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April 1, 2005 - "Rediscovery of Love" by Joyce Heiser


Welcome to 2TheHeart!

"The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray." ~Samuel Chadwick



With so much happening in the world, especially this week, our stories this week have been appropriately, about prayer. Our prayers go out to all of our 2TheHeart members of the Catholic faith at this time. Today's story is by Joyce Heiser, who also happens to be the leader of the 2TheHeart prayer team. If you have a prayer request or would like to join the prayer team, please visit this page:

by Joyce Heiser

A physical crisis in our family reminded me again how much we often take our loved ones for granted.

I was turning the kitchen light out when I heard Dennis coming down the hall. When I saw him, he was wrapped in a blanket and violently shaking. I'd heard him tossing and turning but assumed sleep was eluding him. One look convinced me something more than sleep deprivation was wrong.

"I have terrible stomach pain," he said.

"I'll call the paramedics. You lay on the couch," I told him.

Within five minutes, the paramedics had arrived, taken his vital signs, asked pertinent questions, and put him on the gurney for a trip to the emergency room. I sent along clothes, shoes, and a jacket in case he would be treated and released.

Health challenges of mine wouldn't allow me to go to the hospital and sit for hours in the emergency room waiting room. It was difficult not to go with him. I felt useless and guilty remembering times he'd been with and supported me when I had an emergency room visit.

Even though I felt helpless, I knew that God wasn't. When the door closed, I sat down at the kitchen table to pray for wisdom for those who would care for him, a correct diagnosis, and the right choice of treatment. I also called two 24-hour prayer lines. After those calls, I felt more at peace.

An hour passed; then two. I anxiously waited for someone to call with information. What had they found? Was he being admitted? Would he be coming home?

Several more hours passed, and about 2 a.m. I tried to sleep. Exhausted, I slept soundly until the phone woke me about 6 a.m. Dennis' tired voice told me he'd been admitted and was now in a room. The diagnosis was diverticulitis.

During my short visit later in the day, he told me that a surgeon would be checking his tests and X-ray results. His regular doctor suspected there might be something more.

The next morning he called to tell me he an abdominal abscess. He also informed me that surgery was scheduled for two that afternoon.

"I'll be over in a little while," I told him. Again, I couldn't wait in the surgical waiting room, but I could go for a short visit to see and pray with him before surgery.

When I returned home, I called several praying friends.

At two, three, and four, Dennis called to let me know he was still in his room.

At 4:30, when I called to tell him I'd inadvertently brought home his slippers in the bag he'd given me, I knew he was in surgery, because there was no answer.

I sat down at the kitchen table to pray for everyone involved. Because those I'd called to pray earlier thought the surgery was over, my phone started to ring. Friends wanted to know how he was doing.

Several hours later the doctor called to tell me Dennis was fine. He had a rare birth defect, similar to a diverticular pocket that filled, decayed and eventually abscessed. "It was a textbook case," he added.

I thanked him and hung up. Relief washed over me. At that moment, I realized again how much I loved my husband. Of course I knew I did, but I hadn't realized how much until he was so close to death. I then thanked the Lord for sending him to me many years before and sparing him...the day before our 14th anniversary.

Joyce Heiser copyright 2005  

Joyce writes from Wisconsin's beautiful northwoods. She is a member of Angels2theHeart and one of her stories is featured in the 2theHeart book. Last May she co-founded Lighthouse Christian Writers in northeast Wisconsin. Joyce also has several stories in the 2TheHeart archives.


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The Letter Box:

Dear Michele,

Your story was so meaningful to me, partly because a dear friend of the family has an aneurysm, and prayer is helping her to cope with her situation.

Your empathy with Bob, your donut and coffee friend, and with his friend reminds me that every acquaintance, every friendship can count for God's purposes in our lives. Thanks for sharing your letter and your second chance at living.

Blessings, Mary-Ellen Grisham

Michele Starkey,
This story was such a blessing to me and I'm certain to others. Immediately, I thought of my closest friend, Donna who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was a while before she could tell me, but I'll never forget her phone call that day. I spent weeks praying over her situation, and placed it in God's hands. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

I would like to share my friend's story with you when you have a moment. Please visit my site and read her story.

Blessings in our Lord,
Marie Williams

Dear Michele,
Your letter and prayers for a stranger were a powerful reminder to me that we can all be of use to others, no matter where we are in life. Those of us suffering from illness or disablilty often feel useless to others, but your story reminded me that we can always pray for others. This gave me a peace and a goal to do just that. Thank you! Jennifer F.

Making a difference, one story at a time!
Sending hope to the heart!



    Making a difference, one story at a time!