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THE HEALING OF ANNETTE HANKS Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthriti
THE HEALING OF ANNETTE HANKS
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It was August of 2004, I had a three level cervical fusion due to years of neck pain that was caused by an automobile accident in 1985. By December of 2004, Dr. Gary Gropper, the surgeon, started suspecting that the trauma of the surgery had provoked my body to develop fibromyalgia. By that time, I had also developed Osteoarthritis.
What is Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is an extremely painful syndrome that can bring a person to the highest point of desperation. Some of the symptoms are: Unbearable pain throughout your whole body. This pain moves. One moment your knees, hands and toes may be in excruciating pain and maybe an hour later the pain is gone to find your head, elbows, neck and back feeling the same kind of pain. There are no words to explain how deeply the pain feels. Other symptoms include, insomnia, fatigue, morning stiffness, IBS, bladder irritability, numbness and tingling in extremities, circulatory problems, non restorative sleep, temperature and noise intolerance and worst of all a tremendous depression because you just do not know how to deal with the disease.
When I first found out that I had fibromyalgia, I did not want to believe it. I was so distraught that I even told the doctor that he did not know what he was talking about. Then it finally hit me, I had developed a disease that has no cure, that I did not know how to deal with and that what I was feeling that moment was there to stay for the rest of my life. I was forty-four years old when I finally accepted what was happening to me.
My parents are very involved in the Catholic Church. I went to catholic schools and I have always felt a very strong relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, when I was suffering from this terrible disease, all I could think of was how long is the rest of my life was going to take to get here. I prayed to God to not let me suffer like this, to please take me home with Him as soon as possible. I never blamed God for my pain; actually, this disease got me closer to him. I prayed more and more. On my most desperate moments, I would take the Bible and He seems to always guide me to a page that had a word of encouragement. Many times his message was so clear; other times I would call my mother to help me understand his message. For example, it was so clear to me when He asked me to set an Altar in my bedroom. I went and bought a beautiful table; I sat a beautiful image of Jesus on it and placed a picture of Mother Mary of Schoenstatt on the wall. I prayed every day. I lit candles.
I have worked for 20 years as a paralegal. When I became ill, I had no choice but to give my letter of resignation. Jesus knew that he had other plans for me. My employer insisted that I continue working from home, when and how many hours I was able to work. It really was a blessing because we were so worried about what was going to happen to our financial situation.
Last year, I went with my parents to the Atlanta Catholic Convention. They had brought in a wonderful man from Australia with the healing power from God. At the Convention there were so many people. When I was finally able to get close to him, he just touched me and others at the same time, hurrying because we really were so many. His touch was really special. For two months I felt so much better. Not healed, but better.
This year, when my Mom told me that the Convention would be a weekend in May or June, I was planning to go, but something bigger than I prevented me from participating. I asked my mom to please bring me something from the healing ministry so that I felt that I had participated. She brought me one of Father Fernando's CD's. At this point in my life, I could not cook, or clean, or do groceries. The disease had taken over my life. For the previous four months, if I wanted to go anywhere, I had to bring a wheelchair. I was unable to walk more than a few steps without being in extreme pain and tired.
I listened to Father Fernando's CD. I cannot find the right words to explain what his words did to me. His spirituality, his love and his obedience to the Holy Spirit flowed through his preaching. I listened to the CD over and over again. I noticed that on the back of the cover, there was a web site. So, I entered the web site hoping that I would find out that he was going to be again in Atlanta soon. When I went into his schedule, I noticed that he was going to be in Burbank, California from July 13 through the 15th. Underneath those dates, in very small letters it said that if we wanted a private prayer time with the father to give your information. I misunderstood. I thought that maybe he would call me and we would pray or that he and his followers would pray for me. So, I entered all of my information. About a week or two later, Sugar Ray called me and left me a message. I did not realized where he was calling me from or what it was about, so I erased the message. It is now that I understand why Sugar Ray would call me again. Why the insistence? Who was this man? What did he want? Maybe now he realizes it or maybe he has not even thought about it, but it was my beloved Jesus who insisted that he call me again. This time I listened and called him back. I asked him who he was and why was he calling me. He explained about the web site and that he was calling to see if I was still interested in the private time with Father Fernando to pray with me. I said "most definitely". What I did not realized was that he was talking about me taking a plane to California to participate in the retreat and then to have my private time with Father Fernando.
Since I stopped working full time, we have been very cautious with our money because we did not know how long I was going to be able to continue working. I am sure that Sugar Ray could hear the hesitating in my voice. He told me that I did not have to worry about the registration that he and his wife would take care of it and also that he had some rooms separated at a lower price. I told him that I would think about it and call him back. I checked the airlines ticket. I was able to find a ticket at an amazing price. Now I know that I was being pulled by my Lord and Savior. I had to go to California.
My husband has never been a religious man. I do not blame him; it is just the way that he was brought up. I told him about what had happened and he responded that if I felt that I needed to go, that we would go. After all, when your partner in life gets sick like I did,. I was not the only one suffering the terrible disease. I saw him cry so many times. He just did not want to see me suffer like I was.
We arrived in California on July 12, 2007. July 12 is my husband's birthday. The conference started the next day. We went to the registration desk and we said, Mr. and Mrs. Hanks. The most wonderful, angelical figure, turned to us and said, "Rickey and Annette, you made it". We looked at one another in disbelief. She gave us our badges and directed us to Father Fernando's table. She said that Sugar Ray should be there soon. Not long after he showed up. We embraced as if we had known one another for ever. I thanked him for everything that he did to make it possible for us to be there. I still have my doubts if he was a man or an Angel in disguise. We first went to mass and I took Communion. After mass was the healing service. During this whole time I was moving around in my wheelchair. Sugar Ray told me that he had reserved a spot for us to sit on the first row. After Father Fernando finished the most touching preaching, he told us that he was going to put his hands on all of us. I was about the six or seventh person he touched. He asked me what was wrong with me and I told him that I had fibromyalgia. He grabbed both my hands and made me stand up. He then put one hand on my heart and the other on my head. He put his cheek next to mine and blew air on my ear. I fell back. While I was on the floor, I could hear everything that was going on around me but I just could not get up, I did not want to get up. A sense of peace, love, tranquility, and most important the sense that I was not alone inside my terrestrial body came over me. I cannot say that at that precise moment I knew that I had been healed. I just knew that something big, life changing was happening to me. I opened my eyes and stood up. I felt happy, but I was crying, full of energy, but I had to sit. Father Fernando came back to me, grabbe me by the arm and said, "why are you sitting, get up, you are healed". From that moment until the present day, I have never had to use the wheelchair again.
That night, after I went to bed, I kept waking up because I wanted to get up and have a day without pain and be able to walk without the need of a wheelchair. We got up around 7:00 a.m. and did not go back to bed until 11:00 p.m. It was a non-stop day. I knew. I had no doubt that I had been healed. The Lord was with me, I was even able to pray and sing in tongues. Glory to God. The Lord had healed me. It was the most beautiful weekend I have ever had in my entire life. It has been a week and I still cannot stop thinking of every minute of last weekend. We came home on Sunday. On Monday morning, I woke up and went to my altar to pray. Once again, I started praying in tongues. As soon as I said Amen, the phone rang. It was Rickey. He wants to find a church; he told me that he too felt the Holy Spirit. God healed my body, and Rickey's soul.
Thank you God and Mama Mary!
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