God’s Not Done With Me Yet – melissa’s story

Posted: May 3, 2011 in Physical Healing
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One doesn’t need to have a near death experience to know God’s grace and generosity… we have all been saved from something. Everyone has a story to tell and I am so happy to be able to share mine.

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My name is Melissa Edrington – school teacher, wife and mother of five beautiful children; ages 4 years old (twins) to my oldest at 17! The story you are about to read has so incredibly changed my life, that even now as I slowly work toward my full recovery, the whole ordeal still seems surreal.  The simple fact that I am here today to share it with you is nothing short of a miracle by itself.  I can’t help but think – God’s not done with me yet!

I’ll start by sharing that my name “Melissa,” comes from the original Greek word referring to honey or honeybees.  There are a couple of interesting ‘facts’ about honeybees that make this specific story all that much more intriguing.  Honeybees are social ‘beings’ and their main purpose in life is to live, connect and share their lives with other bees around them.  They are focused on, and protective of, what they have been given to do (building hives and making honey).  Honeybees are also equipped with many ‘eyes’ – giving them the unique ability to see the world from a very different perspective. As my own life would unfold, it would become quite apparent to me that God had His hand in picking the name ‘Melissa’ that my parents gave to me so many years ago.  Oh Lord, you knew my life even before I ever lived it (Psalm 139).

We all get ‘em at times – those nagging colds, sinus infections and sometimes just downright the flu!  They make us hack, cough, use lots of tissue and spend ‘extra’ time in bed trying to sleep it away.  Most of the time, within a few days though, we are usually back up on our feet, ready to tackle the world.  I had one of those ‘colds’ about eight weeks ago.  I’d been down with sinus issues before, so at first, it just seemed routine.  After a few days however it wasn’t getting better, so in I went to the doctor and was given an antibiotic that would assuredly take care of the problem.   But even after a few days of antibiotics, my sinus issues continued to get worse.  The pressure in my head escalated and the pain became almost unbearable.  So, back again I went to the doctor.  He prescribed me a stronger antibiotic, hoping that would solve it.

I left the doctor’s office feeling hopeful that this new prescription would ‘nip’ this sinus problem.  By the next day however, I knew something was seriously wrong.  The pressure in my head was steadily increasing and my brain felt like it was going to explode! I called one of my close friends to ask for advice. Having a friend who is a nurse would turn out to be an incredible blessing!  I told her what was going on – my increasing sinus problems, major pain in my head and multiple trips to the doctor for antibiotics with no relief.  She must have sensed something unusual and serious, because her response to me was, “Melissa, do you want to call 911 or do you want me to come and pick you up and take you to the Emergency Room?”  I replied, “Will you come and take me?”  My friend was over promptly!  By the time she arrived and I got in her car, the pain in my head was almost more than I could take! Almost any sounds or lights just intensified the pain!  What was happening?! I’d never had a ‘sinus infection’ hit me like this before!!

Upon arriving at the Emergency Room, I was admitted immediately into the next open room.  The next eight days would turn out be an adventure I would not soon forget. Day after day of intense pain, wondering if I would live, my organs on the verge of failure, infection raging, closing myself off to the world – it all seemed like a horrible nightmare that I struggling to wake up from.  All I had to hold on to was a scripture the Lord had given before all this had started. It would be eight days later that I would walk out of that hospital, still weak but amazed by all the events that had taken place since that day I came into the Emergency Room.  I had no idea at the time, but I was extremely close to death… hours the doctors would tell me later. I would soon discover that walking out of the hospital with what I had was a miracle all in itself!

As I began to reflect, I couldn’t help but see God’s mighty hand on me, guiding, maneuvering and leading each step of the way.  Was it His will for me to come down with Bacterial Spinal Meningitis?  Well, I don’t really know for sure, but either way, He was about to use it for something amazing!  Romans 8:28 says, “God will use all things for His Glory, for those who love Him and are called according to His plan.”

To the best of the doctor’s knowledge, my initial ‘cold’ had developed into a sinus infection and then rapidly evolved into a bacterial infection that quickly spread through out my body.  These types of bacterial infections are extremely toxic to the body’s organs…  including the brain.  This simple sinus infection poisoned my body from the inside out! By the time it spread into my head, it was the equivalent to my brain receiving a massive concussion; resulting in major swelling!  That’s where the intense pain was coming from.  Moving my head too quickly or any type of sounds caused vomiting.  Even opening my eyes would bring excruciating pain.  The doctors isolated me due to overstimulation and I was not allowed to talk on the cell phone or have visitors.

There was one instance that created a bit of a stir and caused the nurses to come storming into my room.   My mom, flying in from Florida to be with me; they allowed her to be in my room, but had warned her regarding light, sound, etc.  My mom, just being my mom, decided to rub and massage my feet as a way of ‘comforting’ me.  Even this enjoyable form of stimulation caused my heart rate to skyrocket and sent the alarm buzzers at the nurses station going crazy!  The nurses came rushing in to find my mom, innocently rubbing my feet!  Well, she couldn’t do that anymore…

As the days went by, I faded in and out of my own body…holding onto the scripture the Lord had given me earlier that week.  Mark 5:34, Daughter, you took a risk of faith – now you’re healed and whole – don’t listen to [them] – just trust in me.  The nurses began placing towels over my face to keep the light out of my eyes – just giving me enough space to breath. All I could do was lay in that hospital bed – still and silent – having no idea how close I was to death. They continued to keep me isolated from outside contact, only those closest at my side.  The doctors did everything they could for me; antibiotics, pain medication, steroids, isolation and constant monitoring.  But for them it came down to a waiting game.

I would find out later that many, many people were praying for me the whole time I was in the hospital; some even right outside my door.  It reminded me of the story in Acts 12, when Peter was put in prison by King Herod.  It was Herod’s full intent to make an example of Peter and kill him publicly. Acts 12:5 states; while Peter was in prison, the church was “earnestly praying to God for him.” God heard their prayers and miraculously freed Peter.  God must have heard the prayers of His people here and abroad because slowly, to the doctor’s amazement, I began to come out of it.   The infection began to subside, the pressure in my head began to decrease and I began to regain strength.  By the eighth day after entering the hospital I was released to go home!  For an infection of this magnitude…simply, amazing!

I was home on IV antibiotics and enough pain and other meds that my husband had to create an excel spreadsheet just to keep it all straight. I was on drip lines 6 hours per day and was supposed to continue this for at least a month.  My first check up was after 12 days being home. My doctor came rushing into my room excited, waving my lab results, “You are normal… it is very, very, good,” he said in his gentle accent. “ We praise God!”  I would soon realize how truly miraculous my recover really was.  I began listening to others share stories of loved ones who had Spinal Meningitis and all the while, my math and science students collected statistics. Out of the twelve accounts of people with Spinal Meningitis I had heard, only one person came through the ordeal with 100% recovery.  Six people died and five people had life changing, permanent damage like blindness, loss of hearing, loss of limbs, permanent organ damage, etc. I was to join the one!  During my recovery process, I was sent to quite a few specialists and had many extra tests done. One of those tests was an ear procedure, as I had had some hearing loss. However, that day, I would pass the hearing test with ‘flying colors’!  Another awesome miracle…even the doctor had goose bumps as I shared the scripture the Lord had given me!  All of this – incredibly humbling to say the least; for it is nothing that I’ve done or earned.  All I could do was just hold on and trust God.  In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, Come to me all you who are tired and have heavy loads and I will give you rest.”  God’s grace, God’s mercy, God’s healing… I am grateful beyond words.

Within weeks of my healing journey at home, my headaches began to dissipate. I was able to start watching TV, eat dinner with my family and see visitors. You just don’t realize how much you appreciate these seemingly simple things until they have been taken away.  I also realized how quickly things could change around me in a very short amount of time! In the span of time I’d been out – gas went up 40 cents; earthquakes in Japan, civil war in Middle East and my church changed its name! Whew!  Almost made me feel like one of those people who regain consciousness after 25 years in a coma!

Looking back before the start of my illness, God began preparing me for what was to come.  It had been just a few days prior to my emergency room trip that during my “quiet” time, I had been reading from the Book of Mark.  In Mark chapter 5, the story of the women with the issue of blood who took a risk of faith caught my attention. Daughter, you took a risk of faith – now you’re healed and whole – don’t listen to [them] – just trust in me.  I wrote it down in my daily journal, as I believed it was a word for me. After I came to in the hospital, the Lord brought that verse back to my memory and I asked my husband to bring me my journal.  The Lord knew what was in-store for me and how much I would need that verse to help me trust Him and not to listen to all the bad reports going on around me. One of the hardest things to try and comprehend when you are dealing with something like this is the circling thoughts of ‘why’ and ‘could I have done something different?’ I had to realize that I didn’t need to understand why or ‘what if’…just knowing that God is in control and He knows best is enough… regardless of the outcome.

The same week the doctors released me to go back to work, I was also given an opportunity to share my story at Church. In preparing my testimony that week, the Lord gave me this verse – 1 Corinthians 15, “But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste.”  When I read this, it was like a proclamation statement for me! “By the grace of God, here I am”. If I focused on statistics and medical probability, by all rights, I should have been dead and almost was.  It is this grace extended to me that Jesus paid such a high price for.  And not just for me, but He paid a high price in order that grace would be extended to all of us. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Do not squander what Jesus paid such a high price for”. Jesus willingly died on the cross so that God’s grace would cover us, if we believe and trust.

There were many blessings that came out of this journey!  As you can imagine, with a husband and five children, things are pretty active at our house!  Family, friends and even people I’d really never met before stepped in to help with meals, washing our clothes, taking the kids, rides, gifts, cards, flowers, notes/texts of encouragement, visitors, etc. My wonderful husband Robert, was the best home nurse ever!  Talk about a new appreciation for one’s spouse and marriage!  My kids also have a whole new appreciation and living example of what ‘family’ really means!  As an adult, you hope that you’d never have to depend on your mother and friends like I had too, but I am humbled by their kindness, care and love – their ‘gift’ to me was beyond compare! My home church, Life Church Tri-Cities, responded with an incredible outpouring of compassion and support as well! It’s like the scriptures that talk about all the differing parts of the physical body coming together each doing their part. God’s church filled a void that we so desperately needed – the body of Christ in action as the apostle Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 12.

The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church – every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t.  If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt and in the healing.  If one part flourishes, every other part enters into exuberance.

I can’t express my gratitude enough for all the prayers, expressed love over me and my family and the immense outpouring of individual gifts and talents shared with us.  They have not only blessed me, but have set a powerful example for so many who have watched, listened, and read my story.

Throughout the Bible, there are stories of people who saw and experienced God’s love, grace and mercy and then a short time later they forget – the Israelites in the dessert, the Jews at the time of Christ, etc. I do not want to forget what He has done for me! He has set me free from pain, He has healed my body, He has brought wholeness in my family, in my heart, and in my marriage.  I wouldn’t volunteer to go through this again, but what I have learned, gained and experienced, I wouldn’t trade for anything! I continue to pray that God will use my life and my story to show the world that His grace is enough, His generosity amazing, and He is trustworthy in every area of our lives.  And I pray that I will live my life like a ‘honey bee’, seeing the world from a whole different perspective… God’s perspective!  Praise be to God who sent His Son Jesus Christ to that we can have life and life to its fullest! Amen! (John 10:10)

Melissa E.

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  1. […] God's Not Done With Me Yet (brianhetzer.wordpress.com) […]

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