I consider this my testimony. When it was initially written, I was single. Before I was a Believer in Christ and first learning about Him, it seemed that everywhere I went, someone would tell me that “God has a special plan for you.” After I had accepted Jesus as my personal Savior, it seemed to stop. It’s interesting how the Lord works.
I thought my life was going along quite fine, but evidently God had other plan’s for me. And I can see now that they are better plan’s, but I certainly didn’t know it then.
I was able-bodied until the age of 25. I had been recently married and we had bought a home a good distance away from my ex’s childhood home.
I certainly was not a Christian, much less ever given any thought to God. If you had asked, I would have told you that I guessed I was a Christian.
I thought it had something to do with being born in the US. I thought all Americans were naturally Christians.
It seems funny now, but this is actually what I thought. Anyway, I started vomiting like Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” and staggering about the house like I was drunk.
This went on for about 3 days and then we decided to go back to our family doctor, in the town we had recently moved from.
As soon as I staggered into his office, the doctor said I had recently had a stroke. He sent me to the small county hospital that was nearby.
I thought I had had a mini-stroke and that I needed to change my life, like eat more vegetables and things. Oh yea, I needed to change my life, but I had no idea how much.
The hospital wanted to send me into Columbus, where they would have a neurologist on-call. So, on that Wednesday evening in January of ’89, I remember coming into Columbus and I walked into the hospital.
That was the last time I would ever walk independently. The hospital didn’t know what was wrong with me, so I was sent for a battery of tests on the following morning.
On Thursday morning, I was taken to an MRI lab. While I was on the MRI table, I had a major brain hemorrhage.
They rushed me back to the hospital and I remember being put in a hospital bed. A team of about ten nurses were in my room trying to hold me down, while my body convulsed.
My body then became completely paralyzed. I couldn’t move a thing for several days. I became aphasiac and unable to swallow.
I will never forget the doctor who came into my room, and with all the subtlety of a speeding locomotive, told me I would be dead within two hours.
Something happened to me during that time that I didn’t understand. I will call it a voice in my head because at that time I didn’t know Him.
But a peace came over me and told me that I would not die. I felt that I was being told that I had too much to live for and I couldn’t die yet.
But do not be mistaken, I sure did not come out of this believing in God. Anyway, I have always felt that I disappointed the doctors because I didn’t die, as they said I would.
When they had realized that I was hanging in there, they fitted me with a feeding tube in my stomach. I hadn’t had any food for ten days. I can still remember my first G-tube feeding. It was delicious!
Once they realized that I would not die, they had to revise their prognosis. Now they said I would be a vegetable for the rest of my life and they released me to a nursing home to vegetate.
It was only a week, but it was the worst week of my life. I couldn’t talk, so when my husband came each day, I would cry. I think I must have cried for a week straight.
I was now a prisoner in my own body. My ex was trying to find out what hospital could help me. Finally, a social worker told him to take me to Ohio State.
I also came in there on a Wednesday evening and I had my first brain surgery the next morning. I had 6 months of rehab at OSU and I was released as a wheelchair user, a very weak one, but at least I could now sit up and I had limited speaking and swallowing abilities.
But things were not the same with my husband. In retrospect, I realize my disability was incredibly hard on both of us, but I didn’t realize it then.
From the first day that I got home, he became physically abusive. I was beaten everyday. I became a mouse; I did everything I could to avoid the abuse.
But a year and a half later, it had progressed to being beaten three times a day-breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He had had a head injury in the navy and he lived on a VA pension. So, he just stayed home and abused me.
When I landed solidly on rock-bottom, I realized I could stay until he killed me or I could leave him. I had few choices, but I chose the latter.
I moved into Columbus. Had another brain surgery and got divorced. I was really terrified at this time in my life.
God brought many blessings into my life with my disability, but I still hadn’t realized it yet. There was a state agency that paid for my education and I began at Ohio State University. I graduated in June of ’96.
My life of school work and activity came to a screeching halt at this point. But that is when God sent His workers after me.
I was living in an independent living apartment. There was this singles church group that came to our apartments for monthly cleaning, and more importantly, ministry.
It was November, and I had been laying on my couch for six months. I was going out of my head with boredom. On one cleaning day, the cleaning person that had been working with me asked me if I was a Christian.
I told her emphatically that I was NOT! I believed that there was no God and I was an atheist. I now believed this with Conviction!
She asked me if I wanted to go to church with her and because I thought it would at least be an opportunity to get out of my apartment, I said yes. So we went. I sure didn’t expect it, but I just loved every bit of the Word that I heard that day.
She took me to church every Sunday for two years. She even began attending the 9AM traditional service because it was my favorite. She had always attended the later contemporary service before.
But, being that I’m not one to make a commitment lightly, I did not accept Christ then. We reached a point where she couldn’t take me to church anymore (she did for two years), so I stopped attending.
I remember going on my way thinking, Oh Well, my church days are over. That’s when God’s workers got me again. About 7 weeks later, I was out in my electric wheelchair doing errands.
When I got home, a guy I knew from church hopped out of his car and told me that he and his fiancee would like to take me to church if I wanted to go. With that, I’m was off to church again. They were married about a month later and I attended church with them for about 2 years.
The pastor there was a pastor on fire with the Word of the Lord! I just loved to hear his lessons. Of course, during this time I had been doing much Christian reading.
A casual friend gave me a copy of Joni Eareckson Tada’s first book. I have learned so much from Joni. She talked about being angry at God at the time of her disabling accident. I knew how ANGRY I was.
It was then that I realized God had not turned His back on me, even though I had turned my back on Him. I learned of God’s unending love from Joni.
I accepted Christ into my life in November of ’98. In several years, the pastor resigned. I stayed there for a while, but was not as excited about the church as I once was.
I started visiting churches in my immediate area and in July of that year I started attending my present church. My church is very small and rather outdated, but I’m comfortable there and the focus should be put on God, rather than interior design. I believe God has put me exactly where He wants me to be.
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