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  • Writer's pictureGayle


Updated: Mar 29

It was Oct. 1998 and I had a small stroke. The neurologist ran tests and said, “You have Microvascular Ischemic Disease, a hardening of the small vessels in the brain. It’s all over your brain and in two months, you’ll have a massive stroke, be dead or a vegetable and demented.”

Even though Gayle and I both heard that terrible, negative report, the gravity of it didn’t sink in with us at that moment. So, how did Gayle and I respond? He laughed while sharing a one-liner, “I always knew, Myrna, you were a hardhead.” And I laughed at his quick wit, but the doctor with wide eyes looked stunned.

When we returned home from the Mayo Clinic, it hit us to the severity of my condition. I became depressed. Sadly, I thought Christmas is only two months away and it’ll be my last Christmas. I must make it the BEST Christmas ever for my family -- one they’ll always remember! But how? Then I knew exactly what to do. First, I praised and worshipped the Lord and the depression lifted as God inhabited my praises (Psalm 22:3)!

Next, with great excitement and Gayle’s permission, I flew to Dallas, Texas and went to Neiman Marcus to buy affordable Christmas gifts at this very expensive store. Wide-eyed at everything and the out of sight price tags, I managed to buy small gifts without leaving Gayle a huge credit card debt after I passed away.

Then Christmas came and the family listened intently as to why they were having a Neiman Marcus Christmas.  Several months later, I was still alive but worrying how soon I would die.  As a result of focusing on such negativity again, my emotions quickly spiraled downward. I cried out to the Lord. God heard and it felt like He was telling me how to live each day:

  • Don’t focus on what you don’t have.

  • Focus on what you do have…I have today!

  • Focus on what you can have…God’s healing promises!

So, I did. With the Lord’s grace, mercy, love, and strength, I focused on the Lord each day—loving God and others while living out “I have today!” Then in 2002, a neurologist took another MRI and compared it to the last one, stating the disease had stopped progressing. We praised God for helping me live and not die, but to declare the works of the Lord! My last Christmas is still pending!

“Our time on earth is brief; the number of our days is already decided by you.”

Job 14:5

Myrna Brogdon

Los Fresnos, Texas

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