No challenge too great

The voices seemed muffled as I slowly woke out of the anesthesia following a medical procedure on my back.

I heard the doctor’s gloomy prognosis: “She might not be able to live a normal life and certainly she shouldn’t have any children with a serious back condition like this.”

Another concurred: “She might be confined to a wheelchair from the age of 30 if the scoliosis keeps progressing as rapidly as it has been.”

When I reached home later that day, I locked myself in my room and sat by the window for hours, staring out at the gray, cloud-laden sky as tears rolled down my cheeks. All I could think of was spending life in a wheelchair.

I was twelve when I was diagnosed with a serious case of scoliosis in three parts of my spine. The diagnosis was followed by countless doctor and hospital visits. The scoliosis rapidly worsened. To slow the progress of the curvature, I began sleeping in a plaster mold and wearing a thick plastic corset during the day.

The song went out of my life, and I became shy and withdrawn, for fear of my crooked spine being noticed. I wore loose-fitting clothes to try to hide the slight hump that had formed on the right side of my back due to the curvature. But despite my despair, an inner voice encouraged me to not give up, and eventually, after months of hard training at physiotherapy, the progress of the scoliosis started to slow down.

With time, my faith in God also increased, and I realized that prayer was augmenting my success in achieving my life’s goals, despite the setbacks this chronic condition kept throwing at me. God sent special people into my life, like a gifted massage therapist who helped me for years with her services and friends who assisted me during the delivery of my seven children. I learned to live positively with this physical challenge and even improve my health. The forecast of being confined to a wheelchair thankfully never materialized, and the scoliosis hasn’t worsened.

Now, almost 50 years later, I am grateful for the obstacles that I learned to overcome. Prayer is what has given me victories over what seemed like life-threatening defeats.