The following is what has elapsed for Kevin and Pat since last Wednesday, in their own voices:
We have incredible news to tell you. I've hesitated just a bit in writing but what we're seeing happen is undeniable and quite dramatic, so I guess it's time to share. Plus, we're just plain anxious to let you know.
God has miraculously healed Pat.
Yeah, I really did just phrase it that way, but I chose my words carefully. Let's recap. Pat has spent the last nine months nearly bedridden due to a strange movement disorder. At best she might have two or three days a week where she could be out of bed for more than a couple of hours. Usually such activity resulted in involuntary muscle contractions in her arms, face, and sometimes her legs, along with a crushing fatigue. If she stayed prone in bed, everything was sorta "fine", but never good. After seeing several specialists, we still had no definite diagnosis and the suggested treatment plan was wait-and-see-if-it-goes-away, which we had been doing since winter. And the part we hadn't even said to each other but both had noticed -- the minimal improvement we'd seen seemed to have plateaued a couple of months ago and she wasn't getting better.
Until, that is, last Wednesday night.
There’s a passage in the Bible that tells Christians suffering from illness (as in, beyond the help of medicine and the body’s normal restorative power) to “call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord”. We’re told the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well. Understand, this isn’t magic or some superstitious mumbo jumbo but a turning to God in faith for healing done in a way that gives the credit where due – with God and only God.
“Kevin sat on my bed Wednesday afternoon and confronted me with a heart issue he thought he might be seeing…namely that I was not expecting much from the prayer time that night. He was right (he often is; my pride is not always served by that fact). I told him I thought that hundreds of people had been praying for me for months now and that God gave this to me and He would take it away when He was ready. But I saw what he was saying and said I would think about it. I had to confess, I didn’t think God would do a miracle for me. That wasn’t faithfulness. I spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening thinking, praying and confessing.”
Wednesday night the pastors of our new church came over and five of us prayed together as outlined above.
“When they were praying over me I heard God speaking to me and telling me that He was going to give me the Joy as if I were healed. That the joy would show through my eyes and countenance, for others to see. I had a giant smile on my face. He didn’t say He was going to heal me, and that was ok with me, just that I would have the joy as if He had. I remember telling Him at the time that was enough for me and I was praying for the others praying there to understand and feel that joy too. He also told me I needed to confess that I had hardened my heart toward Him in believing He could heal me. And I did. And finally, He asked if I was ready to let this go? That was a bit of a surprise to me and made me think that life had been pretty pressure free like this, and being well would bring new responsibilities. But after brief reflection, I told Him, ‘yes!’”
It was a beautiful hour together and when they left, our girl was still tremoring. But something was clearly different, and as we went to bed that night I could see something in her eyes that I hadn’t seen in nine months. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I could see in her face something had changed big-time.
The next day was incredible. Pat was up and walking around freely and even doing some light work, all before even taking her morning medicines. Normally she had to lay quiet in bed until nearly lunch before she could engage in much. When I left for a lunch meeting, Pat announced she was coming with me, too. In fact, she ended up tagging along for three meetings and a coffee as we were gone all afternoon, the cane now relegated to fashion accessory. Normally such a round of activity would have wiped her out for nearly a week, but the next day it was more of the same as we were out and about for much of the day. This time the cane stayed home.
“After two days of being well, I still had a great big smile on my face and I was amazed that God would do such a thing for me! Frankly, Kevin and I were both stunned! It reminded me of something Brandon had said when he was at our house last Wed. night…one of the times Jesus healed someone was because of the faith of his friends who lowered him on his bed through the roof to get to Jesus. I am so grateful for the faith of my friends, my husband and Jesus. I have always had faith that this was of God and that it was up to him to take it away as His purposes were served. But I also remember that He told me He would get the glory even if I only had joy from Him.”
Sometimes, you don’t know what you’ve been missing until it reappears. For me one of the wow-iest moments in this was when we were walking into the mall Friday for lunch. I glanced over at Pat and she was walking normally. Not just her speed, but her gait. I’d gotten used to her walking stiffly and hunched. Now, she walked with zest. Big wow.
“Every day I wake up I wonder if it will continue. I am not the same as I was nine months ago. Weak for one thing, and for some reason none of my clothes fit! But I will be working on getting back the strength and endurance. I get a bit scared when I am tired, but then Kevin reminds me that this is normal, and he is tired, too!”
You’ll surely hear more in the coming days and weeks. But for now, thank you for you continued prayer, support, and encouragement during this long nine months for us. And join us as we echo the phrase in Luke after Jesus brought a miracle to a hopeless situation. “And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.” Praise His name.
“Praise His holy name, indeed! To God alone be the glory!”