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It all started on a Tuesday night, around 5:15 p.m.

My wife, Jane, and I were preparing for our weekly evening ministry class at Windy Hill Bible College, part of some courses we are taking to complete our degrees in Biblical Theological Studies.

Since we have to drive all the way to Georgetown, Jane's mother, Ellen, usually watches John, our five-year-old son, while we attend class. She helps him get to bed at a decent hour so he'll be well-rested for school the next day.

She usually arrives around 5 p.m. (and is often early) and we leave shortly afterwards. But today, she was late!

My wife decide to call her Mom on her Nextel...she radioed back but it just didn't sound like Ellen. Jane called her again. She responded again with the same phrase, "I'll be right there..." but in a slurred, almost sedated sounding speech—like someone sedated who was trying to wake from an enormously deep slumber.

Jane responded, "Mom, don't go anywhere...we'll be right there!"

I had been listening in the background to their conversation, and I knew something was definitely wrong. Ellen had just turned 81 years old in August, and she lives just a few blocks from us.

She recently moved to be closer to her daughter and grandbaby, after her husband Ralph passed (just two years before). For someone pushing 81 years of age, Jane's mother has always been in very good health. This definitely did not sound like Mom.

I recognized the voice pattern right away...she'd either fallen or had a stroke. But you were not about to hear that come out of my sir-ree!

Fear Or Faith: Choose One
Jane and I tried to calm the oncoming desire to embrace fear, and instead encouraged one another in our stance of faith, reviewing our covenant promises with God! When you're in a crisis, the very first thing the devil tries to do is to get you into's "his" tool, just like "faith" is God's tool!

They both work for the person who embraces them. Fear or Faith, it has always been our choice! And we chose God's faith!

When we arrived it was as I had suspected. Ellen had no control over the left side of her mouth, and her arm hung down beside her and she had very little sporadic control over it. Her mouth looked funny, she was drooling, and her speech was like someone who had their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth, making her sound either drunk or medicated—neither of which could be the case. She does not drink and is not on any medications!

My wife could not seem to convince her that we needed to get her to the hospital. Finally, I took a stance of position directly in front of Ellen and carefully chose my faith was in her recovery, but she needed to understand what we were dealing with here. To her, everything seemed normal, only she couldn't seem to hold anything for very long in her left hand—she kept dropping things.

Ellen used to be a nurse in the days of the "Rosie Riveter's" so, putting this in a medical sense that she could quickly understand, I said to her, "Mom, you have all the symptoms of what 'appears to be' a stroke. Your left arm is all but immobile, you're talking weird, you're drooling, and your hand is for some reason bruised badly. We need to get you checked out to confirm things."

With that she was convinced, and as we led her out to the car she continued to try to communicate to us what she'd been going through the past hour.

At the hospital, after running a CT and some tests they confirmed that she had indeed had a stroke. Usually, the signs of a stroke don't show up for 24 to 48 hours, they told us, but hers showed up right away.

As they left us alone to wait for a room assignment, I watched my wife as she doted over her mother of 43 years. Ellen was still in good spirits and seemed like herself, once you got past the strange speech and facial appearances on the outside.

As I watched my wife with her, I thought back of how excited Jane was about her mother moving up to be with us after her Dad's passing. It was then that I decided this was:
  1. Not in our covenant
  2. My wife was not going to have to endure the remaining years of her mother's life here in this Earth having to deal with "THIS"!
I stood up and said, "Mom, we're going to pray. This is NOT from God and it's NOT in your covenant with Him, and you're not going to live with this!" They both took my hands, and there in the Emergency Room, Trauma 1 (TR-1), my wife and I joined ourselves together for that "one-to-ten-thousand prayer power," and cut loose some faith against this thing.

We didn't pray for a long period of time, we just took a firm, non-retractable stance on our Blood Covenant with Jesus Christ, and used the authority He gave us to "heal the sick." Then we visited just like all was well and taken care of. Jane and I left shortly afterwards as they prepared a room for Ellen for the night.

Faith Always Acts 'Before'
The following day we returned early to see the results. Now mind you, we were already "committed" on this, and we already knew that if we really believed, we needed to be excited about the results—BEFORE THEY HAPPENED!

When we arrived at the hospital, Mom's bed was empty. We found Mom up and gone! There sat her breakfast, coffee, and everything, untouched. Where could she be?

Just then the nurse brought her in from some more tests they'd been running. Apparently, this thing had left her so fast they were having trouble pinning down what exactly happened! And Mom? Well, you'd never know she'd had a stroke.

She was laughing and joking with us, the drool was gone, she had a strong grip in "both" hands, and her smile was back to the same ole' Ellen smile that I've grown to know and love! The bruise on her left hand was already healing! And she spoke as clearly as she always had.

As she sat down to breakfast she began to relate to use about her wonderfully restful sleep and how she felt.

We took her home with us the following day (Thanksgiving Day)! They'd run out of tests and resigned to give her the following instructions: "Take one aspirin a day and check back with us in a couple of weeks."

She stayed with us part of the weekend as we still wanted to keep an eye on her, but by Saturday she was ready to go! We took her home where she hopped into her car and headed off to the grocery store!

We followed her along the way. She drove just as well as anybody else on the road, and waived at us as we passed her by, all the while making a left turn. I figured she was driving better than most at 81, and seemed to have a good handle on everything, so we waved and traveled on.

As we drove away my five-year-old was chattering in the back about, "Where's Grandma going?" I began to reflect on what had happened this past week during our Thanksgiving holiday.

We truly had something this year to be thankful for! We have a covenant with God—an everlasting covenant—which provides for healing, restoration, deliverance...and for our wonderful Thanksgiving Gift we just received this year in Mom!

"Thank you Father for the Gospel of Jesus truly IS, the power of save, to heal, to deliver, and to make men free! And this year, it gave us a special Thanksgiving!"

Copyright © Spirit of Truth Ministries International
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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