LIFE WAS GOING GREAT BUT THEN THE UNEXPECTED HAPPENED…
Life was great for our family back in 1998. Marie and I had two beautiful daughters and a happy marriage. We really couldn’t ask for anything more.
One day we noticed Marie’s right eye stopped tracking the same as her left eye. A series of tests ensued. The doctors gave us the grim news. Marie had a brain tumor behind her right eye that had wrapped around the optical nerves, and carotid artery, and also filled up her pituitary gland.
Of course, this was a terrible shock for all of us. We wept outside the doctor’s office. The doctor also told us that this tumor explained why Marie had not ovulated in the past several years. She had not had a period since Holly our youngest daughter was born in 1995.
SURGERY WAS NECESSARY
Over the next few weeks, both our families gathered with us to figure out what to do. We did a lot of praying asking for guidance. And our church held us up in prayer. We chose the best brain surgeon we could find on the West Coast who did brain surgery in an attempt to remove the tumor.
Unfortunately, after surgery, the doctor said he could only get a small portion of the tumor. There was some good news. The tumor was a benign meningioma. So it was not cancerous. It was a slow-growing tumor that he recommended should be radiated in an attempt to kill it and stop the growth. After the surgery and recovery, we relocated to Los Angeles for several months of intensive radiation. A new procedure had been developed at UCLA where they radiated a very specific area twice a day for 8 weeks. At the end of that series of treatments, the Doctor announced that the tumor tissue was in effect dead, and would not grow anymore.
“NO MORE KIDS”
Unfortunately, he also confirmed that Marie would be unable to have any more children as the pituitary was full of tumor tissue and had been heavily radiated. I ask him point blank, “So you are telling me if my wife has another child that would be a miracle”. He said yes…absolutely. His prognosis proved true. My wife went into menopause and over the next several years we dealt with all the hormonal ups and downs that go with that.
Of course, we wanted Marie to experience complete healing from the brain tumor. Prayer has always been a core principle in our lives. During the surgery and afterward, we literally felt the prayers of our families and our church every day. It was awesome. God spoke to us clearly during this time about trusting him and how he would use doctors like he used mud in the blind man’s eye in Scripture. There was no miraculous healing during that whole season but in contrast to what the UCLA doc had said, we somehow never lost the faith for more children… specifically two sons. We had always wanted to sons and two daughters. We never lost faith that God could do the impossible. We spent many hours in our California home praying for Marie’s healing. Marie always prayed that the Lord would melt the tumor away like butter and that would be a miracle or that she could concieve in spite of the tumor being there which would be a medical miracle.
A CHANGE OF SCENERY
In 2001 we felt the call of God to move our family to Colorado Springs, Colorado and we did so. What a scenery change. From Sacramento valley, to the Rocky Mountains. During the next couple of years, we occasionally felt the urge to pray for a child even though Marie had still not ovulated now for nearly 7 years. She had already gone through menopause.
THE TABERNACLE PRAYER
Then in 2002, I discovered the Tabernacle or Temple Prayer model as it is sometimes called. Wesley Tullis, then director of the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs, introduced me to this method developed by Pastor David Yonggi Cho of South Korea. He was the pastor of the largest church in the world. I felt the grace of God to begin practicing this type of extended prayer (about 1 hour per day). The Lord blessed me in many ways over the next year and the Tabernacle Prayer became my main devotional tool. My wife Marie saw the change in me and decided to try it herself. The year was 2003. Marie and I began to pray the Tabernacle prayer together each morning for a period of over 8 months. The Lord blessed her as well, healing some deep emotional issues she had wrestled with for decades. It was during that season that Marie really came to a new level of faith regarding the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ. Scripture is very clear. One of the many benefits of the Blood is that by His stripes we are healed. Our healing is a finished work. As Pastor Cho says, sickness is actually illegal in us today because of the blood of Jesus. By praying the Tabernacle prayer we developed greater faith to reject the devil’s packages and receive what Jesus has already accomplished at the cross for us. Our faith became much stronger.
That takes us to late 2004. One Friday a good friend of ours was over talking about adopting kids. We said, “Well maybe we should think about that. Perhaps that is how we would grow our family.”
The very next evening Marie and I had gone to bed and she felt something strange in her stomach area. She placed my hand on her tummy and I felt an unmistakable “tap” “tap” “tap”. We were shocked. What could this be? Our minds went racing. My daughter Bailey and I drove to the store to buy a pregnancy test. In fact we bought three to be sure. They all came up very positive. At the doctor’s office the next week the sonogram showed a 6-month-old baby boy alive and well inside my wife!
How could this be? She was not overweight. How could she be 6 months pregnant?
All we can say is God works in mysterious ways. He showed us what healing really is!
Three months later our miracle son was born
on Dec. 15, 2004. DJ Packard, is a perfect son in every way. Every time we look at DJ we think of God’s faithfulness and we marvel at the power of God that is available to all His sons and daughters. We are very grateful to Pastor Cho for introducing us to the Temple Prayer.
AND ONE MORE THING… Marie, started her normal menstrual cycles again….this is after many years of no cycles and after going through menopause.
God is sovereign in the affairs of men. Lord, your will be done in all things! Let our story be a testimony of God’s power in spite of the best that doctors can do.
We love the medical profession. But they are like mud in the Lord’s hands. Jesus is our great physician and it pays to keep your appointments with Him.
A few weeks after he was born, DJ was dedicated at New Life Church in Colorado Springs. He is truly a medical miracle.
Needless to say, we recommend the Tabernacle prayer as a fundamental way to go deeper with God and see miracles happen in your own life. This is just one of the ways the Lord is transforming our family from the inside out through the Temple Prayer model. Hey it really works!
All was well with us again, but didn’t we actually ask for two sons?
A couple of years after DJ was born Marie became pregnant again and we had our second son Johndavid. We could not be happier and the Lord could not be more faithful to everything we had asked for in spite of her medical condition.
Derek & Marie Packard – Colorado Springs, Colorado