November 24: Sarah’s Story

Real hope is an actual relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s the life-change that comes from knowing Him. It is the way to get through hard times. It is the focus for a new day, the purpose for walking through a difficult year.

This week we are wrapping up our Real Hope series with real stories of right now from real people who have experienced the life-changing hope that can only come through Jesus Christ.

Today’s story is from Sarah Roseler.

Read Psalm 50:1-15

I recently experienced a situation that not only changed my life but also taught me what real hope looks like.

It happened last month in October 12th. I got home from my Crossfit class around 8pm. About fifteen minutes later,  I started experiencing  some symptoms of vision loss on my left side, dizziness, and disorientation. I was able to yell to my mom for help.  Recognizing my symptoms as signs of a stroke, she immediately called 9-1-1. I  became more and more disoriented and eventually lost consciousness at home.  Still, I remember my parents praying and crying out to God to spare my life.

I gained consciousness in the ER where I could hear doctors and nurses working quickly. They were trying to find the cause of my stroke. I remember seeing the blurry faces of my parents crying. My boyfriend and our pastor stood  there in the corner. Then the nurse asked me to smile and squeeze her hand. That’s when I realized how serious this was. I couldn’t do either… I was paralyzed on the left side of my body.

Thankfully, because the medical staff worked so quickly and my mom recognized my stroke symptoms at home, I was able to receive  a medication (TpA) that greatly improved my chances for recovery. But Wooster hospital was not equipped to provide the care I still desperately neededso it was decided that I would be life-flighted to Akron City Hospital. I’ll never forget that helicopter ride.

I didn’t understand how a perfectly healthy 28-year-old with no medical issues could have a stroke. I prayed during the entire flight for God not to let me be paralyzed. I felt hopeless. But I also felt an overwhelming peace sweep over me. In that moment, I knew many people had gotten word of the situation and  were praying for me.

When we landed in Akron  I opened my eyes. For the first time since this started I could see again! I asked my flight nurse if I had a stroke, he looked at my astonished. I could talk! I looked down at my hand strapped to the cart and I could move everything on my left side.

The doctor later found out the cause of the stroke — a right vertebral artery dissection. It was a very serious injury to an artery in my neck caused by a movement during my work-out. Being a pediatric nurse, I know medically that injury should’ve left me paralyzed.

But God worked a miracle that night. He taught me to trust Him in the worst situations.

Recovery has not been an easy road. Fear and  anxiety often have a place in my heart but I’m learning to let Jesus handle it.  How do I do that? I place my hope in the solid foundation of the Lord. I trust His goodness over my own feelings. I trust that His plans are always good. I know that  placing my hope in the Lord will never disappoint.

The only real hope is in Jesus Christ, the one who healed me and gave me peace even when it didn’t make sense.

Psalm 50:15 says, “call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you and you will honor me.” This verse has been a source of comfort and encouragement through the last few weeks. God is always in control. Trusting Him is the only way to have real hope.