26: Breath of Life

26: Breath of Life

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles Happen

Breath of Life

Don’t look for God in the sky; look within your own body.


I kept my head down as I crawled away from the burning motor home. I could not see ahead of me because of the billowing black smoke and the intense heat. I must be in Hell, I thought. And I could see the liquid pour off my arms and legs. At the time I did not know it was my skin melting from the heat. With each breath, the burning pain pierced my throat.

That was 1993. It wasn’t until seven years later that I started having a breathing problem. With each gasp for breath the wheezing sounds increased. After seeing many doctors and several trips to the emergency room, the diagnosis was asthma. Inhalers became a way of life for me.

Then another seven years later, in 2007, my breathing became so bad that doctors put a scope down my throat and found my trachea was only five percent open. A normal trachea is the size of a quarter, but mine was smaller than a dime. I went to a specialist doctor at Cedars-Sinai where I had laser bronchoscope surgery. They removed a percentage of the scar tissue created by the fire fourteen years before. The wheezing began again ten months later. Every May for the past six years I have had this surgery so that I can breathe one more year.

This year would be my seventh year, and in the Bible seven means complete. All through this journey the number seven was significant. This year, my scar tissue was growing more rapidly than usual. People could hear me before they saw me, and I was afraid that I would need the surgery before May. I needed a miracle!

Our missionary son came home from Haiti to visit. He said his good friend was coming over and bringing two ladies from Kenya to pray over him and the orphanage. The five of us sat in my living room sharing all the wonders of God and how nothing was impossible. They did not know me, but could hear the struggle I had with each breath. One quietly asked if they could pray over me before they prayed for my son. I believe in the power of prayer and said, “Of course, I would love that.” Each of them put a hand on my throat and one on my stomach, and started praying. They asked the Lord to send me a brand new trachea. I coughed and with the next breath all I could hear was silence.

As I lay in my bed that night thanking God for His miracle, I kept thinking how many times I had been prayed over. All the other prayers asked for God to heal my trachea and take away the scar tissue. Now I had a new trachea! After so many years, wheezing had become my new normal. So it took a few weeks to get used to the sound of quiet.

I waited until April to see my doctor and once again have the scope put down my throat. He mentioned several times how good I sounded. I said, with a big smile, “Thank you.” As he checked my throat, he said, “You look so much better.” I noticed on the monitor that the pale yellow scar tissue had been replaced by a healthy pink. He looked puzzled as he took out the scope. I told him the miracle story, and said, “Can I hear you say miracle?” He hugged me and whispered, “Miracle.”

I wake up every morning and thank God for one more breath to share His story with so many others. I am a speaker, and was always asked to speak when my breathing was at its worst. My breathing became my testimony.

We will celebrate my twentieth burniversary next month, and I will rejoice with singing and dancing. I am completely healed, thank you God.

~Susan Lugli

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