Jelena Zechner
Graz / Austria

I have experienced healing twice

For many years, although I had been  baptised a Christian, I was not a practising one. I went to church just a few times a year, for example at Christmas. My husband was also a non-believer. But I know that my grandmother and an aunt of mine were prayerful women. They both prayed a lot for me. No one else in my neighbourhood or among my relatives believed in God.

In 2002, I was a mental wreck. I had suffered many unfortunate events in my life and I had somehow given up on myself. I was also a physical wreck and had constant breathing difficulties. I'd been smoking for 30 years, on average 30 to 40 cigarettes a day for the last few years, and I drank a lot of coffee. I couldn't stop smoking. I tried several  times, but I could never get it together. I struggled to climb the stairs to my flat, needing regular pauses on the way. I lived on the second floor.

On New Year's Eve 2002/2003, several people invited me to a party to distract me from my troubles. But I told them all that I couldn't come because I'd already been invited elsewhere. That evening I didn't even switch  the lights on, hoping to give the impression that I wasn't at home. Although I rarely went to church, I suddenly had the feeling that I had to go to church. So I went to St Vincent's Church, which is near me. They were praying a rosary there and then there was a mass. I sat down with them. When everyone went to communion, I went along too. I didn't want to sit alone in the pew.

It was very strange on the way home. Something was different, I couldn't understand what it was, it was very strange.

When I got home, I just cried. When the rockets and fireworks were fired off at midnight, I was standing at the window, but I wasn't watching the rockets, I could only look up at the sky. All I could say was: "Dear God, if you exist, please help me!" That was all I could say.

I then fell asleep in tears.

The next day I woke up with an inexplicable joy. It was so strange, it was so beautiful. I started to do  various houshold jobs. Then I suddenly realised that I hadn't smoked a single cigarette that day. I didn't feel the need to smoke at all! I can only say that I have never smoked a cigarette since January  1st 2003. My breathing difficulties also suddenly disappeared.

My work colleagues, with whom I had always smoked, didn't understand a thing. How was it possible for such a heavy smoker to quit so suddenly.... from one day to the next?  But that is how it was! It wasn't me who quit, God took away my addiction.

I then went to see a lung specialist. I wanted to know what my lungs would look like after 30 years of smoking. The doctor however, asked me why I had come, saying that my lungs looked like those of a teenager, completely normal and healthy. He didn't believe me at all when I told him that I had smoked 30 to 40 cigarettes a day for 30 years and had just recently stopped. But I didn't mind that he didn't believe me. I knew what had happened.

It changed my life completely. I was suddenly able to believe that God exists, that he hears us and can help us, because I was able to experience him myself. My friends couldn't understand that at first. If they couldn't find me, they would make jokes and say that Jelena must be at church right now. Since that time, I have developed a very intense relationship with Jesus, he is now at the centre of my life. Prayer has become very important to me. It has brought about great changes in my life.

I was later able to experience again and again that God is close to me. He didn't take difficult situations out of my hands but he did help me again and again. I was especially able to experience him in 2019.

It was on Ash Wednesday, in the middle of the night.

As I moved in bed, my right knee joint suddenly dislocated. I experienced an indescribable pain. I cried out to God for help. Somehow I managed to twist my knee back into place. There was a terrible bone noise. I then apparently fainted.  When I came round, I was drenched in sweat. I had to go to the toilet but was afraid that this terrible pain would come back.

I could only pray to Jesus: "My God, help me!"  I suddenly heard a clear inner voice that said to me very calmly and kindly: "Get up, don't be afraid". I was astounded by this!  I then tried to get up. It worked, I was able to get to the toilet. Then I realised that my knee was completely swollen, but I wasn't in any pain anymore. 

After breakfast, I first went to church for mass, which was very important to me. I had heard and above all felt that God had helped me and I wanted to thank Him for the fact that I suddenly had no more pain after that terrible night. Then I went to the hospital, to the University Clinic for Orthopaedics and Traumatology in Graz, where I was examined by Professor Dr Patrick Sadoghi and Senior Physician Dr Michael Novak. I prayed the whole time. I was seen there very quickly. Both doctors couldn't believe that I had twisted the knee back myself and was now pain free. The x-rays showed that the knee was broken. They splinted my knee and gave me an appointment for an MRI scan, which wasn't possible for another four weeks. I was told to wear the splint until then. Only after the MRI findings would it be possible to say what exactly needed to be done to the knee.

I accepted the situation as it was, I thanked God that it hadn't got much worse and prayed that HE would be glorified in this situation. I offered up the situation to Him.

I went to Holy Mass every day and also prayed to St Charbel. I have a strong relationship with this saint, through whose intercession many healings have taken place. Because I wasn't in pain, I gave up the splint. I asked a priest for the anointing of the sick and repeatedly rubbed my knee with holy water myself. I also often called on St Charbel to help me.

I carried on as normal. I did the spring cleaning. This icluded kneeling on the balcony to clean the tiles, climbing up the ladder to clean the windows and washing the curtains.

The MRI findings were shocking: the kneecap was torn, the anterior cartilage layer was completely destroyed. The doctors documented the significant damage that was found, (it was stage IV). There was fluid in the knee and several cysts had formed, there was a bony tear in the patellar tendon and the bone that is supposed to hold the knee joint was deformed. The socket was flat and this was the cause of the knee joint dislocating when I turned over in bed.

Professor Sadoghi said I absolutely had to have an operation. I felt very sick, but I said NO, I didn't want to have an operation.

A week earlier, during Holy Mass in the Mariahilfer Church, I had heard Jesus say to me very clearly that HE would heal my knee. It was so clear that I couldn't possibly have been mistaken. I certainly wasn't imagining it either.

When the doctor said that I had to have an operation immediately, I was devastated and cried. Nevertheless, I told him I didn't want an operation, I needed time to think about it. He said there was nothing to think about with these findings, it could happen again at any time and then I wouldn't be able to walk at all. I was shaking, drenched in sweat. I had to think about Jesus' promise and that everyone would now think I was crazy. But I had to think about this clear promise. It wasn't my imagination. So despite all of my fears, I said NO because I trusted Jesus.

I then had to sign that I would bear the responsibility and also the costs if something untoward happened. The doctor gave me 14 days to think about it and a new appointment. He told me very strictly that I had to wear the splint and not walk much.

In the meantime, I prayed a lot to Jesus. I clearly felt that he was close to me and that he had healed me. I know what it's like when you imagine something. It wasn't imagination, it was reality. During this time, I also gave up my splint and was able to do everything without pain.

I had a new appointment at the clinic on Tuesday in Holy Week. When he saw me, the doctor asked me quite sternly why I had come without my splint and where it was. He said I had to get a new one straight away.

After the x-ray, the doctor gave me a funny look. He called me over to him: "Come over here and look at the monitor: what have you done?" I didn't say anything. He first showed me the old x-rays and then the new ones. There was not the slightest sign of damage on the new x-rays. The knee looked completely healthy. He said in surprise and amazement: "A miracle has happened, the knee is completely healthy and the knee joint is now in a better position than before".

I could only say, "Yes, I'm healed, God has healed me". And the doctor just said in amazement: "Oh, you can go, we don't need to check you anymore. If you have any pain, come back". He didn't say anything else.

I was beside myself with joy and on Easter Sunday I was able to wear normal high heels again and kneel in church again. I have kept the medical findings in a safe place in case anyone can't believe that God still heals today. 

Thank you Jesus - Hallelujah.