Sara's inspriational, spiritual story

By: Anne Pool   (Sara's mother)

My daughter, Sara, was in grade 6 when she started pulling. She was trying to stop chewing her
nails and her friend, Karl, suggested 'why don't you pull out your hair...see how much you can pull out?'
There was another girl in the same grade (different class) who also pulled out her hair, although to us it
was still a mystery as to why she had such a full, beautiful head of hair and in such a short time had
nothing but a few wisps sticking up all over her head. It wasn't until about a year later that I finally
became alarmed and realized that her habit was serious. Rob and I had tried a few different things
(and I'm not proud of them) but to no avail. Finally, one nite out of desperation, I tried the internet and
I found a wealth of information. I was convicted about how I had been treating her problem and was
determined to be her help and not a hinderance. A short time later, I found your site and one by one, I
began to suggest different ways that Sara could overcome pulling (and she desperately wanted to
stop). This lasted for 6 months. I clung to the hope that something out there would help. Going to your
site brought hope but at the same time, there was great fear in reading what a lot of women had posted:
that there would be GREAT difficulty in overcoming this, with damaging emotional scars. Worry and fear
were eating away inside of me and though I wanted to be strong in order to help Sara, the truth is, I was
putting a great distance between her and myself. But I just couldn't seem to get a handle on my desperate feelings, even though I knew plain as day that it was wrong. Finally, in April, I came to the end of my rope. I had tried everything and nothing had worked.   In fact, things were getting worse. And Sara was getting sick of my suggestions. Two friends approached me and asked, 'have you ever tried prayer?'
I had been praying EVERY DAY! Of course I tried prayer!! 'Why don't you take Sara to someone who will
pray over her and ask God for a healing?' I had never been much for those kind of things. We had been in a religious cult in our early twenties and had been burnt by people who did just that. Besides, deep down
inside, I believed that God could answer other's prayers for serious things, but He would never hear my
cry for help. But I was willing to give it a try (what did I have to lose?) and so was Sara. Two days
before her birthday, she was prayed over by a couple in a local town who were known for a healing ministry. There was a noticeable difference (even Rob noticed) but she did not quit altogether. The woman who prayed over her counselled me to praise God all the time. I had read the book a few years ago but decided that it would work for some people but probably not for me. I wasn't spiritual enough. I praised God anyways--I was willing to try anything and He was my only hope. For 2 weeks I felt so empty, like I was repeating a mantra. Then, after school one day, I decided I needed some inspiration so I went to the 'Prison to Praise' website to see if there was any inspirational stories. All there was on the site was a beautiful story about a man in prison who was so violent that he had to   be put in a cement holding cell called the 'hole' for days, even weeks at a time. On one occasion, the guard kicked the book 'Prison to Praise' into his cell. After reading it, this man began to mockingly praise God...for the rats, the filth, the awful food, his cell, and then for all the awful things that have happened to him in his life. For 3
days he carried on like this, taunting God and daring Him to do something. Then on the third day, he
experienced the wonderful Presence of God and warmth, love, peace and forgiveness just flooded his whole being. From that day on, he no longer taunted God, but his spirit was lifted with pure joy! By the time he was removed from the cell, he was a different man.   Anyone could tell that he had met with God because they could just see 'Jesus' all over him. Well, after I read that story, I was really inspired! If that man could keep praising God, then I could too. It didn't matter how spiritual I was. I then had to go
downstairs to clean the bathroom and Sara had just stepped out. When I looked on the floor, there was a pile of hair all around the toilet. As I picked up each one, at first with overwhelming fear, I began to
say, 'Thank you, God, for all this hair that she has just pulled out...for the bald spots that are now
there...for the worry and fear and sadness that I'm feeling...' As I was praising God for all these
horrible things, I was lifted with pure joy and peace! It was awesome! I felt as though a great burden had
been lifted from my shoulders. From that day on, every time I experienced fear, I would praise God and
experience the joy all over again. During that time, I did a number of things to help Sara. I asked people
all over the place to pray for her to be set free.  I'm sure that thousands were praying for her. A
friend gave me a prayer to pray that would break down strongholds and bondages. (I was never into that
stuff but now I was willing to give it a try). Then, at the same time, my husband re-committed his life to
Christ and threw away his cigarettes and made some real changes in his life. He had smoked for many
years and after he made his decision to quit, he still experienced urges to smoke. Whenever he did, he would pull out a scripture verse that he had in his wallet, commit it to memory and pray that God would take away the urge. He said that his cravings became less and less. That gave me an idea. I asked Sara if she would be willing to give it a try and she agreed. So every day she would be willing to commit her day to God and that for today, she would ask Him for the strength to  overcome the pulling. Whenever she had an urge, she would pull out a notebook (I made several for her) , memorize a verse and pray that God would overcome the urge for her. I put verses in every place where she was tempted: in her room, the bathrooms, etc. and prayed each day in these places that she would experience God's presence and that He would give her victory there. The amazing thing that took place at this time was that with the prayer that my friend had given me to pray, I asked God that every word of scripture would rise up in power in her and set her free. At this time, I had bought tickets for Sara, her best friend and myself to attend Canada's largest youth conference. The theme of the whole rally was 'freedom' and EVERY verse that she had put to memory, as well as some others were quoted all weekend long. By the end of the weekend, she told me that when she went to pull, she was repulsed and it would hurt to pull out her hair. That was May 18 of last year and she hasn't pulled since!   I hope that my story gives you hope and doesn't make you feel discouraged. Like I mentioned before, I have been hurt by people who have suggested that because you are suffering, there is sin in your life or God is punishing you, etc. I don't want to do that to anybody. But even though the woman who prayed over Sara was such a person, I have to say that I did learn alot from her and from this whole experience. I learned that you can't put God in a box. I don't know why He heals some and not others. There's no formula. But I do know that He delights in proving Himself to us...that He is really that good! Without this woman, I would've never gone out on a limb to trust God to do something that I thought He would never do! I hope that that encourages you, too,

There's also a part that I missed: when Rob re-committed his life that weekend, that happened as a
direct result of a ministry team that had come up that weekend from the States. This team was part of
Jesus.connect ministries who deal with addictions to pornography and habitual sin. Jesus.connect
ministries came up with a 'Battle Plan to Fight Addiction' that really helped Rob with his resolve to
end his smoking habit. And that was the battle plan that helped Sara by incorporating scripture
memorization every time she experienced an urge to pull out her hair. If anyone is interested, I can
provide the email address for their ministries. They were very supportive with prayer since alot of the
people involved know exactly what it like to try to beat something that is virtually unbeatable.