The surgeon shook his head after Elaine Kaley’s elbow was shattered in a car crash but she believed God would heal her.
They were trying to untangle my crushed arm from the windshield wiper.
A beautiful September evening in Peterhead, Scotland, with the promise of fun and excitement, had turned into a loud crash, sirens, the feeling of warm blood running down my face and excruciating pain in my right arm.
Our little car had been travelling too fast. It careened across the narrow road and crashed through a travel trailer being pulled by a car travelling in the opposite direction.
I had smashed through the windshield. Seatbelts were not mandatory in those days.
God Was There
Shaking and in pain, a song we had sung in the praise convention just that week kept going through my mind as I lay by the road, waiting for the ambulance:
‘I am in HIS hands, so what have I to fear? I am in His hands, I feel Him ever near.
He guides my way, He is in COMPLETE control. I am in His hands.’
Returning home to Canada with a huge cast on my arm and my face battered, I felt acutely the stares and second glances from those passing by me.
My face was stitched in several places with cuts and bruises everywhere. I barely recognized myself in the mirror.
I was someone who always felt less than. I would constantly compare myself to others and feel so imperfect. Glossy magazine covers and TV painted a picture of beauty that seemed impossible to attain.
Now, it seemed, God had allowed me to have a brief glimpse of the life of someone living with this, day after day. However, when that same praise song came into my mind, I felt a peace that went beyond understanding.
Eight days after the accident, I was to have a bone taken from my hip and placed into my elbow. This, the surgeon said, would enable me to bend my arm again.
Ahead of the surgery, I picked up my Bible on my night table and randomly opened it to seek some assurance that all would be well. I read in Mark 3: 1 – 6 where God healed the man with the withered hand.
This gave me comfort.
The next day, as I sleepily opened my eyes, the large hospital clock read 1:30 pm .
Only thirty minutes had passed since I had been given anaesthetics. I gently touched my leg. My hip had not been touched.
Something had gone terribly wrong.
A Withered Arm and Hand
Back in my room, I was met with family and friends. Very matter of fact, the doctor explained that he was unable to repair my arm.
The elbow was badly crushed. He described it as looking like Rice Krispies. There was nothing to attach the bone from my hip to. I would have a ‘withered arm and hand’.
He suggested pockets in my clothing to support my arm.
He would book me for physiotherapy to strengthen what muscles I still had.
Something within me began to stir. I felt it was God. I remembered what I had read the night before — how Jesus had healed the man with a withered hand.
Faith rose in my young heart. I knew that God would heal me.
During the next few days, social workers and others visited me, to help me ‘accept’ my diagnosis.
They thought I was in denial.
Yet, just five weeks later, I was back to work, typing and working full time.
Amazingly, an elbow had grown in.
The physiotherapist checked my x rays and said, ‘I don’t know where it came from, but, you do have an elbow.’
When I saw the surgeon after 6 weeks of physio, he had me do several rotations and movements with my arm. He just shook his head as he watched.
Finally, I broke the silence. ‘I told you God would heal me!’
He walked out of the room!
More Than Physical Healing
During all of this, I felt God speaking Psalms 139 to me:
‘You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Thy works and how well my soul knows it.’
I had accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour at a very young age but had always struggled with accepting myself.
He not only healed me physically but also emotionally.
He really loved me, just the way I was. And He wanted me to Love myself, just as I was. I had a thankful heart, knowing He was in control.
Elaine Kaley is a Registered Social Worker in the Province of New Brunswick, Canada. She has a Christian Counselling Practice in Fredericton N.B. She is married with two children and is blessed with four beautiful grandchildren.
“In my counselling practice, I have found being able to share stories or testimonies of my life experiences profoundly impacting. The times in our lives where God has changed and healed the hurts, pains and fears on our journey of life can encourage others to trust and turn to a God who cares about every detail of our lives”