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PROFILES IN PRAYER

          March 2002

This month's contributor:
Cassandra Henry

For anyone who thinks that miracles don't happen or that there is no hope for difficulties with physical health, read this!

There is a line in an old gospel song, "I once was blind, but now I see."  That verse came to mind several times a day as I was slowly regaining my vision.  As a mother with three young children, I cannot express how scared I was when I started having vision problems . I had been struggling with what I thought was a bad sinus infection with the typical symptoms, except I had really unusual eye pain.  As the days passed, my vision was getting worse and worse.  It wasn't until Thanksgiving day that I realized that I was not dealing with a simple infection.  I woke nearly blind, unable to feel my legs and I could not empty my bladder.  I had a fever and was very lethargic.  My husband rushed me to the ER.  I was in the ICU for two days and in a room for 4 more.   I was diagnosed with meningoencephilitis, and slowly over those few days my symptoms started improving and I regained my vision,  but two weeks after being released from the hospital the symptoms returned. 

This time I  was placed on high-dose steroids.  On top of a terrible illness, now I had to deal with the awful side effects of steroids.  By early January, I still felt terrible and I was getting very depressed.  I would hide in my bedroom so my children wouldn't see me sobbing.  I was absolutely terrified that I would never get better. Daily I would pour over the internet searching for information about my illness, but that only made me feel worse.  Reading one horror story after another certainly wasn't very encouraging or helpful.  One day I decided I just couldn't read any more medical information, that there had to be something out there that would help me.

I remembered a friend who's grand-daughter had leukemia.  She had told me about St. Jude, the prayers and the miracle they had seen in her recovery.  I am Baptist and not very familiar with this, so I decided on that morning that I would not do one more medical search, but instead did a search for "Healing Prayers".  That's when I found the St. Jude Novena web site.  I read all the information on the site, then printed out the prayers.  Ironically enough, I did get an infection during my days of praying and actually started feeling worse.  But, that just made me more dedicated to my prayers.  I would read scripture daily on healing, fasted with water and also decided to pray for someone different every day that I knew really needed prayers as much as I did.  During my bible reading I found a scripture,  Jeremiah 17:14 "Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, for YOU are my praise." I said this over and over all day, even when I woke up at night.  I also spent a lot of time thinking about what plans God had for me with this awful situation, but, I realized that I had spent more time with my children laying in a bed than I had in a long time.  We watched movies together, I read to them, brushed their hair, just anything to be with them.  Before my illness, I was usually wishing they would leave me alone so I could get something done.  A day or two after the nine days I started noticing how much better I was feeling, and I have continued to improve since then. I have been told by many doctors that I have a long road to recovery, but that I am very "lucky" to be alive.  I let them know that "luck" has no part of my recovery, and that I give all the glory to God!


A beautiful story, and a nice example of how praying to St. Jude isn't just a "Catholic thing";  it's a "help for overcoming your problems" thing!



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