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Archive for December, 2012

Back from the Dead

This has been an unusual fall for us.  We have been intensely busy with weekend guests and activities and commitments and somewhere during all that craziness my body decided to revolt.  It started with a very hard flu/cold with fever, weakness and cough and congestion.  After a week or so, I thought that was that and dug right back in.  A few weeks later while in Indiana helping with my aging mother, it hit even harder.

Now, I rarely get sick with colds and flu.  Before this fall I cannot tell you the last time I had a sniffle.  Because of other health issues, I take bee pollen and other vitamin supplements and so just don’t catch the things going around.  But this year it caught ME—big time!

I drove home from Indiana (to my husband’s distress and trembling fear).  Rick was on the phone to me every 15 minutes all day long to make sure I was alert and awake.  With the protection of God and His angels, I made it safely crossing Ohio and some of West Virginia on back roads which took longer but I knew I wasn’t thinking sharply enough to risk traffic.  God’s grace was on us and I made it home safely and saw my doctor (who is also my dear friend) on Monday morning.  She told me I needed rest and lots of it.

I rested.  I slept I think for two or three days and nights almost straight through and continued for days afterward sleeping and just reading and watching movies curled up in lots of blankets.  It’s always been hard to be that still for me and I was “chomping at the bit” to get back to keeping house and taking care of my husband.  During all this time, my head felt dull and slow, but last weekend I started really feeling confused.  Saturday night Rick called Mary and told her my symptoms.  She gave him some advice and said let’s chat at church tomorrow unless something changes.

I muddled through church feeling totally wrapped in God’s arms, but not understanding exactly what all was going on.  Afterwards we chatted with Mary a while and left her in tears.  She was certain I’d had a stroke.  She said to meet her at the office the next morning and we agreed—or Rick did.  By then I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing.

Sunday afternoon was hard.  I tried reading and could make no sense of what I read.  I tried watching a movie and it also made no sense at all.  I tried playing my favorite computer game (Free Cell) and couldn’t figure it out, so most of the day I either slept or sat staring into space.

Sometime, in the wee hours of the morning Monday morning, God healed me!  I woke around 2:30 a.m. still so confused I couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to get up, or go to the bathroom or stay in bed.  I eventually dozed back off to sleep.  Sometime after 4:00 I woke and went to the bathroom.  As I sat there, suddenly I realized I could think straight!  Everything made sense to me!  I wanted to cry.  I wanted to laugh out loud.  I wanted to shout.  But I didn’t want to wake my husband, so I walked to the kitchen and looked out at the moonlight over the backyard thinking all sorts of things, but mostly just realizing that everything made sense to me!

Rick had heard me get up, and when I went to the kitchen instead of coming back to bed, he assumed I’d gotten ‘lost’, so he called out to me:  “Judi, are you alright?”  As soon as I heard his voice I ran to him and said, “Rick, I can think!  I understand things!  I have my mind back!”  I told him what had happened and we immediately prayed together to thank God for my healing.

We went to the doctor’s office as planned to let Mary see the change in me.  She did all sorts of tests (which I passed with flying colors) and finally said, “I think you’ve been healed!”  My father-in-law told us that morning that he’d awakened around 2:30 and started praying for me and prayed the rest of the night.  As we sat there, Mary said she’d awakened at around 2:30 and was praying for me.  We know of many others that were praying on Sunday and into the night.  And I know God heard and answered!

Yesterday and today I keep thinking that I had taken so MANY gifts from God for granted—as though I have the right to those things.  Things like thinking and seeing and loving and being loved and hearing words of tenderness and a child’s voice as it speaks innocence we take for granted—until it’s gone.  I admit, I’ve never thanked God that I could think and reason before this weekend.  I seldom think to thank God for my wonderful husband’s tender care—in fact, I admit to being annoyed by his hovering ways sometimes.  How dare I?  Today I think I’ll never ever take those things for granted again.  But will I?

When Hezekiah was dying and asked God to lengthen his life and God granted his request, he was grateful—at first.  Later he was showing off the things he’d accumulated as though his whole life and being was due to his own goodness.  And God took it all from him.  I’ve been reading through the old testament this fall and yesterday I read In I Chronicles 14:2:  “And David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and that his kingdom had been highly exalted for the sake of his people Israel.”  This stood out to me yesterday.  David was a smart man.  He was a good man.  He loved God with his whole heart and he loved his country.  But he knew that God didn’t establish him as king because he deserved the honor.  God hadn’t exalted his kingdom because he loved David.  David was smart enough to know God blessed his reign for the sake of His people Israel whom He loved dearly.  David was a servant and he knew that.

I’m not stupid enough to think that God healed me because I deserved it, or because He loves me more than others.  God chose to heal me in answer to the prayers of His children.  I am blessed that so many cared enough to pray.  But I am truly blessed that God heard their prayers and chose to answer because He loves them and loves to hear us call out to Him.

And now today I thank Him for His mercy and healing, but most of all, I pray that my life will make a difference in the world around me.  I pray that God will use me to serve His people in new ways—NOT because I’m good (because I’m not!), but because He is merciful and amazing.

And now, I am enjoying the sunshine and the breeze and the fact that I can do my housework today.  And I just can’t quit smiling.  I wonder…did Lazarus feel like this?

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