I was talking with an old friend from Yuma, Michael Miller. We had since moved to Spokane and He and his family went to Phoenix to work with a church there. "Michael, you need to pray for Gabriel. The doctor's don't know what to do and I think he is dieing." He asked what was wrong.
About a week before Gabriel's High School graduation he came home from school with severe upper abdominal pain. He would tell a doctor later in the ER that on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain he had ever felt that this was an 8. After a tactile check of his abdomen and not finding anything definite, he was sent for an ultrasound which would also come back with nothing conclusive. He went home with some pain meds and pills for acid reflux. The pain never ceased. He made it through his graduation and went straight home, happy to have the diploma in his hand.
After a visit with his regular doctor he was sent to a specialists. A little over a week had gone by then and the pain never ceased. The specialist scheduled him for endoscopy. It wasn't conclusive, but the the doctor gave him stronger pain meds and stronger acid control pills. In fact, he would visit the doctor several more times over the months, each time stronger pain meds would be prescribed and different bills to help with digestion. The pain was so severe that he couldn't eat and would only take a couple of bites with each meal. They had placed a microchip in his esophagus to monitor for problems with the esophagus: swallowing, acid reflux, etc. They ran a CT Scan. They had him eat radioactive eggs to trace them through his system.
It was August now. Gabriel was on hydrocondone. Later we would find out that he didn't remember any of the summer. What little he does know was from pictures he had taken or notes he would write to himself. He had lost 30 pounds.
"The doctors don't know what to do Michael. But I know that God does." Michael told me about a place in Spokane called the Healing Rooms. They were started by an evangelist in the late 1800s to bring people together to pray for the city. A few days later when I was off from work, Gabriel, his older brother Johnny, and I went over to Spokane to find the Healing Rooms. It was like walking into a doctor's office. The place was much bigger than I thought it would be. There is a conference center on one side. When you enter the main door, to the left is a room with people praying and singing praises to God; they call it the War Room. And then, the "doctor's office" as I would call it. We signed in and explained that we had never been there before. An old man came out to explain that he would take the forms we completed and would pray over them with other people and come back for us after they hear from God. About 15 minutes went by and we were ushered into one of the prayer rooms where the old man and his wife would pray for us. They would pray for each of us and tell us what God told them about each of us. I don't remember all the details but the old man told Gabriel that he was carrying hurt from words that people had said to him. Gabriel disagreed; and really, I would have to agree with Gabriel. He doesn't seem to hold anything and is always cheerful.
Saturday night, my son Nathaniel started talking about fear that he had been dealing with, about all the things that make him afraid. I decided that we had to do something about that and pray. A family meeting started which lasted until 2:00 AM. During the conversation Gabriel mentioned completing college and going back to High School to show his teachers that he wasn't stupid. We knew then that there was something that Gabriel was carrying around. He didn't agree, and his older brother would go on to talk about hurt, how God overcomes and the plans He has for us. We prayed and went to bed.
Sunday morning Laura, Gabe's mother, was making breakfast and I was making pancakes. Footsteps came up the stairs, stopped and went down the stairs. They went up the stairs and back down again. After the third time, we heard light jumping in the hallway. We looked at each other and then to the hallway. Gabriel appeared, smiled; "Hey, watch this," as he bounced up and down a bit. "It doesn't hurt any longer."
He ate. He was hungry. It would be another few months before his weight was back. But he was well. The doctors didn't believe it. Even though we told them that we took him for prayer and that God healed him, they still suggested that we come back when the pain doesn't go away. We could never convince them that the pain had already gone.
No matter, Gabriel is well, still well, and doing well.