“Looking at them, Jesus said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27 CSB
The day before I wrote this, I had coffee with my young friend Julia. As I stood in line with her and her Mom, Pat, the moment felt surreal. Just two months prior, we didn’t know if Julia was going to make it. She had given up the will to live, she had lost all hope. In desperation, I posted in our group, asking for prayers and cards to be sent. Soon after the first card arrived, I heard hope in Pat’s voice, hope I hadn’t heard in months. Things truly started to turn around. A new doctor was brought onto the case with fresh eyes. He had a solution, more surgery was required, but he felt confident it would work. The surgery was successful, within weeks Julia was released from the hospital. Four weeks later, we stood together in line at Starbucks. I was standing beside a walking miracle. I never thought I’d see her like this again, yet God had other plans.
Julia’s story started in 8th grade. She had cysts that caused her to be bed ridden for 2 weeks, being bed ridden caused her digestive system to begin to shut down. This began an eight year journey that has included 10 major surgeries, the loss of her colon, rectum, gall bladder and a ⅓ of her small intestine. She has seen doctor’s all over the country who didn’t know what to do for her. Her parents were her advocates as they searched for someone who could help their daughter. She entered the hospital on April 6th this year, her mother’s birthday. She would not leave again until Sept. 30th, 2 days after her 21st birthday. On July fourth, the doctor’s in Virginia Beach said there was nothing more they could do for her. At 9:00 that evening she was in an ambulance on her way to Duke University, her only hope. The days were dark, the valley was deep, hope was lost. But then strangers who didn’t even know her started to fill her room with cards. They told her how they were praying for her, how God loved her. As I sat with them on the bright October day having coffee, they shared how they were comforted knowing others were praying for them when they had lost the ability to pray.
As I’ve walked with Pat and Julia through this, our faith has been tested. Every time there seemed to be hope, it would be quickly dashed. We learned not to get excited when there seemed to be an end in sight, because it never was. Even now, it’s hard to grasp the miracle that has happened. Yet it has. In January, Julia will start back to school, God willing. Why is it miracles are so hard to believe? Over and over again, we see in His word the truth of miracles, yet have a hard time believing in them.
I’m thankful for Julia, she is a walking miracle I’m grateful to call friend.
What are you thankful for today?