I had my first major surgery at 15.
After decades of dealing with double rotational scoliosis, I’d had three major surgeries and many years of dealing with pain and discomfort. However, things were at a manageable level and I was able to live my life.
My husband and I had recently returned from a trip to Myanmar, during which we decided to relocate there from the United States. We planned on moving our family to Myanmar in six-months time, enough time to travel around the United States, and say good-byes to friends and to prepare our family to live on the other side of the world.
Shortly after the trip, I began having pain. It started in my knee, worked its way up to my hip, and finally, settled into that all too familiar back pain. My doctor said a major surgery was needed.
Not only was I frustrated and somewhat concerned about the surgery, but I was also worried about what this would do to our timeline of moving to Myanmar. The surgery would require several weeks of recovery, which was not ideal for preparing to move across the world. We knew my health was important, so we scheduled the surgery and pushed back the date of our move.
In the meantime, my doctor prescribed me some heavy-duty pain medicine. I wasn’t thrilled about being on prescription pain medication, but I knew the pain I was experiencing was too much to deal with on a daily basis. When it came time to refill my prescription, my doctor, knowing my hesitancy to take strong medication, advised me to taper off of the pain medication and begin taking an over-the-counter medication for the pain.
In the meantime, we were still planning our move. Those closest to us knew I was having surgery, and many, many people in our community of faith were praying for my pain and praying for healing. We knew we would have to go through with the surgery, but we also did not want it to interfere with our plans.
As I transitioned to the over-the-counter medication I noticed I was needing less and less of it. What had begun as a double dose was slowly decreasing to only one or two pills per day. I was afraid to stop entirely, but I was also amazed at how my pain seemed to be lessening.
One morning, I started packing. Because of the surgery, we weren’t scheduled to move for another two months, but I had an urge to pack. Without realizing it, I had not taken my pain medication that morning. I did not have any pain. My husband and I were shocked, confused as to how it seemed to disappear completely.
After talking to the doctor, we determined because I was no longer in any pain, there was no need to perform the surgery. I was stunned; I was shocked our plans would not have to change, I would not need major surgery, and we could move to Myanmar when we originally planned!
Even more shocking was the way God’s hand had been on my situation the entire time. My daughter had been praying, “God, thank you for healing Mommy,” when I was still experiencing pain. I had many friends who had been praying for me, and while I had been asking God to heal me from my pain, my faith had often faltered. What I watched unfold over the next several weeks was how those around me had faith when I didn’t. God worked through the faith of others to bring me healing when my own faith faltered.
I often post Bible verses around my home so my family and I will be reminded of God’s faithfulness. It also helps me in memorizing Scripture. One of the verses I had been memorizing for months was Matthew 9:21-22 when Jesus healed the bleeding woman. The passage says, “For she kept saying to herself, “If only I touch his cloak, I will be healed.” But when Jesus turned and saw her he said, “Have courage, daughter! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed from that hour.”
It took me a few days to recognize the connection. For months I had been memorizing verses about God healing a woman on the basis of her faith. God healed her when she was sick, abandoned, and cast out from society. He met her need and healed her.
Since that time, I have not had any pain in my back. God completely healed me five years ago. Not only that, but He also allowed me to see His goodness and His faithfulness, even in the midst of my unbelief. He is faithful to help us no matter what measure of faith we have. No matter our circumstance, He is willing to heal, comfort, and bring the fullness of joy.