Do You Need a Miracle?sam
by Joyce and Barry Vissell
Have you ever heard someone say in despair, “It will take a miracle to help this situation?” This phrase has come to be used in a pessimistic way almost like a death sentence for a situation. Many times we have heard in our counseling sessions people with no hope saying words such as, “The relationship with my husband/wife is so bad, it’ll take a miracle for us to come back together.” Or a parent who has lost all trust, “Only a miracle can bring my child back from their addiction.” The different situations are many, but the theme is the same, the person feels hopeless and has lost trust. But it is possible to change this phrase to one of hope and optimism. It takes trust and a willingness to open your heart to the possibility that love can heal. Barry and I witness miracles occurring in people’s lives and relationships every day. Our job is to get them to a place of trust and hope.
Recently we experienced the power of a miracle in a person’s life. Our dear friend of 35 years, Nancy Grace, was hit by a speeding car while walking her dog. Her head and entire left side was damaged and she was rushed by helicopter to a trauma center in San Jose. She was given very little chance of survival. She was placed on a breathing machine and was in a coma. No one except her two daughters and mother were allowed to see her. After ten days she was allowed a few visitors. Barry and I and two of her friends were her first visitors. As a doctor and nurse, we were well aware of the danger signs. The nurse in charge of Nancy showed us her two eyes with a flash light. Each one was fixed and dilated, no response whatsoever to light. This compassionate nurse looked at us directly saying, “You know from your training that this is not a good sign.” Indeed we knew that if Nancy survived she could have extensive brain damage. Then the nurse continued, “I have worked here for a long time. I have learned that miracles happen. All of your love and prayers can bring about that miracle.”
Nancy has many friends and all of us focused on a miracle in her life. Even when things looked really bad, like when the coma continued for three months, we continued to pray for and visualize a miracle. She was surrounded by love, trust and hope. None of us accepted the doctor’s grim diagnosis. We continued to see her walking, laughing and giving her love. Today, eight months later, she is able to live by herself, has her full long term memory back, is walking with some assistance, laughs more than any one I know, and continues to give love and hope to whomever she meets. She still has a long way to go in her healing, but the miracle is definitely happening.
The miracle with Nancy was a big miracle, as she was brought back from the brink of death or permanent brain damage. We also witness smaller miracles that occur in people’s lives all the time. The important thing is to have hope and trust in the ability of love to bring healing. A husband and wife came to see us in very bad shape in their marriage. The only reason they weren’t calling the lawyers right away for a divorce is that they had two small children. The husband remarked in despair, “I guess the only thing that will help is a miracle at this point.”
We said, “Well why not ask for a miracle?” We had them commit to sitting and praying together every single day for a miracle in their relationship. At the end of the prayer they were to each say one positive thing to the other. This simple exercise only took ten minutes a day, and yet it opened their hearts to one another, and they could begin to do the serious work of healing their relationship.
We know parents whose twenty three year old child was seriously addicted to drugs. He had been in and out of rehab and had even spent a year in jail, after which he immediately went back to the streets and drugs. The parents came to us in despair, saying, “We have tried all we can do. I guess he just needs a miracle.” As they spoke there was no hope in their voices or hearts. We had them sit together and pray for a miracle for their son. Then after the prayer they were to each share with the other something they love about their son and the joy they will feel when their son is in recovery from his addiction. We wanted them to make the possibility of a miracle real in their lives. The parents did this every day for a full year. For six months nothing happened with their son, but the parents felt more peaceful and could sleep once again. They felt they were doing something very important for their son. After six months there were small signs of change. Their son started calling once in a while. Then he would come over just to see them, rather than ask for money. Then he started talking about needing help. After a year he voluntarily entered into a treatment program and for the first time began to take it seriously. I believe that the parents love and trust in a miracle drew out the best in their son.
The possibility of a miracle is real and can happen to you in your relationship, life situation or health. It is important to never give up and realize that a miracle can come in many different ways. A friend of ours was diagnosed with aggressive terminal brain cancer. It took his life in just three months. His wife, two daughters and friends all prayed for a miracle. His cancer was not cured, but there was a beautiful healing that took place within that family, that allowed his wife and children to go on with their lives in strength. To make the possibility of a miracle real it is important to open your heart and trust in love to bring about change and healing.
Here are a few opportunities to bring more love and growth into your life, at the following longer events led by Barry and Joyce Vissell: Nov-Apr–Personal Mentorship/Transformation Program; Feb 1-8, 2009–Hawaii “Couples in Paradise” Retreat; Jul 19-24, 2009–Breitenbush Hot Springs Summer Renewal in Oregon.
Joyce and Barry Vissell, a nurse and medical doctor couple since 1964 whose medicine is now love, are the authors of The Shared Heart, Models of Love, Risk To Be Healed, The Heart’s Wisdom and Meant To Be.
Call toll free: 1-800-766-0629 (locally 831-684-2299) or write to the Shared Heart Foundation, P.O. Box 2140, Aptos, CA 95001, for free newsletter from Barry and Joyce, further information on counseling sessions by phone or in person, their books, recordings or their schedule of talks and workshops. Visit their web site at www.sharedheart.org/ for their free monthly e-heartletter, their updated schedule, and inspiring past articles on many topics about relationship and living from the heart.