I have been married to a wonderful, hardworking man for twenty years. We have raised seven children together, his, mine and ours. He has worked hard everyday to support this family; sometimes working two jobs. A few years ago he was diagnosed with a serious lung disease, but he didn’t let that slow him down; he kept on working the best he could.
In January of 2005 the doctor told us he probably wouldn’t make it through the summer. I have always believed in the power of prayer, so I began to pray that the Lord would give him rest from his labors. What happened next even caught me off guard; it certainly wasn’t what I expected to happen, but God knew what he needed.
I was sitting at home by myself when the phone rang, it was the local hospital, they called to inform me that my husband (Larry) had fallen off of a porch, and that I needed to get to the hospital. When I got to the hospital it was worse then I had thought, He hadn’t fallen off of a porch, someone had shoved him backwards off of a porch. His back was broken in four places; he had a head injury, and several broken ribs. He was already on oxygen because of the lung disease, he was in severe pain, and the doctors could only give him so much pain medicine because of his breathing problems. So for twenty-four hours he laid awake in pain; they couldn’t get him stable.
Worn out, I had gone home for a little rest, leaving some of our kids with him. At 11:00 p.m. the hospital called, saying they were going to put him on life support and take him to I.C.U. We were devastated, waiting to hear something good from the doctors; but it was all bad news. For almost a week we worried, cried, and lived at the hospital, watching everything the doctors and nurses did to Larry, not knowing if he would live or die. It was hard on all of us; we felt like our lives were on hold. We were afraid to leave the hospital for any length of time because they had him on the critical list. He was hooked up to every machine imaginable, a ventilator, IVs, monitors for his heart and blood pressure. There were so many things hooked to him that we could hardly get near him and this was hard because everyone wanted to touch him and show him that he was loved.
On the following Sunday they scheduled spinal surgery. The amazing thing about this was that they didn’t usually do this kind of surgery on a Sunday. (We had prayed that God would send good doctors and nurses to care for Larry). They had called in a top spinal surgeon and there were all kinds of specialists and wonderful nurses caring for him.
The morning of the surgery we gathered around his bed and began to pray, there were about twelve of us praying when all of a sudden peace fell over the room and I knew he would be all right. We all knew there were angels surrounding us. The Lord had given me a scripture to pray: James 5:15, “And the prayer of faith shall heal the sick, and the Lord shall raise them up and if there has been any sin committed, it shall be forgiven.” I read this scripture constantly over Larry the whole time he was in the hospital.
The surgeon said it would take four hours for the surgery, as they had to remove two shattered disks in the middle of his back, and then replace them with rods and pins. They were going to allow the two fractured places in his neck to heal on their own. The morning of the surgery there were churches all over praying for my husband, they informed me that they had him on an Internet prayer line. As we waited for surgery to end strangers came to us with a word from the Lord that really lifted us up. These were little love notes from the Lord.
Larry’s surgery lasted only two hours instead of four. He was in I.C.U. for a month on life support, but God sent the best doctors and nurses to care for him. After surgery he just got better and better. He had to wear a neck brace, and body brace for three months, but he got to come home after two months in the hospital. He was in a wheel chair when he came home, but quickly got up and started walking.
The Lord knew what he needed to do to heal my husband’s body. He is still with us today, a whole year latter; he doesn’t need to use his oxygen through the day now and the Lord healed a lot of other things he had wrong while he was laying in that hospital bed for two months. He got the rest he needed to continue to live.
Praise God for knowing what is needed, even if we can’t see it for ourselves when we’re going through it. (“Through the storm we do not walk alone”.) This saying was posted on a picture in the hallway of I.C.U.; I read it everyday as I walked to Larry’s room. I look back now and can see that God was faithful to answer my prayer over my husband. And Larry will be the first to tell you what God did for him. He gives God all the Praise.
I learned later that the man who shoved my husband off that porch wasn’t mad at my him; Larry just happened to step up on the porch when this man came out angry at someone inside, and he took his anger out on Larry. This young man was sentenced for two years in prison for his actions. We went to court and told the Judge that we didn’t have any hard feelings and that we had forgiven this man. God wants us to forgive and pray for those that hurt us. We continue to keep this young man in our prayers.
Submitted by Barbara A. Draughn