Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I was born wanting to read and write. In a farm family that had survived the depression, such idling was tantamount to the unpardonable sin.

As each of my five older siblings reached grade eight, they left school to work on the farm or get a job. I saw no future without an education, and was a weakling when it came to physical work. Since I could not keep pace with my older siblings, I was dubbed lazy. My self esteem plummeted. I tried harder. Perhaps because of my determination--or my perceived lethargy--I was allowed to finish school.

I was not yet a child of the King. I couldn't know that it was He who knit me together in my mother's womb, and declared me to be fearfully and wonderfully made. (Ps. 139)

I wish I could say I joyfully got on with a writing career, but guilt was my companion. I became a legal secretary, wife, mother, missionary, counselor, Bible college instructor, and guilty writer. Oh, I fought it...but I always felt better after doing something useful.

After 12 years in the Arctic, it was found that my heart stopped many times a day and a pacemaker helped to ease the distress. Difficulties continued. More years before Celiac Disease was diagnosed. The genetic allergy to gluten had destroyed the digestive process in my intestine.

Now skin and bones and unable to get out of my chair, I lived in Psalm 139. "You hem me in behind and before; you have laid your hand on me...." You got that right, Lord...behind and before. I can't even get out of my chair.

I glanced across at my laptop and decided, "Fine, then, I'll just write a book. A Time to Dance flowed like a tank under pressure. Before it was done, the plot for Elusive Dream began to take shape. Guilt-free writing! Would it ever have become a reality if God had not backed me into a corner?

Weekly blood transfusions helped with the continuing weakness. The Celiac Disease had spawned third-stage cancer. My body was too depleted to put up a struggle.

The doctor was kind but honest. An operation was the only chance. The children came. We prayed together, said our goodbyes, cried some. I left them holding on to their tearful father.

Psalm 139:16 comforted me as I lay on the stretcher. "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Had my days now been used up? So this is it, Lord. Whatever I've done for You is done...all done. I reviewed my life's accomplishments--not a lot to bring before the King of Kings. My spirit grew troubled.

Wonderfully the peace of His Presence flooded my soul--He didn't ask how many I had brought to Him, what I had accomplished...or left undone, nor did He ask about the two unpublished manuscripts; but gently whispered, "It is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourself, it is the gift of God--not of works...." Eph.2:8,9

My emotions took the rollercoaster; I thrilled as I pondered the glories of heaven, the joy of meeting Jesus...others waiting for me. My thoughts drifted to my family. I wept.

Hours later, I woke from the operation. My family surrounded me--now weeping tears of joy.

Though recovery has been long and painful, the joy of the Lord has been my strength. A Time to Dance, Elusive Dream and its sequel, Echo of a Dream have been published. In the Shadow of the Rockies is ready for a publisher (hopefully Canadian), and I am working on City of Darkness/City of Gold. I know that He Who has begun a good work in me will complete it...whatever He deems completion to be.

I look back with a grateful heart. My future is secure in Christ--I knew it before, but now I know it. He has shown me that when I have nothing left but Him...He is enough.

Ella Sailor,
Author, Counselor, Inspirational Speaker
Child of the King!


Deborah said...

What a story! Praise God that you survived to tell about it. I just got diagnosed with Celiac disease. I'm afraid there are a lot more of us out there who don't present with the classic symptoms but who, through eating wheat, are destroying our ability to absorb nutrients.

Thanks for sharing and I look forward to further posts!


Marci said...

Made me cry, Ella! You have been an inspiration to me for many years and I pray it will be for many more to come!
Blessings, Marci

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