Editor’s Note: Today our series Encounter: 13 Women Who Got to Meet Jesus Face to Face begins at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the church. If you haven’t signed up yet, no worries. We want to see you, so just come, even if you’re dragging at the end of the day! Brianna Hines and Jessie Litchfield have prepared a special time for us each Thursday that is sure to bless us in the midst of a busy season. The morning session includes childcare, and the evening time happens during middle school group. As part of our study series, we are posting here features twice a week by women in our church family. Each Thursday and Monday one of them will share the Scripture passage(s) for that day along with her personal reflection on the story. I’ve had a sneak peak at each of these women’s stories, and I’m so excited that you’re going to get to know them and God’s Word so much better in the next few weeks.
Desire to Transform Us
By Linda Bell
I can relate to the bleeding woman’s encounter with Jesus when she desperately reached out to Him for healing. Hers was a physical healing, mine was emotional, though I’m sure she was emotionally broken as well, dealing with this terrible condition for 12 years and being an unclean outcast as a result.
Before I gave my life to Christ at the age of 21, I was a mess. I had skipped the third grade, so I graduated high school and was off to college at age 17. After growing up in a small town and then living in a college dorm with kids from big cities — anything bigger than Yoncalla was a big city — my life spiraled out of control. I was immature, insecure, and confused. After two terms, my parents pulled me out of school. I moved around and changed schools a lot. I finally moved to Eugene, where I had a good job, a convertible sports car, and boyfriends, but nothing filled the emptiness and fears inside me. What was life about? I wondered.
A girl at work shared the “4 Spiritual Laws” with me and explained how Jesus could help put my life together. She had been where I was before she gave her life to Jesus. I had grown up in a little church and had all my Sunday School buttons, but no one had ever told me about a personal relationship with Christ. I finally realized that only Jesus could help me turn my life around. I was tired of searching for what the world had to offer.
Like the bleeding woman’s encounter with Jesus, I immediately felt a healing and a peace inside. Somehow, I knew that I was going to be OK. It was like the last piece of the puzzle was put in place, and I felt whole. That was over 50 years ago, and He has transformed my life in every way, giving me a purpose and a strength in my journey with Him.
Her story speaks to me personally in that she reached out to Jesus in her fear and pain, desperately needing healing and security. He spoke to her and said, “Your faith has healed you, go in peace.” I love how Jesus stopped, turned around, and spoke to her even though He was in a big noisy crowd on His way to heal someone else. It was a loving, personal encounter with her that changed her life.
There are so many details involved with each encounter Jesus had with the women in the Gospels that we can miss them by just reading the story. I am looking forward to delving into these details and their applications over the next few weeks in our Bible study.
Linda Bell grew up on a farm in Yoncalla, Oregon. She married Chris 46 years ago, and they have three adopted children and three granddaughters. They were part of EBF for 8 years before what she calls “our wonderful merge with UFC” in 2022.