My Testimony

This has been the most difficult page for me to write.
But I felt it was important to share how Jesus changed my life.

I was born with SPINA BIFIDA.
This birth defect is a malformation of the vertebrae and surrounding tissue
most commonly found at the base of the lower spine.
The most common effects of this disorder are neurologic disturbances of the
lower legs, bladder and bowel. There are many other symptoms that can be associated with Spina Bifida but they vary in severity from person to person.

~In 1965, the year I was born, there was little that could be done for a child with Spina Bifida. Doctors did not give a lot of hope for the future to parents of these babies. My Mother was told that I may never walk and that I would NEVER have children of my own.

But The Lord had a Different Plan for my life...

~I walked by the time I was 14 months old. If I had to wear the heavy plaster casts after an operation, I would simply "scoot" everywhere on my bottom.
Everywhere my parents took me I would sing for anyone who'd listen.
I loved music and loved singing, even in the car with Mom's 8-track tapes.

~School was hard for me. I was an A+ student, but other students as well as teachers were not always patient with my limitations. I would do anything to fit in with a group of kids and this got me into trouble more than once.

~In my teen years a neighbor invited me to join her Youth Organization at her church. Here I made many new friends and I heard the gospel of Jesus.
It was also here that I met my husband Alan and 16 months later we were married.
The Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He gave me Alan... he was so loving and accepting of me and of my disability.
Within 2 1\2 years I proved the doctors wrong by giving birth to my first daughter, April Lane. Erin Leigh and Emma LeAnne followed within the next 4 years.

~Alan worked hard at his job while I cared for our daughters and our home.
We loved the Lord very much, but it wasn't until 1987 that the Lord really began to speak to our hearts. We began to have a real hunger for God's Word and He led us to a wonderful Bible teaching Church that soon became our "extended family".
The Lord was teaching us that serving Him was not just a "hobby" or a Sunday Morning Ritual...but that it is a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ.

~In April of 1988 I began to be very ill. I had severe pain in my left leg and I was
tired all the time. During a dinner party with friends, I went into the bathroom and
discovered a bright red stripe running down my leg. We called a doctor and were told to take me to the emergency room. When we got there I had a temperature of 104* and was in severe pain. I was admitted to the hospital for what would be the first of many surgeries and hospitalizations.

~I had OSTEOMYLITIS...or an infection in the bone. As a result of the Spina Bifida, I had diminished sensation in my feet and legs. So I had developed a very severe infection through a skin ulcer on the foot.

~For 5 years the doctors fought the infection with debridments and high-dosed antibiotics. Each time we would think we had killed it, I would return home only to end up back at the hospital with the same symptoms.

~I believe that in knowing what lay ahead in my future, The Lord sent Alan to me. During those 5 years of dozens of surgeries, home health care nurses,
severe nausea and vomiting from medications, changing dressings on my leg, and learning how to connect my "I.V." medication, ALan NEVER complained.
He would set his alarm for midnight and 6 am. to connect my IV medicines, being careful not to wake me, only to have to get up at 6:30 to go to work.
I praise God everyday for this man.

~In 1993 after yet another operation, the doctors decided it was too risky to keep fighting this infection. The risk of it's spreading throughout my body were too high.
On August 11, 1993 my left leg was amputated below the knee.

~Now it is 1998. Am I 100% healthy? No. I still live with Daily Pain...the exact reason still unknown. I have liver and pancreas damage as a result of all the medications I was given to fight the infection.
But it is such a privilege to see God's Will working in my life.

"And we know in ALL things God works for the
good of those who love Him...."

Romans 8:28

The day after my amputation, my surgeon came into the room.
He said that he had some surprising news for me.
In the pathology report, they found that there was also
Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, in that leg.
Had it not been amputated we would have not seen the cancer
before it had spread to other parts of my body.
The Lord knew the cancer was there...
The antibiotics and surgeries Didn't work to save my leg because the Lord was working it all out for MY good.

We serve an awesome and mighty God!

I can not imagine facing the trials of my life without having Him beside me every step of the way. He is my HOPE when all other hope is gone.
He was my COMFORTER in those long lonely nights spent in a hospital room.
He was my PEACE that "passed all understanding" when I was faced with the unthinkable task of having the amputation.
He was my STRENGTH when I had to learn to walk with the prosthesis.
And He gives me LOVE on my "bad" days...when I can't even love myself.

~I would not change one single thing in my life~

Everything in my life has helped to mold and shape me into the person that I am.
I still love to sing and share Jesus with others through music.
I believe that I am a stronger person for the trials that God has brought me through
But I have learned that I do not have to face my trials alone.
Jesus longs for us to call upon Him...and hold His hand as we walk through the "valleys" of our lives.

"Come to ME all you who are heavy burdened and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from ME for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls."

Matthew 11:28~29

Please visit my daughter April's story about Life with a chronically ill parent. When someone in the family is ill, it affects everyone

Would You Like To accept Jesus?

He will change your life completely.
He has mine...
He is waiting for you with open arms

This Spina Bifida Web Ring site is owned by
Denice Whitaker.

Want to join the Spina Bifida Web Ring?

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You're listening to a new song I wrote entitled, "You Knew All Along". Music, by Chris Hood. 2000