God Wouldn�t Let Me Die!
I first became ill in 1976, due to alcohol, while I was in the Royal Navy. My first operation was in February 1977, from which I was not expected to live. I had another operation 10 days later for a burst artery. Since then, I have had several more operations and have constantly been in and out of hospital. In the end my doctor had to give me stronger and stronger painkillers due to the pain.
In 2001, I was admitted into the J.R. Hospital, in Oxford, due to some severe stomach pain. I was told that it was due to an ulcer in my stomach. I could have told them that; it had been bleeding for the last few years but no one had been able to find out just where it was. This was because of all my previous surgery. About half my stomach has been removed, because it was riddled with ulcers, back in 1993. After multiple endoscopies the ulcer was found. Rosie and I were told that this would mean yet more surgery.
Prior to my operation, I was having the most horrific nightmares. I was on sleeping tablets, anti-depressants by the handful, stronger and stronger painkillers, ending up on opium. By the date for the operation I was really scared of being put to sleep--I had convinced myself that I would never wake up. I was ready to call off the operation.
While I was at home waiting for my operation, I had a letter from a school friend via a web site called Friends Reunited. They tried to help me by telling me that God was going to do something very special with me. They did not know when or what was going to happen, only that it would happen very soon. To be honest, I really wasn�t interested. They wrote to me everyday while I was in hospital and sent Rosie emails to get updates on how I was doing.
The morning of the surgery came along and so did the porter to take me down to theatre No. 5. After cutting through many stomach muscles and removing no end of adhesions, the ulcer was found. It was on a good part of what was left of my stomach. The ulcer was removed and I was stitched up.
I don�t remember much till the next day. When I saw the length of my scar I was a bit upset to say the least. I was in a lot of pain and was put on a morphine pump so I could give myself a shot of it whenever I wanted.
Over the previous years I had become depressed and a lot of hatred and anger had built up inside me. It felt like a giant furnace that was getting bigger and bigger by the minute. Since I was still in a lot of pain, I thought the operation had gone very wrong. I was feeling more depressed by the minute.
One night, the 3 other people in my room were all on walkabout somewhere in the hospital. I decided to put the main light out. I was lying on my bed and crying my heart out. I really was in a mess. I didn�t feel able to tell Rosie about it. I had slowly drifted apart from all my family and friends. I felt I didn�t really love Rosie anymore.
In desperation I cried out to God, and to my surprise, I got a reply. Yes, I heard Him talk to me. He asked me what I wanted. I sat up in bed, in sort of disbelief. Again, He asked me what I wanted. After I had dried my eyes I said, you know how I feel. I have no fight left in me and I am in an awful lot of pain. I just want to die. I begged God to let me go to sleep and die.
He told me that He was not going to let me die. I told Him that I could see no other way out of my situation and the best idea that I had was to let me die---unless He had another option.
A couple of minutes later I heard a nurse come walking into my room. She said that she had just found a letter that I should have been given a few days before. I sat up and opened it. It was from my friends. They said that they felt God wanted them to write this letter now but didn�t know quite why.
It read like this, �Paul, God is not going to let you die. That is just an easy way out for you. Back home you have a wife and 3 children who love you more than you know. They just want you to get better and get home to them�.
I just read it over and over again and before long I had tears streaming down my face. I dried my eyes and put the letter down. I called out to God, once again.
�Yes, I am here�, He said.
�OK�, I said, �if you won�t let me die, what do you want me to do�?
He asked me, �Do you believe that I can heal you�?
I thought for a minute and then said, �Yes I do�.
He told me that those were the words He wanted to hear me say. God then told me that when I woke up the next morning, it would be the first day of my new life. Then I went to sleep. The next morning, I woke up about 6 am. I sat up in bed and looked around. No one else was awake. Then it hit me, like an express train. I had no pain whatsoever, I didn�t feel depressed and all my anger and hatred were gone.
Then I heard God say, �How are you Paul�?
�I have no pain�, I said.
He said, �Yes, I know, because I promised you wouldn�t�.
It was at that point I got rid of all my painkillers, all the morphine went and I was able to start drinking that day. To this day I have had no pain at all. There have been no withdrawal symptoms from any of the drugs I had been on. But that is not the end of the story.
I was discharged from the hospital a few days later. The consultant told me that if I was as well as I said I was, there was no point in me taking up a bed.
Rosie and I walked out of the hospital together. When I got outside, it was starting to rain. It could have been a monsoon for all I cared. I stopped and looked up at the outside of the hospital. I said �goodbye� because I wouldn�t be staying there again. That evening I went up to bed at about 10 pm. I was unable to sleep because I had so many questions going around in my head. I decided to listen to some music.
I thought I heard Rosie call my name. I then realised that she was asleep. I heard the voice calling my name again. It was God talking to me again.
He asked me to do something for Him. He wanted me to tell all the people in church on Sunday what had happened to me in hospital.
I said that I would.
Then He asked me to take with me my repeat prescription form, to show the people in church just how powerful the drugs were, that I was taking. Then God asked me to tear up my repeat prescription form in front of everyone so that I wouldn�t have the temptation to get any more drugs. I agreed to do all this. It was as if there was someone sitting on the edge of my bed, talking to me in a clearly audible voice.
Sunday came and I did what God had asked me to do. There were a lot of surprised people in church that day. My 5-minute talk turned into a half hour sermon!!
Since then, God has given me words and pictures for different people, which I have written down and dated.
As I have said, I have stopped taking any painkillers, morphine, opium, antidepressants and many other awful drugs, all without any withdrawal symptoms.
Now I am putting on weight and getting fitter by the day. Three weeks after I left the hospital, I did a 6-mile walk. I found it amazingly easy and did it without any ill effects. God has really done a wonderful thing in my life. Rosie and the children are so pleased to have me back after all these years.
� Paul Hayden