From the time Emma Villanueva was a few months old, it was clear something wasn’t quite right. At ten months old, as she tried to walk, she fell and broke her arm. It was the first of many injuries.
“I never walked on my own. I never rode a bike and never played. As far back as I can remember, every night I went to bed with leg braces. I was in so much pain.”
All throughout her toddler years, her parents and doctors tried to find ways to help Emma. She tried to do what other kids did, but inevitably ended up injured. When she was four, she fell again, and this time broke both of her arms. Her parents were desperate to help, especially to find a way to relieve the pain Emma felt.
“When I was five years old, my parents made the difficult decision to schedule a surgery that would take away the pain in my legs. But the surgery would mean I would be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.”
One day, not long before the surgery was scheduled, something miraculous happened.
“I was five years old. I can remember the carpet, and the living room in our green house. I remember the experience so clearly. My mom put on some Gospel music and I was in the living room. Suddenly, I just knew that I had been healed. I got up, and for the first time, I started running and skipping around the room. And I was screaming, “Jesus healed me! Jesus healed me!”
Emma’s mom walked in the room and was stunned to see her daughter scampering in circles. Soon Emma was riding a bike, and had her own bright orange scooter. She spent her summers playing outside and at the pool, just like the other kids. It was a life-changing experience.
“I knew God had a plan for me. I knew He was working in my life and there was absolutely no way I could deny it, because at one point I couldn’t walk, and now I could run and play.”
She became passionate about praying for others when they were sick, because she knew God could heal. And that’s what Emma believed her life story would be – sharing about how God was a healer. But then, when Emma was a teenager, she was diagnosed with a debilitating disease. Why would God heal her, and then allow this?
Hear Emma’s inspiring story in Chapter 7 of Epic.Emma Villanueva – God can heal