Written by Odette Ebel
God has pressed upon me to share my testimony, more and more recently. I have waited too long and feel compelled now more than ever to share it.
It is very long, but I know with all my heart that it is meant for someone or two or maybe three and possibly even more people out there…even if only one person benefits from my testimony, I will be very happy. This is for those that the Lord has asked me to do this for:
I was diagnosed with Lupus in 1999. Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissue and organs. It causes inflammation of the skin, the organs in your body and the tissue within. I have (SLE) which affects the organs and tissue causing my organs to swell up and in time, damages them.
Lupus has a tendency to flare up and to stagnate. When it flares up I am very poorly and in pain and most likely in hospital but when it is stagnant I am actually fine, however I tire easily. When it flares up it attacks a different chosen organ each time, sometimes it keeps attacking the one organ and sometimes all of them suffer depending on the severity of the Lupus.
Lupus has attacked my lungs, my heart and finally my kidneys, which have deteriorated so badly that they are planning on putting me on Dialysis anytime now, just as soon as results show that my kidneys are at a certain low point (which happened end of last year but miraculously the kidney function climbed and they stopped the plan to put me on Dialysis). This happened after the young group from Bethel church visited Father’s House and had a word for a few of us and one lady specifically had a word for me. Praise God for that!
To fully understand my story (there is so much more but this will do for now), I am going to have to invite you into (some of) my past.
I grew up in the church but turned my back on it all when I turned 18 and did not look back until I gave birth to my first child. I remembered my God and wanted my kids to know Him. I have always believed in God, I just didn’t have time for Him, I was too interested in the world. I would turn to Him when in need and that was it. I didn’t understand who Jesus and the Holy Spirit are, I never called on Jesus at any point in my life before He revealed Himself to me. I knew they were a part of the Godhead but did not understand what it all meant. It was difficult anyway trying to follow God with a husband that stopped believing in Him.
One day in 2014, I prayed the salvation prayer without realising what it was or what I was actually doing. I hadn’t realised the significance of what I was doing…the step I was taking to bridge the gap between me and Jesus! I thought one had to just believe and be baptised, but as Romans 10:9 puts it, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” I have come to understand that it is very important to actually declare it, however, if we believe and do not confess His name, He is still with us. When we confess His name by declaring it, the Holy Spirit swoops in to take over completely – Baptism of the Spirit.
The weeks following, I remember feeling alive! I had more buoyancy in my step and I attributed it to the steroids I was on at the time but I wondered why they were affecting me differently this time! I did not understand then what had happened to me but I felt different! A few weeks later, Lupus flared up and a month later I was in hospital, two days after Christmas 2014.
I spent the new year of 2015 in agony, I was so weak, my body was giving up. All my organs had flared up and it was excruciatingly painful. My arms became battered and bruised because they took blood from me each day to determine what was going on. My arms did not want to give anymore blood so they put a cannula straight into my heart, called a Picc Line to draw blood daily.
My body was stick-like but my face was swollen and I looked like an alien from Mars with all the medication they gave me to try and save me. They could not, for a long time, tell me what the diagnosis was. I had the Chief of Staff and many specialists come in to see me and one asked me if I didn’t mind them writing about my sickness because it was a rare form of what they think is Macrophage Activation Syndrome and Antiphospholipid Syndrome brought on by Lupus.
I had a Bible on the side of my bed, a Gideon Bible with only the New Testament and Psalms. At the time I was angry at God and would ask Him why He was letting this happen, I remember telling Him that I was not a murderer so why was He doing this to me?? I cried out to Him in anger but was drawn to the Bible even in my anger. I couldn’t read it properly because of the meds I was on. All I could see, coming in and out of focus was, ‘You have to shed much blood, but you will not die’ page after page.
Someone then gave me a booklet by Kenneth Hagin, telling the story of his heart defect and how he was bedridden from birth and at the age of about 16, he decided to seek God with all His heart to see if He would heal him. God healed Kenneth and he went on to build a huge Ministry and did much for the Lord. I am sure many of you know Kenneth Hagin. I am not a big fan of Kenneth Hagin but I LOVE what he told me and I share it every chance I get, with friends and family that need encouragement. I hope this helps someone reading today.
He told me to read the Word and start with Psalms. He said something like…Psalms is poetic and reads easy, he also said that I should just keep reading it even if I don’t understand what is being said, that by reading and reading, I am basically eating Jesus into my heart, by ingesting Jesus, He starts making changes, He keeps making changes every time you read. This makes sense because Jesus is the Word and He mentions to His disciples that they should take and eat for this is His body…His body is the Word.
The more we read, the more He opens it up to us and the more we persevere the more He shows us some of the mysteries of God. The Lord wants us to truly want to know more and when we do, our eyes and ears are opened more and more. Also, the more we read, the more we are strengthened and the more we want to read the Word. With this comes more faith, more knowledge, discernment and understanding, it all works hand in hand. It’s a slow process but with the Word being alive, it surely happens, “For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit…” Hebrews 4:12
Kenneth told me that Psalms are not only songs but prayers, for you and for me and for everyone else. While you are praying in Psalms, the Lord is doing great things within.
I just started reading Psalms and couldn’t get enough of it, I did not understand much but I was able to read the words this time, and I finally met Jesus and the Holy Spirit! I understood who He is and who the Holy Spirit is. I understood more than I had ever before, in all the years I had been going to church as a child and as a Mom, (before praying the salvation prayer). I was so taken by them both, I was hooked! When you are feeling down, or drained or weak, Psalms uplifts the soul, I recommend reading it until you feel a snap of change, even if it means reading it all at once…it works.
I was in the hospital for 3 weeks and there seemed to be no way out of there because I was so sick but 3 days after reading Kenneth ‘s message and diving into Psalms, I went home! I just woke up one morning very hungry (I was on a drip and couldn’t eat at all since I was admitted) and was allowed to go down to the cafe for a big cooked breakfast after being checked over and being satisfied that I was strong enough! I was home 2 days later after some more tests and observations! Psalms had healed me!
I started walking with the Lord like I had never before! I was so taken by the continuing story of our salvation from the time Adam and Eve sinned, to Jesus dying for us and all that happened after… it is a story full of love, murder, deceit, punishment and intrigue, the makings of a very good novel! I would read my Bible 5/6 hours at a time and couldn’t get enough but had other duties as a Mom and wife otherwise I would have been stuck to my Bible. This sounds crazy but it is as true as the nose on my face, I had a hard time putting the Bible down and my immediate family found it odd and a bit crazy. I was totally addicted to the Bible, brought on possibly by the fact that I love to read and of course, the Spirit was hovering.
Psalms was and still is one of my favourite books in the Bible and it helped me understand more of the Bible like never before. My marriage broke down after this because I chose Jesus over my husband and he felt it in everything but I couldn’t help myself. My zeal for God burnt me up! The Lord had opened my eyes to many things anyway.
There were so many strange things happening around me, the only way I can explain it is, my eyes and ears were open to the spiritual and I could really SEE people and I could hear more than I wanted to. My life became weird and surreal but I felt a peaceful presence always with me and I was not afraid. The world around me had changed.
I just knew what I was supposed to do and I started following the news, something I hated to do before because it was just all sad and depressing and if I couldn’t help anyone they were telling us about, then why listen? I started researching and became drawn to prophecy in the Bible. I became hooked on Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah and other prophets and mainly Revelation.
My focus was mainly on the coming of Jesus. I cannot prophesy over people but I can tell the time we are living in by looking at the way things are, at the current news and the strange goings-on around the world and strange phenomena in the earth itself and I am prompted to share, by the Spirit. I had this overwhelming feeling and I felt weighed down by the revelation of His coming in our time, after reading Psalm 110. It was pure excitement! (I read Psalm 110 now and cannot understand why I thought this! But it hit me and I remember almost falling off my seat, I was stunned!) I had to sit for a while staring at the wall, taking it in, everything seemed to fall into place, it was quite an overwhelming feeling really. I mean I knew Jesus is coming back and have been taught that my whole life but never did I imagine it would be within my time and I needed to warn as many people as I could!
I then started a Whatsapp account and put as many of my friends and family on there. I had to ask everyone if they had asked Jesus into their hearts, whether they were baptised or not, they had to answer this one important question because I wondered why no-one had told me. I always assumed one just believed and got baptised (and didn’t realise that it is at this point that one asks Jesus into their hearts!). My family assumed we all knew. I would send everyone stuff each day, showing them what and why Jesus is coming in our time.
I stopped worrying about what people thought of me, I was free from so much that we live with as humans, it all just fell away and I was in such a peaceful place. I stopped worrying about being seen as a Bible thumper, I lost some friends due to my zeal but I didn’t care. I would scout posts on social media for anything against God and stand up for Him, I would police and defend the faith on anything that would make God look wrong, bad or dumb and anything that would steer people into the wrong direction.
I would fight my corner with words from the Word and ask the Holy Spirit to help me never to overstep my boundaries. I angered a few people, I possibly belittled others without intending to and hurt their pride because I would humbly attack their wrong and distasteful views on Christ. What was upsetting is that someone would just assume something and post it for so many to see, without even researching the rubbish posted. Jesus was not a fraud, nor was He tempted and He is definitely not a she and God most definitely exists and we are not from another planet brought here by ancient aliens as some people would post!
I cannot stand and talk to a group of people, never mind a congregation! I freeze up. My work is done where you will find most people today anyway…online.
The one thing I remember however, is that I felt so isolated, I knew that it was different to anything I have ever known and as much as I gloried in it, I was very lonely. No one seemed to understand what was happening and my friends and family started doubting what I would tell them, making me feel lonelier but it was what it was and I was not hallucinating! I lost a few friends and a cousin to my zeal.
By 2017, I had lost a lot of my zeal because of the loneliness I felt. I somehow lost my access to live in the spiritual realm, possibly because my heart was not in it as before. I seemed to be losing loved ones and I don’t think I was fully ready then, to give more loved ones up for God, and the breakdown of my marriage wasn’t helping. I will always be zealous for my God and I still am somewhat of a Watchman on the wall. My Facebook posts will be found under the name, Odette Miles and I post when prompted.
Following the separation from my husband, my zeal had waned, I was too caught up with my hurt instead of giving it to God. I had no marriage, no support structure and was very sad and alone. My family was too far away and I missed them. My kids were and are a blessing, they have kept me standing, God is in the details right. Anyway, the Lord told me to go out and find Him one day, and He led me to Fathers House.
It was hard to fit in but I persevered and I now finally have a caring community, thanks to Janet who became a good friend from the start, we met at my very first Encounter weekend. I especially thank Janice and Nadine (may she rest in peace), they welcomed me with love and a word from God on the very first day God sent me to find Him. I was so taken by what they had to say and Janice seemed to know what I was going through, it caught my attention and made me come back.
Thanks to Ros, David, Joan, Val, Angie and the minibus bunch for being my family. Thanks also to Linda, Pete, Christine, Anne, Deane, Mary, Juanita and Trish, for making me feel welcome when I first came to Father’s House. Thanks to Clive for being what I expect in a Pastor and for the love from those not mentioned, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Since then I have felt the love from all the people at Open House.
I came to England following my European husband, having left a huge family of aunts and uncles and cousins and siblings behind. I thrive in people’s company because I am from a really big loving family.
My testimony has 5 points to make, to identify with and hopefully to learn from, and I hope they will help someone reading this…even if it is just that one person, I am happy.
The first is that no matter what your children are going through right now, if they seem to have forsaken God for the world and you are worried about them, please do not worry, but do not stop praying. The Lord will bring them back before it is too late. He promises to teach our children in Isaiah 54:13, some listen sooner and some later, as long as you are His child. Remind Him in your prayers about His promise, as Moses would time after time remind God that He saved the Israelite’s for good reason when He threatened to destroy them. My siblings and I are testimony to that, we left and all came back to God, amen. Being a child of God has its perks and one of them is eternity sealed for your kids, amen.
The second point is that He saved me by breaking me all the way down, for me to come up fighting as a warrior of God. I almost died and He brought me back. He taught me things I wouldn’t have dreamt about knowing. He showed me more than I thought was possible and I hang on to all He has taught me, He built me up into a very strong temple for His glory. So when you are going through whatever trial it may be, remember that He is building you up into a stronger temple for His glory, so don’t be down-trodden, it may not make sense now but it will when you are standing before Him. Trust in that and rejoice.
The third point is that there is no knowing Jesus without the Word for Jesus IS the Word. I stand on His Word and nothing else, all that I know is from what He tells me in His Word. His Word has power, power to change your life, build you up, heal you and strengthen you just by diligently reading it each day. The more we read, the more faith is built up and the more we can stand on His promises without fear or doubt. When the Lord does not seem to answer prayer even when you are reading and standing in great faith, then He has a higher purpose for whatever it is that you are going through and it will always involve helping the next person, so sometimes know that your trial is being used for someone’s benefit, even if it makes no sense to you. Praise Him even when He doesn’t seem to answer prayer! Amen.
The fourth point is that, He showed me that even if I don’t shake or drop or speak in tongues, it does not necessarily mean that I don’t have the same Spirit that everyone else has nor do I have less of the power of the Spirit He has put in all who belong to Him. I was so filled with the Spirit that strange things were going on around me, as mentioned, but not once did I drop or shake or speak in tongues. This is for those that feel left out, I humbly say, do not feel left out (He came to die for you!), for we are all affected differently by the same Spirit, once you let Him into your heart.
It also does not mean that you have less of what anyone else has nor that you should strive to get what someone else has (with a conflicted heart)and feel disappointed or despondent when it doesn’t happen that way for you. If it was meant for you, He would have opened it up to you. Let go and let God. He has given you enough of what you should have. However if you truly want it, it will be given to you in His time.
I also humbly add that there are many great Ministers out in the world that do not speak in tongues or shake but have much zeal for God (David Jeremiah, for one) neither do we hear about the disciples shaking and falling every time they get hit with the Spirit. In fact it tells us that it came once and remained with them always. He gives each of us our own type of filling up of the Spirit. He will give you what you need to be a great follower of God and a great fisher of men, the most important of all is that you already have eternity and the Spirit rests in you. Rest in that. Amen!
The last point is that, one does not have to know God intimately your whole life to understand more about Him, it can also happen to people who have recently found the Lord and sometimes one is even more blessed with understanding, that’s why He mentions that in the latter days even babies will prophesy, showing us that even those without previous knowledge about Him, will know Him well enough to be able to prophesy. Romans 10:8 tells us that, “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.” It’s all about reading, studying and ultimately remembering what already is within us. So be confident in your walk with Christ even when you are new to the church, knowing that the Holy Spirit will always help you and show you what you need to know, if your heart is genuinely set on knowing Him. May the Lord our God bless you all, always. Amen! x