“You have a mass inside your spinal column and it has to come out or you will be paralyzed."
That was the beginning of an emotional whirlwind for one of my closest and dearest friends, Dee. She had been having difficulty walking for several months. At first the doctor thought it was due to the severe stress she had been under. Her husband and soul mate, passed away after a brief illness. It was unexpected and her faith had her thinking he would survive. The Lord had other plans. And, just prior to her husband’s passing, her mom succumbed to kidney disease. Fifteen years on dialysis, her tiny body couldn’t take anymore and the Lord called her home.
So, it was understandable the physician thought Dee was feeling the aftermath of the tumultuous months she had endured, thus believing it was nothing more than emotional stress. However, after four months, she was barely walking. She could hardly take a couple of steps without crying from pain, and wondering, “Why Lord? Am I to be crippled now? Am I never going to walk again? What’s going on?”
We spoke daily, encouraging each other in the word. She's a Christian who is relentless in her belief and faith of our Lord God Almighty. So, in His capable hands she had placed herself. She had no other choice. The prospect of undergoing a seven hour operation that could leave her paralyzed was beyond scary, yet if she didn’t go through with it…she surely would be. She also wondered, “Is it benign? Is it cancer? If so, what stage is it? Is it metastasized? Is that why it’s in my spinal column coming from another area? Am I filled with cancer throughout my body?” These questions pervaded my mind as well. But, all we could do was pray, and pray, and pray some more.
Dee went into the hospital on the eighth of October this current year. The operation was nine hours as the mass was bigger than anticipated, and wrapped around the spinal column within the lumbar region. She made it through the operation without complications. Praise God! And, the mass was fully and completely benign! Praise God!
Dee was in excruciating pain and as a result wasn’t speaking to anyone. She couldn’t move her legs for a long time. She faced many deficits, but the surgeon was confident that she would regain use of legs. She cried to the Lord for His strength to carry her through it all. She would do the work, but she needed His strength to do so.
Each day she made a little progress. But, at the same time…she would take five steps backward. It was up and down for many weeks. Her left leg was weak, and caved in when she tried to stand. But, perseverance, along with prayer, and faith...and most of all God, the reason she got through it all.
She took tiny baby steps with a walker and cried for joy to God, “Lord, I’m doing it all because of your good graces. Thank you Jesus.” She went to rigorous physical therapy sessions six hours a day, seven days a week, combined with occupational therapy.
The day she was able to maneuver with a cane was a day of rejoicing to the heavens for sure! She called and said, “Praise God, I’m walking with a cane! It’s slow, and I’m unsteady…but I’m doing it!”
I cried with joy while thanking our Lord our God in abundance.Each step of the way, God was with her. Her friends, family, and medical team encouraged her…but it was God who was holding her hand as she walked. Just like a daddy watching his baby take baby steps, wobbling at first until they walk on their own.
She told me, “I know it was God who did this all. If not for Him I wouldn’t be here. And, I felt His presence all along, guiding me, holding me, loving me. I also know my husband was looking down smiling as was my mom. I feel closer to God than ever before. But, I was ready for any scenario, I’m so glad it was this one that He chose for me. Amen.”
Update: Dee returned to her home last week, the professionals astonished at her quick recovery. She was thrilled to be back at her lovely home in St. David, Maine. The first thing she did was to get down on her knees, and thank the Lord.
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