What happened to me on a night full of beautiful miracles

ambulance in action

When the kids were little whenever we heard the siren of an ambulance or a fire truck, I would always say, “Make way for the helpers!”

One Saturday night, eleven years ago this night, I needed those helpers.

I don’t remember much about the eve of November 19, 2005 but I found out later that there were miracles happening left and right – even before the ambulance and the fire truck got there. (I was told later that the fire truck arrived first.)

I was home alone and I sustained a burst aneurysm in my brain; usually a fatal event.

When an aneurysm — a bulging, weakening in the wall of an artery — ruptures, it leaks blood into the space around the brain. Things did not look good.

The first miracle: At the moment it hit, I was on the phone. I was talking to my husband, Greg, who was over in the western part of the state, for a hockey tournament with my son. Greg was just passing the phone to my son, when he heard a slight gasp — the aneurysm hit and I lost consciousness. Not hearing any response from my end of the conversation, they thought the connection had been lost. Redialing. Busy signal.

The second miracle: My high school daughter was out babysitting and came home early(!) I think the story was that the parents she was sitting for had decided (for some unexplained reason) to call it a short night.

The third miracle: She had left her phone on the floor by the garage door. (Hidden under stuff?) I guess in those days a phone was not as important? The timing of events was about to get unbelievable.

The fourth miracle: My daughter walked in at the instant my husband — continuing to get a busy signal when calling me — dialed her phone. The phone was ringing as she walked in and of course, she answered. I often think of what would have happened if a minute had passed between her entrance and his call. She (being a teenager) would not have looked for me (situated in the back office); she’d have headed straight upstairs. She would not have gotten the call.

The miracles continue… Needless to say, my daughter called 911 and the neighbor — a nurse. The rest is a blur of activity and more miracles. The best brain surgeon at the University of Michigan, the best nurses in intensive care, friends and family who believed in prayer…

I had a 5% chance of living. And it turns out that I kept defying those odds. Friends have told me that the surgeon came out and said, “We’ve done all we can.”

And yet I survived.

Then they would say, “Well, she may never walk again.”

And then, I would. (After much physical therapy!)

The next dreadful prediction was that I may never talk again… or have fine motor control or… and on and on. Each one gradually torpedoed.

You all prayed. And here I am.

praying peopleThis experience has taught me to believe in prayer!

The miracles continued to come. Released from hospital after 6 and a half weeks. Friends and neighbors who decorated the Christmas tree for our family, drove kids, and brought meals. A dear friends who drove an hour just to get me outside for a short (very short in those first days home) walk!

And the miracles continued. A friend who recognized my need for additional Physical Therapy and fought for me to get it! Another friend who took me with to one of his “stretching” sessions with Coach James Henry, and solved an aftereffect of surgery — deliberating pain in my toes!

Eleven years in and I am still recovering and still receiving miracles. Praise be to God!

a blue line

Photo credits:
Moving ambulance by Clker-Free-Vector-Images, from Pixabay, and praying people,adapted from clipart by algotruneman. Both of these images are licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain License.

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What will it take to notice a powerful God at work?

Do miracles still happen these days, or did miracles only occur in Biblical times?

Like the story of Jesus turning the contents of a young boy’s lunch into plentiful food for more than 5,000 people. That sort of miracle.

I needed to know, because I was in need of a miracle.

I had driven nine hours east, not knowing exactly what I would be grappling with. My 89-year-old mother was to be discharged from the skilled nursing unit and could not return to her two-bedroom apartment. She needed down-sizing into an assisted living arrangement – NOW! An unscheduled, huge endeavor; a seemingly insurmountable task. How could I do this?

It will take a miracle to pull this off.

a collage of moving chores

Decisions, decisions… Donate, keep or toss? Lots of text messages flying to family members afar: “This mirror is up for grabs.” “Anyone need any kitchen stuff?” Yikes! How will it all fit into a much smaller space?!

I was operating under a time-crunch and not sleeping much… a situation which could be incredibly straining. Since I tend to be a glass-is-half-empty sort of person, I was surprised to find myself not excessively alarmed. Instead, I made it a point to daily set my intention…

Take notice; a powerful God is always at work.

It started the next morning with a nature-note from God. How did I miss seeing bright, red tulips outside her old apartment? A hopeful reminder springing-forth. God clearly saying, “I am about to do something new. It is beginning to happen even now. Don’t you see it coming?” (Isaiah 43:19)

The God-at-work memos continued… When the box supply dwindled, a thought just popping into my head: Load her luggage with no-longer-needed pots and pans. Storage here they come!

how it would go back togetherAnd, hey! Here’s another useful idea: I can snap a photo to later remember how furniture assembles.

I was hundreds of miles away from my usual cadre of companions. A chance to hire helpers… but would they require too much direction to be useful?

a helper packs boxesmoving day

Unfounded! A smooth, nothing broken, nothing lost move!

Because I was watchful for God at work…

  • I was attentive to precisely planted pansies — God throwing in plentiful gentle reminders of his presence. A reinforcing boost!
  • I was grateful for cousins who shared a Sunday afternoon of their spruce-up talents to make mom’s new place look homey.
  • I embraced chances to squeeze in visits with my mom, thankful that age had not diminished her brainpower as I listened to family stories.

Assisted living sign  

I began to see a miracle happening, both within me and around me.

A miracle can be described as a moment when, as a result of an unexpected and surprising occurrence, one becomes aware of the presence and power of God at work.

But first, I had to take notice.

What will it take for your family to recognize God at work?
I’m willing to bet that once you start looking, you will see!
Can you add the reporting of such instances to your family dinner table, or perhaps your bed time routine?

By choosing to notice glimpses of God, I saw him all over!
And there were many miracles.

Photo credits:
Photos from my archives.

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