopped taking her meds that day, but she kept it to herself. Because Lori knew in her spirit that she was healed, she trusted that she would be okay, but she didn't feel she was strong enough to combat the doubts of the people and medical professionals around her. For the next two weeks she continued to stand against any symptom that arose, and she held her ground (James 4:7). Miraculously, Lori did not suffer from a single symptom of withdrawal.

Lori and her family sharing some down time. (Click to enlarge)In September of 2008, Lori attended her first Gospel Truth Seminar. At the end of the first meeting the friend, who had introduced her to Andrew's teaching, asked if she was going to go forward to receive prayer, and Lori shared her secret. She said, "I don't need to, I am healed."

Lori has been back to see her physician several times and collected the medical documentation to back up her claim that she is healed. At one time Lori's Rheumatoid Factor number, which is measured through blood testing, was so high that her doctors simply expected Lori to die. Her current results indicate that her blood is testing in the normal range—Lori no longer has a positive Rheumatoid Factor. She has also lost fifty-five of the seventy-five pounds that she had gained. Walking in divine health is a wonderful thing.