Nov. 1, 2021

Rene Hood: Overcoming Lupus

Rene Hood: Overcoming Lupus

Rene Hood is a fighter. She went from serving in the military to serving God through her prison ministry, Root of Jesse. When she was diagnosed with lupus, she had to fight for her life. She stood on God's word, and never gave up.

What is impossible with man is possible with GOD. Luke 18:27


Sunny Gault  0:04  
Your life has purpose. There's a reason you're here, right now, listening. We may not always understand the reason. But that doesn't change the importance of a moment. When times get tough. We often ask, why? What if the answer isn't that simple? Maybe it's more about our supernatural strength, the ability to put faith over fear and to answer the call. He is everywhere. He is everything. He is the great I AM. And we call him God of Miracles. I am Sunny. And this is one of His stories. 

Rene Hood is a fighter. She's the very definition of perseverance. About 20 years ago, Rene was in incredible pain. And it came on quickly. Doctors said she wouldn't survive, but she never gave up. She knew her mission was not yet complete. A mission that began in Washington DC, our nation's capitol, where Rene grew up,

Rene Hood  1:34  
I'm one of those what people call maybe an overachiever or perfectionist. And so I actually graduated out of high school when I was 16. So I decided to go into the military. And in order to do that, I had to get my mom to sign off because I was technically a minor. And she did. And so I went into the Army, non-combat finances. For the most part, I enjoyed it. I really did. I enjoyed it. I didn't need the discipline, I just needed to experience.

Sunny Gault  2:10  
Rene enlists. Some may say patriotism is just part of who she is. After all, she was born on the fourth of July. And her mom, who taught her the importance of serving others, spent many years working at the White House.

Rene Hood  2:27  
She was a supervisor over maintenance. She made sure everything was taken care of. We will get invitations to the White House, she would come home with pictures, you know, with the president. She was with Clinton, she was with Nixon, she was with Reagan. She had retired before Obama got in.

Sunny Gault  2:51  
Rene left Washington DC after joining the military. She was stationed at several bases both here in the US and overseas. Her training challenged her both physically and mentally.

Rene Hood  3:05  
The whole thought pattern is you don't think for yourself, you're not your own. You don't have no mind. Uncle Sam has your mind. They go through this whole thing. You're starting bootcamp, you might drill all day long marching with a backpack on with those heavy boots, and you're singing songs . One time we were out training and it was cold, Sunny, it was cold. And I don't like cold. The drill sergeant have what they call a warm up tent where they can go in they freezing too so they got this tent, they can go and drink coffee. But the trainees, we outside. I decided, hey, I'm going in this warm up tent. and I'm in this warm up tent, so I'm in that warm-up tent girl I am feeling good. All of a sudden the drill sergeant comes in there and hola attention. And I get in attention and he was like... trainee, what are you doing in here? You know, you're not supposed to be in here. You have no business in here. And he is just running it down, running it down. Right? Then he's like what do you have to say? I said I don't know, drill sergeant. I can't think for myself. I'm not my own. Uncle Sam owns my mind. And he starts to laugh right? And he catches himself and he points and says "get out of here". Get out of here trainee. And what could he say? I'm like, I don't know. I don't I can't think for myself. I know it was warm.

Sunny Gault  4:28  
Rene's survival instincts kicked in. Little did she know that same fighter mentality would help save her life later on. Rene grew up in the Baptist Church. Her family went every Sunday. And then one day while she was living in another country, working as a model, miles from home. God gave her a very vivid dream.

Rene Hood  4:53  
I'm in West Germany, I'm modeling and I'm enjoying myself. One night I come home, and I go to bed that night. And all of a sudden, I go into like this trance or this dream. I'm standing on the ground right in Germany, and I look up into the sky. And all of a sudden the clouds started separating. And as they separate, I saw seeing these creatures began to fly down, they had these big wings, they began to fly down. And as they begin to fly down, they began to pick up people, right. And the earth started being on fire. And I'm standing and I'm looking. And then as they began to pick up people, they begin to drop them in a fire. So it seems like to me that I am looking for hours and hours, all of a sudden, one of these creatures grabbed me. And I'm thinking that I should feel pain because they got these like claws, like, but I didn't. And when they grabbed me, I'm saying to myself, I say, Oh, my, I'm gone now, because only thing I've seen them do was pick up people and drop them in his fire. And so when they picked me up, they began to fly me around Europe,. And they begin to fly me over this area. The creature put me on my feet, right outside the building, like on the side of the building, right? All of a sudden, this big opening appeared. And I could see people inside, I could see them drinking, I could hear them cursing, I could see them doing all kinds of stuff. And as I watched them and observed them, I heard the Lord said, This is what grieves me, this is what hurts me, this is what I consider sin. And He began to talk to me on a personal level. And then He began to tell me the things that I've done, and that He did not want me to be in that kind of limelight. He wanted my name to be written in the Lamb's book of life. And it seemed like, again, hours, he just talked to me about sin, and how it grieved him. And afterwards, that creature grabbed me again. And when the creature grabbed me, he flew me back to where I live. And don't ask me how this happened, but he put me down on my bed. So that means that the ceiling somehow came open or whatever, but but I could still see the world and it was still on fire. And people were still being picked up by other creatures being dropped in the fire. Immediately, when my foot touched my bed, the fire ceased to burn. And then the creatures began to fly back up into the heavens, and the cloud closed. I immediately woke up and got on my knees. And I said "Lord, what is it that you want for me?"

Sunny Gault  7:44  
This dream changed everything for Rene, sending her on a completely different path. She gave up her modeling contract, she ended her relationship with her then-fiance, as well as her friends. And she started seeking, Renee made her way to a nearby church, and we dedicated her life...

Rene Hood  8:06  
When that man stopped preaching, and I went and I gave my heart to the Lord. Then they asked that we want to get baptized, I was watching everybody get baptized. And I said to myself, this the same thing that happened last time, everybody just got wet. And I'm saying this in my head, right? And so when it was my time to get baptized, I went down in the water had my eyes closed, but it's like I could see myself in the water. And I could see myself being buried. And when I came out of the water, I just started shaking and talking in tongues. And I didn't even know about the baptism, the Holy Ghost. From that time forward, I was like, I started hearing the Lord speak to me. He began to use me even there in Europe. All those people that I walked away from, they got saved, all of them got saved. They were like, "we know whatever you got is real".

Sunny Gault  9:02  
Rene had a new mission in life. She left the military and came back to the US where she studied theology. She started a family and became a chaplain. Her passion was speaking to women in prison. She called her ministry "Root of Jesse". This is where her miracle begins.

Rene Hood  9:24  
I was coming back from DC area. I'm living in Texas. I was coming back from the DC area. And I just felt so tired. I felt so weak. I just felt weak. I felt sick. And I was like God, what is going on? I'm on a flight coming home. And I realized that I hadn't had an exam in probably two years. And so I went to what they call critical care. They began to check me. They did blood work, and they did a whole lot of testing. Like a week later, I was in my office and the receptionist told me I had a phone call. And so I went to the phone. And it was this gentleman. I'll never forget it. And he just bluntly, bluntly told me that I need to sign myself in the hospital, because I was dying.

Sunny Gault  10:14  
For two months, doctors ran tests. And for two months, Rene continued to feel worse and worse.

Rene Hood  10:22  
It got to a point where he was doing bone marrow, which does not feel good and, you know, pricking and you know, just doing stuff almost two and three times a week, I would go in, I would have 105 fever. One day, I just couldn't pee, I couldn't urinate. And I called my doctor around two o'clock in the morning, I said, "Look, you keep saying it's taking awhile for the medication to work. I say it has been these months. And now I'm to the point I can't go to the bathroom. They found out that I had a mass on my liver. I continually had 105 and 106 fever to the point that I shook. You would actually see me lift off of the bed, because I would shake that hard and cause that much friction. My body would be burning up, my mind would be burning up, my body would be aching. It felt like my brain was just gonna split in half. I looked like I was about seven months pregnant, just swollen, my feet was swollen. My knees were swollen, my hands were swollen. I had black spots on my face. My eyes were swollen, I became photosensitive, I couldn't eat. I was just hurting. I was just hurting.

Sunny Gault  11:37  
Rene's kidneys were failing. Doctors diagnosed her with lupus. It's an autoimmune disease that occurs when your body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. According to the medical books, lupus is a devastating and life-changing disease that has no cure.

Rene Hood  11:58  
When I went into the hospital, I couldn't hardly walk. My daughter had to take me. And she was in high school. I got on a table and he examined me for about 30 minutes. He blatantly just looked at me. And he said, I thought this was going to be easy. He said, but I give you three months. You're going to be in a lot of pain, and you're gonna be gone. So I just tried to console my daughter and let my daughter know that he does not have the last word. That God has the last word. And God has not finished with her mother yet.

Sunny Gault  12:33  
Rene was admitted to the hospital where she stayed for 12 long days. There were lots of procedures, lots of tests, needles, biopsies. And for Rene, unfortunately, a lot of pain.

Rene Hood  12:49  
So on the 12th day I left the hospital, I signed out and I told them that they weren't going to kill me. That I was going home, and my God was going to give me miracles. And I got dressed and told my daughter, let's go home. I couldn't sleep, I still was in pain. I still wasn't eating then. And so I started talking to God about my diet. And he told me to take meat out of my diet. Another thing he's told me to do is take a tablespoon of olive oil on a regular basis. It took everything that I had to just stay focused to be a fighter.

Sunny Gault  13:28  
And fight, she did. It didn't happen overnight. But Rene started to regain her strength. When she became stronger, she would pace the floor, praying and reading scripture, reminding God of his promises.

Rene Hood  13:47  
Not mad at God, I'm just standing on his word and just reminding him Lord, you know, I was in Germany minding my business. Enjoying my life having a good life. And you came to me, and you said, this is what you want. And you made promises. I wouldn't have even known about these promises. But you said, hey, study this word, this is who I am. This is what you can put your faith in. And so now here I am. I got these children, and the doctors are saying I am dying. They're saying I have less than three months to live. And you started this. You started this. Now, you said you the author and finisher of my faith. I need you to finish what you started. And I would just take the word I said you say by the stripes of Jesus, I am healed. You said this. I said and then you out of your same breath you say you're not a man that you should lie, not a son of man that you need to repent but if you said it that you would do it if you spoke it, you would bring it to pass. I would go from A to Z and just quoting scriptures you know ...that you say healing is the children's bread, no good thing would you withhold from those that love you and walk up right before you. And I would tell my body You're healed. I would tell lupus, "lupus, God said whatsoever I bind on earth, he would bind in heaven. And I was beginning to say I bind up the activity of lupus. Lupus, you have no place in me that I am the temple of God, God and the Lord Jesus dwells in me. You have no place in me. You said the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in me. Whenever you're looking for me, morning, noon and night, I said you're gonna find me standing on your word. I say I have nowhere else to go. I am not looking back because there's nothing back there for me, I say, so, if you're not who you been saying you are, we're about to find out.

Sunny Gault  15:40  
Rene never went back to the hospital. And you didn't need to run any tests to see that lupus was no longer in control. Not only was Rene being healed, but she became an incredible example of what happens when faith overcomes fear. Tonya Taylor was mentored by Rene. They went to the same church, and worked in the prison ministry together. She witnessed Rene's transformation firsthand.

Tonya Taylor  16:11  
I just saw a boldness and brightness in her and it made me want to be stronger for her. I don't know, I can't explain it. It just lit something up inside of me. There were some hard times, but she kept pressing in. I think they were amazed that she could, she was there. Wow. And you're still here. Coming to preach the us? You know, you could see a lot of people being encouraged. I've seen the spirit in Rene and, and I've seen the strength in and the faith. It just showed me that His Word is true. I saw the miracle I saw her be healed in front of my eyes.

Sunny Gault  16:51  
Lillie Brown was one of many women inside the prison, whose lives were forever changed by Rene's ministry.

Lillie Brown  16:59  
I mean, it's a miracle that she was still able to do the things that she did and accomplish so much. Just looking at her as a miracle. I mean, times that she's come in sick, and swollen. You know, she came in giving testimony, and then we, we watched her and see her how, you know, she was still come in. Her voice would be like, at a whisper. And she still was, you know, coming in encouraging us and, you know, given us a word and she just totally depend on God because of her faith. And that's what you know where healing came through. She's an overcomer. You know, she's just a miracle. A walking, breathing miracle.

Rene Hood  17:35  
Not only have I've seen miracles in my life, God has used me to perform miracles in other people's lives. And so you know, with a heart full of appreciation and saying, God, who am I? And and that is my heart. You know, who am I? You know that you would use me in the capacity that you used me. I mean, it's just very humbling.  Even now. I mean, my eyes just tearing up because I'm just like, who am I? You could have picked anyone.

Sunny Gault  18:05  
So... who are you? It's an important question. And the answer has nothing to do with your name. Where you're from, your accomplishments. It's not really about who you are. It's about who's you are. For Rene, it wasn't about the military, her modeling career or the success of her ministry. It's about her testimony. Because when you know who's you are, there's nothing that can stop you. It validates that still small voice that resides within all of us. Listen closely, and you'll hear Him too. He is the God of Miracles.