“Whose voice is that? That isn’t my thought!” I said to myself as I walked through the parking lot to my car. I had just received the devastating news that I had Terrien’s Marginal Degeneration, an incurable eye disease that gradually leads to complete blindness. The ophthalmologist who delivered the news said that the cornea has no blood vessels in it, but in this disease, blood vessels grow into the corneas and begin destroying them, leading inevitably to blindness. He continued to explain that since they don’t know what causes it, they don’t have any cure for it. He was very apologetic in giving me this information. As I walked to my car, I was in a bit of shock. Then, as clear as a bell, I heard a voice inside my head say, “So if they don’t know what causes it, and they have no cure for it, then when God heals me, it’ll be all Him!” The voice was so emphatic, so confident, yet I knew that it was not my own thought. It had to be the voice of the Holy Spirit.
I had always harbored questions in my heart about healing. Many Christians told me that God doesn’t heal now; that was only in Bible times. Other Christian voices I heard or read seemed to say that God always wants to heal in every situation. “Where was the balance?”, I asked myself.
This was on a Wednesday. I prayed every day for the Lord to speak clearly to me. “Lord, do You want me to pray and ask You to heal me, or was that just my imagination?” That Sunday at church, the sermon was about a man named Naaman who was plagued with leprosy. (See his complete story in I Kings chapter 5.) The Lord healed him gradually, yet miraculously. This really spoke to me: If God could heal Naaman back then, He can definitely heal me now! After the service, I asked the elders to pray with me to be healed. While they were praying for me, I heard the voice again. This time it said, “Cathy, I want you to pray and ask Me to heal you, and I WILL heal you!” The voice had the same emphasis and confidence as before in the parking lot. I made up my mind to obey the voice.
One month later, I went to Indianapolis to see the ophthalmologist. He had an assistant examine my eyes and “map” the progression of the disease on a computer program. It showed that blood vessels had grown into the corneas and my white blood cells had been attacking the corneas, eating away at them from the top and bottom edges. This had caused a change in the shape of my corneas, leading to worsened vision. In its wake was left a deposit of whitish lipids, the waste left over from the skirmish between white blood cells and corneas. The doctor then came in and told me that he was giving me eye drops, a new weapon to try in the battle against this disease. I was to use them twice a day and then come back in six months for a checkup.
Every day I prayed, asking God to heal me. I promised that I would continually give Him all the glory. I remembered one of our elders telling me, “Cathy, don’t forget to thank God NOW for the healing He has promised!” This was new to me, but I trusted this elder implicitly because of his life’s testimony, compassion, and close relationship to the Lord. So every day, I also thanked God for the healing He was delivering now, even though I couldn’t yet see it.
Six months passed quickly, and I returned to Indianapolis to see the ophthalmologist. His assistant came in first to examine my eyes and do the mapping on the computer. As he was mapping, he said under his breath, “Wow.” I asked him what he was seeing, and he replied, “The progress of blood vessels that grew into your corneas has halted completely, and there are no additional lipid deposits. That is completely unprecedented!” My heart leapt within my chest, and I thought it would burst! “God, You are faithful!” I shouted internally. Then the doctor came in, looked at the computer mapping, and said, “Well, that is unusual.” I asked him what he saw and, shaking his head, he told me the same thing. I simply said, “Well, praise God,” grinning from ear to ear. He told me to keep up with the eye drops and come back in six months.
This went on for two years, every six months returning to Indianapolis. Every time, the mapping showed the blood vessels retreating until, at last, they were no longer in the corneas at all. Every time, my doctor was speechless! He told me that he had previously treated Terrien’s patients from all over the country, but he had never once seen a healing. Every time, when he told me the results, I simply said, “Well, praise God!”
On the last six-month visit, he told me to come back in a year. After a year, he said the same thing. Then after the second yearly examination, he released me from treatment, shaking his head and saying, “Well, I don’t know how it happened, but you really are a success story!” I thanked him for all his help and once again gave God the glory. I sang all the way home, smiling so much it made my face hurt!
This was the first time I ever heard from God in this way, experienced healing in this way, and saw His faithfulness in this way. It totally changed my perspective on healing, how to pray, what question(s) to ask God when I pray, and how to thank God, in faith, for what He has promised even before receiving it (Hebrews 11:6, 13, 39 & 40). I thank God that He chose to heal me in this way. As a result, my faith in Him is unwavering.
“Be Thou My Vision” ~ Jean Watson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0XT1hTDGDE
~ Cathy Schrock, Writer
~ Deana Harvey, Artist