The other day I stopped and stared when I found the above photo in our closet. So many memories came flooding back. Sitting in my wheelchair (who I affectionally had named Charlie) with precious Liberty sitting on my lap.
As many may or may not know, I have Multiple Sclerosis. It showed up when I was in my late 20’s and then I was officially diagnosed in 1991. It started out slowly, but after about 10 years it got much more aggressive and soon I was having exacerbation after exacerbation on a regular basis.
Before long I needed a cane to walk. And often, besides my cane I would borrow the arm of family and close friends to assist me in walking. I had exacerbations that affected my hearing, my speech – slurring for weeks as though I was drunk, my vision, my balance – where I would fall into walls regularly and so on.
Then in about 2001, I had a major exacerbation that left my right arm and hand trembling and shaking 24/7 – permanently! It was embarrassing as it shook, jerked and twitched boldly all the time. I couldn’t sleep on my right side as it caused my whole body to tremble and shake all night long.
So from 2001 on, there was not a moments reprieve from the trembling, jerking, twitching and shaking of my right arm/hand. As the MS continued to affect my life we built a handicapped accessible home to accommodate Charlie, my wheelchair.
Years passed and through a series of events that maybe one day I will share, I ended up on a phone call with my dearest of friends, Dan and Lavonne. Dw was also on the call. It was January 10th, 2006. We were asking the Lord to move in the supernatural in a huge way about something in my life from 40+ years earlier (which had nothing directly to do with MS). It was an incredibly powerful and emotional phone call. We did not pray about or mention the MS at all.
When we finished talking and praying we hung up and I walked out to the kitchen. As I was walking over toward the island where Graham was sitting I felt like the Lord whispered, “Look down at your arm/hand.” I looked and found my right hand and arm, that had only seconds before shook uncontrollably for the last 5 years, was now completely and perfectly still.
I started to squeal and turned to Graham, “LOOK GRAHAM! LOOK!” He looked down and found that both hands of mine were positioned next to each other and both were absolutely and perfectly still! I will never forget Graham’s expression as long as I live – a mixture of joy, shock and complete disbelief! He was 11 at the time and he started yippee-ing along with me and everyone came running….
And yes, my hand and arm which had trembled and shook for FIVE years were now perfectly still!!!!
We called our grown kids and friends around the country – it was a true miracle!! I felt like the man with the withered hand that Jesus healed and the story is told in Matthew 12:9-14. For months, many, many, many times a day I would stop and just stare at my hand and arm. I can’t imagine that man with the withered hand did any different – stopping and staring and remembering and rejoicing!
The following Sunday we told the church we pastored during both morning services and people jumped up and cheered! Such a powerful miracle that all who knew me could attest to! Only God. God had moved in a most mighty way – and we hadn’t even been praying for the MS to be healed.
When I showed my neurologist, who is also my personal friend, my right hand and arm – he literally jumped up and hugged me and with utter delight said,
“Linn, it must be God – Multiple Sclerosis does NOT go away! I bet God is going to completely heal you.” Those words from a man who has said he does NOT believe in God!! Ha!! He was overjoyed and stunned!
Then a few months later….even though I had used my cane for many years, I began to notice that my legs began to feel stronger. They were actually feeling really strong!! I was wondering what was going on.
Could the words of my friend/neurologist have been unknowingly prophetic? Within four months even people at church began commenting that it looked like I hardly needed my cane anymore! By mid-July of 2006, I felt the Lord whisper, “Put your cane down.” Putting my cane down was a scary prospect to me. I had grown to depend on having my cane because I felt that if I fell and people saw my cane, they would at least know that I had a problem and they might give me extra grace. But I listened to His whisper and laid it down – for good.
The rest is history and I have never, ever used my cane or wheelchair again.
I call my arm/hand healing “my microwave healing”…done in an instant!! I call my legs healing “my crock pot healing” – slow and steady. There are occasional days yet when I know that my legs are still not functioning at 100%….and if times get really stressful they still can go a teeny-bit “funky-chicken” like.
BUT I still have never used my cane since that day in July of 2006. It was only our faithful God who chose that day to heal me. I gave Charlie-the-wheelchair away and tucked my cane away.
Today is the 16th anniversary of that healing. I got a text from Dan in the little group chat I have with Dan and Lavonne. His text read: Happy Anniversary of being “steady” Linn!
And today, on the 16th anniversary of this enormous miracle, I celebrate the mercy of God extended toward me. I will never, ever stop thanking Him for His kindness.
“For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.”Psalm 52:9
In our Memorial Box there is a rock…representing my steady arm and hand.