by Allison Egley
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The song “Cares Chorus” by Kelly Willard talks about how we can cast all of our cares on God. It comes straight from scripture, in 1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV) where it says “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” The song has so much meaning in it, especially to a third grader going through a hard time.
Throughout my life, I have had various medical problems. Although the pregnancy and birth were mostly uneventful, shortly after I was born, I stopped eating. No one really knows why. Except God. I was tube fed for awhile, and finally I started eating on my own once again. I was far behind my peers in my physical development. Whether this and my eating habits were related, and whether any of my other medical problems are related, no one knows. Except God. Next, in kindergarten, I had eye muscle surgery. It really wasn’t a big deal, but as a kindergartner, I grew increasingly tired of explaining for what seemed like the thousandth time why I had a patch over one of my eyes. Next, I was placed on growth hormone therapy. I received injections of human growth hormone three to seven times a week. This would continue until adolescence. I was never diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency, but they could find no other reason for my short stature. I was part of a research group to determine whether growth hormone was effective for those not diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency. Why I was so short with no apparent reason, no one knows. Except God.
The next big medical event in my life happened when I was in third grade. While checking for something completely unrelated, the doctors discovered that my hips were out of the sockets and had probably been that way for years. I never experienced pain, which surprised everyone. Except God. Shortly afterwards I was scheduled to have hip surgery. If I didn’t have it then, it would have likely caused major problems by the time I was a teenager. Why my hips were out of the sockets, no one knows. Except God.
On January 5, 1993, I had surgery to put both hips back in the sockets. For about six weeks after that, I was in a body cast. My legs were spread apart in a V shape. The cast went up both legs, then up past my hips, to the bottom of my rib cage. I could not walk, stand, or even sit upright for those six weeks. Those six weeks, and the time leading up to the surgery were hard for me. I drew some of my strength from the song “Cares Chorus.” The same God who knew then and knows now all the intricate parts of my body, the same God who knows exactly why I had those various medical problems, could give me strength. I could cast all of my worries, all of my fears, all of my anxieties on Him. I didn’t have to worry! This meant so much to me. This doesn’t mean I was never scared. Of course I was scared when the nurses wheeled me into the operating room. Of course I was scared when I first started to learn to walk again after the cast was taken off. Of course I was scared when I returned to school after two or three months of being away from my classmates. But I knew that God was in control. He would take care of all of my worries no matter what. If I didn’t know what to do, He did.
One doctor once told my parents that he wasn’t sure if I would live. I did. Some doctors said that if I did live, I would have multiple disabilities, including learning disabilities. I don’t. In fact, I graduated from high school with a 4.1 GPA and college with a 3.9 GPA. I was frequently sick as a child, yet I graduated from high school with perfect attendance for all four years. No one expected that. Except God. Even now, whenever I hear "Cares Chorus" I am reminded that the same God who made the universe cared enough to send a special song to a third grade girl who needed some comfort. No one expected that. Except God.
It seems that now, nearly twenty years later, God has seen fit to add another "Except God" moment to my life. In January 2010, I started having hip pain in my left hip. It started out very minor, and I tried to ignore it. Due to my earlier problems, I wanted to just pretend it wasn't happening. It soon got to the point where I could no longer ignore it. On May 3, 2011, I was diagnosed with severe arthritis of the left hip. No one expected that.... Except God. At that point, I was told I was already a candidate for hip replacement surgery, and had hip replacement surgery on February 13, 2013. No one expected that I would need hip replacement before I turned 30. Except God.
Over the past few months, God has brought the song "Cares Chorus" back into my life. I still love the "Psalty" version I first learned, even though it's the "kids" version of the song. I know I will be clinging to the promises of that song and 1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV) over the next few months. No one expected the exact same song to bring me such comfort twenty years later, as I face a similar situation. Except God.
Because of what God has already brought me through in my life, I know that He will be there for me, and He will get me through all of life's trials. I don't know what the future holds for me. No one does. Except God.
This is a revised version of the original essay I wrote. The original essay included the song lyrics, but since I don't have permission to use them, I can't post them. I hope to post the original version if and when I get copyright permissions. I have also added the ending about the recent "Except God" moment.
You are free to use this article anywhere, but please let me know you are using it. I like to know where my writing is being used.
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Wow, wow, wow. It was great to see your response to the events that took place in your life. God is faithful. I enjoyed this article. So often we only thank God because He did something that we wanted. Once I fractured my ankle and I prayed that God would heal me right away. It did not happen. I was in college and I felt limited in what I could do. Before my injury I was only thinking about getting good grades in school, but that injury gave me a heart. I began to notice the pain of others around me. I began to be able to relate - to feel others' pains. My injury was my blessing in disguise. Thank you so much for sharing. Your article was a blessing. Sometimes our struggles are to help us to be used by God to help others. Continue to help others.
This was an entry that although it several things that one could be concerned about over the years, every time I reached the words... except God, I smiled. This was so well done. You explained the medical issues in your life, yet you didn't dwell on them and gave all the glory to our Lord and Saviour when you explained in those two little words, that no one else knew what was going on in your body... except God. The only thing I would point out, and it is just something my little brain wraps around at times, and that is that in one of your sentences you used the number 6, but in the very beginning of the next sentence, you had written six out. I'd say you can't have it both ways and if I were to choose one way or the other, it would always be to write out the number. Other than that, I absolutely found your entry to be good medicine for my soul. It was indeed worth the long wait in my reading it and commenting on it. Excellent writing!
Allison, thank you for sharing your testimony of faith. I've no doubt you've encouraged more people and touched more lives than than anyone could imagine. Except God. Bless you for Glorifying Him.
This brought tears to my eyes. It's amazing how God can turn hardships into wonderful things. Instead of growing bitter you decided to give it to God. Your testimony has been read by thousands. By touching those lives, those people touched Others and God has used your unusual body and wonderful words to literally reach out to countless people. The only thing Ican add is AMEN!
Incredible testimony! I am praying for you!
Allison, This is an incredibly moving testimony. I cannot even express how much it moved me. If it's okay with you, sometime I would like to use it for my Lifesong in the Limelight on Saturdays at my blog. I know it would really touch my readers. Thank you for your vulnerability and authenticity in sharing this. BTW, the Cares Chorus was of great comfort to me many times as well, for different reasons. Simple, yet profound, and still brings me to tears.
What an incredible testimony, Allison. Thank you for sharing it!
After hearing from you on my "challenge" work, I went to your bio, then read "Except God". Touching story. It would have been so easy for a young one to have grown bitter, rather than more trusting on God. Makes me think you had a strong family to help guide you. I hope that was the case. : )
Allison, this is wonderful writing and a blessed story. As an orthopedic nurse, in my past, I cared for adults in body casts such as yours. But, never one so young as you. You have captured my heart in telling your experience. I wonder if the one who wrote the song that has meant so much to you has any idea how God ministered through this music!
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