EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is an installment of Amazing Grace, personal stories of faith submitted by readers.
Throughout 1996 my husband, the Rev. Jerry Taylor, and I were searching for a solution to my chronically deteriorating neurological condition. I was unable to walk 30 feet to get to the mailbox. I felt as though I was surviving life rather than living life because of constant pain. I had consulted many physicians and specialists, but never was satisfied with their solutions. Clearly, I needed a miracle of physical healing from the Great Physician.
The phone rang on Christmas Eve 1996. To my amazement, the caller was the last specialist I had consulted. He explained that, because of my rapid deterioration, I needed immediate surgery and he recommended a colleague in another city. Because I have always believed in Jesus' words, "Ask, and it shall be given you ..." (Matthew 7:7), I agreed with no hesitation.
In January, Jerry and I traveled to consult with the referred neurosurgical spinal specialist. I already had formulated a possible surgical solution, yet did not feel comfortable telling doctors how to practice medicine or perform surgery! This particular neurosurgeon already had studied my records and wasted no time in explaining his recommended surgical procedure. We listened intensely, silently praising God, for he was explaining the exact procedure I had in mind!
We truly felt that the Great Physician was using this human physician to answer our prayers. Even though he cautioned us not to make any hasty decisions, we had already decided to go ahead with his recommendation.
On the way home, I felt at peace in my mind, my heart and, most importantly, my soul. For the next two months, I relied on II Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind." I knew the potential risks, realizing the subsequent rehabilitation process would be a long, hard journey, but I would not allow negative thoughts.
The surgery took nine hours. In the recovery room, the first thing I did was wiggle my toes and fingers. I knew then that God had answered my prayers. When the neurosurgeon reviewed the follow-up X-rays and CT scan, he said that he had no idea he could get my spine as straight as he did. I said to myself, "No, you didn't ... God did!"
During the process of rehabilitation, I have stood on Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Upon admission to the rehabilitation center, I was greeted as a celebrity, and throughout my stay was treated like a queen.
I couldn't understand the special attention. About a month later, I found out why: the last patient who had the same surgical procedure came off the operating table a quadriplegic. Both Jerry and I knew that the difference in outcomes was that my surgery had been literally saturated in prayer.
Through the efforts of countless prayers, I am truly a walking miracle of God's love and healing power. Five years later, I am able to walk short distances unassisted or with minimal assistance, depending on the terrain. The pain still persists, but with medication, is not debilitating as it once was. Every step I take is for the Glory of God.
Louise Taylor, an Augustan, is a member of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church.