What Doesn’t Kill Me Makes Me Stronger (Reblogged from Odessa Gillespie Black)

My daughter often jokes and says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, Mama. Don’t get mad, get pumped.” But I remember to days back in 2004 and I wonder how we made it through. To date, you all don’t know much about me. That’s my fault. I haven’t shared.

In 2004, my husband became ill and eventually went into a coma. The doctors told us many people hold the misconception that we can come to them and they can “fix it.” That wasn’t true for my husband. No one knew how he’d gotten ill or what to do to “fix him.” That puts a wife in a very helpless situation.

 In July of 2004, Brant went into the hospital with respiratory symptoms that acted much like the flu. He was put on life support and within ten days came home. He had lost around 30 pounds and this made him look even more sickly. Christmas of that same year rolled around and our family was devastated. My boss thought I was off eating bon bons and watching soap operas while my whole family became ill. The children went through 3 bottles of cough meds a day and diarrhea and throwing up were an every hour occurrence. I got fired the day after Brant was released from his job. Within months, Brant was sick again.

 Brant entered into Cleveland Regional Hospital in Shelby, NC with an illness with no known etiology (which means the doctors were literally baffled). Within days he had decreased kidney function, swelling of the liver and his vitals signs were all over the place. The coma came next. No kidney function, no liver function, pancreatitis, congestive heart failure and basically a whole system shut down, while the kids and I suffered less severe, but similar illnesses.

 The doctor had me bring in samples of the wall of my house. They found no types of mold that matched the thin orange rods they’d never seen before in his lungs. IT was a type of mold that had mutated from two separate types and he would probably be in the history books before it was all over, the doctors told me.

 So we lost everything we owned because the doctor said we needed to leave the house behind and all our belongings with it.

 We did.

 I lived at the hospital on the concrete floor in the waiting area beside my husband’s ICU room waiting for the final moment, for the doctors had told us to make final preparations. He had less than a 1% chance to live.

 One morning about a months in, I woke to a phone call from a woman who told me God had kept her up all night praying for a blonde haired man, a brown haired woman (his wife) and their four children. She said she went to pick up her diabetic meds at a local pharmacy, heard the pharm. tech. talking about her son in a coma and she stepped forward. She got our number and called me to tell me what God had told her to tell me.

 I asked, “What did he say?”

 “That your husband will get up out of that hospital bed and walk out of that hospital a healed man.”

 “Wait. Who are you and who are you with?” I asked used to weird scams in this day and age.

 “I’m with Jesus and that’s all you need to know for right now.”

 “Well, his next visitation is in ten minutes and I have to go.”

 “Please take my number. He told me I have to find you a home, refurnish your house, buy new clothes for your whole family and take care of Christmas this next year, so we still have some talking to do.”

I took her number, sure she was a looney person and went in to see my husband where I found CHAOS! 

I walked up behind the doctor and asked him what was wrong. 

“Actually, nothing. We’re pulling him off the ventilator, his kidney function is back and all his labs are back to normal. I don’t know what happened.”

“I do,” I answered in tears.

 I’d just witnessed a Lazarus. The only thing really living anymore had been the machines and Jesus had brought Brant back to life.


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