Monday, June 03, 2013

LIFE CAN CHANGE by Dale Harcombe

Life can change in an instant. It did for me. One day I was happily playing my fifth set of tennis when my back started to feel sore.  I didn’t fall or do anything dramatic. As I didn’t want to let the others down I continued to play the set. By the time I arrived home I was in agony, but concluded I’d be fine after a hot bath. Thankfully I didn’t know then what was to come. 

When in a few days the back felt worse I went to the doctors who sent me for physio. What started as a back pain turned into months of me being immobilised as pain spread from my back all down both legs to my toes. Physio provided at best temporary relief for a few hours.

My church organised a prayer vigil. People joined a roster and committed to pray for me throughout each day and night. My daughter’s church was also praying and I had the prayer support of online Christian friends in Australia and overseas. So why wasn’t God answering this wave of prayer?

I not only couldn’t play tennis, I couldn’t get to church, sit at the computer or write. Everything I loved doing had been taken away from me. My minister and elders came and prayed over me with the laying on of hands. Peace filled my heart. I had no doubt God would answer. That night I had the best night’s sleep for months.  Next day the pain returned and kept on and on.  In despair I cried out to God.

My doctor arranged for me to see a neurosurgeon. His suggested a spinal operation, taking six hours. If it went wrong, I could end up paralysed. The thought filled me with fear. But I also knew I couldn’t go on as I was.

Knowing I love owls, a dear friend made me this cute little owl as a reminder that people were praying for me. Barnabette, the encourager owl, stayed with me. 

As I entered the hospital I felt at peace, assured I was covered by prayers of so many. The day after the surgery the doctor allowed me to get up. From that point I began doing laps of the hospital. My operation was on Tuesday. To the amazement of all I went home three days later. That was in September 2011.

When I saw the doctor in May 2012 he pronounced the op a huge success. He didn’t need to see me anymore. I told him, ‘No offence, but I hope I don’t see you either.’ He laughed.

I will never play tennis again. It’s too risky. I can live with that restriction, as I can walk and stand. I’m back leading the singing at church, and writing.

Throughout those months of pain my husband and I learned more about God, our church and how important the prayers of others are. We re-established something that had been lacking for a while, a prayer and bible reading time together to start each day. It has become an invaluable time together and a great blessing.

Looking back many blessings came from the painful experience. While I wasn’t healed miraculously by believing prayer and the laying on of hands, I was healed equally as miraculously through sustained prayer and God’s choice of the right skilled surgeon.

The day I walked back into church after a five month absence, I was overwhelmed with love and a sense of gratitude to those who had faithfully prayed and supported us and to the mighty God who healed me, though in a different way to how I expected.
 Streets on a Map by Dale Harcombe can currently be purchased from the books page of Dale’s website
Ark House  press
You can also buy it by typing Dale Harcombe into Amazon 
At present Streets on a Map is only  available in print version but later this year I hope an E book version of Streets on a Map will be available.

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