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Keep hope amid trials of healthcomment (0)

December 4, 2003

By Betty Baggott

My dear friend Robbie Ellis and her husband, Dr. Perry Ellis, served for 15 years as Southern Baptist missionaries in Brazil. She and Perry now live in Pembroke Pines, Fla., where Perry is pastor of Floridian Family Church and a much sought after revival speaker.

Robbie has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for some time now.

I wanted to share, with her permission, excerpts from a book she is working on concerning her determination not to let this sickness control her life.

Her words give hope to anyone who is facing crisis situations in his or her life at this Christmas season.

In spite of her condition, Robbie continues to teach Bible studies and lead retreats.

I know her words will bless your heart. This is my gift to you this Christmas.

“Inside my world of Parkinson’s, I cannot take you there with me. It is a place where only I and those who have Parkinson’s can go. Inside this world I find myself constantly trying to remember my life before Parkinson’s. As truthful as I can say, I never question God, and I have been through many stressful events in my life.

A changed world

“To say that I have not questioned God about Parkinson’s is not to say that I don’t ask Him for healing. This I do over and over again. I ask for a breakthrough in research for this horrible entrapment. I believe in the divine Healer.

“My world before Parkinson’s was so different. I literally sailed through every day. I have had my share of illness. But it does not compare with what I am facing now. I’m a prisoner to pills that I do not choose to take. I am thankful for this medication. On a routine visit with my doctor I asked this question: ‘Have you ever known anyone to be healed of Parkinson’s?’ His answer touched me deeply. He said, ‘That’s your department.’ He knows about my deep faith in God and respects me for it. Oh how I do struggle!

“There are times when even holding the phone and talking to someone so stresses me out that I want to throw it out the window.

“Using the computer makes a nervous wreck out of me. Putting on my makeup sometimes makes me have to put my head down on the dressing table and just wait, wait until I can.

“Few people know any of these things. My dear husband Perry does, and he is always there for me. I have never felt more loved.

“The tremors are no fun. My tremors in my legs are so much better when I am standing, so I stand a lot and walk around a lot. I do whatever it takes.

“When I am on my feet at retreats and seminars or speaking at a banquet, God seems to breathe into this Parkinson’s-ridden body a strength from on high. I stand in awe of His goodness.

“I have been described as a Conestoga wagon lady in the  sense that I am in that wagon  heading west with all my might  and fighting all the way. I will  not give up. I must not give  up. I will fight to the end, and I  will do all I can while I can.

“I do not know what is ahead. I am told that my medication  will wear off sometime. I have  a stack of books that tell me all about Parkinson’s. I have read  them but I do not choose to reread them daily.

“I do not choose to be depressed and pity myself. I choose daily to say, ‘I’m so glad to be alive.’ I choose to lean on Jesus. I choose to value everything that I am given. I am fighting.

“Because I am not God, I do not know what is ahead, but I am certain of Who will lead me every step of the way.”

God will see you through

“I must tell you that whatever it is that you’re going through — whether it is illness, heartache, financial problems, family troubles or anything that is your personal crisis — there is One who is able to see you through anything you are facing.

“I know firsthand this very moment that my God is sufficient. for your every need. Fight like crazy to let each day that God gives you be a victory day.

“My mother’s favorite Scripture was Psalm 46:1 — ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.’ This is repeated from my lips over and over again.

“I can make it, you can make it, do not give up. God has a hold of you.”

Why not send a note of  encouragement to Robbie? I spoke with her the week before Thanksgiving and things were not going well for her physically.

You may write to her at Robbie Ellis, 17506 NW Seventh  Court, Pembroke Pines, FL,  33029-3106.

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