For many years, Lyme disease made me seem like a hopeless case to my family, my friends, and just about everyone who knew me.
I believe God changed that.
Looking back, I feel my main job in those days was to hold on to hope while I tried everything my doctor and I could think of to get better from Lyme. That was seven long years of being basically housebound, and when I was occasionally well enough to go outside for a walk, I moved at the speed of the average 90-year-old.
This span covered my late 30s to early 40s, as I was forced to live with my parents because my wife left me. It was day after day staring at the bedroom ceiling.
Most days I had to spend about 23 hours in bed. I once heard my mother telling a friend she was taking care of her invalid son. Invalid. What an awful word. I told her to never say that again. And I told her and others that someday I would get well. I doubt anyone believed me.
One morning my dad came in to my room and asked if I wanted an itinerant pastor to come pray for me. He mentioned the guy worked partly as a preacher and partly as a lumberjack.
At that time, I had been saving up my energy so I could get a badly needed haircut, so my first response was, “Dad, what I really need is a barber, not a lumberjack.”
But then I thought again. Why should I turn down an offer of healing prayer when I so desperately wanted to be well. Bring on the lumberjack.
This pastor didn’t really understand what I was going through, but he was a dedicated man who spent an hour praying with me, and then promised to go home and start fasting and praying that I be healed.
I’m not sure if it was his efforts that made the difference, as many people were praying for me, but soon after he visited, things suddenly started to happen.
Neither my doctor or I had made any significant changes in how my Lyme was being treated, but shortly after that prayer session, I felt well enough to go outside and stand in the backyard for 10 minutes. My legs had been so wobbly that I hadn’t stood for more than a couple of minutes at a time in years.
Then I started to stretch out my walks, and found I could go further and further without paying any price for it. I can still remember the day I was walking past a mechanic’s garage on our street and noticed that my legs felt solid. Eureka!
Things quickly fell into place. In the matter of a month or so I put on about 15 pounds after being underweight for many years, and started doing normal things like watching TV. This had been impossible for me to do for more than a few minutes, but now it became easy. I could watch an entire movie, no problem. And I could stand for as long as I wanted.
I didn’t get fully well, but I went from being that invalid to being functional. For those who don’t have Lyme, it would be hard to understand the joy you feel after being a prisoner in your own body for seven years, and then finally being released.
I’m still working at getting back to 100 per cent, and I believe I’ll get there, with God’s help.
So I can’t prove that God healed me, but I can’t think of any other explanation. Mainstream medicine would tell you that people who are practically bedridden for seven years don’t often all of a sudden get a whole lot better.
For me, the moral of this story is to hold on to hope. You just never know when prayer is going to produce great results; you never know when God is going to step in. Scripture tells us that all things are possible for God. Even though Lyme may make things look totally hopeless at times, the truth is that holding on to hope makes a lot of sense.