“Thelma describes the personal woundedness that almost devastated her. She explains her addiction to prescribed medications that put her into a zombie-like state. She identified herself with the biblical account of the woman with a bent-over condition (Luke 13:10–17) with gut-wrenching truth as she confessed her prayers for miracles.”
— Kenric A. Prescott, pastor and teacher, Union Baptist Church of Hartford; Hartford, CT
“The pain, insight, thoughtfulness, and ultimate victory in this writing by Rev. Dr. Thelma Gilbert is greatly needed by men and women in these difficult days and times. Sharing both her journey from painful darkness to God's marvelous light and the story of the woman with bent-over condition (Luke 13:10–17), Healed from a Bent Condition brings peace and hope to people who are struggling to find their way.”
— Reverend Asalean “Lena” Brown, associate minister, Martin Temple A.M.E.Z. Church; Chicago, IL
When I was growing up, I attended a Catholic school. One of our daily subjects was catechism. During class, we had to read and discuss the Bible, and we received homework assignments. The subject that excited me most was the miracles of the Bible, especially the ones Jesus performed. To me, there was just something special about this man named Jesus. When I read the Bible, I believed what it said about His miracles. In studying how He turned water into wine (John 2:1–11), calmed a raging sea (Mark 4:35–41), fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish (Mark 6:30–44), healed a deaf mute (Mark 7:31–37), and restored sight to the blind (Mark 8:22–26), I believe God's Word. I accepted the fact that “with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:3).
I believed then, as I believe now, that Jesus Christ could perform any miracle. It didn't matter how unbelievable the narratives sounded to other people or how impossible it seemed for others to accept the situations as true. The miracles were true to me. Why? Because of who Jesus is.
That was the kind of faith I had in Jesus as a child. If nothing is impossible for God, then whatever is impossible for man is fully possible with God. He can take nothing and create something. Whatever is crooked, He can make straight. Whatever is broken, He can make whole. Whatever is cast out, He can take in. Whatever is knocked down, He can pick up. Whatever is way down in the valley, He can put on a mountaintop. God is sovereign. He is the almighty God. He is the great I Am. Think about it: if He could call chaos into order and create something out of nothing just by saying, “Let there be” (Genesis 1:3), it is evident He can do anything—even the impossible.
During my childhood and adolescence, my faith was strong in the Master Healer. All I desired from God, from the depths of my soul, was for Him to perform what I called a radical, supernatural miracle in my life. I knew He woke me up in the morning and started me on my way, but I was seeking and talking about something deeper than that. I wanted to experience Jesus in the spiritual realm. I wanted to taste heaven down here on Earth, even though I did not understand what that really meant, until I was in a “Bent Over Condition.”
The Rev. Dr. Thelma Gilbert was ordained into the gospel ministry of Jesus Christ in 1986. She is recognized as a competent, qualified, and well-trained teacher, leader, pastor, and servant. Well-prepared, disciplined, cheerful, and confident, Thelma serves as an advocate for people of all ages who are oppressed, suffering, and heartbroken from the many ills of our society. Dr. Gilbert's God-given gifts, talents, and services as an acclaimed teacher, seminar speaker, and preacher are sought across the United States.
Dr. Gilbert is a pioneer and mentor for women in ministry. She became the first woman president of a predominantly male organization after several decades of their existence, and the first woman pastor voted into an almost one-hundred-year-old organization in Connecticut. She is the recipient of many awards for dedicated services. Thelma is the mother of two children and the grandmother of seven grandchildren. One of her favorite scriptures is Proverbs 3:5–6.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail: P.O. Box 7232, Bloomfield, CT 06002.