Friday morning I began the day on camera. The video class at school had been requested to put together a video on miraculous healings and they asked if they could interview me.
It almost took me by surprise. It's been so long that it happened that I almost forgot - not that it happened, but to talk about it at all.
The young ladies who arranged the interview not only forgot to bring their questions, but they also forgot what they were. "Why don't you just talk," they told me. And so I began.
“When I was in middle school my mom was having me try on a bathing suit. She kept telling me to stand up straight and I told her I was. After a trip to the doctor, we discovered that one of my legs was an inch longer than the other. That meant my spine was growing curved rather than straight and I was diagnosed with scoliosis.
It wasn't long after that that my mom took me to a healing service at our church. I'm guessing it was for the anointing of the sick but it was a long time ago. What I remember is standing in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The priest laid his hands on me while standing in front of me and my mom stood behind me and did the same.
There were no lightening bolts, no loud voices...not even a tingling sensation. I left there and didn't think much more about it. It's not that I didn't believe that God could do miracles; I just didn't see any reason why He would do one for me.
Soon after that we returned to the doctor to check on my growth. To all of our surprise, my legs measured the same length that time. "It's a miracle," I remember my mom exclaiming right there in front of everyone. The doctor agreed that there was no logical explanation for why this happened. He did however warn us that we were not out of the woods just yet. Although my legs had evened out, my spine was still crooked and the more I grew, the worse it would become. He said that if I grew a few more inches, we would probably be looking at surgery to place a metal rod in my back.
While I accepted the fact that God had indeed performed a miracle for me, I didn't talk about it too much after the fact. What I did do was continue to grow and as I grew, so did the discomfort. By the time I was in the ninth grade it was hard for me to ride in the car on long trips without excruciating pain.
The summer after my freshman year in high school, I went to a conference in Notre Dame with my youth group. During one of the last sessions, the leader had a sense that there were people there who needed healing and he asked that anyone who needed healing would come down to the front to be prayed over.
Now this was my first experience at a Catholic Charismatic conference and I was a little intimidated to say the least. The people who were getting prayed over were falling on the floor and others were screaming and I thought to myself, that there is no way in God's green earth that I was going to go submit myself to that. Surgery, I thought, was not that bad of an alternative. Even when a friend grabbed me by the arm telling me that she was sure I was supposed to go down and get prayers, I refused.
After that meeting our youth group gathered outside for a prayer session of our own. Again, there was a sense that people needed prayers for healing. This time, my friend did not take no for an answer and literally shoved me into the middle of the prayer circle.
Suddenly I found myself in the middle of our group of around 40 and everyone was placing their hands on me praying for healing. I stood there with my head bowed and accepted their prayers. Again I had this feeling that of all the people in the world, why would God choose to heal me. My condition was not life-threatening. I had certainly done nothing worthy of receiving a miracle. I was sure that God was there that night, I just had no idea He was there for me.
When they finished their prayers I stepped out of the circle. Again, I had no expectations. I hadn't fallen to the ground or heard a thunderous voice. Nothing, I thought, had happened. But for some odd reason, when I finally got to the outer ring of the circle, I reached around a felt my spine.
Where before I could literally trace the letter S down my back, there was what felt like a straight line. I couldn't believe it. I reached and felt my spine again. Yep, still straight. My head was spinning. I asked a friend to feel it to see if I was out of my mind but she agreed with me - straight. Finally we brought over one of our youth ministers. She was an occupational therapist and she confirmed what we had all discovered - my spine...was...STRAIGHT!
This, no doubt, was a true miracle of God. He healed me. To this day, I still don't understand why. I am humbled beyond words. I know I don't deserve it. And yet, He did it for me anyway. I can't figure out why other than maybe He just wanted me to tell my story so that other people can believe. Maybe it was so that when I pray for people to be healed, I would do it with great faith. Maybe He wanted to prove to me how much He loves me and that there's nothing I can or even need to do to receive that love. Maybe it was all of these things.”
By this point I had said all I wanted to say. This was a good thing because I could no longer hold back my tears. I left the crew pretty quickly because although I was trying desperately to pull it together before I had to stand in front of my students, I could feel that it was going to take a moment.
I darted into the teachers' lounge while everyone was still in assembly. The sun was shining through the window and I just stood in it for a moment and took a deep breath. On the exhale I could no longer hold anything in. I couldn't believe that after all these years I would still be so emotional about this event in my life. And then again, how could I not?
I stood in that sunshine for a moment and just let the tears flow. I was overwhelmed by God's infinite goodness in my life. I was humbled by the fact that I experienced His healing touch first hand. I was embarrassed that it had been so long since I had told anyone this story.
I suddenly felt sure that God was there with me...again....always. I felt strong in my faith that God can pull me through whatever hardships I may face. I was sure that His will is always perfect and that He can indeed move mountains.
I felt exhausted and yet refreshed. I felt grateful to have the kind of life that enables me to be surrounded by people who will pray for me with great faith. I felt blessed to have the opportunity to do the same for others. I felt empowered that with God, I can indeed do anything. I felt compelled to remember this moment in my life with the same intense emotions that I was feeling right there and then.
God has miraculously healed me and I want to tell the world.