Strengthened in a Storm through Prayer

Have you ever experienced heartbreak that left you feeling paralyzed?

What appeared to be a typical sunny Arizona afternoon turned my world upside down.

The knock on the door and then the persistent ringing of the doorbell, forced me to move quickly to answer. There stood the Family Care Child Director and the Military Police.

“Hello, may I help you?” I asked. LaVonda, we need to come in and speak with you.

And then it happened. My heartache began as my chest tightened. I was sick when I heard, “We have reason to believe that you’ve abused a child in your care, and I must take your license pending further investigation and action.”

“What, Who would say those things about me?” I asked. No response. We are removing all children from your care and calling their parents.

I was humiliated, embarrassed, and sickened over these false accusations.

As I continued to cry uncontrollably, I called my husband to ask him to come home quickly as there was an emergency.

Once he arrived, we prayed that God would intervene in this situation as he consoled our children and me.

I was to report to the police station for questioning the following day.

I called another Child Care Provider, my mentor, my friend, shared what had happened, and asked if she would care for my children while I went to the police station.

The police asked me questions repeatedly about my daily procedures with the children, reviewed my background checks, and, most specifically, about a day at the playground.

I sat there thinking, Lord, please bring anything about outdoor play to my remembrance. I shared a day at the playground one of the children was sitting in the sand. Another child alerted me there were ants in the sand. I went over and began hurriedly cleaning the red ants off one of the child’s legs and arms.

Someone reported I was “hitting and abusing” a child in my care at the local playground. I explained in detail over and over ~ I was not hitting the child. I was trying to protect the child from possible ant bites which could have been dangerous. I provided information on who could verify my story.

Please ask the child who informed me he saw ants were in the sands. Or speaking with Grounds and Maintenance because I had reported the infestation of ants. I had also done an incident report for the parents.  I was not trying to hide anything or hurt a child in my care.

I was heartbroken over how this appeared to others in the community. Our military community was small, and my integrity was in question.

The rooms in our house remained dark. I refused to open any blinds or go outside the home. I knew people were talking about me, and my Certified Childcare License was no longer in the front window facing the main road of Luke Air Force Base.

To add insult to false accusations, we lived on the main street that led to the local Elementary School, and people walked constantly by our house. 

The darkness of my heartache led to despair and depression while the investigation continued.

I attended church one Sunday and cried the entire service. An older woman came over and asked me if I was okay and if she could help. I blurted out everything to this total stranger, and her response was, “All you need to do is come to the prayer meeting Friday at 6 pm”.

I’m the Intercessory Prayer Lead, and we’re going to pray.

I believe everything will work out in your favor. “This is an enemy attack, Spiritual Warfare,” she said as she provided me with this scripture to read daily until the prayer meeting.

“When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.” Isaiah 43:2

I returned home and started to do as instructed until Friday. My husband watched the children, and I went to the church.

I sat quietly and watched these women pray scripture, spoke in their prayer language, walk around the church praying, and this went on for over an hour.

These prayers indeed strengthened me! I wanted this for my life! I desired God’s presence like this in my life. I wanted more.

Prayer lifted the weight off my shoulders. The Word of God began to heal my heart and transform my mind.

As the investigation continued, I renewed faith. And I was cleared of all pending charges. The authorities returned my Childcare license, and I could resume business.

My life changed by learning how to pray powerful prayers that would move mountains.

I could have chosen bitterness to all that gave me ugly looks and whispered insults under their breath, but I decided to walk in love and forgiveness. I believed God.

It felt like another dagger to my heart when I discovered that my mentor and friend created this false report to destroy my growing business.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what was now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20

If I had not experienced this heartbreak in Arizona, I would not have the prayer life I have today.

It is an honor and a privilege to pray and teach others to become strengthened by the power of prayer and the importance of an intimate relationship with God.

As an author, speaker, and Christian Life Coach, LaVonda is passionate about helping women who are held captive to self-judgment and mindset limitations experience the freedom to walk courageously in their God-given purpose. The founder of Joyful Journey, LaVonda and her husband of 30 years, Micah, live in beautiful Stuttgart Germany and together have 3 children; an adult daughter and college boy/girl twins. LaVonda writes at lavondamccullough.com and you can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest

To hear my conversation with LaVonda about her book, *21 Days of Fasting and Prayer, click on Depth Podcast Episode 56.

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