In 1944, during WWII, my Grandpa was just your average 18 year old American guy. He was in the Marine Corps, had not yet met my Grandma, and loved his Mama who was madly in love with Jesus.
It came about that he was facing a deployment. He would call or write home from time to time and let my Great-Grandmother know how he was doing, send pictures, and keep her up to date on what was going on. However, the more that time inched towards the day that he would ship out, she became so uneasy. She did all that she knew to do: She prayed. My Great-Grandmother begged and pleaded with God, that He would do anything to keep her youngest child home and safe.
Right before deployment, my Grandpa became literally covered in boils all over his body. Many years later, I remember he would tell this story to someone who had not heard it and he was unable to say “boils” without wincing. As a result, he was kept home and medically discharged. As any service member can tell you, not deploying can be very disappointing. His unit went on without him, his boils cleared up, and he never had another boil in his life.
His unit was one of many that stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.
For years he dealt with survivors guilt, knowing that their lives were lost while he stayed home. But not once did he question the power of prayer. His mother KNEW something was not right, and that God had a plan for her son. She stood in the gap and prayed for him with every ounce of her being, never giving up. 4 years later he rededicated his life to Christ and became a minister. His passion was to spread the gospel, and that he did until his dying day.
Naturally, I’m more than a little grateful for that woman. Had she not knelt down and prayed with all that was in her I would not be here today. But can you imagine the joy she felt when she heard her baby was not going to war? That her prayer was answered? I’m sure it was “shoutin’ time” in the house that night!
We all feel like our prayers for our children aren’t being heard at times. But I’m living proof: Don’t give up! You never know what God will use!
I have a few more stories like this to share with you, so this will be a little series. (Keep your eyes out for it!) And yes, I must apologize for the cheesy title that is just full of puns. I am deeply sorry. But you know, I just couldn’t resist.
I did all the typical things one does to cure a headache while pregnant. Hot showers, cold packs, tylenol, massage, and chocolate. After 6 days, I called my doctors. They assumed it to be a hormone fluctuation and gave me a stronger pain medication. The pain was so extreme and so exhausting that I would have rather gone through childbirth. At least I would know that with giving birth it would come to an end. I was beginning to think the headache would never go away.
Weeks later, nothing was changing. I was sent to a neurologist who tried nerve blocks. Talk about pain, that was awful. He sent me for an MRI, which found nothing. (My brain was normal, a shock to many. 😉 ) I tried going to a chiropractor, but the pain became worse after each treatment.
The final diagnosis was, well, they still weren’t sure. Doctors. Gotta love them. The assumption was that it had to be hormones.
All the while, I was praying. Even if it was just for the pain to let up a little if it couldn’t just go away. After 2 months, I had just resolved to live with it. I figured it would go away at childbirth and then I could get back to normal. Mind you, it was February and I wasn’t due until June. But I knew it had to come to an end.
One Saturday I decided to attend a Mini Ladies Retreat at my church. I was in a lot of pain, the lights were bright, and sitting up was very difficult. However, I was so glad to be there. At the end of the prayer service my pastor came back to where I was sitting, wrapped her arms around me, and prayed. I broke down crying. My head started tingling, then it became warm. Just like that, the pain was gone. My neck relaxed, my back was not tense. My face muscles were no longer strained. It was GONE!
I waited a few hours to tell anyone, just to be sure. But it was gone. Not coming back. For a few days I had little twinges here and there, but nothing more. I wanted to shout it from the roof tops! JESUS HEALED ME!!! In fact, I practically did shout it. More than once.
Ever since, whenever I have a slight headache I view it as Noah did the rainbow. A promise that I will NEVER have pain like that again. I pray it away and it really goes away, just like that.
What has God done for you in the past that you still rejoice over?
I take such pride in being able to make the statement that is the title of this blog post. Especially in a time where parents are taken for granted. Let me explain:
The way my Dad became my Dad is not the same story as most, but similar to many. I’ve known him my entire life, but he did not become my “Step Dad” (I HATE that phrase.) until I was 14 when after many prayers on my part he married my Mom. I’ve been estranged from my biological father since I was about 3, and while I had an amazing Grandpa who helped my Mom raise me until he passed away when I was 11… I never had someone to call “Dad”.
Naturally, having a new authority figure during my teen years was quite a challenge. Dean, my Dad, had only had sons and was not used to the emotions that come out of teenage girls. I had been without a father figure for a few years, and didn’t know how to react to him some times. We did, however, eventually find our niche and have realized the blessing we are to each other. Through the years we have had our ups and downs. But, I never realized just how much I loved him until this year.
Dean has scoliosis and many other problems with his back. In the past year and a half, he has had 3 back surgeries and will soon have another. With this last surgery we nearly lost him though.
Early one morning in April of this year, he was put under anesthesia. The neurosurgeon told my Mom it would be about 3 hours. The surgery, however, lasted 18 hours. Yes, you read that right. 18 hours. Everything went wrong, they were not equipped, things were worse than expected, and they had to cut deeper and further than planned. He was laying on his stomach the entire time. When we finally saw him, he didn’t look at all like the man who WALKED into the hospital. He was extremely swollen, had a breathing tube down his throat, and wires/tubes going in and out of him over most of his body. We had planned that we’d be taking him home, but now he was in the ICU in critical condition.
The next day they informed us that he was experiencing renal failure. They took out the breathing tube, but still had to stay on oxygen. Gradually over the next few days he made less and less sense. His kidneys were getting worse. We became very concerned and began to prepare for the worst. I was almost 30 weeks pregnant when he went in the hospital. I would sit next to his bed and cry. Would he know his new granddaughter that he was so excited for? Would he ever be able to hold his other grandchildren again? I cried at the thought of never taking him home. My best friend had lost her Dad just a few weeks before, and as much as I hated seeing her pain and anguish, I did not want to experience that. I was determined a miracle had to happen, but at times my faith would slack. How could anyone recover from this?
That Tuesday, Diania and I set up a prayer vigil. We all gathered outside his window and prayed. All over we had people praying at exactly the same time as we had made it a Facebook event and got the news out by word of mouth also. Right then, he woke up, was lucid, and from there he very slowly recovered.God had answered our prayers!
After more than a month in the hospital, he finally came home. He is still unable to walk without a walker and has other issues, but he is on the road to what I have faith will be a FULL recovery. Tonight he is “on tour” with his country gospel band, The Tomes Brothers, as they minister in Illinois. God gave us a miracle!
I knew I loved my Dad, I just never knew how much. He has taught me so much over time about God, life, cars, and many other things. Every day I praise God, my Heavenly Father, that He did not take my Dad here on earth from me, and that Dean is still able to minister through song and teaching to so many others. Hallelujah!
Okay, I know we are all guilty of this. Sure, there are mothers out there who are not. However, the simple fact that you are reading this post right now tells me you don’t fit into that small lump of women. What am I talking about?
Putting yourself last.
For some of you, it may just be a few areas in your life. For me, it’s ALL areas. My laundry is done last, my doctor’s appointments are put off and then cancelled, my preferences take a back seat to that of my family’s, and my kids are always dressed cute while my husband is looking handsome and I look like some hobo clown that broke in and photo bombed the family photo.
A few weeks ago I decided something needed to change. I told my husband that for my birthday next month I wanted to get my hair cut. Nothing special, just cut. “No problem!” he replied! But the biggest dilemma was that I desperately needed clothes. I’ve had 3 babies in less than 3 1/2 years. As a result I’ve put on weight and my structure has changed. (We’ll leave it at that, sounds nicer.) To say “I need a few things” is an understatement.
Last week I prayed two separate times for new clothes. Just twice. I didn’t mention my prayers to anyone, though I’m sure my need was obvious to those who looked upon me. I figured all I really needed was 2 or 3 outfits to rotate when I need to leave the house looking decently. We’re talking bare necessities here. I decided I would save up some pennies and either hit up some yard sales or visit a few thrift stores next month. In the mean time, I stopped praying. I thought of all of those in worse situations and felt as though I was being ungrateful. I would just make do with what I had.
Then yesterday I received a call from one of my closest friends, Crystal. Her parents own a dry cleaning business and was visiting them at their store. She wanted to know what size clothing I wear. I couldn’t imagine why, and while I did NOT want to admit to my skinny mini friend what my large size was, I answered the question. She then went on to tell me that a customer had recently lost a great deal of weight and asked her Dad to find someone that could use the clothes. To say I was shocked and excited is an understatement. Today I went through the clothes. All name brands. Really nice things, for all seasons. We’re not talking about a few things, we’re talking about an entire wardrobe. Most amazing thing of all? Each item fits perfectly. Nothing too big or too small.
My God Provides!!!
It is the everyday miracles like this that prove that God loves his children. The need for clothing, having children all nap at once so Mom can pray, the weather being just right so the family can get out and go for a walk, talking to the right representative on an important call, the kids getting along, the wrinkles on a baby’s foot, being treated to a nice dinner, and so many other ways. Now don’t get me wrong: terminal illnesses being healed and such are proof also. But the fact that God knew the need even though it wasn’t necessarily needed to survive and fulfilled the prayer speaks volumes. He loves me so much that he didn’t want me to be embarrassed when I leave the house. He knew that I needed just a smidgen of attention to refresh my appearance so that I could better care for my family.
If God cares so much about our everyday problems to perform everyday miracles, imagine what else he can do? Instead of looking at the big problems in your life, look at the little miracles. The everyday works that God does for you. Never forget to say “thank you”, and have faith. He’s not done with us yet!