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Amber

Amber Peña

Amber Peña is a loving wife to her husband, Naval Officer Joel Peña, and a dedicated mother and homeschooling teacher/ facilitator to her two sons, Justin and Josiah.

 

She has her Bachelor degree in Christian Counseling through Liberty University and will soon complete her Master of Divinity through Christian Leadership University. She is also a Christian children’s book illustrator, where she uses prophetic art for author Ellie Stevens, and is currently working on writing her first book. In addition, Amber has served as an auxiliary writer for Bella’s book, 22 Hours – A Journey Through Eternity.

 

Amber has a relentless compassion for the hurting and lost and volunteers her time and talents whenever possible. This includes giving complimentary hair services to the homeless and offering prayer to those in need wherever she goes. She has also had the privilege of being on worship teams, teaching small groups at churches, being a prayer meeting facilitator, and speaking at women’s gatherings on the topics of “Divine Healing” and “Hearing the Voice of God.”

My Story

As a very young child I remember sensing the closeness and love of God every night as I fell asleep. I would sing simple hymns to Jesus with all my heart and feel His Presence come down and rest where I was. It was as natural to me as playing in my backyard or brushing my teeth. I simply thought it’s what everyone did. It was part of my daily life to give God glory and to sense His love for me. This created a foundation within me that caused me to never want to hurt the One I love, because I knew He loved me more than anyone else.  Looking back now, I clearly see how this simple relationship with Holy Spirit kept me protected from things that my peers tragically fell into.

Sadly, in my late teen years, I turned to others for affection and identity, rather than to my First Love, Holy Spirit. This led to a decade of leading my own life into one disappointment after another. Nothing and no one satisfied my heart the way I had experienced in the Presence of God. I remained grounded in knowing He was Faithful, but I didn’t understand how to return to Him. One night before leaving for a job that hindered our love, I realized sin had only exhausted and disappointed me. Without putting words to it at the time, I decided I was done with sin and that I would turn around and seek my way back to the Presence of God, no matter what it took. I thought to myself, “I’m not sure how to follow God again, but I certainly figured out how not to.” That night I stopped doing what I knew to stop. I turned away from the things that hindered our love and gave my life over to Him as much as I knew how to.

That night marked me. I loved God and grew in my commitment to Him over time. While I remained secure in my love for Him and for His love for me, I hadn’t yet experienced the same tangible Presence of God that I knew as a young child. Selfishness, jealousy, and seeking approval from another still ruled much of my life without my awareness of it. Well-meaning religious friends believed that these things were part of normal Christianity, so I never thought much of it. However, I soon discovered how even normalized sins can quickly bring devastation. This misconception led to a choice that would have taken my life, had not my First Love shown up in all His Glory to rescue me.

This choice involved an orthodontist who told me I needed to adjust my jaw in order to avoid possible future issues. He also pointed out places in my face that could improve as a result. Sadly, I saw this as a selfish chance to gain approval through having a better appearance and agreed to it. A few nights before the surgery, I was drifting off to sleep after a busy day when a spontaneous thought jolted me out of my rest: “I should not have this surgery!” It surprised me how I would have such a thought when I hadn’t felt nervous. I sat up and tried to find a reason for it before shaking it off and falling asleep.

The surgery was performed by an intern rather than the doctor. My face’s appearance changed in a way that was not desirable, as well as other minor mistakes. The tragic mistake, though, was the damage that was done to the main trigeminal nerve in my face. I was readmitted to the hospital for the excruciating pain, but none of the pain medicines could relieve the level I was experiencing. Meanwhile, I was given a blood thinner as a mistake and would have bled to death had my mom not come into the room while the doctors were instructing a nurse to be prepared to write the time of death. My mom’s prayers and refusal to leave the room saved my life.

Not long after, I was released and told by doctors and pain specialists over the course of a few weeks, that the damage done to the nerve was beyond repair; that I would be in this state permanently. No pain medicine could help it, so after this I gave up on the medical field. I consistently prayed to God to take me to heaven. I was hopeless and exhausted.

I remembered watching Benny Hinn on TV when I was younger and thought that might be my way out of this pain.  Because of my experiences with Holy Spirit as a child, I never doubted the healings were real and decided to drive to a conference he was having that was many hours away. While there I witnessed many healings. One lady was sitting beside me and received healing of her knees. I watched the swelling go down before my eyes. I wondered to myself why she was healed of something that seemed so minor compared to my pain, but I never thought it was something God was deciding. I was desperate, frustrated and confused, but I don’t remember ever doubting God’s goodness or His desire for me to be healed. I knew He loved me so. The next day I went to a church where Benny was speaking. He seemed to want to teach rather than have ministry time, so I could sense that he would feel annoyed at what I was about to do, but I didn’t care. I stood on a chair and waved my hands back and forth desperately until he finally called me forward to lay his hands on me and pray for my healing. Nothing happened.

Defeated, I stood in line to use the restroom before my long drive back home. A little momma with a baby on her hip passed me as she was leaving and sweetly said, “God says you’re free.” She said it and simply kept walking. I was left standing there confused and faced with the reality that what she said was the absolute opposite of what I was experiencing. I drove back thinking that I was going back home the same way I left, but those words proved to be the power that broke through my physical and emotional pain.

 

Soon after this, I was standing in my room crying out to God in my heart, and trying to reconcile His love for me with the excruciating pain that never relented. Remaining confused I decided to lay in my bed and hope for at least 30 minutes of sleep before the pain would wake me. Thoughts of despair loudly raced through my mind like a freight train. As I was about to give up trying to rest, I heard my name in a fierce and powerful whisper. It seemed to have come from within my own thoughts, but it filled every part of me. It filled the room and the entire atmosphere. All the thoughts of despair stopped and I sat up. Aiming to figure out what it was, I concluded I might need to add going crazy to my list of tragedies. However, the next morning I woke up and realized that I had not only slept for 30 minutes, but for the entire night. I also sensed a deep knowing that my way out of this pain would be discovered through the Word of God. That Voice spoken through a little momma with a baby on her hip and spoken directly to me that night deposited in me the resolve and direction for complete freedom.

I started reading every Bible passage about physical healing that I could find. Our oldest son walked with me in our neighborhood and said the verses to me until I was healed enough to say them out loud as well. Despite the doctor’s predictions, the pain was decreasing. The more I aligned with what God said about me in His Word, the more the pain decreased. I went to a conference called “The Voice of Healing” where a young girl prayed for me in the foyer and I felt God’s Presence briefly. I dropped my bags and, for a brief moment, experienced Holy Spirit the way I had as a child. I was filled with a gratitude for God’s faithfulness and closeness, and realized He had never left. Soon after this, I went up to the altar for prayer where a young person had a piece of paper with the word “jaw” written on it, along with other things that described me. They prayed for me, and I left that conference completely free from pain.

About a week later I was in my kitchen cooking and all the pain came flooding back in a moment. Praise God for His Word being planted in my heart over those long months, because I knew that pain was from the enemy and not from God. I also knew I had the authority to stand against it with the power of the Word of God. I stopped right there in the middle of my kitchen with resolve and was prepared to fight this thing with everything in me until I died, if needed. I was going to say, “In the Name of Jesus, leave!” but all I could get out was, “In the…,” and it left before the rest of my sentence even left my mouth. It has never been back since, nor will it ever be. I know who I am in Jesus, thanks to His Word and His Voice, which led me there.

He paid a high price to free me not only from sin, but also from all the effects of sin, including pain. I am living proof that healing is included in the atonement and I am forever grateful to my Glorious Hero for saving me and you. Whether we receive His eternal life, healing, and deliverance is up to us. I choose Him and am grateful to experience His Presence the same way I did as a child and even more! I now live to worship Him and to make His freedom-giving sacrifice known to all who will listen.

Joel and I
Bella and I
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