“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them,
snatching them from the door of death.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.”
I must admit that I don’t claim to know or understand everything about God’s healing power. I don’t always have the answers for why it seems like God heals some people instantaneously and why others aren’t. I have seen my fair share of heartache, loss, and death, and sometimes I am left with unanswered questions. But what I do know is that God is in control, and despite my experiences, He is still faithful. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the God of the Bible is the same God I serve today. I have seen miracles and healings that no man can explain away. I know that God still heals, and I am so thankful for the way God has used Brandon’s story to strengthen and encourage my faith. I hope that the miraculous story I am about to share will give you a little glimpse into why Brandon is so passionate about his faith in Jesus Christ, and why every moment of this incredible journey is a gift from God.
It was a summer day in 2011 when I received a call from Brandon’s mom that Brandon was hurt and going to the hospital. At that point I knew that he was having some back issues, but I don’t think I fully understood how serious it was. Brandon had a fractured vertebrae, and every once in a while without warning, it would twist a certain way to affect his nerve and leave him in a lot of pain, without proper function of his legs from the waist down.
Here he was, at the peak of his high school career and college recruitment being told by doctors and medical staff that he either had to get surgery, or stop playing football. I can remember our local news papers putting it all over the front page of the sports section, and feeling so defeated and upset that this had to happen to Brandon. I remember going over to his house one day after his injury to him lying on the floor in incredible pain, thinking that there was no way he was going to be able to play football without the operation. Little did I know the incredible miracle that was ahead!
Rather than accepting the doctor’s words, Brandon believed in his heart that God could heal him, and he openly would tell his parents, coaches and family that God was going to heal him and that he was not getting surgery no matter how much they insisted and pushed the operation.
At the end of the summer in July, Brandon and I were attending a summer camp with my church. During one of the night church services, a man came up to Brandon and told him that the Lord had spoken to him to share with Brandon that he was not going to need surgery. This man had never met Brandon before, and had no idea that he played football or had an injury. He simply was being obedient in telling Brandon what God had revealed to him.
Now I wish I could say that in that moment God instantly healed Brandon, but that was not the case. After that, for months and months Brandon clung to that man’s prophetic words to him and God’s promise that He would heal him. He endured months of pain and symptoms, but continued to press on. He was forced to wear a back brace, and was always left wondering if one wrong move would result in no feeling. Hundreds of people had been praying for him, yet he still wasn’t healed.
One Sunday, Brandon was at our church and there was a powerful time of worship and prayer. Although my sister Emily had prayed for his back many times before, he had once again asked her to lay hands on him and pray for his back. She prayed, and in that moment God instantly healed his back. While Emily was praying, the Lord gave Brandon a vision of his vertebrae cracked, and in the vision he saw the two parts fuse back together.
From that moment on, my husband has been pain free and healed! Going from high school football to Penn State, his body has been through a lot. But despite it all, his back has never once been in pain from that injury and has been stronger than ever. Praise God! It is truly incredible to look back and see God’s faithful hand over that journey. It would have been SO easy in that initial moment and in the months after to give up faith and doubt God, especially when we weren’t physically seeing the healing as soon as we wanted. It would have been so easy to allow the enemy to fill his mind with lies, doubts, and negative thoughts. However, Brandon’s faith remained steadfast in HIM even when things were difficult.
I know a lot of people are not super familiar and comfortable with stories like these, and often times when you think about supernatural healings, people have a lot of questions. However, for those of us who have walked this journey beside Brandon, we know without a shadow of a doubt that God is real and that He is in control. The things man thinks are impossible are ALWAYS possible through HIM (Matthew 19:26). Even when God’s timing is not our timing, God is still worthy of our praise and trust.
If there is anything I hope you can clearly see from this story, it’s this: God is faithful. Through both the good and the bad in life, I have seen God’s hand over our situations. He continually shows us His power, love, and provision in every season of life. The bible says that God ‘gives us the desires of our heart,’ (Psalm 37:4) and I know that God has been SO faithful to allow Brandon to continue playing the game that he loves at the school he has dreamed of playing for since he was a child. God knows each and every detail of our lives, and I believe that God allowed Brandon to walk through that experience to show us His power and our constant need and dependence in Him. I know our story could have been so different had things not turned out the way that they did, yet I know from the depths of my heart that God brought Brandon through that for a purpose. That in Brandon’s healing, God has given us a great testimony to share with others.
When you’ve walked through difficult trials and situations, you can truly declare with confidence that God is good! Even when things are out of our control, all we can do is cling to God’s promises that He will work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). That even when life is hard, God is still walking beside us, fighting for us. His word says:
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”
Whatever your situation is today, God is with you. Trust Him in every moment, knowing He is a good and faithful father. God is still giving me grace and wisdom as we move forward, and like I said before I don’t claim to know all the answers. Regardless of my experiences or what I see around me, all I can do is trust that God is in control, and submit to Him in all things knowing that He always sees the bigger picture.
Every time Brandon is on the field playing the game he loves, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness in our lives. I often found myself last season sitting in the stands tearing up thanking God for being so good. When you are in a situation where something you love can so easily be taken away from you, it makes you appreciate even more every moment of the experience. I know that Brandon will always give the glory and praise back to God, for it is HIM alone that has been so gracious and so good to allow Brandon to continue to play the game that he loves! I pray that every time you see #47 on the field this coming season, you would be reminded of how faithful our God truly is!!