February 18, 2019

Pastoral Nuggets: Stephanie (Part Two)

After Stephanie’s miraculous birth, she lived a relatively uneventful life. She had a heart murmur that we had to keep check on, but nothing major.

Stephanie accepted Jesus as her Savior at a very young age. And as long as I can remember, she has always had a love for music.

From the time she was twelve until she was fifteen, Marianne and I would take her to the LaGrange Singing Hall, where she learned to sing shaped note music.

After that, for several summers we took her to the Ben Speer-Stamps Baxter School of Music at Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee. Then for about three years she majored in music at Columbus State University.

While there, she felt the Lord impressing her to change her major to early childhood education. Consequently, today she is both a gospel singer and a teacher.

Twelve years ago, while pregnant with her youngest child, Kaitlyn, she began to experience extreme nausea. For a while, we just passed it off as part of her pregnancy. The doctors said it was her gall bladder. After Kaitlyn was born, they removed her gall bladder.

However, she progressively grew worse. This began a long journey to determine what was causing her illness. She saw every specialist imaginable. One track of specialists wound-up at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida, while another wound-up at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.

She was finally diagnosed with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. This is a condition where the body identifies food as a foreign substance and tries to eliminate it via nausea/vomiting.

For eight years she was nauseous two, eight, ten, and twenty or more times … every day! This lasted for around nine months out of the year. Then, suddenly, as if somebody flipped a switch, it would stop for three months. Then it would come back with a vengeance. And no doctor could tell us why.

But this brave trooper told her momma, “If this is my cross to bear for my Jesus, I’ll gladly bear it.” And she pressed on being a wife and a momma to two little babies, all the while working and singing for Jesus.

After eight years of this suffering, she called us one day and told us she was going to the E.R. in LaGrange. We met her there. The on-call doctor was from Africa. While we were waiting for him, I said to Marianne, “Wouldn’t it be something if God has sent a doctor all the way from Africa to LaGrange to help our baby?”

When he came into the room, he asked Stephanie what was going on. For the ten thousandth time she retold her story. But for the first time the doctor didn’t look at her like a calf staring at a new gate! He told her, “Stephanie, I am very familiar with this disease. Has anybody ever prescribed Prozac for you?”

She replied, “No sir.” He said, “I don’t understand why. Prozac controls the nausea center of the brain. I am going to prescribe a low dosage for you. You will have to go to your doctor to get the dosage regulated, but this will help you!” And it did! Praise God! After eight long years of suffering – she has been symptom free for four years!

Many times, I have heard Stephanie say, “God’s miracles come in all different shapes and sizes.” Then holding up her hand, as if she is holding a pill between her thumb and pointer finger, she continues, “This is the size of my miracle, and I take it every morning.”

What are the Spiritual takeaways from this column today? First, many times the things that happen to us make no sense. God never promised they would. Secondly, we all have a cross to bear for Jesus. Our duty is to simply bear it! Thirdly, God makes divine appointments. Be patient; yours is coming. And finally, sometimes our miracle requires we take the prescribed medication!

Jesus loves you; He really does! Be patient; your miracle is on the way!

Brother Aaron

Comments

  1. Pam Waller says:

    Praise God for healing and the grace to overcome the sickness and pain. God is good all the time. Amen!

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