When I was a freshman in high school, I learned I had scoliosis. The doctor said I had a curve near the base of my spine that prevented me from standing up straight and it caused me mild discomfort when I was at the gym. I tried to take comfort in other pieces of my identity, but my height was always a source of shame.
Luckily, the scoliosis didn’t cause me physical pain. Some sufferers experience so much pain that they undergo surgery, so I was fortunate. But I was embarrassed of my height. Years earlier, my doctor predicted my height would be 5’10”. In high school, I peaked at five feet, seven and a quarter inches. I felt gypped out of that extra height. I felt like I deserved to be taller. I felt like I had a potential that I could never reach. I remember praying to God that He would make me taller. From time to time, I would ask my mom to measure me in hopes that God would answer my prayer. He never did.
But in March 2016, God healed me of scoliosis! It sounds crazy, but I’m telling the truth. It was a matter of God's perfect timing. Please, allow me provide some background first.
I was raised in a Christian home, but I never felt like my relationship with God was my own. I was embarrassed to talk about God in front of other people because I wasn’t ready to accept His love for me. I think part of this was because I blamed God for my scoliosis and other insecurities in my life. Still, I believed in God and His power to make me taller.
My dad would often advise me to bring my issues before God, but I felt like God was distant and impersonal. I think my problem was because I hadn’t experienced God’s power in a personal way. But my dad had hoped that someday I would.
In November of 2015, my dad passed away from lymphoma. I had believed that God would heal my dad’s body, even when the doctors had given up hope. After I lost my dad, it shook my faith in God. I was angry at God because I didn’t believe He cared about me or listened to my prayers. Sometimes I doubted He even existed. It was because I wanted to honor my father’s memory by having a relationship with God that I continued to believe. My relationship with God was half-hearted after that—a barely burning flame that could die at any moment.
In March of 2016, some very good friends from college invited me on a road trip to Bethel Church in Redding, California. Bethel is known for its signs and wonders and miraculous healings. However, I was completely blindsided by what God did next. I went to Bethel’s healing rooms with my friends, where they encouraged me to request prayer for my scoliosis.
I was skeptical of supernatural physical healing because my dad was not healed, but I let the prayer team intercede for me anyway. After the first prayer, my back was still crooked. The team prayed again and this time God gave me a vision of my spine straightening out. Nervously, I touched my spine with my fingers and it was straight! I'm amazed my healing had little to do with my own faith and everything to do with God's kindness. I encourage anyone with a physical ailment, visit Bethel Church and you will be healed! While a part of me will always wonder if my dad would still be around today if he had visited Bethel's healing rooms, I'm relieved he's no longer suffering lymphoma. I miss him every day and I'm confident I'll see him in Heaven.
It’s been a year and a half since my healing and my mom recently commented that I haven’t asked her to measure my height in that time! As of today, I proudly stand at 5'9". I never predicted that my scoliosis would be the thing that would rebuild my relationship with God and bring me joy like I’ve never experienced. The very thing that caused me shame was used for God’s glory! If I’m ever doubting God’s love for me, all I have to do is feel my straightened spine with my fingers and remember His goodness. I am so blessed to serve such a loving God.
Friends, God doesn’t want us to live in shame or pain. He wants to help us reach our potential. The biggest blessing in my life is that I serve a God who loves me so much He has made me a new creation in Him and renews my mind in His joy daily. Hallelujah!