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It is amazing how God makes people cross paths for His purposes. What may seem insignificant turns into a life-changing event and then to an everlasting friendship. How Matthew and I even crossed paths is a miracle in itself, of which I won’t go into detail. Matthew resides in New Jersey and I live in Michigan, with no common friends, relatives or acquaintances. Yet, it is truly a testimony when God seeks to pour his favor and Grace upon one of His precious children. All things are possible. God used Matthew to help deliver me from the bondage that plagued me for years.

After we made our acquaintance, Matthew would often call to pray for or with me. He always had a word to share and his willingness to offer guidance and wisdom and wash me with the word was comforting, as he often proclaimed himself to be my “big brother”. Comforting, not only because it was God’s word but also as a relatively eager, yet immature Christian, I knew I had a lot to learn. I greatly appreciated the amount of personal time Matthew used to counsel and encourage me. Often, he was willing to spend hours with me at a local Chinese restaurant, to use the word for the renewing of my mind. Of course, this wasn’t limited to me, as he often would start a conversation with someone else and then counsel or pray for them on the spot. Simply, Matthew demonstrated his desire to please God and share God’s love with others.

Yet in all this talking, there were some things that I did not share. Not seeking to purposely defraud or omit, yet some things were so much a part of my life, it just didn’t occur to me to share what had kept me bound mentally and emotionally for eight years. Since 2001, I had been plagued with the most unusual manifestation of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – haircutting. Each day, at least several times a day, I would retreat to the bathroom and cut my hair to make sure each and every hair was perfectly even. When I wasn’t at home to cut my hair, I would obsess about it and constantly “measure” my hair with my fingers to find areas where my hair wasn’t perfectly even. Many times, I would spend hours in the bathroom trying to get my hair just ‘perfect’, only to fall to my knees crying for God to help me stop.

In my own efforts, I would pray or try breaking the habit for twenty-one days. Then I would try thirty days. Everyone knows you can break a bad habit by not doing for at least twenty one days, right? Then I sought the help of a therapist, while helpful, still, I was bound. As much as I desired to be done with this seemingly insurmountable stronghold, I had also learned to live with it for eight years.

One day, Matthew called me out of the blue, as he often does. Yet this time, he pronounced “The day of your deliverance will come! According to Acts chapter ten, like Cornelius, the Lord has heard your prayers and alms. On the ninth day, at the ninth hour, you will receive your deliverance!” Bewildered, I said “Amen” yet not really understanding what he was talking about. So, I forgot about it and went about life. That following month, on the ninth of August at around nine in the morning, I proceeded to the bathroom to get ready for work and perform my morning haircutting ritual. Yet this time, as I entered the bathroom and looked in the mirror, all of a sudden I had a shift in my thinking and just didn’t feel like cutting my hair anymore. So, I turned around and left the bathroom. I was done. It was a while before I even realized it was all according to what Matthew had prayed for me. My day of deliverance really did come, on the ninth day, and at the ninth hour! PRAISE THE LORD! HALLELUJAH!

So, more than a year later, my hair continues to grow, long and beautiful. Praise God, for He truly is our healer and deliverer. Also, I praise God for bringing His servant Matthew into my life to pray for me as my big brother in the spirit. An awesome man of God in whose friendship I treasure.

Testimony from Sister Tracey, Lathrup Village, MI