Thursday, April 9, 2009

My miracle

The 4 Webbs drove to NorCal and the trip went well! I've been working over the past couple of days on writing this blog, but it's taken a bit of effort to get the details right, so here it goes...

I was diagnosed with scoliosis (curvature of the spine) at 8 years of age. There were no medical advances like body braces back then to correct the condition. Over the years my body adjusted to the misshaped spine resulting in lopsided shoulders and hips. I eventually started wearing a heel lift in my left shoe and even had to go so far as sitting on a thick mouse pad at work in order to get my left side to align better with my body. On THREE separate occasions I experienced a herniated disc in my back over the past 5 years. I visit the chiropractor about once every two weeks and sometimes several times a week when things get too far out of alignment or the pain gets to be too much to bear.

A curved spine, shorter leg, crooked shoulders, and pain all were so “normal” that it became an acceptable part of who I am. Just part of life… Every day for the past 28 years I look at myself in the mirror and notice the asymmetrical shapes of my shoulders and abdomen. Sometimes I don’t even realize how bad things are in certain areas of my life (like my back) until I step back and write down the absurd realities I’ve come to accept as normal.

Faith and belief in God have always been a part of my life and being a son of a preacher man who believes in miracles means I’ve seen many of them over the years. However, for me personally all of the miracles were in the form of “blessings in disguise”. Easton and Layla for example… Are they a miracle? Yes. Can their lives be justified scientifically as a probability and man-made? Yes. There are Godless people who have twins through IVF all the time. I am certain our twins are a miracle, but it’s not tangibly proven to be God.

All of that changed on Wednesday night. So here is the story of my miracle.

Neill and Jenny, the South African missionaries staying with us, have their own unique gifts and talents. Jenny has the gift of healing. Over the last few years I’ve witnessed God perform miracles through Jenny with my own eyes. Even though I believed what I saw, I just didn’t think it was available to me for some reason.

Anyway, as they sat in our living room Wednesday evening with just the 4 of us adults talking and hanging out, I decided to do some stretching there on the rug. I stretch almost every single day for martial arts and injury avoidance, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to roll off the couch onto the floor and do some flexibility training. However, as I sat on the floor, pulled my legs together, and leaned forward, Jenny looked at my feet with a perplexed facial expression and said, “you have one leg shorter than the other!?” I responded back saying, “yes, I have scoliosis and that’s one of the side effects… that and lopsided shoulders and hips.”

She grabbed a chair and told me to sit in it because she was going to pray for healing of my back. I agreed and sat down while Kendra sat on the floor in front of me next to Jenny. I put my feet together and extended them out in front of me. All of us could visibly see the gap between the lengths of my legs.

Now comes the exciting part. There was no organ music or loud choir singing or crying out to God with intensity and screaming. For a few seconds there was complete and total silence. Then, in her calm and sweet voice, Jenny began to pray and thank God for healing me. As she was praying my legs and spine felt like they turned into taffy. I felt my hips and legs shifting; Slowly, gradually, smoothly back and forth a few times. Kendra and I both had our eyes open and saw my legs and hips shifting. When my feet finally settled in perfect alignment she lowered them to the ground and I just sat there in complete shock at what I had just felt and seen. I stood up and walked over the mirror in our hallway and just stared at myself for the next couple of hours. My shoulders are straight for the first time since I was a little boy!

Here is a picture from a couple of years ago with a line I drew in with photoshop to show how far off from straight my spine alignment was.

and here is a picture I had Kendra take moments after my miracle.

Here is the full sized unedited version of the "before" picture just for reference.

The visual representation, and the instantaneous change is undeniable. Whether you personally believe in God or miracles is completely irrelevant because the truth of my miracle is not dependant on belief from anyone else. :)From now on when people ask if I've experienced a miracle I will no longer sheepishly shrug my shoulders and explain my way through other situations in the past, which may or may not have been a miracle.

This is as real and visible and obvious as any miracle I've ever heard of. I am from Missouri, the show-me state, so I have a cultural upbringing of requiring visible proof! Every morning since Wednesday I wake up, shuffle over to the mirror, and stare at myself for a few minutes because the idea of my body being balanced and even and level is my new reality. I am forever grateful to Jenny for being willing to have faith enough for me.

The story is much longer than I can write here as a blog, so feel free to ask me about the other details if you'd like to hear more. :)

Have a happy Easter weekend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John saw this happen for a little crippled boy on a medical missions trip one day. Now, he avidly prays with his patients because he knows how much more God can do, than he could ever do for them. I'm so pleased that God did this for you. You will never be the same. Joanie