A true story of an encouraging miracle God performed for a 15-year-old and her friends
N THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST we have enjoyed what we call the Northwest Weekend for 30 years now. It's a weekend at the end of December when the teenagers in the church from the entire northwest area get together for games, church and a dance. In years past it was basketball and we've been known to have a talent showcase too. This year it was held on the 26th and 27th of December and it included volleyball, a bible study seminar, church and a dance. We've had teens come from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, California, Canada, and Alaska over the years.
This year, as it has been for most of the 30 years, the Northwest Weekend was held in the Portland area. The teenagers here began planning for this in early November. They spent three Sundays in a row getting together to create the decorations for the dance theme. A lot of work was put into the preparations and it took a considerable amount of teamwork and effort from many teens, parents, and other adults.
On December 25th - the day the whole world basically shuts down and there are very few open stores - my 15 year old daughter, Shauna, woke up in the morning with a sore neck. Well that progressed to a burning throat and a severe headache. She even said her skin was sore to touch. By mid afternoon she had a fever of 103.9! Well, at this point we pretty much figured that we would not be attending the Northwest weekend that the teens look forward to for a whole year. It's the other major event in their lives besides the Feast of Tabernacles and camp. Shauna was very disappointed and she was worried about letting down her teammates for the Volleyball tournament and she was also concerned about the expense we had put out for her to have a new dress and shoes for the weekend just being wasted.
In the past, I've watched both of my children go through seizures caused by fevers and very difficult illnesses during which we had to fight the fevers 24 hours a day and sometimes nothing we did seemed to help on several occasions. I've watched Shauna suffer the reactions of allergies...environmental as well as food to the point that she could only eat 7 foods without some kind of reaction from minor to severe...at one point looking up at me when she was just 7 years old and telling me she felt like she was going to die.
We tried a few times to call the local ministers for her to be anointed, but no one was home! Of course we all prayed about it. We did the usual routine to do what we could to get the fever down, and my husband had to find a store that was open that would have what we needed, and I called a couple people to let them know we might not make it because I was responsible for the food for the dance and Shauna was on the decorating committee. I needed to find someone to take our place just in case.
Well - first of all, one of the people I called, Sharon, said to tell Shauna that she would be fine by tomorrow. This really encouraged Shauna. Then Sharon's 18 year old daughter, Lisa, was very concerned and determined to do something about it. So Lisa called around to several of the Portland area teenagers and told them about Shauna being sick and asked them all to pray for her. They did!
In the words of Cheryl, the mother of two of the local teens, "We had Josh (another local teen) spend the night Wednesday night. On Thursday afternoon, the day before the Volleyball games, Lisa called us, all upset, and said Shauna had a fever of 104 and she asked us to pray that God would heal her so she wouldn't miss out on Northwest weekend." So - Cheryl had her two sons Scott and Nathan and also Josh immediately get down on their knees and again in Cheryl's words "they prayed that God would heal her quickly. The Northwest weekend is the highlight of the year and we didn't want her to miss it. Josh said a prayer for her as well." Cheryl also told me that after they were finished, Josh made a comment about how disappointed he would be if she couldn't attend the dance. Cheryl told him simply "Have faith, Josh."
How God Answers
WHENEVER WE ARE ASKED to pray for someone I always like to follow up and find out how God has answered our prayers. I love to read the updates and especially when it contains good news about someone being healed or protected. He always does answer our prayers. It is not always in the way we think is best, but it is always for the best. Even in the most difficult of times God knows what's best for each of us and He knows things that we don't always understand. That is where faith and trust must come in. I firmly believe there is something good in everything that happens to each of us if we can just look for it. Although, sometimes we have to look much deeper than other times because sometimes it can be very difficult to find the good in some situations. Even though contained in this article is an encouraging true story of healing...I have also endured some extremely difficult times in my life.
I've had friends I was close to die, from both accidents and illnesses. Some quite suddenly and others long and drawn out and it is always under difficult circumstances. Both of my parents died within 11 months of each other a few years ago due to lung and heart disease and anyone who knows anything about lung disease knows it's a very long drawn out and extremely difficult battle. I, myself have...in the past...been basically bedridden for almost 4 months with a very difficult illness and I wasn't at all sure whether it was God's will that I live or die, when my children were just 4 and 8 years of age.
The point to all of the above is that while we all, because we are human, do get sick, God does answer our prayers. Sometimes he heals us in this life and sometimes his answer is for us to wait until later or even sometimes until the resurrection. But, he always answers our prayers. Quite often we have to wait and when we do...if we are able to look for the good in the situation we find ourselves in...even though extremely difficult sometimes...then we can learn valuable lessons that God wants us to understand that someday we can pass on to others.
WE WERE FINALLY ABLE TO REACH our local elder and we had Shauna anointed. By this time it was late afternoon or early evening. By early morning...every one of Shauna's symptoms was completely gone. She said she felt great! Under normal circumstances after being as sick as she was, I would have waited at least 24 hours before letting her resume her routine. But this was just so clear it was answer to prayer and we felt that God wanted her to be a part of Northwest weekend. We kept her home in the morning just to be sure because it was just so dramatic. In Shauna's words - "it was AWESOME!" She was really impressed because Sharon had said she would be fine and she was! God had healed her! Plus the example of all of the teenagers praying for her and the fact that God really came through for them all.
My husband had gone over to where the games were being held early in the morning and apparently word had spread quickly. Many people were asking him about Shauna and he was telling them she was just fine and the symptoms had all disappeared and everyone was excited. Especially the teenagers because it proved to them that God cares about them and he listens to them and he answers their prayers too. These teens came together when it counted and took it to God and he rewarded them all as a loving Father does.
We arrived at the games shortly after noon just as Shauna's teammates were finishing their last game. They were all so excited to see her and were all majorly pumped because God answered their prayers and Shauna was there. They even told us they had dedicated a game to Shauna. She was in their thoughts even though she wasn't able to play in the games. Shauna is on Portland's A team, but the B team still had another game to play so they asked Shauna if she would like to play and she did and she had a wonderful time.
Again in Cheryl's words "The whole weekend went great and the kids had a blast!" Shauna was able to attend the whole rest of the weekend as if nothing had happened and yet we all knew something very special had happened!
God does answer our prayers and the teen line from Portland to God is a hot one, just as it is from each one of us all over the world wherever we are and whatever situation we find ourselves in, God is only a prayer away and he does answer those prayers and if not right away...then he is still beside us helping us get through whatever we must endure until he feels the time is right.
God has helped me get through some pretty tough times and I know he has with all of you as well. I hope our story has helped to uplift you as much as it did all of us. It really is exciting to see first hand the miracles that God does perform for each of us and through each of us - including our teenagers.
Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 1998 by Virtual Christian Magazine. All rights reserved.