Those were the words I remember from Dr. Leila Denmark after she carefully examined our daughter Adrienne. How could I build faith in the middle of this storm? Her body was weak from the continuous coughing that had lasted two weeks. Each doctor’s visit caused me more anxiety that something was seriously wrong with our child. This time my friend had made a call to her family’s doctor, retired pediatrician Dr. Denmark for her expert opinion to diagnosis the condition.”
If it hasn’t already happened friends, there will come a time in your life when you are desperate for God to do something on your behalf. You may, cry out, beg and beseech him and wish you knew the most effective way to pray. You’re hoping to break through Heaven and get your desired request.
James 5:6 says, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. …and, Elijah was a man just like us.”
James was so impressed with the effectiveness of Elijah’s prayer life that he wanted to follow his example.
Tradition tells us that James was nicknamed “camel knees” because his fervent dedication to prayer caused calluses to develop on his knees.
Yet contrary to what many believe, the Bible doesn’t encourage long prayers. Instead, the effectiveness of one’s prayers is emphasized.
An effective prayer life indicates we are praying for the things God wants us to pray for. That means that our prayer life reflects our relationship with him.
“Do not be anxious for anything, but by prayer and supplication present your request unto the Lord.”
We drove to Forsyth county, if you know anything about Forsyth county, it’s not an area where African-American reside, so this drive was also filled with anxiety.
On that cold morning in October, we drove an hour to have Adrienne examined by Dr. Denmark.
After careful examination, she looked at me and said those dreadful words, “She’s going to die.” She has pertussis… “What?” “What is that?” I asked. She rephrased, She further explained that Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it difficult to breathe. I know this disease because I invented the vaccine.
Isn’t it amazing how God brings you in contact with just the right people at just the right time? He is a God of Purpose. I had prayed for weeks to know what was wrong with our daughter. And here I was standing in the office of the doctor who was the co-developer of the vaccine for the illness that had killed thousands.
I stood in disbelief as tears ran down my cheeks. Her words continued,
“Prepare for the worst.”
“Make her as comfortable as possible.”
“Take her to Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta.” Let them know she’s been diagnosed with pertussis. This will need to be documented.
“There is no cure.”
Immediately, we drove to Eggleston Children’s Hospital.
Test confirmed ~ Whooping Cough. Pertussis.
The nurse explained that whooping cough in an infant was severe because as an infant has not learned how to force air into the lungs – a deep inhale was necessary. So, with each cough, it was a strangling effect on her body.
I believe GOD. I will keep Faith.
My heart raced and my mind was full of questions:
Why would God give me this precious gift only to take her away?
As the doctor examined our child, I asked myself, “What did I do wrong? Was I not a good mother and this is my fault?”
The ride home was quiet, I didn’t want her to cough… that would make this nightmare become real.
Micah and I took shifts staying awake to watch her breathe and if she coughed we would pat her on her back to attempt to force oxygen inside her lungs… each cough seemed to last forever.
I searched the scriptures to find comfort.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
This Bible verse became my solid rock when I felt as if the ground around me was quicksand. When hurt, bitterness, and disappointment was overwhelming it caused my heart to ache and gripped my mind and body with fear and anxiety.
Do you believe that ALL work together for your good?
How could good come out of losing my child? How could good come out of the pain that had invaded my world?
I made the decision to RENEW my mind and begin to speak God’s Word.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12: 1, 2 (NIV)
We chose to pray and agreed for a miracle!
This began to build my journey of FAITH.
“Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection].” Hebrews 12:2 (AMPC)
When you take a stand for healing, you’re exercising your faith and putting it on the line.
Distractions want to keep your focus on the problem instead of focusing on Jesus and using scriptures to bring deliverance.
Trust Him to bring your faith to maturity. Jesus wants us to keep our eyes on Him and not the world. Life and death are in the power of the tongue and it was crucial for us to speak LIFE to restore health and bring healing.
This was one of the longest and most difficult experiences of my life as I watched my 9-week-old baby nearly slip from life to death. The cough lasted about 6 weeks before her breathing became normal and there no longer signs of the illness.
Adrienne had contracted pertussis from receiving the DPT (Diphtheria Pertussis Tetanus) vaccine only weeks before. We were told that there is less than 10% chance of getting the disease from the vaccine.
Adrienne received her miraculous healing despite the dim diagnosis.
Her health was restored and my Faith increased.
But know this,
God heals, faith doesn’t, and all prayers are subject to God’s will. Yet, our prayers are part of God’s healing process. That is why God often waits for our prayers of faith before intervening to heal a person.
How effective and fervent are your prayers? What is one thing you can change about your prayer life today?
For more information on how to raise healthy children, I encourage you to get a copy “Every Child Should Have a Chance” by Dr. Leila Denmark.
This book has been very valuable in raising our children.