Sunday, July 31, 2005

Chronic pain relieved

On June 4, 1993, as I was walking off of a marine dock, my life changed dramatically. A large surge hit the floating dock. The ramp which rested on the dock and led up to shore was tossed up. In a flash, the several ton ramp crashed down on my foot and trapped me. The pain was excruciating. I felt as if I was being sucked into a black hole and drained of life. I began screaming, "God, please help me! Please help me Lord!" Many on-lookers raced to help lift the ramp and pull me out. But the weight was too much. I heard fragments of sentences - discussion of how to free me - "amputation". I was later told that I cried out for everyone to pray. As quickly as it happened, a large surge hit the dock a second time and I was pulled free. A doctor and a nurse ran down the ramp and took over until the rescue squad arrived. The nurse said she and the doctor were foot specialists and would administer my needs. I believe they were there to "minister" to my needs. They could not be located following my injury - not by doctors in the hospital nor by an article in the local paper. Could God have sent the second surge to free me as well as the angels to assist me? There is no doubt in my mind. The crush injury kept me in the hospital over a week. There was fear of loosing the foot, then the fear of skin grafts, and the fear of not walking again. None of these fears prevailed. I did however develop a nerve disorder referred to as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). It is an extremely painful condition that is something like putting an ice cube on an exposed nerve or having hot sauce run through your veins. There are no cures - just trial and error treatments. After several months, my husband and I moved to San Diego. I continued with physical therapy and began treatment at UCSD's Pain Clinic. My husband and I started attending St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Coronado - yet another blessing. Like a vine, God was weaving a path and leading me to Him. For months we sat in the balcony where I could cry and release my emotions undetected. The pain in my foot was taking over. I was exhausted physically and emotionally. I contemplated suicide. Yet, I still felt drawn to church and found some peace when surrounded by the beautiful music. Something we had not observed in the Methodist church before was healing prayer at the rail following communion. Some great impulse (!) sent me there - my husband by my side. I wanted the minister to pray for me. But as God would have it, Hal and his wife asked me to come forward. As I knelt at the rail they asked about my condition and need for prayer. I asked for "endurance of the pain". Hal responded, " we're not going to pray for endurance, but to be rid of the pain!" And in the name of Jesus as Hal touched my head, boom! I was laying on the floor in the most wonderful tranquility and lightness. My foot was tingling. Tears started to flow and I knew something was happening - something I didn't understand but could trust completely. As I laid on the floor, I could see my husband's questioning face as he leaned against the front pew. I knew what he was thinking. What's going on here? And if I had suspected what was going to happen, I doubt I would have gone for healing prayer. I didn't believe those preachers I had occasionally seen on TV. Well believe me! Jesus has given authority for others to practice what He demonstrated. And what a wonderful blessing! My pain was reduced significantly. It was not a total healing. However, I still believe that He will heal my foot 100%. However, what He gave me has changed my life. He has gotten my attention. And now I have an ongoing relationship with Him. The peace of knowing God as my Father and Jesus as my Savior weaves through every part of my life. His vine continues to grow with me - as long as I seek Him. I am so thankful that I can walk, that God is using Hal and others from the healing class to convey His word and promises to His children, that I am being lead to meaningful and fulfilling tasks. Currently I am a volunteer at a neonatal intensive care unit. I feed, rock, diaper and sing to premature babies. I pray for them and their families. I love my work. I pray that it is satisfying to my Father for He has given me so much. Something I would not have sought became my miracle and blessing. I know that God wants to share such with you. Seek Him for healing - whether physical or emotional. As you stay in His word and develop an intimate relationship with Him, you will find your blessings too. Frances Howard

Hal's Note: Frances subsequently received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Frances and her husband have since been transferred to Tampa, Florida. She graciously sent me this testimony to add to my homepage. It was at her instigation that our present prayer and healing class was started.
I have seen Frances recently and she is still doing fine.

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