The party continues!
If you missed part one of this celebration, please click here before reading farther.
And now, my testimony: part 2 — the good part!
I thought it fitting to save for today the details of precisely how God brought about the miracle which saved my life. You see, it was on February 22, 2008 that I awoke without pain, and knew it was gone forever.
The two previous years had been rough. Okay, that’s a huge understatement.
Mid-2006, the pain and pressure escalated. I was in for twelve months of nonstop torture, the second-longest episode of my life. Tripled medication dosage and two spinal taps within months of each other did little to reduce the spinal fluid.
By early 2007, I was so weak from the pain and its trauma to my body, I spent two months in bed. I often even had to crawl the few feet to my bathroom. I’d turned gray and needed a shunt, a device which consistently drains the fluid from around the brain. My neurologist was convinced I was too weak to survive the surgery.
Yes, I really am getting to the good part!
I was scared, more frightened than I’d ever been. Oh, I’d come close to dying before, a couple times. But, this was different. I wasn’t just physically exhausted and hurting. I was spiritually tired. What do I mean? It’s not easy to explain. I felt I was just fading away and wondered why I was even still alive. What purpose did I serve? I knew I needed to pray, but had no strength for it. I didn’t know what to pray for anymore. The one prayer I did manage during those months was, “God, I can’t pray. Will you help me?”
In August, I was listening to the Bible on my iPod (I couldn’t attend church because the noise was too painful.) And, a truth finally sunk in. It is always God’s desire to heal us.
I’d grown up surrounded by people who actively believed in, and had witnessed, miracles. Still, what I’d always been told was, “If it’s God’s will, He’ll heal you. If He doesn’t, maybe He’s trying to teach you or someone else something through this.”
Thing is, Jesus never said “no” to anyone who asked for healing. Matthew 4:24, Matthew 12:15, Mark 6:26. And, the Bible says God never changes (Hebrews 13:8, Romans 11:29) or gives his children something bad when they ask for something good. (Matthew 7:9-11) So, I asked God to take away the pain, this time truly believing I could boldly know He wanted to.
And, He did…. For a while.
The pain lessened, then stopped. For three months I was free! It came back, but I prayed again. It didn’t last more than a few weeks that time. I was back down to my normal dosage of medication and walking around like a normal human again.
I had a short episode in February, 2008, which ended early in the week. I was still wiped out from it on Thursday, the 21, when my family decided to attend the special meetings at church. I almost didn’t go.
The guest minister that night shared the story of ten men who had leprosy, a highly contagious, incurable disease. Jesus healed all of them and sent them off to show the priests that they could now move back into town. One of the men came back to thank Jesus, giving God glory and praise for what He had done. Jesus was amazed that only one of the ten did that. He told the man, “Your faith has made you whole.” (Luke 17:12-19)
Our guest minster had always wondered: Why did Jesus say that? He had already healed the guy. So, why would he need to repeat himself? His explanation was this: Leprosy often took a harsh toll on the body, leaving horrible scars and sometimes causing the loss of fingers, ears, etc. The man was, indeed, already healed of the disease, but any damage it had caused was still there. What Jesus did next, this minister believes, was to undo that damage. To make the man, not just healed, but whole. He performed a “creative miracle,” using the same power He wielded in creation to remake an ear, for example, if the man had lost one.
That’s when I understood my problem. I’d been asking God to take away the pain, the symptom. And, He had been answering. But, it always came back. The cause of the pain was still there. My body was still formed incorrectly, so fluid would keep building up and nerve endings would keep firing too often. I needed to ask God to remake that part of my body, so the cause was gone! God wanted to answer, I just had to ask the right question.
After my mother and I agreed together in prayer for this creative miracle, I went to bed. It was time to take my medication. The capsules were time-released, and if I was even a half-hour late in taking one, I’d wake up with horrible pain.
I held the bottle in my hand and reached for the cap. Then, two thoughts shouted inside my heart at the same time. (No, It wasn’t an audible voice, but it might as well have been.) If you take this, you are saying you still need it, so the miracle you asked for didn’t happen. Or… The miracle you asked for did happen, so taking this will hurt you. (Too little spinal fluid is just as bad as too much).
My response? “Really, God? I just got back down to my normal dose and you want me to quit taking it?” But, I knew. If I took that medicine, I was either killing my own faith with doubt and nullifying the prayer I’d just said, or the medicine was going to be a danger to my body.
One of the hardest, scariest things I’ve ever done was to put that bottle, unopened, back in the medicine cabinet.
When I awoke, pain-free, on February 22, I knew my prayer had been answered. A week later, I told my mother what I’d done. Still pain-free. Four months later, when I’d gone longer without pain than I had in 21 years – even on the meds – I started telling everyone else.
I’m not advocating that people randomly stop their medications. Far from it! God uses medicine to save lives. For me, in this instance, it was an act of faith I needed to perform to keep my faith alive and to show God’s glory. The meds didn’t stop the pain. He did. According to the Bible, faith without corresponding action is dead. (James 2:26)
So, now you know the rest of the story. Four years after Jesus reversed the curse of pain, it is still, and forever, gone! My energy is constantly increasing. Even the hair i’d lost due to medication is being restored. I’ve come to understand that, some healing is instant, some gradual. The miracle just keeps on going!