Faith, the key to my emotional health

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Faith... how I live

The October afternoon when I hung up the telephone with the doctor who wanted to help me, telling me that he couldn’t, my heart was heavy. Not for myself, but rather for him and the others who had genuine pain because they could not help me. In their minds I had no hope. And that is what the facts ultimately verified.

In November 1992, several weeks later, I spoke on the phone with the pulmonary specialist who worked with the scolio surgeon, to review pulmonary function tests. This was the doctor who believed I could die if I got sick again, and as we talked it was evident a cold was dropping down into my chest. I could tell the doctor was having a difficult time as he told me that even if they had operated on me to release my chest cavity, my breathing would not have been any better as my lungs were atrophied.

But what all these doctors and nurses did not know is that I knew I would live because I had facts which transcend the physical facts. I wrote a letter to the pulmonary doctor, trying to convey to him what I had shared with the scolio surgeon during the weeks he dealt with trying to help me. My hope was to ease his mind where I was concerned.

My Facts.

I have shared the physical facts on this website, how one group of medical professionals jerked me around and would have surely killed me if I had not acted in my own behalf. The first death sentence came out of that time. Then there was the other group of medical professionals who reached out to me while I was minding my own business, to try to save my life... and for free. Both dealt with my quest to breathe, that which this website is all about. And both brought into my life a death sentence.

The first time I received the sentence, I felt like my life was being aborted. The second time around was different because I was different. The second time it was as if I was enveloped by a force field that protected my soul, and others were seeing it and did not know what it was they saw.

A warm Sunday evening, June 28, 1992, I was outside working in my yard. I had one of the prettiest yards in Ash Flat, Arkansas. I remember like it was yesterday, I had mud all over me from where I had soaked the ground to pull weeds from the flower bed that wrapped around a maple tree that I had planted. And I do mean that I planted it. Myself. I dug the hole, struggling with what we called Arkansas potatoes... huge rocks and boulders. My little red wagon was my wheel barrel. I had planted two maple trees, in fact. And a Magnolia tree that I named Maggie. Plus six Bradford Pear Trees. By myself. And I also dug rocks out of flower beds.

I had calluses on my hands from all that digging. And the doctor who wanted to help me, he would look at my breathing function tests and remember feeling the calluses on my hands and he would shake his head in disbelief. The two didn’t fit... 11% functional breathing capacity and calluses on my hands from working in my yard. But... back to that Sunday evening.

There was not much day light left. I stood up to wipe the sweat off my forehead, lifting my heart up to the Lord in the process. I don’t understand how these things work, but I knew at that moment that I would live and not die. I argued with the Lord over that, telling Him it was okay, I did not mind departing. It would be so easy to leave and be with the Lord, harder to stay and live.

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13

But it was like the peace of the Lord overwhelmed me with a deep knowing that I was to live. It was like an instruction. And to be obedient I was required to simply believe in that fact, no matter what the physical facts said otherwise. And so I did. And I voiced my belief to the doctors. And consequently these wonderful medical professionals deemed me to be living in denial to the truth.

Truth proves itself.

I referred a friend to see this doctor a couple years ago, and he helped her. Her spine was in such a bad state that she could hardly stand up, but today she is straight. She mentioned me to him and he remembered me. Told my friend that I was their miracle.

Because I had calluses on my hands? Partly. And because I had no pain. Never. The doctor looked at a scan of my ribs and questioned why I had no pain. Evidently I should have had lots of it, according to the medical facts in front of him.

The fact I functioned in society blew them away on two counts. First, the emotional trauma that goes hand in hand with physical deformities was not evident. And second, the physical pain should be so great that I could not function in society. But I was free from both.

The churches I attended over the years would on the whole look at me and see unbelief because I was not healed. It was okay for folks to wear glasses, somehow, and take aspirin for headaches, but I was not supposed to be crooked. I was all for that, but you know, I can’t make God do anything.

But I learned something wonderful through these people who tried to help me live. When they saw me, they saw the hand of God. They saw a miracle. They looked at the facts and were blown away. The surgeon, according to Cindy, could not understand my faith, my lack of fear. She said the surgeon had operated on super-Christians to atheists. He told her the Christians talked a lot and told him he needs to get saved, and then they turn out to be whimps. But he saw something different with me. He saw action, not words. Somehow he saw my belief, and he did not understand.

Learning this was like a gift. It was then that I realized what my Father God had done for me when I ran to him at 16 years of age to help me cope with my entrapment in a crooked body. And I am exceedingly thankful to Him for His kindness to me.

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