• Hannah K Date: 06/18/2021

    Hello everyone! My name is Hannah, and I want to share my healing journey with you all today, hoping it will spark a bit of hope into you. To begin, let me ask you a question. When you think of a 22-year-old, what do you imagine them doing? How about a 22-year-old fresh out of college? You would probably imagine some type of high-energy, successful young adult on their way to get a job. You might imagine someone who is finally free of their education, going out and about to explore the world, or hang out with their friends. However, the situation was quite different for me. Let me give you all a bit of backstory first. Quite fittingly, it’s a story about my back. When I was in elementary school, I would go shopping with my family a lot. We did this a couple times a week, and I found myself not wanting to walk for a lot of it. I would either be in a cart or sitting on the edge of a low shelf while my family shopped. Most of the time I chalked it up to I wasn’t wearing the right shoes. So, I tried to find some good “walking shoes” that were more comfortable. Over the years, I caught on to notice that this wasn’t the case. No matter what shoes I had on, my back always seemed to hurt. Years had passed, and I had become used to this. I altered the way I stood, sat, and always made sure I had a place to sit. I started to limit my activities and stay indoors. My body had become weak. My legs ached, my hips hurt, and my back burned constantly. I wasn’t happy with this, yet I pressed on into my high school years. During high school, when I came home to do my homework, the only place I found comfortable enough was to lay on the floor. Even then, I was changing my position every few minutes to stop the pain. I couldn’t sit upright for all those hours. At school I managed, but home was different. During high school, I was having trouble in gym class keeping up with the other kids, so I had gone to the doctors to check for a potential breathing problem. The doctors couldn’t find anything to note, but there was one doctor who noticed something strange on one of my x-rays. According to him, both of my hips were unable to move properly at their joints, and the bottom few vertebrae of my spine were fused together. Nothing could move or bend. He told me this was the source of my pain. I was thrilled, finally having a diagnosis. That was until he told me there was no cure. He told me the only way to fix my pain would be to have a surgery that had a very high change of leaving me paralyzed. I was doing some physical therapy after hearing this news, mulling over what I should do. Should I get the surgery and risk it? Or should I just power through and accept that I would be in pain for the rest of my life? The decision was tough, but obvious. I wasn’t going to risk it. So, I did what any hopeless person would do. I gave up. I stopped my physical therapy and decided to just let the pain exist. I pushed through college and was finally ready to get a job. Straight out of college with a fresh Graphic Arts degree, I hunted for some jobs. With no success, I became a bit disheartened because I knew my job opportunities were limited. I could only stand for about ten minutes due to the pain I was experiencing, I couldn’t sit for long, and I couldn’t lift anything, either. I had trouble finding a job that would accommodate for that, so once again I gave up. Not long after this, 2020 hit. It was perfect to me. I could stay indoors, not have to be with other people, or blow off plans. Everything was at a standstill. It was perfect for me, but it was a curse. During that one-year time span, my condition deteriorated so severely to the point where I could barely stand for three minutes. The pain was unbearable. I was extremely weak. I started to use items around me for support when walking, clutching my back a lot of the time. I bought a back brace. I mostly stayed in my bed, and even that was excruciatingly painful. I couldn’t sleep at night, tossing and turning, trying to alleviate the pain. Any single movement I would make at any given time, my entire spine would crack. It sounded like when you step on gravel. When asked to do something basic, like going for a walk, I found myself saying “I can’t.” I accepted it. That was until one day, I decided I had enough. I didn’t know how I was even going to begin, but the answer came to me in a way I wouldn’t have expected. My family volunteers at the South Jersey Dream Center weekly. My dad and I were talking with Natalie there one afternoon about the incredible healing journeys that Pastor Joe talks about. It sounded really impressive, and my dad briefly mentioned how I was struggling with pain for my whole life, and I should try it. I agreed. I had no other options, so what did I have to lose? So, a week passed, and Pastor Joe came to the Dream Center to pray with me. We went off to a separate room, my dad tagging along, and talked for a little while about what I was experiencing and how we could tackle it in prayer. Pastor Joe told me that, despite how I was feeling, I was already healed. He told me that we just had to pray for the healing to “activate” it, in a sense. He told me that I was worthy of healing. Everyone is. No matter what I had done or what I had been through in life, this healing that I deserved. I really believed him. I knew deep down I didn’t deserve any of this. So, he stuck his hand on my back, and we prayed. We prayed passionately about how I shouldn’t be experiencing this pain, and that I deserve healing. I deserved quality of life, and I was going to receive it. While we were praying, Pastor mentioned afterwards that something in my back had shifted. He felt it on his hand. I had felt it too and agreed. He asked me how I felt after we were done praying, and at the time I had trouble finding the words to describe it. I felt loose, with no pain. I was standing for the whole prayer and afterwards with absolutely no problem. My posture felt more stable. Pastor asked me if there was anything I couldn’t do before that I felt I was able to do after the prayer. I immediately told him I was usually unable to stand for this long. After a little while, I remembered I was unable to do a squat. So right there I just did one, no problem. I was ecstatic. I didn’t fully appreciate it until later that night after volunteering. My sister asked me if I wanted to go on a walk. For the first time in a while, I said yes. She and I walked almost two miles together. I felt absolutely no pain. I’ve been doing this almost every day now. It’s been a couple weeks now, and every day I make a point to ask myself, “Does my back hurt today?” I have not said yes once. Sure, my back gets a little tight now and then. But that’s nothing compared to not being able to get out of bed. So, if you’re struggling with something similar and don’t know what to do, take it from the girl who just ran at top speed after the ice cream truck twice in one week after not being able stand her whole life—miracles are real. They’re already laid out for you. You just have to take the small step and accept them.