When the neurologist told me with tears in his eyes that I had ALS and there is no known cure, the room grew silent. But my mind focused on a beautiful image: this disease will be my Blessed Chariot that will carry me home to be with Jesus forever.
Typically, there is a three to five-year life expectancy for a person with ALS, but my symptoms started in my mouth, so research says my life may be even shorter. I really don’t know how much time I have but I know that God is in charge. And I plan to live each day to the fullest.
I have always trusted God completely ever since I was saved at age 15. When I gave my life to Christ, I asked Him to use me in any way He saw fit, to use my life for His glory. While I didn’t know how God was going to use me with ALS, I knew, even with this diagnosis, that I just needed to be faithful and trust Him.
I truly feel this will be my great opportunity to shine for Jesus and to live for Him in difficult circumstances, to prove that He’s all He says He is. This will be my last triumph, an opportunity to show that every single promise that God has written in His Word will be true. And I intend to hang on those promises.
In 2020, I suddenly started to develop what I’d describe as a slight lisp. Thinking I may have had a small stroke, I went to the neurologist to undergo some tests. The diagnosis that came back stunned everyone.
My life obviously took a sharp turn. But not my faith in the Lord. He has blessed me in so many ways throughout my life. Just like someone training for a marathon, I’m training my heart and my mind to rest securely in the Lord. Now that I can no longer walk, talk, write or care for myself, I’m in awe that God is giving me the power to rest contentedly in His goodness.
I spend a lot of time now praying for my husband, his ministry, our children and grandchildren, some who are not yet born. My prayers will live on in the presence of God and He’ll answer some of those prayers long after I go to live with Him forever.
I have seen countless blessings since I came down with this disease. The Lord had moved us to Birmingham where UAB has an ALS Clinic of experts to administer great care to me; an ALS Association that advises and lends equipment to make life easier; a church family that loves and cares for us from house cleaning to meals and everything in between; a neighborhood of literal saints who shower us with meals, flowers, prayer and random acts of kindness; a three-story home with an elevator as well as a wing for my daughter’s family to live with us while her husband finishes chiropractic school so I’ve had live-in care and a house filled with joy from my grandsons; and I’ve been showered with medical equipment on loan from friends, including a power wheelchair and custom mobility van. These were hand-me-down gifts from a precious man who just lost his wife to ALS. He’s an elder in a church we served outside New Orleans. He drove them all the way to us because he felt God prompting him. When I told him through sobs that I didn’t deserve such gifts, he walked over to me, patted me on the shoulder and said, “we know what we deserve, don’t we? But Jesus has already paid for that. Now it’s my joy to give this to you.” This allows me to go to church, my grandsons’ soccer games and on dates with my husband! I can’t wait to thank her in heaven.
And I’m also taking this time to share my thoughts on my Facebook page where I try to encourage women to think biblically and grow deeper in their love for Christ.
On some days, I feel my ALS is progressing so fast that my Blessed Chariot may be turning into a freight train. But I’m perfectly content for whatever God has chosen for my life. I pray that God will still use me as long as He keeps me here.
I know that relatively soon, I will breathe my last breath and I’ll go to be in the arms of Jesus. So I want to leave you with this: I hope you have entrusted yourself to our great God. You are His masterpiece and He can use you to be a blessing to others. I pray that you live faithfully for His glory, and be busy with Kingdom work from this day until your last. Please know that I’ll wait for you in heaven.