The Prayer that turns Pain to Joy and Difficulties to Peace

Linda Evans Shepherd

I was furious. “They want to do what? Take another MRI of Laura’s brain?! No! I won’t allow it.”

Nurse Sharon was patient with me. “You don’t have a choice; the insurance company requires it.”
I wiped away a tear because I had a secret. I had seen the original MRI of two-year-old Laura’s brain after our devastating car crash, and I knew that over one-half of Laura’s brain was destroyed.

I’d seen the images, and when the therapists who’d worked with my daughter found out about her brain damage, they walked away with a simple, “What’s the point?”

“Oh, Lord,” I’d prayed. “It’s going to happen again. People are going to walk away from my daughter—again.”
So, when I wheeled six-year-old Laura into the doctor’s office to hear her interpretation of how Laura’s brain was swirled with massive empty spaces, the doctor smiled and pointed to the wall where a film was posted on a lightbox.

I had just settled into my chair when I stood up. “I hate to tell you,” I said, “But this is not my daughter’s film.”
The doctor stared at me. “Why would you say that?” she asked.

I hung my head. “Because over half of my daughter’s brain was destroyed in the car crash, and this child in this MRI has an intact brain.”

The doctor tilted her head. “Well, look, the film says, ‘Laura Kay Shepherd.’ This is your daughter’s film. We didn’t know that your daughter’s brain could regenerate itself.”

I sat down; I stood up, I sat down again. Then I realized what had happened. For the last three years, when I’d prayed nighty-night prayers with Laura, I’d put my hand on her head and asked God to restore her brain. As I stared at the film, I saw the results of my prayers.

In one moment, the meeting I had dreaded turned into one of the most miraculous moments of my life, and I was filled with joy.

It would have been nice if I had allowed God’s joy to carry me into the meeting I’d dreaded, but the meeting changed my outlook.

The truth is the difficult thing we dread, the thing that we kick and scream over, may be the very seed of a miracle that God is planting in our lives.

Since that day, I’ve decided to calm down and hand over my torments to God. “I give them to You,” I pray. “Please turn them into miracles.”

I’ve learned that this is the prayer God always answers. And I’ve learned something else; I no longer need to kick and scream when things go wrong, and I can calmly invite God into the difficulty and trust in Him to work everything out for His good.

Dear Lord, we give our pain and difficulties to You and ask that You transform them into miracles as we learn to trust You with both peace and joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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