Valerie made her way down the aisle for prayer at the close of the sermon. I followed and sat beside her, hopeful, daring to believe with her and for her. Faith-filled friends gathered around and prayed, each in their own way--some vehemently ordering the devil around, others--like me--quietly, but with authority, praying the Scriptures.
Then the minister grabbed Valerie's hands and ordered her to stand. My insides curled. I'd witnessed this kind of "presumptuous" behavior too many times through the years, and seen its destructive emotional effects. As Valerie struggled out of her seat, I buried my face in my hands and cried, "God, fix this!"
Suddenly a loud noise startled me and I looked up to see Valerie running and skipping across the front of the church, twirling and whooping, laughing and raising her hands in praise. People around me cheered triumphantly, clapping and jumping high into the air. I clapped too, in slow motion, gaping at my walker-less friend, processing the undeniable fact that Valerie Shedden had just been instantly healed of Multiple Sclerosis.
I'd witnessed my first in-person, instantaneous healing miracle. The date was March 14, 2010.
I would have blogged about it then, but --being the person of "strong faith" that I am--I wanted to give it time, wait for the doctor's documentation (she got it), and see where Valerie would be a year from then.
Why was Valerie healed that night? Was it her humble faith? The minister's bold faith? Or did a sovereign God decide that it was simply her time?
While I continue to grapple with such questions, a thirty-something red-head frolics among trumpeting daffodils with her daugher just minutes down the road. I see her on a regular basis, and if I didn't know better, I would never guess that Valerie Shedden once had MS.
But don't take my word for it. Let her tell you her own story.