Member mourns lost love, answers God’s call to trust Him
By member Cheryl Hedgespeth, Hodgenville, Ky.
I first heard about health cost sharing in the late 1990s but I couldn’t wrap my mind around the concept. However, the day came when what we were paying for healthcare no longer fit in our budget.
I often listen to The Dave Ramsey Show and noticed that each day the show opened with an advertisement for Christian Healthcare Ministries. One day I felt the Lord ask, Are you going to trust Me?
Believing God was calling me to look into CHM, I read everything I could find. I requested more information and in Aug. 2016 submitted a membership application for my husband, Larry, and me.
In May 2017 Larry and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We joyfully planned for the years ahead with each other and our adult children. Larry, a carpenter by trade, looked forward to helping some of our children build their future homes. He and I also talked of trips we wanted to take.
Two months later my husband, who was almost never ill, came home from work and complained of a terrible headache. He sat on the couch to rest. Shortly after that he stood up, cried out the name of Jesus and fell back onto the couch, unresponsive.
He was rushed to the emergency room, but sadly, he passed away at 4:20 a.m. the next day. He had suffered a brain aneurysm.
Life as I and the kids knew it ceased to exist. So many of our dreams, hopes and future plans melted away that morning. For the next several months I felt as though I was living in a fog. Even now I still can’t believe he is gone.
When I think back on Larry’s final hours, I had great peace about the medical bills we were incurring. However, in my grief I struggled to pick up the phone and call CHM because it meant that I was admitting my beloved husband had died.
I finally called in late July and spoke with a wonderful man who, upon hearing the distress in my voice, immediately prayed with me. We then discussed what I was facing and he mailed me the forms CHM needs to process medical bills. (Editor’s note: The forms are also available at chministries.org/needsforms.)
I honestly never thought the CHM sharing process would be as easy as it was. I was able to obtain discounts on every bill. All the providers were receptive to my explanation about the ministry.
CHM members shared more than $11,000 compared to the initial hospital charges of over $45,000 before discounts. My financial burden was lifted thanks to the provision of God’s people. I paid for Larry’s medical bills the same day I received the check from CHM.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention what the great blessing of the cards and notes of encouragement. For months I received cards from CHM members who didn’t know me. I read and cherished each one.
Larry’s funeral was one of the largest ever held in our small town and it was a testament to the man of God he was: He loved the Lord and he exhibited that love to everyone he met. His legacy lives on in our four children—all of whom are pastors or ministers—and our eight grandchildren.
As my family and I learn our “new normal,” I rest in the knowledge that God is in control. He has shown me through this time that I only need to trust Him. I have recommended five families to join CHM and I tell others about the ministry every chance I get.
My soul is at peace knowing that Larry is with the Lord and we are rejoicing for him. We know we’ll see him again one day Thank you, CHM members, for sharing our medical bills.