Real Church. Real Life. Real Celebration.

A Triumphant Journey

People see the smile on my face these days, but most people have no clue what I went through only a few short years ago.

My junior year of high school started off like everyone else’s. I had a full course load of classes and doing well. One day I woke up with a back ache. Without going into lots of details, I was without a doctor for year, but the back ache turned into excruciating pain. Not knowing the severity of the problem, I remained in school, but Lortab became my constant companion. Sobbing in front of my friends because I was in too much pain to eat was an almost daily occurrence at the lunch table.

I love going to church, so I got a tens unit and had it on full blast so that I could sit through the service. In case you don’t know this is NOT normal. In January, I finally got an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. An x-ray revealed that I had a stress fracture, which is common among athletes and gymnast. I’m a bookworm, so this was quite a shock to me and my family. The doctor said only one in 1 million people have this happen to them. I was just happy to know there was a reason for the pain. My doctor didn’t want to do surgery right away, so we tried back braces for a few months. This is when I was at my lowest point.

The pain got so bad that I could not go to church with my mom anymore. Even thinking back to that dark time brings tears to my eyes. I would cry as I watch my mom get ready for church, longing to go with her instead of lying in the bed in agony.

Finally, I had an MRI that revealed surgery would be my only option. We still didn’t know the extent of the injury. I trudged on through my chemistry classes and English papers and could see my upcoming graduation through my haze of survival. God’s grace was the only reason that I was able to get out of bed each morning. When I could only take one step He definitely took two. In June of that year, I had a spinal fusion to repair my back. Much to everyone’s surprise my surgeon said that my back was broken and the vertebrates were floating around in the cartilage. Due to the extensive surgery, I had a long road of recovery ahead.

I can say with confidence that even when I lost hope, not able to see past my own pain, God never did. He saw me becoming a member of my church’s publication team. He saw me graduating from high school with honors. He saw me getting accepted into the Corporate Communication program at my college. I thank God that he never gave up on me! Whatever you’re going through, no matter how bad it may seem right now, you’re not going to stay there. God has plans to prosper you, so whatever you do DON’T quit!


~Madison Sanders


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