Welcome to the “Be Fully Persuaded” series! Today Joesette Huffman is sharing how God saw her family through a very long night. I pray that it will encourage you to stand strong in your faith and that God will make Romans 4:20-21 a reality for all of us as we focus on Him and His Word:
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
Romans 4:20-21 (NIV)
A New Heart for Thomas by Joesette Huffman
October 17, 2003, was a typical day that became a defining moment in our lives. My husband Thomas had just finished a 12-hour shift at work and was heading to bed for the night. Our 6-month-old daughter Olivia was in bed asleep, and I was already drifting off. After a few restless minutes, Thomas said he had indigestion and was going to sit in the recliner so he wouldn’t keep disturbing me.
Several minutes passed, and in my half-asleep state I heard “something.” I walked into our living room to find my husband on the floor, white as a sheet and in obvious pain. His indigestion had suddenly turned into what felt like an elephant sitting on his chest. We lived less than five minutes from the hospital, so I grabbed the baby and put everyone in the car.
The emergency room was a blur. Thomas was whisked away as I got him registered and called a friend to come get the baby. By the time I had his paperwork complete and got to his room, Thomas was already on oxygen and a nitroglycerin drip. At 32, he was having a heart attack. As I stood there and watched the frenzy of medical staff, I began to pray the scriptures:
- “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
- “You will live and not die and declare the works of the Lord.”
- “By His stripes you are healed.”
The best cardiologist in the hospital was called in. Thomas was sent to ICU, where bells and alarms continued to summon more doctors and nurses. Thomas was given more medications. Finally, the cardiologist told me, “He’s building up to another heart attack, and we can’t stop it. It looks like this could be the big one.” (Dear doctors, this is not the best way to tell a woman her husband may be dead shortly.)
Time stood still. Every few minutes an alarm would go off, and a flood of people would rush in. Each time, I would pray “In the name of Jesus, I bind the spirit of death, and I speak life into Thomas.” Then I quoted every scripture on healing I could remember.
All this time, I was alone. No one from our church came, although I’d called them. Thomas’s mother and aunt arrived and sat in the waiting room. I love my mother-in-law, but she’s not a believer. All she spoke was negative, so I never went to the waiting room. I stayed in the corner of that ICU room, watched my ghost-white husband struggle to stay alive, and prayed.
The cardiologist finally came in and said they were transporting my husband to the University of Virginia Medical Center, 30 minutes away. If he could hold on until they got him there, he would undergo a coronary angioplasty to try to open up the arteries in the heart. As the team finished loading Thomas onto the stretcher, my born again, man of faith father-in-law walked in. My heart soared. I felt like the U.S. Cavalry had just arrived—until he took one look at my husband and fell completely apart, sobbing.
Everyone turned and looked at me. It was as if hell itself was looking at me, jeering. I grabbed my father-in-law by both shoulders and shoved him against the wall. I shouted, “Now you listen to me! The Word of God says that Thomas will live and not die, but shall declare the works of the Lord. I don’t have time to fall apart, and if I don’t get to fall apart, neither do you! Now get a grip!” It was like a slap in the face that brought him back to earth. He straightened up, agreed with me, and from then on I had someone to stand with me in this fight.
When we arrived at the University of Virginia Medical Center, we walked straight from the ambulance into the prep area for the operating room. The cardiologist explained what a coronary angioplasty was, what the risks where (stroke, blood clot, death), that it would take at least 45 minutes, and that I should to say my goodbyes “just in case.” Once again, I put myself face-to-face with Thomas. I prayed each of those scriptures out loud to God, standing on His Word. Then I kissed Thomas on the forehead and headed to the waiting room.
My in-laws had already arrived and were in the waiting room when I walked in. I told them that the doctor said it would be at least 45 minutes. Then I began pacing and praying. Twenty minutes later, the nurse came in and called, “Is there a Mrs. Huffman here? . . . You need to come with me.” Fear gripped everyone in the room; it was palpable. I had to fight to remain calm.
I followed the nurse into the elevator, and we rode down in silence. We walked down a long hallway, and then she opened the door to a small room, just big enough for a stretcher and a chair. There, sitting up on the stretcher, was Thomas, with a big smile on his face. The cardiologist was sitting in the chair looking at the chart.
The doctor showed me the pictures of Thomas’s heart from the first hospital. It clearly showed a blockage and damage from the first heart attack. Then he showed me the one he had performed prior to starting the procedure. There was no blockage, no damage, no sign of ever having had any type of heart problem. He couldn’t explain it. I told him that God is the Great Physician, and that He had answered our prayers. Thomas was discharged several hours later, after being “watched” and “checked” for a while.
It has been nine years since that night, and Thomas has had no issues. Nine years have passed, with us knowing that God provided a new heart for my husband. He is still the God who heals. My husband is a walking testimony of God’s miraculous power.
How have you seen God’s miracle-working power at work in the life of someone you know?
Joesette Huffman has been married to Thomas for 11 years and is the proud mother of two beautiful daughters. Joesette is a contributing writer for The Homeschool Village and also writes about her homeschool adventures at Learning Curve. She shares about her life, faith, and family at S.A.H.M. I Am!