As far back as I can recall, worrying has been what I did. I worried about everything, such as, Will I like the dinner my Mom was making tonight? When would my next asthma attack come on and interrupt my daily life plans? I Have had an extremely bad case of asthma since 6 months old. Not the kind of asthma where someone pulls out an inhaler every so often, but so bad that I needed very high doses of steroids to even somewhat control it. So bad that when they tried to lower my steroid dose twice I ended up on a ventilator fighting for my life.
After many years of taking this medication that was meant to save my life, it was taking its toll on many other parts of my body. One of these parts were my bones. In my early teens osteoporosis struck & I soon forgot what it was like to live a day without physical pain. Somehow I began to feel as if I worried enough about my health that I had it under control when in reality I had not experienced enough of life yet to know how little control I had. Until Valentine’s Day of my Junior year in college when my life as I knew it was about to be thrown the fastest curveball I had ever seen.
Being able to go to college in my hometown and blessed enough to be able to live on campus for the full college experience was a dream come true. As I was picking up laundry at home, I tripped and went down so hard & fast that I broke my femur. The break was so bad I needed surgery to fix it.
Well the surgery was not a success to say the least. After seven hours of a surgery that was supposed to take 3, my parents were told I would not be able to walk again. My life had changed in that split second and the worst realization was that I had absolutely no control over this.
Wow, how could this happen? I must have asked many times. How could my life go from living out on my own in a college dorm. I thought I was going to be a psychologist and counsel children and teens that needed an ear to listen. Only one year was left until graduation. At this point I felt so terribly lost. I thought I wasn’t even close to finding my way & at the time it was the last thing on my mind.
Those next five years of my life were honestly some of my hardest. My three younger siblings all had a life of school, friends, etc. Being in bed most of the time due to multiple infections the surgery left me with was basically my life during this season. This led to lots of physical pain as well. One thing I remember that my Mom made happen during this time, was every night we would all sit down at the dinner table to eat together. We always did this growing up so my Mom was trying to give us all some normalcy. However, normal was far from what it was. Each night my siblings would sit and wait for me to get into my wheelchair with my Mom’s help and much effort. I wanted to eat together so badly, but the pain it all caused got to be too much. such high doses of pain meds were given to me & at times took only a little pain away. So many antibiotics were pumped into my veins also. Honestly, with all that strong medication, beyond all the medical facts during this time much of it is a blank. It is like I have 5 whole years of my life that barely happened, but yet they did. It was with the prompting of my brother that led my parents and I to seek a second opinion. The doctor. that we met with worked out of a very well known orthopedic hospital in New York City. He met with us and said he was convinced there was a good chance that I could walk again if I had a couple of surgeries. Many thoughts and feelings were racing through my mind. Since no doctor. mentioned this, wasn’t it a huge risk? At the same time, happiness filled my heart at the thought of walking again. For me there was one thing only I could do--take the risk and recall what the following Bible passage says.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
For me this passage means just as it says, to trust God with your whole heart and by taking this risk that is what I figured out I had to do. It also says not to lean on your own understanding. I didn’t understand why this opportunity to have these surgeries were presenting themselves now, but I don’t have to get it if I trust Christ.
I went through with the scary decision to go through with the two surgeries. First, he did a surgery to put antibiotic beads in my leg that would wipe out any infection left there & to fix my broken my femur. Weeks later, after the beads had done their job, I went in for a hip replacement. After the surgery it suddenly hit me that I really was going to walk again. The reason I knew is hard to explain. It was definitely the Holy Spirit who touched me.
As I lay in the recovery room early the next morning. The start of a new day was beginning as I slowly saw the sunrise as beams of sunlight came through beautiful big windows. I was alone almost in silence except for monitors beeping around me & due to this I decided to put on my headphones. One of my Christian playlists was what I decided to put on as a way to relax & praise God for getting me through this surgery so well. One of my now favorite songs started playing called “Ten Thousand Angels Cried”. I heard the song dozens of times. In this moment, iIt was as if I was hearing the words for the first time. A rush came over my entire body. This time it wasn’t a rush of intense physical pain like the ones I recall in my recent past years. No, this was an enormous rush of peace. That is the only way I can really describe it. It surprised me as much as the fall I took that day I broke my femur. Without warning I began to cry harder than I had in a long time. Everything was suddenly being released. I began to feel free from all the pain, loss, and loneliness that built up inside of me in those few moments. Laying there crying I felt safe--at peace. I think I was feeling God’s arms wrapped around me ever so tightly. All along I believe they were there, but I was just too numb to feel them.
As I lay there in that moment I cannot explain why or how, but I just knew that I was going to walk again. When people have asked me if I believe miracles happen, I tell them that I believe they do. You need faith to recognize they are miracles. I would not be able to walk today if God had not given me this miracle.A few weeks later I was able to take my first few steps; it felt like something surreal was happening. When you haven’t taken a step in five years, it is like you have never walked before. Once again my eyes welled with tears of true joy and happiness.Since this time in my life, I have been able to recognize so many other miracles and ways God has helped get me through hard times. Now one of the ways I cope with my worrying is by recalling all the times in the past when God has helped me through very hard circumstances. I reflect on them in my mind for a couple minutes or sometimes I’ll even write them all down. This helps me remember that God does have it all under control. I will turn to read the passage
Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”
To me this passage means that God will always take care of us. Also it reminds me that by worrying we can’t add any time to our lives, so basically we are wasting precious minutes doing so.
As for the smaller things I worried about throughout life, that is what they have become for me -- small things. Worrying about them is just wasting my time. So I now have learned some ways to manage worrying about my health when it comes up, but I am going to be honest by saying it is something I do still struggle with. My first response is usually worrying but I now catch myself many times and use my ways to manage my thoughts. The most important thing I learned from this, is that worrying nor anything else has control as far as what happens in our lives now or down the road. The one who is in control is Christ. Just like it’s telling us in Luke 12:25, “Not one of us by worrying can add a single hour to our lives”, so let’s humble ourselves enough to realize we don’t have that control.”
By writing this I wanted to let you know that there is always hope. No matter how dark of a season of your life you are in, there is always that stream of light that can come through the big glass window, that 1st glimpse of sunlight that hits the ocean at sunrise. You just have to have faith that God has His arms around you. Having those couple surgeries I took that leap of faith and God was right there, just waiting to catch me.
Below is the link to the video for the LeAnn Rimes song called “Ten Thousand Angels Cried” . This video alone can move you to tears with it’s beautiful and ever so real pictures portraying God’s love for us all. The lyrics also tell us how hard it must have been for God to watch His only Son die so that all of us will have eternal life with Him. There is not much more hope He can give us than THIS!!!
by Melissa Winters
Melissa is a member of the loved and blessed ladies community who strives to deepen her knowledge & faith in Jesus Christ daily. As a warrior, she has battled with Chronic illness & its many effects her entire life. On her own or enjoying the company of family & good friends, she enjoys writing, music, reading, and participating on retreat teams and Bible studies. A few of her loves in life are the ocean (LBI New Jersey being a favorite), laughing, & her 8 nieces and nephews.