When I was just 18 months old, I got a “life sentence” diagnosis when my parents heard the words “Spinal Muscular Atrophy.”
That life sentence should have been a death sentence…because my parents were told that SMA is a terminal neuromuscular disease. Google it, and you’ll find a similar sentence of prognosis:
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a rare neuromuscular disorder characterised by loss of motor neurons and progressive muscle wasting, often leading to early death.
The prognosis was that I would not likely live past the age of 15. However, the Bible says “With long life I will satisfy [her] and show [her] my salvation.” (Psalm 91:16).
The Bible also says death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), and the words I was taught from a young age included “all things are possible with God” (Matthew 19:26) and “God keeps His promises.”
Now 30 years into my life story, I’m here to tell you that you can choose what God says over what Google says. You can choose His promises over any earthly prognosis!
It hasn’t been an easy life. I’ve never been able to walk. An electric wheelchair has been my constant companion since the age of 4. And as a child, it wasn’t easy being so different from everyone else. But I can now look back and see that those not-so-easy circumstances helped me grow into a person who chooses the not-so-easy promises of God…the ones that seem most impossible.
I could have allowed my future to be dictated by what the doctor reports said. It would have been easy to accept a prognosis of “You’ll never be able to have children” after marrying my wonderful husband, Jake, at the age of 22. My tiny, 85 pound frame made the likelihood of carrying a child to term in my womb impossible…but with God, all things are possible!
God put a promise in my heart that my earthly limitations would not limit my living, and I made a choice to believe, and hold onto, His promises.
And blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled. – Luke 1:45
God is good! He is faithful! I’ve given birth to two of the most precious promises He put in my heart: Bronx (now age 4) and Shai (now age 2).
God has blessed the work of my hands (Psalm 90:17) with work I love to do in the marketing world. And there are many more of His promises I’m holding onto still. Especially, the promise of complete healing over my body:
For I am the Lord who heals you. – Exodus 15:26
My life story is still being written, and the process of seeing His promises fulfilled requires patience and determination not to give up.
If you are holding onto promises He has put in your heart, trust that His process has a purpose even if you cannot see it. Trust that He knows your needs; He hears your prayers; He has your best interest in mind; He loves you.
Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. – Psalm 103: 2-3
Here are some daily practices that have helped me hold onto the promises of God, with scriptures to declare during the process:
Seek Him. How will we ever know the amazing promises of God if we don’t first seek The Promise Giver? When your heart is set on finding and discovering God, you will be blessed even beyond His promises you are waiting to see fulfilled.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Listen. - I’m a list maker and had a list of everything I wanted in life. It can be easy to have your “list” ready to hand to God, and expect to see your list of desires become reality. But take the time to sit and listen. Listen to what HE has to say to, and about, you. Ask Him to show you His will, and what promises He has, for your life.
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” - Luke 11:28
Dream. Don’t be afraid to have God-sized dreams. I’m a believer that He didn’t put us on this earth to live mediocre lives, but to live lives full of purpose and He desires to see his children walking in fullness of joy! So whatever it is you’re believing for, believe for “immeasurably” more!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. - Ephesians 3:20
Keep a written record. As a young girl, I wrote in a journal that I wanted to be a wife and mom someday. And over the course of our marriage, Jake and I have written down our huge God-sized dreams. We’ve written details of the visions we believe God has given us, and we’ve declared His promises over them. God doesn’t need us to write it down – WE need us to write it down! Why? Every time we go back to our journals, we are reminded of the goodness and faithfulness He has already shown us.
Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” - Habakkuk 2:2
Keep living. I was determined at a young age that my disability wasn’t going to define me. That I was going to learn to live my life with the purpose of giving God the glory for everything. I had to keep the promises He gave me at the forefront of my mind and heart. When things got tough, I knew God would help me persevere if I just determined to keep living my life. He has, and He still does, as I continue to believe and declare His promises. If we let setbacks in life hold us back, then we aren't living the abundant life.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the fullest. – John 10:10
Living in Promise,