Wheelchair woman walked free after prayer
Mother-of-six Jennifer Rees Larcombe was confined to a wheelchair following a severe viral infection which left her completely disabled. Eight years later she believes she was unexpectedly and instantly healed when a young Christian prayed for her. Sandie Shirley reports.
Despite being wheelchair-bound for eight years and the loss of her 30-year marriage and grandchild, Jennifer Rees Larcombe has a gentle persona that belies the former heartache she suffered.
Jennifer's life plunged into darkness and despair when her idyllic village life as a mother with six children and endless foster children came to an abrupt end.
"I was whisked away in an ambulance unable to breathe, eat, swallow, speak or move. I actually died and floated out of my hospital bed as my minister and his wife were praying for me. It was like free-falling from an aircraft, going up. It was beautiful and I knew I was going towards God but I heard a voice saying: 'Are you going to come in or out'".
With concern for her six youngsters, aged 4 to 14, she let go of her desire to be in heaven and believes she was instantly transported back to her bed of suffering.
The gift of peace and inner contentment came as she wrestled with her recovery. She turned to writing and speaking to encourage others and eight years later, after a simple prayer by a complete stranger at a conference, she moved out of her wheelchair and took it home in the back of a friend's car and has never used it since she says.
Jennifer and her former husband helped set-up the Beauty from Ashes trust to support others suffering from loss and trauma. But there followed a cruel irony. Unable to join him for one of the events, her husband, soul mate and dearest friend, fell in love with one of the women he sought to help.
"After 30 years of marriage, he packed up his belongings in four black plastic sacks and drove away down the drive," says Jennifer, despite praying for reconciliation.
"It was the last straw. Within six months my little granddaughter and two of my best friends had died while two of my children had emigrated. It was a scary feeling - I wanted to die. But now no-one can convince me that God does not heal. He's healed the damage from my dyslexia and brain virus and my broken heart. He has also healed my children and helped countless other people who come to Beauty from Ashes.
"God rebuilds shattered wrecks and mends them so they can hand his comfort to others," says the author, speaker and counsellor who spoke at Downham Market Christian Fellowship in West Norfolk recently.
The tears and broken years could have birthed bitterness and resentment but the perils have been turned to pearls of forgiveness, peace and acceptance, as she has journeyed into God's heart and is now enjoying the happiest years of her life.
Today she has authored over 30 books, despite the past nightmares of being bullied by her teacher (who was unaware of Jennifer's dyslexia), for failing to make sense of numbers, letters and text.
Pictured above is author Jennifer Rees Larcombe.