Blessed and Healed04261_000_009
When I was seven years old, my parents asked me why I was limping. They took me to a doctor, who said I had an incurable hip disease. It had caused my right leg to almost stop growing. Without treatment, my right leg would be four to six inches shorter than my left leg as an adult. He sent me to a specialized doctor who told me to keep pressure off the hip until I was full grown. Even then, I would still have a four-inch difference in the length of my legs. I had two choices: stay in bed or wear a brace. I chose the brace. I didn’t feel afraid because I had faith that Heavenly Father would take care of me.
Wearing my new leg brace, I tried to do the same things other children did. I played baseball, even though I couldn’t run very fast. My left leg kept growing, but my right leg stayed the same.
Then my father received a work opportunity in northern California. In our new town, I started fourth grade. I soon learned that Heavenly Father watches over His children. My parents took me to see Dr. Chan. He had been studying my disease and had an idea for a new surgery. If I was willing to take the risk, he was willing to experiment on me. I agreed, even though I would be in a body cast for up to six months. We had very good home teachers who gave me a wonderful blessing.
With the surgery, a medical miracle happened. My right leg began to grow. The cast was removed in just two months, and I learned to walk on my right leg for the first time in two years. I was soon walking and running again! Within 11 months, my right leg was the same length as my left.
After fifth grade, my family moved back to Colorado. I know it was no coincidence that my family moved to the only place where a doctor could help me. Heavenly Father guided my parents so I could be healed.
Because of this experience, two verses in Alma 36 have special meaning to me. I remember how the Lord healed me to do His work:
“But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.
“Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost” (Alma 36:23–24).
I am grateful that Heavenly Father blessed me to have the use of my right leg. He knew the things that He had in store for me to do, and He blessed me with the health to be able to do them more easily. As a Seventy, I travel and testify of the Savior, bringing the joy of the gospel to others so that they can know and feel what I know and feel.
Heavenly Father may not always take away our trials, but He always blesses us. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, sometimes Heavenly Father heals us, and sometimes He gives us the strength to endure.
The Lord loves you and has a plan for you. He wants to bless you. Trust in Him, and you will feel His strengthening, healing power.
Illustration by Jennifer Tolman