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By Ashley Boud

I had never felt that I needed the Lord’s help “with the same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air” as I read that.  I was stretched further than ever before. I prayed to draw that power into my life, the power of Jesus Christ.  And it came.

You know that feeling you get when you hit your funny bone, or when a part of your body falls asleep?  I hate that feeling, and usually when it happens I rub my elbow, or my sleeping foot, until it stops. The feeling is so strange– not painful, but unbearable.  

In December 2017 I had a kidney stone procedure called a lithotripsy.  After the surgery and anesthesia, my feet never woke up. After Googling, I found that the feeling I had is called Paresthesia (I’ve become a pro at googling potential diseases).  Over the next three months, the paresthesia in my feet moved up into my knees, thighs, lower abdomen, and rib cage.

Doctors couldn’t tell me what was wrong.  My coordination and balance were faltering, and walking was becoming harder every day.  I was so concerned that I was going to be paralyzed, and there was nothing I could do to stop it.  I tried eating healthier and exercising harder but nothing helped.

In the end I could hardly walk. I had to tell my legs to lift themselves with my brain because it was no longer an automatic movement.  Sometimes I even needed to lift my pant legs to assist my movement when walking up stairs. I felt like a belt was tightening around my ribcage and my organs were floating in my stomach.  Finally, the doctors tried a nerve conduction test. I saw them poking needles in my legs, but I could not feel them. To anyone else I looked like a normal, healthy woman, but I wasn’t.

I prayed constantly for help, for God to heal me.  

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And [Jesus] said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace” (Luke 8:43- 48 KJV).

One Sunday, a clerical leader asked me to read “Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ Into Our Lives.” (Russel M. Nelson) It spoke of the woman with the issue of blood.

“Many of us have cried out from the depths of our hearts a variation of this woman’s words: “If I could spiritually stretch enough to draw the Savior’s power into my life, I would know how to handle my heart-wrenching situation. I would know what to do. And I would have the power to do it.”  When you reach up for the Lord’s power in your life with the same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air, power from Jesus Christ will be yours. When the Savior knows you truly want to reach up to Him—when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to draw His power into your life—you will be led by the Holy Ghost to know exactly what you should do.  When you spiritually stretch beyond anything you have ever done before, then His power will flow into you.”

I had never felt that I needed the Lord’s help “with the same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air” as I read that.  I was stretched further than ever before. I prayed to draw that power into my life, the power of Jesus Christ.  And it came. I literally felt like my eyes were opened and I could see that there had been angels bearing me up the whole time.  I felt that Jesus Christ knew the pain and suffering I was dealing with and was aware of my struggle.

That night I felt the spirit tell me to go to the Emergency Room. I headed in and though the doctors were dismissive, I refused to leave until they checked my spine. Seven hours later, they finally did a spinal scan that revealed a tumor in my spine.  It was inside the spinal canal and was crushing my spinal cord in my upper thoracic spine, consuming 98% of the spinal canal. The last 2% was keeping me from total paralysis, which could have happened at any moment. The doctors told me it was a miracle that I had walked into the ER.

When they told me what was wrong, I didn’t feel sad or scared.  Because of my faith, God helped me to feel that I could accept any possible outcome.

I had emergency surgery and the tumor was removed.  There was concern about whether or not the surgery would leave me paralyzed because the doctor had to peel it away from my spinal cord.  After I woke up from my surgery the nurse came in and asked me to wiggle my toes.

I could wiggle them, and this time I could feel them.  It was a huge miracle.

I could feel the cool sheets against each individual toe.  I could feel the tool she used to poke each toe, and a slight amount of pain.  She asked if I wanted to try walking, and of course I did! With a lot of help and pain I sat up, and as I put my feet on the floor I could feel the texture of the hospital sock and the rubber pieces meant to prevent people from slipping.  I stood and I could feel. I could feel my ribs, my abdomen, my thighs, my legs, and my feet. The only one spot that the feeling hadn’t returned in my body was surrounding my left armpit.

I walked and could feel each muscle moving and the tightness of the socks around my calves.  It was glorious, and I cried tears of joy and gratitude.

My journey was not over, however, and I was in debilitating pain. I was only a couple days post-op and I was already really struggling with patience in healing.  On Sunday, members of my congregation brought in a message of hope and left a quote in my hospital room.  

“Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to believe and as we seek it and hold on to it.  Your faith is either growing stronger or becoming weaker… The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice.” (Neil L. Anderson)

I realized I had been blessed with this miracle, but I really needed to continue in my faith.  It was a lot easier to have a good attitude before the surgery when the pain was so much less. There were so many days when I struggled, especially being a mother, for a couple months after my surgery.  I was unable to carry my 2-year-old son anywhere, and he could sense that I was in a lot of pain. I had to rely on my family for everything. I was struggling to be grateful for the miracle I had received because I was lost in the pain.  

I felt myself falling into a pattern of self-pity and despair. I really needed that comfort that only comes from the Savior.  I needed to continue to pull from my faith in Him.

One night I was praying and felt prompted to open the bible to Luke 17, and was struck by the story of the ten lepers.  My face grew hot with the shame; I was being like the nine lepers that didn’t return to Jesus Christ to thank Him.

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. (Luke 17:15-19)

I realized that being whole and being healed are two different things.  By consistently returning in faith to Jesus Christ to thank Him for all the gifts He bestows on me, I can be whole in addition to being healed.  Faith is a never-ending process of refinement.

I know that God can perform miracles.  Because of this miracle I know God listens to my prayers.  Because He listens to my prayers I know He listens to your prayers.  I am grateful for Jesus Christ, and His Atonement. I know that we can feel comfort through His understanding.  Through our faith He can heal us, and He can make us whole.



  1. It was amazing to watch your faith through this trial and see your perseverance to heal and become stronger. I am so grateful for your example and trust in our Savior, Jesus Christ. You’ve strengthened me! Together forever, forever together, together forever a family we’ll be; we can do hard things!

  2. Being healed vs. being whole—I love that, and has never considered them separately. Isn’t it remarkable that the Savior can do both…heal and make whole. You highlight a tender promise of hope—that the two can and do coexist.

    Thank you for sharing the ups and downs. The light is so clear and bright when contrasted to the darkness we feel…I so much appreciate your willingness to share both sides.

    So happy you and your little one are playing and happy and whole!

  3. I love noticing that difference: being healed vs being whole. You’ve lived it from both sides. Your’s is a story of faith and growth and faith again. And a miracle! I love you, Ash. You are the icing on our cake. Forever.

  4. Really inspiring, thanks for sharing. Sometimes it can be easy to feel grateful in the moment that your miracle comes. It can also be extremely hard to remember gratitude and faith in Christ when the miracle is followed by pain that you have to go through to move forward. “I felt myself falling into a pattern of self-pity and despair.” These feelings are all too familiar, and your conscious decision to continue in faith through your struggles is helpful and inspiring.

  5. Ashley Boud is a gift. We love her. Even if her story had gone a more tragic way, she would have found healing and wholeness. That is just who she is. How I’ve come to love this beautiful mother of my grandson.

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