Praying Past the Pain

She relied on faith to recover from a debilitating injury in time to dance at her daughter's wedding.

By Allison Posell, Niceville, Florida

As appeared in

Images of Kelli standing on Steve’s feet in this very room learning to dance drifted up through my memory, of Steve and me slow dancing together, Kelli squeezing between us. Music and dancing, moving to the beat, always a part of our lives. Now here I was practically immobile.

I thought about the wedding, everyone taking to the dance floor while Steve and I watched from an empty table. “Mom,” Kelli said, “are you listening?”

“Sure,” I said, halfheartedly. “That sounds great.”

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Kelli gave me a look, then lay down beside me, our arms touching. I could feel the warmth of her body, the electric energy of youth pulsing through her. “Remember when I was four and I cracked my head riding my tricycle, what you said to me in the emergency room?” she asked.

I smiled and nodded at the memory, a running joke between us: Wow, you really did this up right. Kelli had said those same words to me after my accident, then kissed me on the forehead and held my hand while I waited to go home from the ER. Back then I believed her.

“You’re going to get better,” Kelli said now. “Trust God, Mom, that’s what you always told me. When we doubt ourselves we’re really just doubting God.”

Striding on the treadmill I had to smile. Steve and I had raised a pretty smart kid. And she was right. Time and again as a counselor I’d encouraged people to trust God first. That’s where all healing began. God wanted us well, not sick.

I closed my eyes and blocked out all the activity around me. I imagined myself on the dance floor at Kelli’s wedding reception. I imagined God holding me up, giving me strength. Imagined being able to do anything as long as I put my trust in God.

Step by patient step I grew stronger, more trusting, more confident. One Sunday in November, at church, I stood up in the pew. I lifted my arms in praise. Lifted them higher than I had lifted them in almost two years, as if trying to touch the hands of the One who’d upheld me throughout this whole ordeal.

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Steve looked at me in wonder. I felt no pain. None.

Still, I was a long way from kicking up my heels. I still couldn’t stand on my own for very long. I didn’t know how I was going to dance. Only that God would be there when it was time.

The big day in December finally arrived. Three minutes before Kelli’s processional I slipped on heels (low ones!) for the first time since the accident. Steve and I escorted her down the aisle, my feet floating on air—or so it seemed. Kelli was all that mattered. And she was radiant.

At the reception I watched as Michael led Kelli onto the dance floor, their bodies moving effortlessly, joining as one. It took everything I had not to burst into tears. A wave of gratitude swept over me. Thank you, Lord, I whispered. Thank you for this beautiful, perfect moment.

Then the music shifted, the beat pulsating through the hotel ballroom. Couples streamed onto the dance floor. Steve took my hand and helped me to my feet.

I laid my head on his shoulder. He held me close, tenderly, and slowly we moved, maybe not to the DJ’s beat but certainly to a rhythm, one we both knew so well, the beating of our hearts.

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Your Comments (7)

I too resonate with your story.I do believe God allows difficult and painful things to happen in our lives, perhaps for us to eventually realize that He alone is in control, and we need His touch to heal. I don't know really, have had too much injury,pain and suffering in life to overcome with FAITH and prayer.
I love "When you doubt yourself you are doubting God"!! I am going to claim that for myself now as I continue a year and half search for purposeful work at age 59, after completing my BA last year. I have been in such a depressed state over health issues,aging,and being totally dependent on God's mercy to get me through.I am so glad to hear that you were able to see your dream come true! May you continue to heal to perfect health, and use this test to help others in your work. God Bless You for sharing your story.

Kelli - Glory be - and I want my healing, so I am doing my best to keep the faith and wait for the fulfillment of God's promise. Let it not be in vain.

I'm so glad you could dance at the wedding. It's amazing what a burst of self-confidence and a good physical therapist can do. Always believe in yourself.

Thank you. You are touching the lives of other people and bring hope and healing with your story.Trust God!

I enjoyed your story and was happy for you when you were able to dance at your daughter's wedding, just as you had asked God to help you do. It is so easy to concentrate on doing everything on our own and not think about asking God to help us.

Hi Allison, Thank you for sharing your story. You have given be hope... and a reminder... "Ain't no mountain high enough"

When you doubt yourself you are doubting God...WOW..... I just realized I have been doing the same with my injuries, even thought its been 5 yrs. for me.. These stories are so uplifting. I find myself smiling and my heart reaching out..Loved them ..Thanks..God Bless you