January 23 is a date that will forever be marked on my calendar. It isn’t my birthday, my anniversary, or any of my children’s birthdays. It is the day that for reasons I don’t understand, God chose to heal me. On April 5, 2017, I was diagnosed with bilateral Meniere’s Disease—a nerve disorder of the inner ear that affects 0.2% of the population and causes severe vertigo, dizziness and hearing loss. Typically, it affects one ear, but for me it affected both. When I was diagnosed, my hearing impairment in my right ear was 52.5% and my left, 57.5%. I battled debilitating bouts of vertigo that would last one to three hours.
The vertigo and dizziness caused me to fall numerous times down our stairs and into furniture. There is no cure for the disease, so I made lifestyle changes and took medications to lessen symptom severity.
When Seacoast announced the healing service to mark the end of the 21-day fast, I wasn’t sure if my wife and I would attend. But the night before, I just felt led to go, so we went.
I had been prayed over numerous times with no apparent impact on my physical condition, so we went into the service with no expectations at all. But as soon as Tara Banks led us in Praise Before My Breakthrough, I knew this service was going to be different. The Spirit grabbed hold of me—as if saying, “Get ready, it’s coming!” (something our trail bosses like to say in the Seacoast Hike ministry).
“Get ready, it’s coming!”
As guest speaker, Joshua Silverberg, shared and prayed, I could feel the presence of God in the room. Then, Joshua called his friend, Wes Pickering up to the stage and that was when things really changed for me.
Wes, in preparing for the service, had felt led by God to specifically pray for several health conditions. One of the first he mentioned was hearing loss. With a little nudge from my wife I stood up. After mentioning several other conditions, Wes added, “Someone is struggling with vertigo, equilibrium, dizziness.” I was already standing, so I waved my arms. As Wes scanned the room, he looked right at me. “C’mon man, tonight’s your night!” Wes began to pray, and I felt both ears pop like when you’re on a plane. I was filled with this quiet assurance that I no longer needed my hearing aids or my canes. As I sat down, I whispered to my wife, “I’m sorry but we wasted money because I don’t need my hearing aids anymore.”
Three weeks later, I went to my regularly scheduled appointment with my ENT. Before beginning another round of inner-ear steroid injections to help lessen the severity of my Meniere’s episodes, my audiologist always conducted a full hearing test to monitor the impact of the injections and the progression of the disease. I didn’t say anything about my healing before the test. We walked back to the sound booth—the same one we have used for every hearing test since April 5, 2017.
Midway through the test, the audiologist stopped and came in. “What happened? What’s changed since the last time I saw you?”
I smiled and said, “You may not believe this, but I was healed!”
She nodded and said, “Well, that explains it, because I was sitting out there trying to make sense of what I was seeing. Let’s finish the tests and talk some more.”
Afterward we went over the results and compared them to those from each test since April 2017. I will never forget her next statement. “I know this disease. It has held you hostage for the last couple of years. There is no cure and no explanation. I would tell whoever prayed for you that it worked!”
The results from that visit: I have a documented 0% hearing impairment in BOTH ears.
Additionally, there was no nerve damage. My ENT said, “I can’t see any evidence of Meniere’s in either ear and can’t and won’t discount the power of prayer.”
“I can’t see any evidence of Meniere’s in either ear and can’t and won’t discount the power of prayer.”
There is no better way to describe it than that. Meniere’s held me hostage in so many ways, including limiting my participation in the hike ministry — a ministry I love that has radically changed not just my life and the life of my family, but the lives of hundreds of men. On January 23, those chains were broken through the healing power of our loving Heavenly Father who is still at work. I know he will be on the mountain with me this spring for my best hike yet.
What about you? Where do you need healing in your life? Where are you expecting a miracle?
For more information on the Men’s Hike, go to Mount Pleasant Campus or Greenville Campus.