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Web of Lies
CBN.com Brandilyn Collins loves to spin tales of mystery, suspense and murder. That might sound strange coming from a Christian author. But Brandilyn says that in many ways her books reflect real life.
“My books are about people in bad, scary situations but how God can work through those situations and how they can pray during those times. My stories are about God’s power,” Brandilyn says.
She knows about scary situations. In 2002 she landed a seven-book contract from a major publisher. She was vibrant and physically fit, thanks to her 20-year habit of running five miles a day. Then came the symptoms. At first it felt like the flu…
“I was in my kitchen trying to cook dinner, and I wanted to bend down and get a pan. My legs wouldn’t hold me, and I fell. Then I couldn’t get up. It happened that fast.”
Over the following weeks she grew worse.
“The bottoms of my feet felt like I had been on them for 24 hours,” she says. “Then [they] felt like they’d been stuck in a fire. They had this burning [sensation]. Then all my joints started hurting so badly.”
At one point the symptoms all but went away. Then they returned -- worse than before. Doctors couldn’t find a cause.
“My body hurt so badly. Every muscle hurt. Every joint hurt. It was constant pain,” Brandilyn remembers. “I really lost the ability to walk much. Going up and down stairs was very difficult for me. I would go up very, very slowly. Coming down is way worse than going up.”
Brandilyn tried working on her book, but found it near impossible. Then through tests, she learned that she had an advanced case of Lyme disease -- a debilitating disease that is very painful and difficult to cure.
“It was very scary,” she recalls. “My daughter was 13 at the time, still at home, and she thought she was losing me.”
Brandilyn drew strength and hope through prayer. “I had many, many people praying for me,” she says. “I started praying the Psalms every day.”
The treatments for Lyme disease were intense and could only be administered a few weeks at a time.
“Instead of getting better, I was getting worse. After a period of months on this treatment, all the symptoms went from my waist up. The most gentle lacing of my fingers I couldn’t do because they hurt so badly.”
Brandilyn faced another round of treatments. These would be harsher than any she’d had before. So she and her husband Mark decided to come to their vacation home in Coeur d'Alene Vacation, to get some rest. As it turns out God had other plans.
At the last minute Brandilyn decided to go to a healing room in Spokane, Washington, to receive prayer. At the same time, she learned that a 24-hour prayer vigil had been set up for her through e-mail.
“So when I heard that this prayer vigil was going to be set up for me on the very day that I was planning to go to the healing room -- and they didn’t know it -- I thought, God’s up to something.
“I told my husband, ‘God’s going to heal me.’”
But after the prayers at the healing room, nothing happened… at least not at first.
“In the next hour the symptoms just went away,” Brandilyn says. “I walked into the house, and I was just moving normally. It was just gone. The pain was gone; everything was gone.”
Immediately she climbed the stairs. But the real test was coming back down.
“I just sailed down the stairs. I hit the bottom and I yelled. My family comes running, and I just went, ‘Oh, I came down the stairs. I came down the stairs. Watch me!’ And I went running up and came running down. They just stood there with their mouths open.”
That same day, those involved in the prayer vigil e-mailed Brandilyn about their time of prayer. The last one came just around midnight.
“She said, ‘I went to pray for Brandilyn, and I couldn’t pray for her healing. I tried, and I couldn’t do it. All that came to my mind was this song that we used to sing in Sunday School when we were kids: Praise Him, praise Him, all ye little children. I just gave up and sang the song.’ You see, God knew that I was already healed.”
Since then, none of the symptoms has returned. Brandilyn finished her book, Brink of Death, which became a bestseller. She’s back to running five miles a day. She says her experience has given her new insight into life and writing. She loves to tell the story…
“God’s power is over evil in this world,” she says. “He wanted to remind them He too is Lord over illness. Even illness, which looks like it’s getting worse and there doesn’t look like a lot of hope. He’s God over that. He has power over that, and that’s what this story was about.”
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