I never thought that I had experienced the miracle of healing. I know that God is able to do anything, but for the most part, I have only seen that when a person gets ill with a serious illness, even with prayers, they die…eventually (this coming from a girl who has seen so many deaths of close friends and family due to illness, and many of those really LOVED God). I accept that, because the Bible does say that “It is appointed to a man once to die…” So, I had accepted death will come to all of us one day, most likely through illness of some kind. Then I realized this week that I actually had experienced the miracle of God’s healing touch many years ago.
Up until this week, I had accepted the doctor’s final conclusion on an illness I had when I was 16 yrs old (I am 43 now), and that conclusion was that I had been misdiagnosed with Lyme Disease. The doctors felt this way because all symptoms of Lyme Disease that I had, for some reason just disappeared…without a trace. So their thoughts? You must not have had it, because there is no cure for it. It was 6 months after the tick bite before my illness was discovered. By then the disease had taken over my body so much that there is no way that I should be healed or even alive for that matter. So I believed the conclusion of a misdiagnosis for the past almost 30 years.
Now I have kids, and we live in a wooded area, and go camping A LOT. So I have been studying up on Lyme to make sure I protect my kids and also stay aware for if they may have a tick bite or early symptoms. In my reading, I always go back to when I was ill at 16 and my symptoms are exactly the same. Every time I read about the symptoms, I say to myself, “That was me…that was me…that was me!!” Some of my symptoms were the following:
*It started at summer camp with a small circular rash and a little dot in the middle. This rash lasted for some weeks over that summer. I never saw the tick, nor did I ever do anything about the rash until it just went away.
*By the following February, I fell very ill with joint pain, neurological problems, high fever, weakness, tiredness, and just about everything going wrong in my body.
I ended up in Howard University Hospital as doctors tried to diagnose why I was actually DYING. There seemed to be little hope of my recovery. They eventually put me on antibiotics and I was being fed on a tube. As I lay ill in that hospital at 16, I could only think back over my life, wondering why this was happening to me. Then my mom began to read the story of Job to me from her Bible, and I ended up asking God to forgive me for being such a lethargic, ungrateful and entitled Christian. I told him that I wanted to be ready to meet him if I were to die, but then I also told him that if he gave me one more chance at life, I would use every bone of my body, every breath that I breathe to humbly serve and honor him. I would not waste one iota of my being serving this world, but everything I had within me would be used to glorify Him.
Soon after I prayed that prayer, I started making a speedy recovery. After 3 months I was able to go home. In a year, my body had recovered so well, that I was off all medicines except an inhaler. By the time I started college, I was off the inhaler and all the doctors looked and looked but could not find any trace of illness. In fact, they said my skin (which before had a horrible rash from head to toe), my eyes (which had started to fail while I was sick), every part of me that at one time had been failing in health, was restored as if nothing had ever ravished my body. Neurologists were dumfounded. There is a file on my mystery sickness somewhere out there. Many times I was part of a medical student presentation! I was an enigma. My illness made no sense. So they concluded that I had not had Lyme Disease, because of how I healed and did not spend the rest of my life walking with a cane and on meds. They never discovered what it was but just brushed it away. I, too, believed the “misdiagnosis” theory and had stopped telling people that I once had Lyme Disease. I actually felt that people would not believe me if I told them, since I was no longer ill. The doctors MUST be right…right?
My life went on for the next almost 30 years and I actually believed the doctors, until this week, when after reading like my 100th article on Lyme Disease (a momma’s paranoia is NO joke!), I realized that all of my symptoms matched this disease. At first, I began to wonder…”What happened? If I had the same symptoms, why aren’t I still sick?? What. HAPPENED?!” I’ve been asking myself that for the past few days, and then one day while I was sitting at a traffic light, the voice of God said to me, “Anika, why are you puzzling this? All this faith you claim to have in my mighty power over the years and you don’t know what happened??? I healed you.” (um DUH!) I almost shouted as the realization hit me. God actually answered my prayer…like he actually HEALED ME. When I promised him to live the consecrated life for his glory if he restored me, he answered it. He chose not to let me die or to live a life of ill-health, but he fully healed me that I may be a testimony of his goodness.
I had to ask God to forgive me for not believing that He is able and willing to heal! It reminds me of the time when Peter was in jail and all of the Christians were praying for his deliverance. God sent an angel to free him, and when he showed up knocking on the door where the Christians were praying, they would not open the door for him, because they did not believe that God could deliver him from jail. Even though all these years, I have been living a life of humble gratitude for God allowing me to live again, I somehow did not have enough faith to believe that it was NOT really the doctor’s wisdom that healed me (I had been saying that God had worked through the doctors to bring about my healing), but it was actually GOD himself who reached down and fully healed and restored my body! This miraculous healing was for a purpose and all this time I’d shyed away from giving the full testimony, doubting its validity and thinking no one would believe the story. All this time, I was grateful to God for guiding the doctors in bringing about my healing, but I was so off! It is God who should get all the glory for this one!
I recall the countless times that even though I was well, my parents would take me to these check ups with neurologists, allergists, eye doctors, internists, etc. to make sure I was “ok” and all of them were left baffled. We eventually stopped going and just trusted that I was going to be ok. But I was more than ok! I was healed by almighty God.
I thought that my life of consecration to God was out of a grateful heart for getting a second chance at life. Those who know me will tell you how much I LOVE life! Even now almost 30 years later, I love to wake up and just breathe, realizing that He has given me another day. There is a joy and a hope that I have had since I was 16 regardless of the circumstances, because you know when you have looked death in the face and have lived to tell the tale, how can anything else be any worse?! But now with this latest realization, my passion for God is overflowing!! God brought me back from death’s door in a way that confounds the wisest doctor and you’d better believe that every single breath that I breath will be used to sing for His glory, shout for his glory…every movement of my body, will be used to work for His glory, because He gave me this life full, healed and complete and I will not waste one minute of this life on anything but serving HIM. Hallelujah!