My mother knows I’m writing this and has demanded I not make her out to be a saint.
At age three, I was diagnosed with epilepsy and generalized colonic-tonic seizures, or grand mal seizures. The doctors informed my mother my life would never be normal.
“He will never ride a bike, or play contact sports, nor will he ever drive a car. Your son will never have a normal life.”
Somewhere during this time, my mother received God’s Spirit and began to go to church. She began to pray. “God heal my son. Your stripes heal us.”
At a Saturday night service, six years later, our pastor’s wife declared this prophecy: “The Lion of the tribe of Judah will heal your son!” I kept taking my medication, and momma kept praying.
I remember an appointment I had, and Dr. Hartwig was furious with my mother. She stood nose to nose with him. He shouted, “I don’t care what that woman said! Your son is an epileptic for the rest of his life.” Momma in the most Christian way retorted, “I’ll take my chances with God. He’s in control, not you.”
At age 12, I went in for an EEG. When Dr. Hartwig got the test results, he walked out in the hall with his mouth hung open, and he shook his head.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said as he waved the chart. “There is no sign of seizure activity in your son’s brain.”
God had answered my mother’s prayer. I lived a normal life, rode bikes, and played contact sports. I got married and had a daughter. The world changed on September 11th.
In 2001, I joined the United States Army.
Momma worried about her son. She was proud I signed up to do my bit for my country. I deployed to Iraq in 2004-2005 and fought in the Second Battle of Fallujah. It took three days to take the city.
As we prepared to return to our base, I missed the primary indicator of an improvised explosive device. The insurgents had buried it. I saw disturbed earth and went to back up when they detonated the bomb. The blast broke the plates in my vest and knocked my spinal fluid from my nose.
Seven years later, I had a seizure as I prepared for my third deployment. The Army started the process for my medical discharge.
“You’re not a solider, Freeman. We’re sorry, but you will receive your retirement.”
I began self-medicating with alcohol and prescription pills. Everywhere I looked, I was losing. In seven months, I lost my marriage, career, and had many seizures.
A doctor called my mother and said, “Your son is trying to kill himself. He needs someone out here to monitor him.”
Without any hesitation, my mother bought a ticket from Greyhound and rode 24 hours to Colorado Springs to help me. She moved in with me for seven months.
My mother helped me. She heard me cuss, rant, and lose all control. She kept praying. “God, help my son. Touch his heart and give him peace.” She drove me everywhere because I had my license revoked after I wrecked my truck. Momma kept praying.
Slowly, I began to heal. I quit drinking and abusing pills. Mom would tell me, “Every day’s not a bad day, son.” She was right.
I returned home to Mississippi in 2016. I prayed through to the Holy Ghost, and Momma had her prayers answered. She and my father attended my baptism.
My life would have been drastically different if it hadn’t been for a praying mother. I am here, alive and whole, because my mother knew how to pray.