Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Giving Credit Where It's Due

For those of you who have been praying for my sister's healing from her recent abdominal surgery, I just wanted to let you know that she is doing much better. Although her road to recovery will be long and frustrating, I know God is walking right beside her.

align="justify">To give a little history - Christie has Multiple Schlerosis, and was diagnosed about 10 years ago. This most recent surgery was due to serious intestinal issues, which resulted in her having to have her colon removed and her intestines reconnected. The surgery was very extensive, but the surgeons felt it went well.
Strangely, about one week after her surgery, she was experiencing extreme swelling and bloating in her belly, which turned out to be a very advanced, potentially life threatening, serious strand of an ecoli infection.


She was rushed into surgery again with little warning, the incision was reopened, her abdominal cavity was cleaned out, and the wound was left open to avoid further infection. The surgery was supposed to last about 30 minutes, but took over three hours. We were worried sick, with our minds only to think the worst.

Finally, the surgeon came out to give us the dreary update.
He informed us that 1) they had no idea where the infection came from, 2) they were unable to remove all the pockets of infection due to risk to her life, 3) they were not exactly sure how to treat the remaining infection, and 4) she would become severely ill before she got better, possibly warranting a move to ICU. The worst was yet to come, it was merely a waiting game.


Could things get any worse? Had she not suffered enough over the past ten years with a mountain of health problems and personal disappointments? Did she really deserve this? I knew in my heart that God doesn't' want her to suffer. I knew I had to trust Him, even though I didn't understand. All I had left in me to do was pray. Pray. And then pray some more. After standing in a circle over my sister's hospital bed that night, holding hands with my mother, brother, and sister in law, we prayed over Christie and asked God to show her mercy, and make His presence known in this trial.


I went home and sent emails to our entire church family, my Proverbs 31 family, my friends and extended family, and pretty much everyone in my email contacts list, pleading for their prayers. I received dozens of emails with precious, powerful prayers in written form, all lifting Christie up to the heavens. With each prayer received, I felt a sense of peace. My human heart still burdened, as my faith was strengthening.


The outpouring of love for her was unbelievable. In fact, we had to ask people to stop coming to visit her for a few days, because she was too tired and in too much pain to talk anymore! But all the while, we waited for her to get sick. We waited for her fever to spike. We waited for the news of the dreaded ICU move. We waited anxiously for the worst to hit.


But the worst never came.


Just as the doctors couldn't explain where the infection came from, they couldn't explain where it went. After a few days, she was in a lot of pain, but no signs of additional infection showed up in her blood stream. She never ran a fever, never got sick, never left her regular room. Her doctor said he had never seen such a quick recovery occur from such a life threatening situation.


Praise God!! Only He can be given credit. Only He could reach into the depths of her innermost frail body and eliminate infection that was once growing and thriving. Only the hundreds and hundreds of prayers that pierced God's ears could be the reason for this miracle.


I always believed God was capable of miracles and that He does them every day, but always found myself wondering why He wasn't giving my sister a miracle. Why wasn't He healing from her MS? Why didn't He give her a break already? If for no other reason that I can think of, it is to allow us to truly see Him at work. I saw Him. I felt Him. I love Him and praise Him. I am reassured that He is He, even if He doesn't answer my prayers exactly the way I ask.


Today Christie had another doctor's appointment with her MS doctor. Her MRI from February showed no additional lesions on her brain stem since last year - praise God! The form of MS that she has is very progressive, so this is a huge praise. And another miracle.


This evening, I spoke with a home health care provider who is going to help care for Christie in her home for the next few weeks. Gloria, her name is, glorified God during our entire conversation. I am confident that her beautiful love for the Lord and encouraging spirit will help bring my sister out of the pit she is in, and into His light again to help her see that He is still present.
Gloria also told me how she has been helping care for her sister lately...... who just had colon removal surgery. Coincidence? I don't think so!


Praise God. He is still alive and working. We simply must give Him credit everywhere it is due.


I would covet your continued prayers for my sister, Christie Widenhouse. If you leave your prayers on my blog, I will print them and share them with her, maybe they can be something that she saves in her journal as a precious stepping stone that helped her find healing - spiritually and physically. Your prayers have already made a difference. God bless.

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3 comments:

Welcome to EncourageMeNews! said...

Tracie, I came to your blog today after reading your July 3rd post for Encouragement for Today. I'm wondering if I could publish your article on my EncourageMeNews blog, or is it copywritten? Your article is well written, has a strong faith message, and I believe it would be an encouragement to those who read our blog. The audience for our blog is currently my church, Beechwold Christian Church in Columbus Ohio. Another sister in Christ and I are starting a grass roots "movement" to enfuse our congregation with encouragement and help them to minister to others by encouraging. To see the EncourageMeNews blog, go to http://encouragemenews.blogspot.com/

Also, I will pray for your sister. My grandmother had MS. It's a difficult disease that truly takes a physical and mental toll.

Barbara k said...

Pray this out loud over Christie.

Dear Lord,

I thank you for our sister Christie. Thank you for helping her through this difficult time. Lord your word tells us
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
NIV Lord, I do hang out with you. Where else would we go? You are our only hope in this world and beyond. Thank you Jesus for what you did for us!
Lord we stand on the truth of Your Word. You are the Faithful and True witness. Lord, we ask for a physical healing miracle in Christie's life. Lord she wants to raise her children with greater mobility, walk on the beach, and enjoy many years of good health giving you praise every step of her life here on earth. O God, please do this for Christie. Blow us all away with your power. All she needs is the touch of the Great Physician and this disease has to go. I pray this in Your Wonderful Name Jesus,
Amen

gallerhea said...

Thank you for your testimony about Christie. I will be agreeing in prayer for her continued healing.

My mom was one of those "medical mysteries" too. From the time she was a small child, God had his hand on her life, saving her from severe Rheumatic Fever at under age 2. (The doctor signed her death certificate at a home visit--imagine his shock at seeing her alive, with her mother, at the store, several months later!!!)

God also brought her through being struck by lightening around age 8--she was found at least 1/2 hour later, with her hand still clasping the water pump handle! She had her rubber boots on, and was on a mission to feed and water the animals on the farm when the lightening struck.

She grew up and became the mother of 6, and the Grandmother of many!

Her childhood illnesses were not without medical fallout, however, in her later years.

When I was in grade school, I watched my mother battle what I now know was depression and anxiety (but was too young to understand at the time). She loved God, but still battled hopelessness at times.

When I was in high school, my mother was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. In the winter of my senior year, I was faced with the news that my mom was expected to have less than six months to live. She could not walk from the living room couch to the bathroom without gasping for breath. She spent weeks on end on the living room couch, too weak to do all the things I was accustomed to seeing her doing. (Mom was one of those CONSTANTLY-on-the-go type of people, if you know what I mean).

My mom's faith stayed intact, even in the midst of a terminal diagnosis. She read her Bible whenever she could, and she prayed constantly.

God heard her, and by the summer of that year, she was improving! She steadily got her strength back, and she defied medical science by living another 15 YEARS!

My prayer for Christie is that she will find rest, comfort and healing in the loving arms of Jesus. I love all the names for Jesus--Wonderful Counselor, Savior, Emannuel (God with us), Prince of Peace.

God bless you.
-Rhea
gallerhea@yahoo.com