By Kelleigh Nelson – BarbWire guest contributor
“God is Good All the Time, and All the Time, God is Good”
– from the movie God’s Not Dead
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
– Proverbs 3:5-6
During the Christmas season of 2012, I sat down to write, “The Christmas Thing.” I’ve never felt I could top that Christmas missive….not until now.
Let me tell you a bit about this last year of our lives without going into too much confidential information. My husband has had two minimally invasive back surgeries at the wonderful and brilliant Bonati Spine Institute in Florida. I have had a total of five surgeries at Bonati by Dr. John Grossmith, two of which were this year. After every surgery, I was able to go shopping or visiting in the afternoon and to go home the day after surgery, which is an eleven hour drive. We love Bonati and their neurosurgeons, and I’ll write an article all about them sometime in the future…they have become like family to us. Instead of fusions, cages and screws, you walk out of Bonati without the pain and with only a one inch scar. Dr. Afred Bonati developed this procedure 30 years ago and his trained surgeons help people in pain every single day.
This year I’ve had seven surgeries, and will have two more next week. On Thursday, December 18th, I’m scheduled for rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder at UT Medical Center. This is a three month recovery with a lot of physical therapy. My husband has had both his shoulders done. Yesterday, he had the right shoulder done again as there was a small tear in one tendon and some bone spurs that needed trimming. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Back in early August, I had some symptoms that were very uncomfortable and then they went away. After November 22nd, they returned and stayed. Finally, I went to a specialized physician, was sent for a test, and got frightening results. I was told to see another specialist, one who was already my doctor.
Here’s where God came in to help me. Instead of having to wait for many weeks or months for an appointment, I called and asked if I could change my December 31st appointment to earlier. Unbelievably, there was a cancellation that very day, the day I got the negative results from a test. The office staff got me in and the doctor assuaged my fears from the test my GI has asked for. I will have surgery on Tuesday for this problem. God is Good, All the Time, and All the Time, God is Good. He opens doors when no one else can.
So, on December 11th, 2014, we were at UT Hospital for my sweetheart’s outpatient surgery on his right shoulder. I ran all over the hospital getting medical reports for Tuesday’s surgery as I’d had pre-testing at UT for the shoulder surgery and had to get it sent to another hospital. I was running up and down the halls of UT Hospital for several reasons while my dear husband was in surgery.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. I was walking at a brisk pace, which I always do, even after knee replacement surgery, and a gal was walking in front of me at the same quick pace. I said to her, “We could use some roller skates for these halls, couldn’t we.” Before she turned around she said, “Isn’t that the truth!” Then she turned and looked at me. From behind I thought she was older, and I thought her feet must be cold in her clogs because the day was sunny, but certainly not warm. She had on a long skirt, a jacket, and a scarf around her neck. But when she turned and faced me, she was a younger woman with a beautiful face and beautiful hair framing that lovely Godly face.
She said to me, “I saw you and your husband come in this morning to the Day Surgery area, and I had asked God who I was to pray for this day. When I saw you, God said to me, ‘Pray for the lady in the red jacket,’ and that was you. I have been praying for you all morning.”
I looked at this beautiful lady, and told her that this had been a very trying year for us. We had been through so many medical problems, and then a house flood and four months of remodeling. All the surgeries we were having were repairs until the last one for me came and made us worry, yet we had been assured that I was probably okay and a minor surgery would take care of the problem.
We continued walking down the long corridor back to the UT Day Surgery, and I asked her where she was from, and she said all over because her daddy was a preacher. Her name was Landra. So, we got to the door of the Day Surgery and she said, “Let me pray for you.” She put her arms around me, and I put mine around her, and she said the simplest, sweetest, most precious prayer for me. It was as though God had told her our stresses, our fears, our pain for this entire year, and she gave me a big hug and then kissed my cheek, got in the elevator and was gone. Tears dripped down my cheeks and I thanked the Lord for her and for giving me that big kiss. God told her to pray for me. That was a message from my Lord to this lowly sinner, who is saved by grace. God in heaven gave me that kiss on my cheek.
This Christmas, remember that God loves us and gave us His Son as the final sacrifice for us.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
God wrapped His arms around me and gave me a big kiss on the cheek and told me, Kelleigh Nelson, this lowly sinner saved by grace, that He loved me and knew my worries, pain and cares, and He sent this dear Christian sister to me at Christmastime to give me peace. To God be the Glory, and Praise His Holy Name. Celebrate His birth, because in our country God is no longer wanted, and December is a time where the world cannot deny him. Jesus is the reason for this Season. Wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Birthday to Jesus, our King of Glory, our Messiah of Isaiah 53.
Kelleigh Nelson has been an investigative researcher since 1975. Formerly an executive producer for three different national radio talk show hosts, she was adept at finding and scheduling a variety of wonderful guests for her radio hosts. She and her husband live in Knoxville, TN, and she has owned her own wholesale commercial bakery since 1990. Prior to moving to Tennessee, Kelleigh was marketing communications and advertising manager for a fortune 100 company in Ohio. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, she was a Goldwater girl with high school classmate, Hillary Rodham, in Park Ridge, Illinois. Kelleigh is well acquainted with Chicago politics and was working in downtown Chicago during the 1968 Democratic convention riots. Kelleigh is presently the secretary for Rocky Top Freedom Campaign, a strong freedom advocate group.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.