Wednesday, July 20, 2011

31 Days of Victory: {Day 20} Prayer

When I was a child, I remember my mom and dad telling me the story of my birth. Mom said I had a full head of hair and I was purple as a plum. Somehow, the umbilical cord managed to get wrapped around my neck, cutting off my oxygen. I might not have made it If I’d waited much longer to come out. I’m so thankful the Lord spared me. But that's not all He spared me from.

As the doctors examined me they realized something was wrong. They decided to take x-rays and discovered that I was born without hipbones. I have no idea what this might have looked like. I suppose my legs were just dangling there. There was no sign of possible development of the bones. The doctor shared the disheartening news with my mom and dad.

“I’m sorry. There’s nothing we can do.” 

They prepared my parents for what was to come—the difficulties of a handicap child, confined to a wheel chair for life. I can only imagine how hard that news was. Everyone hopes for a completely healthy child. But of course, they loved me through it, accepting me as I was.

At the time, they were members of a sweet, little Spanish speaking church in Sacramento called the Latin Church of the Nazarene. One Sunday, they brought me before the church and shared the news. As they stood at the altar, the congregation prayed over me, asking God for a miracle. 

Then, the unexpected happened.

When it was time for my check up, my parents brought me to the doctor. He was completely beside himself when he discovered that all my bones were there, fully developed, as if they’d been there all along. The x-rays confirmed it. I was healed! From that day forward, mama called me her miracle baby.

In spite of all this, I still struggled with doubt. I rarely told my story of healing because I was a baby when it happened and I don't remember it first hand. In fact, it seemed more like a cool fairy tale when my parents shared it with me. It felt like I didn't have a tangible experience of God's hands at work in my life... until He changed my perspective. 

Later, I was able to experience another miraculous healing first hand. I believe God allowed me to experience extreme physical pain in order to build my faith. I had suffered from back problems for years. I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 12 and it continued to progress as I grew. The pain was manageable and the scoliosis wasn't bothersome, until a little over two years ago. 

I started finding myself stuck, hardly able to move, with a pinched nerve kind of feeling. I decided to go to a chiropractor. At first it was helpful, but then it just seemed to get worse with every passing day, to the point where Curtis literally had to carry me to and from the car to get me to the doctor. When I tried to stand, my legs would completely collapse beneath me. 

One night, while my husband was out of town, I woke up with indescribable pain, shooting down my back. By the time morning arrived, I had to call an ambulance. 3 morphine injections later, I found myself in the E.R., face down, unable to move. The medication hadn't even touched the pain.  

X-rays revealed a herniated disc that was partially ruptured. I was hospitalized for a week and had to endure physical therapy to learn how to sit up in bed and eventually learn to walk all over again. It was not fun. At one point the doctor warned me to buzz the nurse if my feet went numb since that could be a sign of permanent paralysis. One night they did go numb and I thought to myself, "Well, I guess I was always destined to be in a wheelchair." But God had different plans. 

A friend of mine came to visit me in the hospital and said the Lord pressed proverbs 4:12 on her heart on the way there. The crazy part is, that was my room number {412}! Here's what it says, "When you walk, your steps will not be hampered, when you run you will not stumble." I held onto that verse as a promise from God.

After I was sent home, only able to walk with the assistance of a walker, I received a call from a friend. She told me she had a dream that her parents were suppose to pray over me. I had never met her parents, but the interesting thing is, a year prior, I had received a dream of an unknown couple praying over me. At the time of my dream, I didn't know what it meant. There I was a year later, wondering if our two dreams had the same meaning. I agreed to have her parents come. The moment they walked in, I recognized the couple from my dream. They introduced themselves and proceeded to pray over me in the name of Jesus. 

I didn't expect to be healed. I'm not sure what I expected, actually. Maybe I was expecting the worst and hoping for the best. But as the woman laid hands on my back and prayed a beautiful prayer in faith, I felt something crazy happen. My spine began to move. At first I didn't believe it was happening, but then she stopped praying and said, "You're spine just moved! Did you feel that?!" I did feel it! She continued to pray and it felt as if the ruptured pieces were gently popping back into place. I was blown away! 

The prayer was finished and the sweet couple didn't ask me to get up for proof of healing. They didn't have me dance around the room. They simply leaned down and hugged me. They offered me these special parting words, "Just keep walking in your healing." {Kind of reminds me of the words I shared with you from my friend on Day 3, "You've been given freedom. Walk in it."} Then they said goodbye and left. My husband encouraged me to stand up and walk. I did. Then he told me to touch my toes. I did. That night I was able to resume all normal activities: doing dishes, walking around the house. I praised God, in awe of Him, the whole time. I never used the walker again and never refilled my pain medication. 

God heard the prayer and He answered. For the second time, I was healed. 
The reason I share these stories is to testify that prayer works. God doesn't always chose to heal, or answer our prayers exactly the way we might prefer. In fact, even the apostle paul prayed that he would be healed from the thorn in His side and God replied, "My grace is sufficient for you." Regardless of the answer or the timing of the tangible response, God is certainly listening, and He loves it when we talk to Him. I praise the Lord that He chose to heal me. I know of many other people that He's chosen not to heal in this life--friends who have passed from cancer or tragic accidents. But the bottom line is, in all of it, God's name has been glorified--whether healed in this earthly body, or healed in eternity by receiving a new body in glory. 

The moral of it all... well I'm still learning about why God has healed me twice. I believe He was making His faithfulness and power known to me and to those around me. Now I pass on my story to you as an encouragement for your own faith journey. I used to be a skeptic. Now I'm a believer. God is able!

What have you been praying for? What do you stand in need of? 

He sees. He hears. He's able. Keep praying. 

Victory is possible. I'm living proof. 

Monique Zackery
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  1. Monique, that was truly worth the wait, Sister. Amazing testimony. And you are an amazing woman. And He is an amazing God. Love you much.

  2. Thank you, sweet Carla! Love you too.

  3. Glory to God - I rejoice in your healing!

  4. That is a beautiful story, thank you for sharing your story and that verse from Proverbs.


"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." - Proverbs 16:24