In 1993, Ema McKinley suffered a horrible workplace accident. Over the next eighteen years a condition called reflex sympathetic dystrophy stole everything from her – everything but her faith. Slowly her body betrayed her, the muscles contracting so she was confined to a wheelchair, permanently bent to the side, her hands and feet useless. Over the years, despite disfigurement, numerous hospitalizations, and horrific pain (as a pharmacist, I was astounded by her dosage of morphine), her faith only grew – firm, optimistic, filled with humor and concern for others.
If Ema’s story ended here, it would be an extraordinary testimony of how one woman clung to God in the darkness and persevered. But it didn’t end there. On Christmas Eve, 2011, Jesus Christ came to Ema and healed her. For the first time in years, she could stand up straight and walk. Over the next few months, she was weaned off her pain medication and her strength only increased. For the skeptical reader (count me in!), Ema includes excerpts from her medical records and plenty of photographs.
Wow. What a story. Ema’s cheerful faith shines brightly throughout the book, even when she is in situations that would warrant complete despair. But Jesus Himself is truly the main character – not just His miraculous power to heal – but also His power to keep Ema going through eighteen torturous years.
Cheryl Ricker’s writing brings the story to life. While I’ve known Cheryl for years, I never once heard Cheryl’s voice. Only Ema’s. And that takes true writing talent. The book is well organized and reads exceptionally well. Cheryl gave Ema’s phenomenal story the faithful rendering it deserved. Thank you for a touching and inspiring read.