God Has Comforted Me in All My Trials
As told by Victoria Colloy
A doctor told Mother: “We cannot do anything more for your daughter. She will have to use crutches and wear leg braces for the rest of her life.” I was devastated! What could I do if I couldn’t walk?
I WAS born on November 17, 1949, in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico. I was a happy, healthy baby, the firstborn of four children. But at six months I suddenly stopped crawling and had limited mobility. Two months later I couldn’t move at all. Local doctors were puzzled, since other babies in Tapachula had similar symptoms. So an orthopedist from Mexico City came and examined us. Our ailment was diagnosed as poliomyelitis, or polio.
When I was three, I had operations that involved my hip, knees, and ankles. Later my right shoulder was also adversely affected. When I was six, I was taken to Mexico City to continue treatment at a children’s hospital. Mother worked on a farm back in Chiapas, so I stayed in Mexico City with my grandmother. Most of the time, however, I was in a hospital.
At about eight years of age, I made some progress. But later I got worse, gradually losing the little movement I had. Then doctors said that I would have to use crutches and braces for the rest of my life.
By the time I was 15, I had undergone 25 operations. These were on my spine, legs, knees, ankles, and toes. After each operation, I went through a period of rehabilitation. After one of the surgeries, my legs were put in a cast. When the cast was removed, I had to do painful exercises.
Receiving True Comfort
When I was 11, Mother visited when I was recovering from an operation. She had learned that Jesus cured the sick and even made a paralytic walk. She gave me a copy of The Watchtower, a magazine published by Jehovah’s Witnesses, from which she had learned this. I hid it under my pillow, but one day it disappeared. The nurses had found the magazine and took it away. They chastised me for reading it.
About a year later, Mother again came from Chiapas to see me. By then she was studying the Bible with the Witnesses. She brought me the book From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained. * Mother said, “If you want to live in the promised new world where Jesus will make you well, you have to study the Bible.” So despite Grandmother’s opposition, I began to study with the Witnesses at about age 14. The following year I was required to leave the hospital because it was only for young children.
Coping With Challenges
I became very depressed. Because of my grandmother’s opposition, I had to return to Chiapas and live with my parents. However, there were problems at home because Father was an alcoholic. For a time I saw no reason for living. I thought about poisoning myself. But as I continued to study the Bible, my viewpoint changed. The Bible’s promise of a paradise earth made me feel happy.
I began to talk to others about the magnificent hope the Bible holds out. (Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7; 11:6-9; Revelation 21:3, 4) Eventually, on May 8, 1968, when I was 18, I was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Since 1974, I have been devoting over 70 hours a month to sharing with others the hope that motivated me to keep on living.
A Productive, Satisfying Life
In time, Mother and I moved to the city of Tijuana, near the border between Mexico and the United States. Mother and I live together in a place suited for our needs. I can still get around the house with braces and crutches, and I use a wheelchair from which I can cook as well as wash and iron my clothes. To carry out my ministry, I drive an electric cart that has been adapted to my needs.
Besides sharing Bible teachings with people on the streets and at their homes, I regularly visit a nearby hospital and have Bible discussions with those waiting outside for medical attention. When I have finished talking with them, I drive my electric cart to the market to get whatever we need and then return home to help Mother cook and do the housework.
To provide for our financial needs, I sell used clothing. Mother is now 78 and is limited because she has had three heart attacks. So I take care of her medicine and diet. In spite of our limited health, we strive to attend the congregation meetings. More than 30 people with whom I studied the Bible over the years also now share in the Christian ministry.
I am convinced of the eventual fulfillment of the Bible’s promise: “At that time [in God’s new world] the lame one will climb up just as a stag does.” In the meantime, God’s words comfort me: “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not gaze about, for I am your God. I will fortify you. I will really help you. I will really keep fast hold of you with my right hand of righteousness.”—Isaiah 35:6; 41:10. *
^ par. 10 Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1958 but now out of print.
^ par. 18 Victoria Colloy died November 30, 2009, at the age of 60. Her mother died July 5, 2009.
[Picture on page 12]
Wearing leg braces at the age of seven
[Picture on page 13]
In the ministry I drive an electric cart that has been adapted to my needs