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A Smile In The Most Unexpected Place!

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Thanksgiving Encounters: 2) Seeing God's Goodness While Suffering From Encephalomyelitis...

Yesterday was the first of 7 posts about the AMAZING true stories of people I know and have worked with who want to share their experiences to encourage someone else... perhaps even You...?

What do you believe is the greatest non-pill, non-pharmaceutical solution to stress, anxiety, depression, and many mental health issues, in conjunction with prayer? Having a grateful heart... a sincere attitude of gratitude!

While every day we should wake up with a spirit of gratitude, in the United States, the Month of November is saturated with seasons of praise and gratitude. Today is Thanksgiving and people have traveled millions of miles to be more intimate.  Homes and hearts will be warm with the love of family, friends, loved ones, and hopefully God.  

"... Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen." Revelation 7:12 KJV

Today I want you to meet someone very special in my life, EAVEN YVONNE W.

I met Eaven, many years ago as a missionary living in New York. My missionary partner, Lindsay, and I would visit her every week at Beth Abraham Nursing Home, in the Bronx, and after she was transferred to an Assisted Living Center not too far from there. She gave me much pause for reflection which helped to change my attitude when things don't go so right.

Eaven is a very intelligent, beautiful St. Lucian woman in her early 60s who is an amazing inspiration, especially on days when I am tempted to feel sorry for myself.

She was born a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, but like the Bible says: "all we like sheep..." Isaiah 53:6. She wanted to taste a little of the world's offerings and walked away from her faith, and God, in one way or another.

My encounter with Eaven piqued my interest in visiting St. Lucia: Simply Beautiful!

She migrated to the US and settled down in Georgia. She became a wonderful teacher, wife, and mother. Yet while in this happy state of a contented life, trouble came looking for her. One day Eaven began experiencing a massive headache. It lingered and wouldn't go away no matter what. Sleep gave no relief, and water offered none as well. She was rushed to the hospital and the doctors ran many tests, only to find that her brain was swelling massively and they had to operate immediately! She could have died!

How many of us have lived, playing with sin believing that we have tomorrow to make it right? Guilty! Satan never pursues us to help us... he ALWAYS wears us down to destroy us. But GOD is so good to us.

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:

be thankful unto him, and bless his name." Psalms 100:4 KJV

Eaven's case was so severe that she went into a coma and wasn't expected to live very long. Doctors told her that if she lived, she most likely would be permanently paralyzed, blind, dumb, deaf, and not in the collection of her senses.

What caused her sudden life-threatening illness? Have you ever heard of encephalomyelitis? Encephalitis is brain inflammation. Myelitis points to the inflammation of the spinal cord. When both the brain and the spinal cord are affected, the condition is called encephalomyelitis. Possible Causes: viral infection, bacterial infection, autoimmune inflammation, insect bites (ticks), and more. ( I will elaborate another time).

People now live with this disease longer, but back then,...not so much. Atlanta didn't have the necessary resources to take care of someone in Eaven's state. She had to be transferred to New York. No not to die or wither away. Why? Because though Eaven had tucked God away for a rainy day, God had never forgotten her. He walked into her room in the cool of the day to save and not to condemn... (Genesis 3:8)

When Lindsay and I first met Eaven, she was bedridden. She had to have an aide help her in and out of the wheelchair; her speech was badly slurred; and she had very limited mobility. She could not even touch her own face. Her legs were badly crippled and had on some humongous thick Coke glasses to help her see. She was in bad shape, but this 40-year-old (give or take, back then) was not about to give up! I just love that Lucian spirit! Her body was down, but her face was lit up with the most beautiful smile, that always reached her eyes.

"That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works." Psalms 26:7 KJV

Though beaten down by the enemy, she was sunshine on every cloudy day! ( 2 Cor 4: 6-9) Every hymnal song we sang to encourage her, she couldn't voice the words but she could hum the tune. Though beaten down, God protected her brain from total degeneration: Her faculties were very alert. For weeks, months, and years we consistently visited Eaven. We studied the bible with her; prayed with her; encouraged her; helped her in practical ways: suggested healthy eating habits and just loved on her.

We saw firsthand how God worked in her life. Her speech became clearer, her hearing improved dramatically. She regained more mobility in her hand and was able to comb her hair more independently. Eaven was singing and not humming. Her Coke bottle glasses were exchanged for more natural-looking ones. Her memory is much improved, and she has a grand-tastic attitude!

Do you want to know something beautiful? Before I relocated to Georgia, Eaven rededicated her life to the Lord. She showed up boldly, in her wheelchair and showed out for God! I was at her baptism and nothing touched my heart as much as the beautiful smile that she wore as she came up out of the watery grave, and into Christ's waiting arms.

Today, I still visit Eaven almost every time I visit New York. She had lost many precious things: her faith, her home, her job, memory, sight, and hearing. Eaven had lost her voice, her husband to another, and the ability to live with and raise her young children, but she is still happy with the LORD. She doesn't complain, and always encourages me. Every time I would pay her a surprise visit, she would still light up the room. Her Spirit was not broken, and her faith in God was robust. She is now a lighthouse of hope and a true inspiration to me and countless others. This beautiful broken woman, still has a smile during her unexpected suffering, despite knowing she would never be free from the ravages of a sudden disease. Isn't God Good?

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;” 2 Corinthians 4:6-9 KJV

Join us on this journey that will give you a super boost of hope and resilience while also positively nurturing your Mental Health. Ensure you subscribe and share because many people are silently hurting, and while a few brave ones admit their needs and ask for help, many, many more will not... So share your blessings. See you soon!

P.S.  Did you know that we link beautiful music with encouraging lyrics you may play throughout the day? Enjoy the Marathon of God's goodness below!😁

  Songs of Thanksgiving:


Previous Post: A Heart Filled With Sunshine

See you next time! Have an awesome day in the LORD...

Taste. Enjoy! Respond. Like! Share. Be encouraged!

To learn more about Narda Pella click on the logo and it will take you to our home page.


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