Twenty minutes into the run a reality hit me that took me into deep thought. Valerie was doing something that was statistically impossible. I began to think to myself, “Where would we be today had she accepted a different report? We would not have our amazing children, we would not be here, and Valerie would not be running!” I was overwhelmed with gratefulness to our Father. Not just because Valerie was living whole, but because the Father is true to his promises. Valerie had become a person that was not fitted for a wheelchair, but running shoes.
It was seventeen years ago that my wife and I eyes were greatly impacted by a report that had an opportunity to change the rest of our lives. Valerie had experienced a partial blind spot in her right eye, so we went to the optometrist to see what was happening. After an examination, an immediate referral to one of the top Neurologists in the country, who happened to be located where we were living at the time. A few days later we found ourselves meeting the Neurologist at the hospital where Valerie would begin an IV with steroids to try to restore her sight. After several days of tests and an MRI, we scheduled our follow up meeting with the doctor to discuss the diagnosis.
During the time between the tests and the meeting with the doctor, I witnessed Valerie prepare her heart for a different report. Watching her during this time was heroic, not because she was unmoved as if nothing was happening, but she chose not to embrace the fear and feelings of abandonment. Her hope broke away from anything she could do or perform, but chose to fall on the opinion and promises of her Father God.
We approached the doctor’s office where we met the Neurologist. He began telling us how two of the tests came back negative (we were grateful for prayers being answered). Then he brought up the brain MRI which he deemed as conclusive (ignoring the other two tests): Valerie had Multiple Sclerosis. He began advising to refrain reading brochures or effects on her future as it would cause her not to embrace the day/medicine (Every brochure showed a wheelchair and how to prepare). We also needed to begin a $1,400 a month shot, after insurance. This would continue for the rest of her life. The shot would shut her immune system down and we would not be able to have children. The shot would not get rid of the MS, but would keep it at bay so we can enjoy a longer journey.
Valerie chose a different report provided from our Heavenly Father and rejected the shot (this did not sit well with the doctor). She opted for the benefit route not provided by insurance, but by God Himself in Psalm 103:1-5:
Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
Over the last seventeen years we had a few encounters that we saw victory in, but each time she rose stronger and better. Today, Valerie runs, swims regularly and has no blind spot. She is energetic and full of life. As I look at her, I don’t just see an amazing woman, but an assured confidence that what our Father has promised, He is also able to perform.