One morning last January, Tricia Davis woke up in her Florida home to silence. It was a silence she knew was coming, but she was utterly unprepared for it.
The children’s ministry director at a local church, Tricia began losing her hearing five years earlier due to cochlear nerve damage. “I had 45% hearing in one ear and 20% in the other,” Tricia says. “And I got good at lip reading.” For someone working with children, the hearing loss was terribly frustrating, but some hearing was better than none at all. And in January 2017, when the inevitable happened and her hearing left completely, she wasn’t ready. “It was like being thrust into darkness,” she says. “It’s not like plugging your ears and still hearing muffled voices—there was nothing.” In a panic, she tried to call her husband but realized she couldn’t even do something as simple as talk to him. Life as she knew it would never be the same.
A few years earlier, Tricia’s younger sister Taren Walters began attending Gateway and pursuing her degree in biblical counseling at The King’s University. “As part of the curriculum, they recommended I attend KAIROS. At the time, I didn’t know what that really was, but I knew both Trish and I needed it,” Taren says. “I told her about it and she agreed to fly out to attend with me.” So in January 2015, Taren and Tricia attended KAIROS, which started a chain reaction. In the next two years, you could find Taren and Tricia at every freedom event Gateway held. Even though Tricia lived in Florida, she felt connected to Gateway and grateful for what the Lord was starting to do in her heart and in her relationship with her sister. So when someone gifted Taren two tickets to Pink Impact 2017, Tricia immediately answered “Yes!” to Taren’s invitation, and they made plans to be there.
In the days after she lost her hearing, Tricia tried to figure out her new normal, downloading interpretation apps on her phone and telling family and friends what had happened. She visited doctors who told her there was nothing they could do. “They told me I would never hear again and that this was my life now,” she says. “Reality started to set in, and the world became very scary.” Things she never thought about before became obstacles. She tried to go back to work, but without her hearing, directing children was basically impossible. She lost interest in her church home— without an interpreter, services were confusing and lonely. “I never liked silence. I was always a talker, and I always wanted to be around people,” she says. “And music ... music was a huge part of my life, and now it was gone.” She felt painfully disconnected from everyone and everything she had ever known. She spent a lot of time with the Lord, grieving, asking questions, and trying to hear His voice.
Her husband and sons mourned with her and struggled to find balance, often forgetting she couldn’t hear and calling her name around the house. Her family used to have loud, rowdy dinner time conversations, and now she couldn’t participate or understand what was happening. Her 13-year-old son was just plain mad and began acting out. “I almost think it was harder for my family than it was for me,” Tricia says. She spent her days in confusion and silence and loneliness, but they spent their days watching the ghost of her former self. “She could talk, but it didn’t sound like her voice,” Taren says. “Because she couldn’t hear what she was saying or how she was enunciating, her words were drawn out and weird. I knew it was my sister talking, but it didn’t sound like her.”
At this point, Taren and Tricia basically decided they wouldn’t be able to attend Pink Impact, but when a friend with a deaf son found out, she called the Pink Impact team to arrange hearing-impaired services for Tricia and wouldn’t take no for an answer. And when Pink Impact finally arrived, Tricia was thrilled to be there. The Pink Impact team had provided sign language interpreters for the entire event and even moved the sisters’ seats to the ground floor to make interpretation easier. “Because we were at the front and because the music was so loud, I could see on Trish’s face that she could feel the vibrations of the music,” Taren says. “It was my favorite part of the conference, watching her enjoy the feel of the music.” The speakers were phenomenal, the worship was powerful, and Tricia was able to understand it all. But there was still something missing.
All this time, Taren had been praying for Tricia’s healing. She fully expected God to do a miracle in her sister’s life. Taren watched her sister carefully and waited for the moment when she could hear again. Nothing happened, but Tricia’s ears started hurting halfway through the second day, right after they went to the prayer rooms to pray for healing. “I was pretty insensitive initially and just kind of blew her off,” Taren says with a laugh. “But she kept insisting that her ears hurt, and then I started thinking, Oh, this is when she gets healed.” They went to the last session, Taren with great expectation, but then it ended. Just like that, it was over, and they left their seats disappointed.
“I remember my first step out of the building,” Tricia says. “Something started to happen. My head felt like it was about to explode, and I was so dizzy.” She stumbled her way to the car, using light posts and buildings to steady herself. When they got to the car and closed the doors, Taren turned on the air conditioning, and Tricia began screaming.
“The air conditioning was SO loud!” Tricia says. “It was the loudest thing I’d ever heard. I just started yelling, ‘I can hear it! I can hear the air conditioning!’” Everything, from the air conditioning to Taren crying to the engine of the car to her own voice, was full volume in Tricia’s ears. She was fully healed.
Once the crying and praising and the sensitivity in her ears subsided a bit, Tricia immediately called her husband. “When I finally got him on the phone, I was so glad to hear his voice,” Tricia says. “And I don’t think it registered that we were having a conversation. When it finally dawned on him, I said, ‘God healed me at Pink Impact.’”
When Tricia got back to Florida, she visited the doctor. She now has 100% hearing in both her ears. The doctor hardly knew what to say, and Tricia told her what happened. “I didn’t think I was going to be healed at all. That was Taren’s thing—she was determined that it was going to happen at Pink Impact,” Tricia says. “They say receiving healing just takes faith. But this wasn’t my faith. It was my sister’s.”
Four months later, Tricia and her family moved to Texas. “Ever since I first started coming to Gateway events, I really felt like this was where I wanted to be,” Tricia says. “I just didn’t know how it was going to work out.” Her husband lost his job shortly after Pink Impact but got another one in Texas. Soon after they moved here, she found a job too. God orchestrated everything. Now she lives in the same area as her parents and sister (for the first time in 19 years!), and she and her whole family attend Gateway on a weekly basis. God made sure she was in a place to hear everything He has to say to her.
“Looking back, there was so much noise in my life. I was so distracted, and I couldn’t hear Him. I was walking out this whole freedom journey, and I had come so far, but I had hit a wall,” Tricia says. “Everyone thinks that me receiving my hearing back is the biggest miracle, which it is and I’m grateful, but the even bigger miracle is what the Lord did in my heart.”