I Love to Tell My Story—
Do You Love to Tell Yours?
Life is filled with challenges, responsibilities, and demands on our time, along with many transitions. Whether or not we are Christians, we don’t normally escape the realities of our lives—both the positive and the negative ones. However, Jesus promises His followers, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age!” (Matthew 28: 20b, NIV). I must admit, though, that for many years these words seemed a little hollow, because my childhood foundation was built on trauma, guilt, and wariness of others. As a result, I created walls of protection around my heart, around my life. Nevertheless, after years of Christian counseling, God began to heal my mind, heart, and spirit. And at last I was able to understand the healing of His love and the power and comfort of His presence.
And now we’ll fast forward to the late spring of 2017. My husband, Steve (also a former Salvation Army Officer/pastor) suffers from an autoimmune disease. The medications that he takes suppress his overactive immune system. One morning he woke up and was barely able to move. I rushed Steve to the Emergency Room with a raging fever; he couldn’t walk at all by the time we arrived. He was admitted to the hospital for three days, during which time he was given a couple of different courses of antibiotics. Eventually, it was determined that Steve had sepsis, which “is a serious condition resulting from the presence of harmful microorganisms in the blood or other tissues and the body’s response to their presence, potentially leading to the malfunctioning of various organs, shock, and death,” (Webster Dictionary). Steve was in the hospital for two full days before it was discovered how the infection had entered his blood stream. Over the next several weeks the type of antibiotics had to be changed 5 times, and he also had a topical antibiotic. During this time Steve had to stop taking the medications for his autoimmune disease so that his body could build up immunity to fight the sepsis. Although he recovered enough to walk out of the hospital, he had a relapse within a couple of weeks. The result was that he had an auto-immune attack which essentially left him paralyzed down his right side. With physiotherapy and lots of practice, he relearned how to walk and regained much of his strength and mobility. During this time period of six to seven months, I was privileged to serve as Steve’s chauffeur for his many medical appointments and back and forth to work. Steve was in really bad shape when he was admitted to the hospital, and I thought we were losing him. But people were standing in the gap for us, and we believed that God would hear and answer the many prayers—and He did!.We are so thankful that God gave Steve back to our family.
This is part of my recent story. Steve and I thought that we were in the clear and were looking forward to celebrating Christmas together. But then things took a turn in my health, which I will share with you next week.
Blessings & Peace
Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor), Canada