July 6, 2011

God is Still a Healing God!

We were expecting our first child when it hit… the utter despair, emptiness, deep pit of blackness… Steve couldn’t find a way out of the depression that overtook his life.  During a time when all should be exciting for a young couple, we were desperately trying to hang on and make sense of it all. 

Crying out to God for healing and joy continued for two years… then God did it!  While on a ministry weekend in Southern California, a small group of deeply caring friends laid hands on Steve, encircled him in the hotel room and prayed their hearts out on behalf of him to our heavenly Father, requesting release from this deep pit and to be completely healed.  God heard their cries and answered them in a way we had never personally experienced before – complete and sudden healing!  Praise and glory to God!

I called out to you, God; I laid my case before you.
You did it:  You changed wild lament into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
and decked me with wildflowers.
I'm about to burst with song;
I can't keep quiet about you.
God, my God, I can't thank you enough.

~Psalm 30:8, 10-11 (The Message)

It was August 2001… we flew to Turlock, California for Steve’s Grandpa Hackett’s funeral.  My (Chris) hands and feet felt numb… heavy… very strange.  It wouldn’t go away.  At first we thought it was from the flight and the change in weather.  After a month of feeling like my feet were as thick as 2x4’s and constant numbness and tingling in my hands that began to creep up into my arms, we decided to seek help.

After multiple doctor visits, various tests, needles, scans, and 2nd opinions, the news came back – Multiple Sclerosis.  Thus began seven long years of treatments, flare-ups, and tests.  More than the medical issues, I experienced inner struggles with God about what this would mean for me, for our family, for our future ministry dreams.  We decided it was best to stay near family for the kids’ sake.

During those years, we also faced business failures, chronic health issues for Steve, as well as additional health issues for Chris.  Needless to say, all future ministry plans that we had hoped God would use us in – stateside or internationally – were quickly squashed in our minds.

God has an amazing way to bring us back to Him; to remind us that He is God, our Healer!  In 2008, as I searched to be part of a drug trial, my case was thoroughly reviewed by two leading neurologists.  I was disappointed to learn that I didn’t qualify for the drug study, but was thrilled to learn that it was because they believed I was misdiagnosed.  The new diagnosis given to me was called Devic’s Disease (Neuromyelitis Optica).  And, better yet he believed I was in remission.  As of December 2010, I am still in remission – Praise to God for His blessings!  Steve’s health issues have also improved immensely over the past year.

God very clearly reminded us that He was the God who heals and that we should join Him in His work.  We honestly don’t know when or if our health issues will flare back up.  We believe God has healed us – even if it’s for such a time as this.  We have a renewed passion to serve Him wherever He leads us… and know that He has led us to serve Him in Lyon for this next phase in our lives.

You're blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You're blessed when you follow His directions,
doing your best to find him.
That's right—you don't go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road He set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now You expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course You set;
Then I'd never have any regrets
in comparing my life with Your counsel.
I thank You for speaking straight from Your heart;
I learn the pattern of Your righteous ways.
I'm going to do what You tell me to do;
don't ever walk off and leave me.

~Psalm 119:1-8 (The Message)

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