The human race yearns for spirituality. It really does. But even more, there is a yearning to know how spirituality influences mental and physical health.
Today, there are health-practitioners as well as theologians who are actively seeking, discovering, and applying life principles that meet mankind’s yearning. Let me introduce Michele Longo O’Donnell. She is both.
In 1965 Michele became a registered nurse and devoted several years to pediatric intensive care, emergency room, and coronary care units. Currently, she is a healthcare provider, minister, and spiritual counselor.
I have known Michele for more than 20 years, as we have shared ideas about spiritual healing. Recently, I asked her to answer some questions for this column.
Keith: What made you transition from registered nurse to an explorer in the consciousness-spirituality-health arena?
Michele: When I was 17 years old, suffering my way through my first day as a student nurse, I saw things that were horrifying to me. So much human suffering, so much fear and despair as one could stand to look upon. I had no idea that people were suffering like that!
While growing up, disease was never a focus of conversation in our home, although we had a few bouts with sickness now and then. But what really struck me was not only the misery and injustice of it all, but that no one seemed to challenge its right to exist! All the attention was directed to what humanly could be done to ease what appeared; as if everyone just accepted that this was a necessary part of the human existence.
I watched as doctors, nurses, patients and families marched on as in a trance under the influence of something so unnecessary, so devastating. And no one uttered a complaint. Where was the outrage?
This roaring in my soul just never let up as the years progressed. I found my way into Pediatric ICU and the obvious injustice of what I saw only intensified. I felt there was an answer, although I had no idea what it would be. Needless to say I never spoke of this to anyone. Who would believe such a thing?
In 1970 my second child was born with severe oxygen deprivation and resultant mental retardation. I left medicine to care for her and her 2-year-old sister. Someone gave me my first Bible and I began to devour it, especially the healing works of Jesus. I just knew I would find the answers to questions that plagued me in the context of this book. I had the advantage of knowing absolutely nothing about God before picking up that book, so the slate was clean and ripe for the Spirit to write whatever it desired to on my heart.
After two years, the result was that my daughter was completely healed and has continued to thrive as an intelligent adult ever since. She is the mother of two, a former assistant Attorney General of Texas, and has recently started her own law firm.
I thought: If this healing can happen to us, it can happen to anyone. And it should.
Keith: After your daughter’s healing, what did you do?
Michele: I pursued the understanding of the true nature and intention of God. I became involved with a non-denominational Bible school for three years and ultimately became an ordained minister. But I was disappointed in the school’s spiritual teachings. I began to see the contrast between what I had learned “by the Spirit” through personal study those two plus years and quite differently, what traditional religion was teaching about the nature of God and the need for suffering to gain a heaven far away.
I fully intended to return to my medical nursing career after I completed my time at the school. But then I was inspired to make a radical shift from Western medicine to one of a more holistic approach. And in 1975 I opened a center which combines spiritual and emotional support along with the physical and metabolic support.
At the center, I felt directed to place those needing help on programs that would not only detoxify their bodies but that would also rebuild them with good nutrition and dietary supplements. But mostly we talked day and night about the goodness of God who is only Love and how they could trust themselves to that uninterrupted goodness. They could do this no matter who they were, what they had been “into” in their lives or what they had previously believed about God.
We have seen thousands of folks healed in the past 40 years. It has been a lifetime of joy and immense satisfaction. I still hold to the strong belief that the whole earth will see this, and the new heaven and new earth will appear for everyone to enjoy, without disease or the fear of it.
Keith: What have you learned about health during this time?
Michele: Through the years I’ve discovered what I suspected from the start; that healings come from a shift in “expectation” which is quite different from crossing one’s fingers and “hoping” or “wanting.” This correction of thought comes from learning different principles of “Life.” The world lives out from an expectation of suffering and disease. We must learn to live from an expectation of strength and wholeness.
Over the last several years, I have recognized a pattern. Those embracing traditional thought and doctrines do not understand the true nature and purposes of God, as well as their own God-given power and ability, while the group considered more new thought do not know how to apply this understanding to daily living. The desire to bring the best of both worlds together and preserve the truths each have is what motivated me to write my fourth book “Only Receive.”
Keith: And the motive behind your other books?
Michele: I wanted to outline the life principles that I referred to earlier, so I wrote my first book “Of Monkeys & Dragons: Freedom From The Tyranny of Disease.” In it I share experiences with the hope that readers might understand the possibility of living without disease.
My second book, “The God That We’ve Created, the Basic Cause of All Disease” explains my belief that we’re never intended by our Creator to live with pain, misery and tears. Disease and suffering is a learned experience and therefore can be un-learned.
The third, “When the Wolf is at the Door, The Simplicity of Healing,” is a “how-to” book for anyone wanting to regain health and wholeness and live it on a constant basis. It emphasizes how to free yourself from dis-ease, whether that dis-ease is physical, emotional, relational, financial or other. It is an instruction manual for living in freedom.
Keith: When did you discover that your inspirations about health were somewhat similar to other Christ-based healers and writers?
Michele: In 1986 a patient and I were discussing spiritual ideas and she asked me if I had ever read anything by Mary Baker Eddy. I told her that I had not but would love to. She brought me a copy of “The Christian Science Journal,” which was established by Eddy. I was captivated by what I read. Its message was so familiar to me and yet so new. I discovered that there were others who spoke and believed as I did.
Soon a teacher of Christian Science and I began to visit every Wednesday for several years. These visits changed my whole life.
Again, there are health-practitioners as well as theologians who are actively seeking, discovering, and applying life principles that meet mankind’s yearning. Yes, as well there is Michele Longo O’Donnell. She is both.
And, as radical as it sounds, there are many who feel that health is under God’s capable care and that we can begin to challenge the right for disease to actually exist.
Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com