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A few weeks ago, I was attending a church service at a nearby church. The minister gave a wonderful sermon on how God works in our life. During his sermon, he said that when something really rare happens, people are known to make the comment “million to one shot”, but this is really God working in our lives. This brought to my mind the time when a “million to one shot” happened in my life.
I was living in Texas at the time, and I woke up one morning with pain in my right eye each time I opened and closed it. It felt like some kind of debris, so I pried my eyelid up to try and dislodge it. That didn’t work, so I looked in the mirror and moved my eyelid around to see if I could see anything. I saw nothing. I tried eye drops to wash it out, and still no luck. I even watched a sad movie and cried, hoping that would work. No luck.
The next morning, I woke up hoping that the situation had resolved itself, but it hadn’t. My eye was bright red and hurt terribly each time I blinked. I ended up going to an ophthamologist that day to take care of the problem. When he came into the room, he could clearly see that my right eye was very irritated. After telling him the story, he looked into my eye with the equipment in his office and said, “Hhmm….well, that’s interesting. Million to one shot!” I asked him what he saw, and apparently one of my eyelashes had lodged itself into the tear duct! The chances of that happening were almost negligible. He was able to remove the eyelash with a small pair of tweezers, and the problem was solved.
When I heard the sermon and thought about this incident, I realized that maybe God had sent me a message. When the eyelash lodged in the tear duct, my life seemed to be going quite well. Little did I know that several years later, my life fell apart, and what I knew to be true in Texas was not true at all. I have grown so much, and now that I look back to that event in Texas, I was actually “blind” in so many ways.
The most amazing ending to this was at the end of the service. They sang Amazing Grace, and this confirmed my thoughts about the “million to one shot”. God works in our lives in the most mysterious and amazing ways – we just have to listen and be aware of the signs!
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see. John Newton
Image at Creative Commons, http://www.commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3Aspondylolysis_back_pain_.jpg
Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries, And daub their natural faces unaware.
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, Aurora Leigh
Well, I haven’t posted here for a while because I have been in the ER once again for my back problems. In 2009, I found out that I had a broken back, and since then I have gone through three spinal fusions, the first of two of which failed. I had been doing quite well recently, so I decided to sign up for six personal training sessions at my local gym. Turns out that this was a mistake. About a week and a half ago, my trainer decided that I needed to do some dead lifts…..something that I found out later I should never do. I could barely walk the next day because of the pain, and then I had significant leg weakness that eventually landed me in the hospital. I have been on pain meds, a muscle relaxant, and prednisone to bring down inflammation. Luckily, I seem to be improving, so hopefully I won’t be facing any additional surgery. Obviously, I will not be returning to personal training at my gym!
I thought this would be a good time to share my story of how my broken back actually saved my life. I am writing my sixth book now, and this is part of the story, so you will be getting a little insight before I publish it. My first back surgery in 2009 failed and resulted in two broken screws in my back…..terrible I know, but it wasn’t as painful as you might think. I had my second spinal fusion in 2010, but to my extreme disappointment, this fusion also failed. I did extensive research and decided to change doctors to someone who was a noted expert in complex spinal problems. Before my third surgery, a slew of tests were run on me to determine the situation and identify any problems with me that could have contributed to the previous failed surgeries. One of the tests was a CT myelogram. However, before having this test, a head CT has to be done to rule out a rare problem at the base of the brain that could lead to seizures due to the injection of dye into the spinal column during the myelogram. So, in the summer of 2011, I went in for a routine head CT.
I wasn’t concerned at all about the head CT. I don’t have headaches except for the occasional sinus or tension headache. I was sure they would not find a thing wrong with me that would prevent me from having a CT myelogram. The test itself took about 10 minutes, and there was nothing to it. I left the hospital and began my errands for the day. But, about twenty minutes after leaving the hospital, my cell phone rang, and it was my doctor’s office. The nurse told me that they had found a brain aneurysm on the head CT and I needed to be seen immediately. She told me that my back issues would have to be put on hold because this aneurysm took priority as it could be deadly!
I was in complete shock. I had absolutely no symptoms, and I never would have known this aneurysm existed had it not been for all the problems with my back. The aneurysm has since been coiled. I have had several follow up angiograms, and the coiled aneurysm is now stable.
This just goes to show that God really does work in mysterious ways. Many times we complain about all the problems that we have in this life. Yes, I could have focused on the negative and complained about my broken back, asking God “why did this happen to me?” But instead, I look at it as a blessing. Not only can I help others who might be going through similar back issues, but all this suffering from my back actually ended up saving my life. Without my back problems, I would have never been aware of the aneurysm, and I might not have ever made it to see this day. So, the next time something happens to you that “looks” like a bad thing…..for example, being late because of a traffic accident on the road…..it could actually be God looking out for you and saving your life. Just think – if you had been just a few minutes earlier on that road, it may have been you in that accident!