Looking Back–One Year Later

Declare His Glory 2Tom and I just returned from the 2015 International Gideons Convention. The theme this year was 1 Chronicles 16:24–Declare His Glory among the Nations! While there, I celebrated the one-year anniversary of God’s gift of healing to me. As I look back, I see it as a year of declaring God’s glory in my life.

I first shared my healing with my church family by writing an article for my church newsletter. Several speaking opportunities both inside and outside of my church presented themselves. Seven weeks after my healing, I declared God’s glory to another one of my doctors, the transplant doctor who had followed me since my transplant evaluation in 2010. She saw the evidence as she spoke with me and heard the evidence as she listened to my lungs. That day, after telling me that my team of doctors had met and decided it was time to begin the transplant process, she closed my transplant file.

In August, I had contact with an editor from Decision magazine during Franklin Graham’s Festival of Hope crusade here in Pittsburgh. I had contact in both August and October with folks from our local Christian TV station. The editor of our Gideons International publication contacted me. And in June, a very rough outline of the book I’m planning to write about my healing, life after healing, and the issues and questions that arise from such a life-changing event caught the eye of a literary agent who will be working with me to develop the book and sell it for me.

Last year was a time of declaring his glory while waiting, listening, and learning about my new life and the call that came with it. Now that I have the medical documentation needed for the media contacts and the interest in my book, I look forward to giving God the glory in ways that I pray will touch more hearts and lives for Christ. This will be a year of moving forward, actively and in faith, into the call on my life to Declare His Glory in larger and ever-widening circles.

I am here, Lord. Send me.

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God Still Works Miracles–Part 3–Doctor Visits

September, 2013. My daughter, Bethany, and me on the Washington DC Metro.

The week after we returned from Philadelphia, I had two doctors’ appointments, both scheduled weeks and months earlier. The first was with my primary care physician who is a friend, believer, and member of my church.

I shared my testimony with the women who work in his office. All three of them marveled at the change in me. It also opened some doors for them to share some of their concerns with me, things I now keep on my prayer list.

Then, I found myself alone. I grabbed the notebook I always carry in my purse and recorded these thoughts:

As I sit here, waiting for Kevin to come in, I am experiencing some anxiety. I now have an idea of how Geoffrey felt as our breakfast ended. He recognized God’s voice and knew he had to be obedient to the command. But it didn’t keep him from feeling too nervous to ask me directly if he could pray for me, sending instead the Gideon from Maryland who was seated next to him.

 I’m sure Kevin will believe me because of his faith in Jesus. But I’m still nervous about the encounter. Will he just accept it? Will he doubt at first? I don’t know how he will react.

The knock came on the door. In response to his greeting, I said, “I’m terrific. Let me tell you what’s happened.” As I shared, Kevin acknowledged the power of prayer and how he has seen people recover through God working and answering prayer. But he admitted all cases involved a process of healing, rather than immediate.

He moved to the examination table, placed his stethoscope on my back, and told me to take a deep breath. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught an expression of wonder at what he heard. “You’re really moving a lot of air. And everything sounds clear—no crackles or wheezing,” he said. And his smile told me the rest.

The next day, I had an appointment with one of my specialists at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) where I shared my testimony more times than I can count. I greeted the receptionists who immediately noticed I was missing my oxygen. Then came the nurse who escorted me back to do a six-minute walk. (This is a test where your pulse and oxygen saturation is continuously monitored while you walk as many laps as you can in a measured hallway in six minutes.) She couldn’t believe how well I was walking without the oxygen or the normal levels of my vitals. She allowed me to do the walk without the oxygen, but had a tank handy just in case.

I took off at a comfortable, sustainable pace. She smiled and laughed in amazement at my numbers each time I passed her. After it ended (no oxygen needed) she printed out the report and marveled at the fact that I had done better and walked farther than the previous three times with oxygen. She told me I’d made her day.

Next came the physician’s assistant. I was touched by the respect everyone showed toward my God story. By the same token, none could refute the observable and obvious change in me. Finally, came Dr. Mike. When I’d finished, he said, “Please have patience with those of us who are grounded in science and tend to be skeptical. But I will never say that science and medicine have all the answers.” But because he is a scientist and his main concern is for my health and well-being, he asked me to stay on my medications until I see him again in three months so he can be sure this “sticks”. During the exam, he also heard my lungs fill up the way they were supposed to and admitted that the numbers from the six-minute walk backed up the way I felt.

I know what he’ll find in three months, but I also understood where he was coming from. As a Christian most of my life, I’d never been acquainted with anyone who’d been dramatically healed nor did I know anyone who knew anyone to whom this had happened. The nature of a miracle lies in the fact it is so unexpected, so instantaneous, so wondrous that it can hard to comprehend, even for those of us grounded in faith.

We serve a God of power, love, and miracles. But, I know the Lord sustained me the past ten years because of the treatments prescribed by my doctors. God does use medicine and its technologies to heal. But I am living proof that miracles did not end with recorded scripture. God is still sovereign and still delights in miraculously healing His children.

Me with Phin 1

August, 2014. Me and Phin at home.

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