gabe the babe, part 2

Didn’t mean to leave y’all hanging yesterday. Wait a minute. That’s a bold-faced lie. Forgive me?

Speaking of lies, Gabe was listening to a lot of them this morning while I was at the math testing center with Ava, and he had a ROUGH time. I came home to find him in tears, and I’ll admit, my first thought was, “How in the HECK am I supposed to blog Gabe’s victory story tomorrow with THIS crap going on?!”

I’m convinced the devil hates it that we’re sharing our story and demanding that God be given all the glory for it. Well, he can just SHOVE IT, because I’m not afraid of him. And GOD WINS.

So I left off yesterday with Gabe’s mom telling us she thought we needed to get rid of anything in our home that reeked of Buddhism, that the devil was using it to get a foothold in our home and in Gabe’s mind and heart. And Gabe didn’t take it super seriously. His mom knows a lot about spiritual warfare and has spent extended time in Africa right smack dab in the middle of it, but we just haven’t seen as much real, tangible evidence of it as she has.

Fast forward a week or so (it all blurs together now). Livi was on spring break, so she went with me to meet with our Reading Buddy on a Wednesday morning (March 28). We peeked into Dr. Hinds’s office (she’s the principal of the school and goes to our church) like I always do. She was on the phone but motioned us in. She asked how we were doing, and I ended up telling her all about Gabe.

“Now I know exactly how to pray,” she said. And something inside of me just welled up with hope, because Dr. Hinds is just the kind of person you want praying for you–an older, black woman with the Holy Spirit just oozing out of her and not afraid to shout her praise to Jesus.

That was Wednesday. Late Friday night my sweet grandma died. Sunday was Palm Sunday. Our pastor’s father-in-law, John Thomas, was preaching. The topic? Healing.

He shared the story of his wife Karen (my beautiful friend Shalla’s beautiful mama) being healed of her thyroid disease that had plagued her for 15 years. The story would take a whole blog post, but it was stinking powerful. He shared verse after verse about God’s healing power, and then opened up the altar for prayer.

I’m on the prayer team, and that was my cue to take a spot somewhere around the outside of the auditorium (school cafeteria), so I could pray with people. Except I was sitting in my seat, tears streaming down my cheeks, begging God to heal my husband. I asked him if he wanted to go up for prayer. Yes, he said. How about Dr. Hinds, I asked. Yes, he said.

We went up, got in a little circle with Dr. Hinds. She had one arm around Gabe’s back and one hand on his chest. She prayed the devil away and claimed victory and healing for Gabe in the name of Jesus and by his blood. I don’t remember everything that she said, only that it was electrifying, and that she said she fully expected him to wake up in the middle of the night, completely healed.

We got home from church, and for the first time since Gabe went on anxiety meds, he went an entire day without taking his “take-as-needed” pills. He’s on two types of anxiety meds (along with his 6 heart attack/blood thinning/cholesterol lowering meds). One he takes daily in the a.m. The other can be taken up to twice a day any time he feels panic coming on. He’d taken 2 every single day since he got them.

I called my mama (we hadn’t talked much about Gabe in the past month, because she’d been spending all day every day with my precious grandma) to tell her about Dr. Hinds’s healing prayer for Gabe. She told me that my dad had spent 6 straight hours praying for Gabe one day recently. Wowza. That is a whole, whole bunch.

I couldn’t sleep that night. I was just waiting for Gabe to sit up in bed and yell, “I’m healed!” and start dancing.

It didn’t happen. And the next morning, he was so exhausted that he started to get anxious and took one of his pills. Sigh.

It’s now Monday, April 2nd. I called my mom to discuss the evening’s soccer game plans. She told meΒ  Dad couldn’t sleep the night before because he couldn’t stop thinking about Gabe. He told Mom that finally he pictured putting all his worries about Gabe in a box, closing the lid, and putting it at the foot of the Cross.

I could barely speak after she told me this, because while I know my dad is a deep, deep thinker, I don’t always get to hear the things he deep, deep thinks about. He often keeps stuff inside, and when he does share, it’s usually pretty profound.

5:30 rolls around, and it’s soccer time. I was worried about Gabe and how he’d do coaching Ava’s team. You have to understand, the past two months had been a big long string of him not wanting me to leave his side even for a second, canceled meetings with people, only being able to be out in public for little stretches of time or not at all. Frustrating, disappointing, exhausting.

My mom and Gabe’s mom went with Gabe and Ava to Ava’s game. My dad, Livi, Nina, and I went to Livi’s game. I was riding in the passenger seat of my dad’s car and we were talking about this, that, and the other thing. And we were almost to the game when I said, “Thanks for praying for Gabe.”

“Well, I don’t know much,” Dad said, “but I keep coming back to one thing.” I had no idea what he was going to say. “I was raised believing that you shouldn’t have idols and other things like that in your house. I’m wondering about all the pictures of temples and monks and everything that Gabe has. I feel like it shouldn’t be there.”

I don’t remember what I said back to him, but I couldn’t think straight the rest of the night. HOLY COW. So, let me get this straight. Gabe’s mom prays extensively for Gabe and makes the Buddhist connection. My dad prays extensively for Gabe and comes to the same conclusion. And they didn’t talk to each other about it.

I prayed hard and waited until the girls went to bed before I approached Gabe. He was up in bed, on his laptop, and I said, “So, um, my dad said something crazy tonight. You know how he’s been praying a lot for you? Well, he told me that the only thing he can think of is that maybe we need to get this temple and monk stuff out of our house.”

“Go get rid of it,” Gabe said.

Excuse me, what? “Are you for real?”

“Yeah. Go get the photo book I made and the canvas. And the painting from Angkor Wat that’s down in the basement.”

People, I cannot begin to describe my shock. Stunned, I walked downstairs, grabbed all the offending stuff, and headed out to the trash can in the garage. I ripped and shredded and trashed it all, and prayed over and over for God to take it all away.

Oh, this is getting long, AND I STILL HAVEN’T GOTTEN TO THE GOOD PART.

I immediately called my dad and Gabe’s mom (with Gabe’s blessing) and they were both excited (Dad in his reserved way and Janelle in her not-reserved way). Janelle said, “I still think he needs to get those pictures off his computer.” I told her to pray about that.

The next day Livi and I had some uninterrupted time together, and I told her about destroying the temple stuff. The two of us went around the house and ripped up some t-shirts (with temples and/or monks on them), tore up some postcards, and some other random souvenirs.

Fast forward to Thursday. I blogged this verse prayer for Gabe, then we spent the lunch hour fasting and praying healing Scripture. And then we went through Gabe’s hard drive and deleted hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pictures from our trip to Cambodia (any where the main object in the picture was a temple, idol, or monk). My heart ached for Gabe (man, he got some gorgeous shots), but it felt right.

The next day was Good Friday, and while God can heal people on any one of 365 days in the year, how awesome would it be to receive healing on the day we celebrate Jesus dying for us? By his stripes we are healed, amen?

It was a little after 11:00 a.m. Gabe had gotten up for breakfast but had laid back down. I went upstairs and opened our bedroom door to ask him if he was hungry for lunch. He had this startled look on his face.

“Did I wake you up?


“What’s wrong?”

He stared at me for a minute, then, hand on his chest, “I just felt something go out of me.”

“Um, like something you need? Or you mean, like something bad left your body.”

“Something bad.”

Holy cow. I didn’t know even what to say. We prayed, and I made lunch. After we ate, Gabe went up to the bedroom again. A few minutes later, I found him sitting on the edge of the bed, staring out the window, tears streaming down his cheeks. My heart sank.

“Are those good tears or bad tears?”

“Good tears.”

Holy cow.

Then we did some crazy stuff like anoint Gabe with oil and thank Jesus and command the devil to stay the heck away from our home FOR GOOD, and the five of us went around our house and prayed in all the rooms. And everything was amazing until 9yo Ava refused to pray for her daddy, and the rest of us girls started crying, and long story short, she and Daddy spent 30 minutes alone talking while the rest of us cried and played a game and worried about her sinful heart.

And then she prayed too.

And Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday? Were filled to the brim with extended family time. Like 12-hour days. My sister was here from South Carolina, then all of my family was here for Grandma’s funeral. We spent Easter at Gabe’s grandpa’s.

And Gabe did amazing. I’m telling you, he went from spending most of his days in bed to going the whole entire day without a nap and being around PEOPLE. Not just any people, but LOUD PEOPLE. And driving hours and hours. And he only took his meds once or twice that whole time.

Friends, my husband has been healed. He’s still got a road ahead of him. The temptation to worry and fear and panic is something he still has to fight against. He still has moments where he’s convinced he’s going to die. It’s still hard for him to sit and work on websites for long stretches of time. He still gets tired more often than he used to.

But my husband is back. And he’s a new and improved version of himself. He’s physically strong and healthy, he’s closer to Jesus than he’s ever been in his life, HE’S STARTED READING. The Bible in particular.

The light is back in his eyes.

Do we know what we’re doing with our future? No. Heck, we don’t even know what tomorrow will hold. Are we excited that the hospital bills keep adding up, and we’re no longer getting regular paychecks? No, but God’s got this.

Am I doing a stellar job of being a supportive wife and attentive mother and trusting God for provision and our future no matter what my circumstances say?

I wish.

But I can’t deny God’s faithfulness. And even though his timing’s not my timing, and his plans aren’t my plans, I KNOW he knows what he’s doing. And he doesn’t have any intentions of letting us suffer through anything alone.

We owe him our lives. And whether we stay here or traipse off to Cambodia or wherever the heck else, he’s gonna get them.

52 thoughts on “gabe the babe, part 2

  1. Pingback: in sickness & health {day 1} | Marla Taviano

  2. Yuki Johnson

    Been under the attack of the enemy before on a few occasions. It’s hard to realize where they’re coming from sometimes but I praise the Lord for your testimony here! Praising Him for His mercies are new every morning. Will keep your family in my prayers. May God bless you with an outpouring of love, mercy and grace!

  3. Pingback: Marla Taviano » a whole bunch of happy

  4. Anne Fickel

    I was going to tell you…I totally get the spiritual part of this story. We used to joke about it growing up because whenever my mom and I would go into an import shop, I would want to buy something. We would have to do the “high-pitched noise” test. My mom could hear a noise when objects that were around her that had some demonic/other religion base to them, thus not allowed to buy them. I sooo didn’t believe her at the time but as I’ve gotten older, understood the concepts behind it. The old throw-the spirits-in-the-pigs trick that Jesus did has some relevance even today. Objects can have power.

  5. Ben

    The fact that satan is putting so much effort into your family and especially Gabe can only mean one thing… he can see the potential you guys have and is feeling threatened.

    This is wonderfully exciting! Anyone whose handing everything over to God (especially that which one really wants to keep control over), has great blessings coming their way.

    I won’t forget this for quite a while! Thanks so much for updating us Marla, and thanks SO much God for working in the lives of these wonderful people in such a tangible way! We know that You’ve got exorbitant plans for them, β€œyour unfailing love is higher than the heavens. And Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.”


  6. Sarah

    Amazing. My friend and I are studying prayer together. We’ve wrestled with the “why pray if God is sovereign and already knows” thing. So, we have been gathering prayer examples from scripture and real life…examples where the effect of prayer is quite tangible. (OK, examples of prayer that our human minds can at least sorta comprehend:). I can’t WAIT to talk about this blog at my share group Tuesday. I have another friend with a spiritual warfare story similar to Gabe’s, and I never really really understood or believed in it all fully until now. As I read your post something just clicked. Although I can’t share my story here, I realized my husband has had first hand experience with this, and we couldn’t articulate it. Wow. Just wow. God’s timing is so remarkable and perfect. Praying for you and Gabe and your family!

  7. Sharon

    I relayed this story to my husband tonight and he reminded me that when I got the wooden beaded bracelets from your trip in the mail, he tried to tell me Buddhists used them for praying. I blew him off that time, but I’m listening this time, and am gonna get them out of the house. He grew up in Asia and said an American wouldn’t recognize that they were a religious symbol, but as soon as he saw the bracelets, he couldn’t believe I had brought them into our house or that I’d wear them.

  8. beth lehman

    amazing, i’ve always believed in spritual warfare on certain levels, but i just don’t encounter much evil in my life. once in central america i felt what i would describe to be evil. so grateful for the faithful who have prayed continuously for you all.

  9. O Mom

    Last night my youngest daughter was on the cmputer looking for pictures of mermaids when she came across a “magic potion” for turning into a mermaid. She was so excited and came to ask me to print it out for her.
    I just kind of brushed it off and said no that’s silly and tried to direct her attention elsewhere.
    This morning I catch up with your blog and am so overcome with emtion about you getting rid of the pictures and especially Gabe, because they were things that were meaningful to him. Tonight I am so going to bring up the whole potion/magic thing with both my younger girls and remind them that God doesn’t like that, that the devil uses those things to move in peoples lives. We want the Holy Spirit to move in our lives. Thanks for sharing this.

  10. Jennifer

    Awesome! Praying for you guys as you continue to discern what God has for your future. He no doubt allowed this to happen so that you would be prepared and equipped to serve Him better. Can’t wait to hear what He’s going to do with the Tavianos!

  11. Michele Brockert

    So wonderful to read this answer to prayer! So many times we pray, but never hear of the results. God can always be trusted! If He is for us, who or what can be against us!? Praise you, Father!!

  12. Katie Neer

    Marla, thank you for sharing this story. Dave & I went through a long, like 1 year, Bible study on spiritual warfare with friends in Indiana maybe 8 years ago. that stuff is SO real. As children we were always urged just not to talk or think about it. But that study opened our eyes in a big way. There’s a whole other world of spiritual beings that we can’t see with our eyes (thankfully)…We ended up having our Bible study group all over and annointing our home with oil and praying over it, casting out demonic presences and praying for God to place large angels at the corners of our property. No weird stuff happened there after that (as opposed to prior to that). Levi was even born there πŸ˜‰ Praise the Lord for this victory in your home and in Gabe’s body and mind!

  13. Marcy

    Ok, I am so thankful to read your story. I know it’s not even half over yet because you have your lives ahead of you with untold adventures.

    You have also been used by God to help me to see things in our own lives that may be similar to what you have been through.

    In fact, last night, as I was trying to read your story, my son woke up screaming terrified screams and couldn’t sleep all night. He has almost never screamed like that. Oh my. So I didn’t finish your story. Linking it to what you’ve said, I wonder…

    I am excited to see where God will take you (and us as well) in your life adventure with Him.

  14. valerie

    Marla, what an incredible story – of God’s faithfulness and your and Gabe’s obedience! Amazing! Praising God for His revealing the root to you all, and for His powerful healing!! I needed to hear this story – I leave for Africa in 6 weeks, and I never would have thought about the picture thing. Thank you, Marla – praying for Gabe’s continued healing and the AWESOME things I know God has planned for your family!!

  15. Teresa Henry

    Thank you Marla for sharing this testimony. I really believe that the timing of you writing this is important. I am not sure the details of it, but God has just place a sense of urgency on my heart after I read your blog. God is going to change others lives because you and Gabe were willing to bring this issue to light. Homes will be stripped of idols and hidden things will be revealed. I truly believe this. It is easy to think that it’s okay to watch something or listen to something or own something…we know it’s wrong or it’s not of God but we aren’t “that way” so it’s not that bad.

    I pray over the home of Gabe and Marla’s home…every wall, the ceiling, the floors…every corner of their home…I pray protection over their home as a place of peace and hope….a place of healing. I pray that as they move forward in their day that the enemy can not touch their lives in any way…I pray over their thoughts…for protection and renewal. As darkness is exposed by light Lord…I pray that the light shines so bright that others begin to see the illumination of You and only You. Lord thank you for Marla, Gabe, and those sweet girls…I thank you for their willingness to share and bring light to this area. Thank you for Gabe’s mom and Marla’s dad for their ears that listened and their mouths that spoke the truth. Amen!

    Have a peaceful, joyful day! Blessings to you!

  16. Rebecca

    I so totally get this! Like I shared with you before, I had panic attacks in the middle of the night due to the stuff I was reading and watching on tv. God revealed it to my husband and my husband told me. So grateful for those people in our lives who can step aside and seek God on our behalf–and then that we listen to them even when it hurts. But man, oh man, healing is worth the loss!

    Hallelujah for Gabe’s healing!!!!

    I will share this….the devil tried to come back several times right after I was healed, but my husband and I commanded him away and prayed the armor of God over me. (By the way, some of us forget the armor of praying—it’s the last verse of the armor passage, but most of us skip it!) Since then, the devil tries to come back when I share my story, which is often. But I’ve learned a valuable lesson–if I know that it’s possible for an attack because I’ve shared my testimony, then I pray and read the Word to ward him off.

    Love to you for sharing this story. It’s hard to share, but will help so many! We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the WORD OF OUR TESTIMONY!!!!! πŸ™‚


  17. Gaylene

    Thank you for sharing such a powerful testimony of God’s healing and grace. Continuing prayers are being lifted to the throne for you and your family.

  18. Amy

    Marla, I totally get this. God had me dump a few books in the recycle bin just yesterday. I slept like a baby last night. Such peace when we follow Him. So grateful that you guys not only listened, but obeyed. God is good!

  19. Laura Eckstein

    Thanks for sharing! We have a very similar story of spiritual warfare in our recent past….scary stuff! It is amazing how much of a stronghold Satan can get in such a short time. I am so thankful for the Saints that God put in our lives that helped us to conquer these demons! Praying for continued healing in your hearts and lives…..we love you!

  20. Sharon

    AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t really have any other words. I’m just blown away. Praise God for revealing to you guys what was going on. Was just thinking about how when we are kids we think we know it all and our parents don’t know anything. What a testimony to the wisdom of parents (especially those who know the Lord). Thank you so much for taking the time to tell this part of the story. Praying for you guys daily.

  21. ellen

    OMG – I just knew it — what a Spiritual breakthrough and that’s exactly what you needed – expecially if overseas third world ministry is in your future — The only words to discribe how excited your you all are Praise God — hope you get to share this with the church family – we all need to be built up by this

  22. Megan at SortaCrunchy

    Glory to God.

    It takes a lot of courage to follow the Spirit’s leadership when it doesn’t make sense to our human minds. What a blessing to have two parents so attuned to the Spirit’s direction that they knew exactly what to pass on to you.

    Gosh, there is just so much I could say, but I don’t want to hijack the comments. πŸ™‚ I will say as a healing-type lady, this just gave me chill bumps ALL OVER. Wholeness, restoration, hope. Only Jesus.

    Hosanna! God saves!

  23. Cheryl Schroeder

    Powerful! We need reminded that there is always a spiritual warfare going on in our lives and be able to recognize it.

  24. Krysten

    Marla, this is even more beautiful than I had anticipated!!

    Thank you, Jesus!! All glory to You for the amazing healing work You’re doing in this family! Because You are for us, we have nothing to fear! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  25. Ang

    Savior, He can move the mountains! Wow, thanks for sharing, and thank Gabe for allowing you to share. No more words…just WOW. xoxo

  26. Shannon

    My FAVORITE part of this, other than the fact that God is SO brilliantly working in your lives, is this sentence : Satan can SHOVE IT, and GOD WINS. AMEN! LOVE it πŸ™‚

  27. Denise

    TEARS!!! Loads and loads of tears flooding my face…God is amazing. He is so good and I can’t believe I have times of doubt…

    I pray for Drew everyday….I don’t want him back, but that God would heal him. It’s not working -yet.

    Thank you Marla for sharing this…:) love you!

  28. Yalonda

    In the short time we’ve known each other, Marla, you have really touched me. I will continue praying for your family and I trust that God has it!

  29. Emily

    God is so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so glad Gabe is doing better and I will continue to keep all of you in my prayers.

  30. Tsh @ Simple Mom

    What a great testimony, Marla. I very much get the spiritual-warfare-in-other-cultures bit, and I can attest that it’s so very real. And it’s hard for us westerners to understand that.

    The 10 peso version for me… In Turkey, I was plagued with depression. The day we landed back in the States, I never needed my depression meds again.

    That’s not to say America is all unicorns and rainbows. But it was…weird. And surprising, to say the least.

    So glad your husband’s on the mend! God’s glory there.

  31. Ruth

    PRAISE JESUS!!!! Most awesome blog post ever. I love how you proclaim the truth that he is healed even though he’s going to still battle it. I know that sounds funny, but let me say why. So many people “claim” a healing & then if there is any type of struggle with it later, they just allow themselves to be pulled back in & deny anything ever happened. But what happened with Gabe & your entire family is nothing short of God’s divine intervention & miracles! I am so excited to see where God brings you through all this. Praise him for picking us up again and again and again! And thank you for sharing this testimony so others can be blessed, changed, ministered to, & given hope as well. Wow. Going to bed rejoicing tonight! Well worth the wait to read, I suppose. πŸ˜‰

  32. Tug Taviano

    As I sit here at my computer and have worked all night on a dang commercial for Bubba’s Bash, nothing makes me happier than knowing that my Brother is healed, and that my brother is still with us and that he is not going through something anymore that no one understands! I am so thankful that he quit his job and that he is on this path to wherever God leads you guys! I pray that you guys do not move, but whatever God has in store is better than him not being here…so I am cool! I love you guys and as I am cying now…they are good tears, tears of pain of almost losing my hero and tears of joy, that I get to spend life with him and you! I wish we lived closer for our kids sake, but at least they get to spend this weekend together!

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