Friday, March 21

Stories of God's Preservation

My great grandmother Ada had left town with her husband (then town was Flushing, NY which is now part of NYC) in their buggy on errands. In this era, sheep were still grazing in central park. Halfway to their destination, my great grandmother felt the Holy Spirit impress upon her heart that they needed to turn around immediately and head for home, which they did.  Upon reaching home they found one of their children choking and blue.  My great grandfather plucked him upside down and shook until whatever was stuck in his wind pipe came flying out.

This is one of our family stories passed down of God's miraculous working and preserving of lives.  Do other families have these stories?  I think they must and I love to hear them.

When I was a small girl, I was held under the water in the pool of a family friend.  This had happened often, but this particular time, the relief of being let up did not come and a warm peace and resignation came to my body and mind as I was done struggling.  I knew this would be the end and it was okay because Jesus was there.  At that moment an adult came on to the scene and I was let free.

Earlier in life, our family was at a Bible conference that was held lakeside and, being unable to swim, I stayed in the shallow, gated off, kiddie area of the lake.  As I played and walked the inside perimeter, the lake bottom gave out underneath me and as much as I turned and walked and turned again, I could not get my head out of the water.  A man we did not know saw me and pulled me by my bathing suit up out of the water and into fresh air saying with a smile, "Hey, there, little girl, what do you think you're doing?"

I don't even think my kids know all of these stories but tonight, as I was driving home and passed a place where Sean and I saw the hand of God preserve us, I felt God speak to me that these stories need to be told because He clearly gets the credit.

The fever that I had was so high that I remember hallucinating about boulders coming down hill after me and the earth rising up in waves to swallow me.  I think I was seven and my parents put me in a cool bath that felt like ice water while they phoned a friend to come pick us up in the middle of the night and take me to the hospital. We didn't have a working car at that time. I think I had been to another hospital already and misdiagnosed as having the flu and had been sent home while this "flu" lingered and lingered.  I think it ended up that I had a UTI that went up into my kidneys but I'd have to ask my mom if she recalls.  After all this, I remember my parents taking me to the grocery store and telling me to pick out anything I wanted to eat as I'd been so sick for quite a while.  I chose canned peaches and it was such a treat.  My children have heard this story because they've grown up pretty much eating whatever good food they like and I want them to hear what it is like to have a can of peaches be a delicacy.

My husband's grandmother recently told me the story of Sean's birth.  Sean is a miracle baby to begin with as his mom was very young and counseled to abort the pregnancy. Grandma and I sat in her tiny house at the kitchen table and she told me that when he was born, the cord was tight around his neck, strangling him and he was blue and unmoving, unbreathing.  They tried to resuscitate him but could not. They gave him a shot of epinephrine into his heart and watched as nothing changed.  Someone in the room suggested a second shot and it was given and that is when my husband began to revive and breath.  He had no brain damage, no cerebral palsy or any of the other complications that would have naturally occurred from such an event.  I looked at him and said, "Why didn't you ever tell me this?"   It is such an awesome story of God at work! There are other times in his young life that God preserved him while people would have harmed him and he did foolish things that could have harmed himself.  I am incredibly, incredibly thankful.

We were returning from our honeymoon in Quebec City, when Sean felt led to pray for our protection.  It was dark, we were an hour or so from home on back country roads with no lights and I was driving around a snowy bend in the highway.  No sooner had he said "Amen" then a deer stood unmoving directly in the pathway of our small car.  The car slid straight to the side, then slid back into the right lane, while I cried for Jesus.  I remember Sean looking at me and saying, "Um, Hannah, cars don't move like that" and I telling him that I knew and that it wasn't me.

Baby Annaliese happy in the back seat, I was pregnant with Andrew and in the front with Sean in an old Saab while we drove home from church, around a rather icy turn in the road.  Sean went slowly but we started sliding and the car turned when we were in the middle of the bridge over the thruway, headed straight for the guardrail with the busy interstate traffic below us.  I remember thinking that no one would ever meet the son I was carrying and being sad for that as our car spun and the front bumper crashed against the guardrail of the bridge.  Instead of smashing, we literally bounced backwards, into the correct lane, and turned, headed back in the right direction.  There was a mark on the guardrail of the bridge that I stared long and hard at each time we passed it, but not a mark on our car.  This is the place I passed again tonight on the way home with our kids.

I'm so weary of hearing that God is mean and cruel and doesn't intervene when I've seen his hand preserve my life so many times and have heard the stories in my family and in other families.  I believe that God saved my ancestor so that my dad could be born and has preserved my life so that my children could come into this world.  In addition to my salvation, I owe Him a great debt of love.  He is truly, my heavenly Father who watches over me.  Someday an accident may come where He calls me home and that is okay because I trust Him and His will. 

I don't know about you, but I get into fits where I worry about small life details and that makes them huge in my eyes.  I might be worried about a child who is struggling or something that we're facing as a family. I need to remind myself that, "Hannah, this is the God who preserves you, the God who loves you and saves you".  Every change and stress in life pales in comparison to that.  He really is no respecter of persons and hasn't saved me because He loves me any more or because I've done anything great (I haven't and all my good tries are like filthy rags).  If you have a story, would you share it in the comment section, or leave a link to it?  I'd love that.  Let's encourage each other in the Lord.


Julian said...

Last Tuesday after picking up the kiddos from school, my husband tells me he needs me to drive him to er for chest pains. (When I got pregnant with our seventh who is in heaven he had a heart attack) I rushed him there. Hos blood pressure was thru the roof. I saw my husband lying on that table, minutes from death, trying to control himself while his heart kept squeezing with pain, thinking these were the last moments of our lives together. Our pastor called and prayed with us. I felt an immediate calm settle over the room. Long story short. Drs do not know why this happened. He was not under stress, no major physical activity, whatever. The Lord preserved his life.
I have many many other stories about Gods preservation.
I was supposed to be born jan. 1. I came nov. 28. My mom was about to lose me. Dr. Took dad out in the hall, and told him it was eaither his wife or baby. Dad told him he wanted both.Both made it , and are alive 40 years later.
I can name car wrecks ive been saved from, a visit by an angel,family members almost dying but being pulled out, my marriage and how God arranged that, soo many wonderful examples of Gods love.
These need to be recorded, and impressed on our children. I daily give Him praise for being there every step of the way.

Me said...

Christina, thank you so, so much for sharing. I am so glad your husband is still here and that you've seen the hand of God at work too!

Anonymous said...

Hannah, such beautiful stories! You are absolutely right, our Heavenly Father watches over us and preserves us. He has a purpose--many purposes--for each one of us, and when we trust Him He brings us safely through. Our family too has dozens of stories, about lives being saved, accidents minimized miraculously, children's births, and many of life's details arranged in perfect harmony to bring about a beautiful result. I know that the more we try to see God's hand in our lives, the more we WILL see His hand, and our gratitude grows ever greater. God bless your dear family!


Carmine said...

I am pregnant with my 6th child, finally a boy (we have 5 girls). All of my pregnancies have been routine, with no major complications, issues, or problems, even though I was diagnosed with a clotting disorder. We worked with my midwife on a homebirth plan. At 33 weeks, I had a major bleed. I was rushed to the hospital and an hour later had another major bleed. They checked me in and the following morning I passed a 10 oz clot followed by 7 oz blood loss. I was diagnosed with complete placenta previa. My 20 week ultrasound was completely normal. If we had attempted a homebirth, both the baby and I would have passed due to my clotting disorder and the fact that we are 25 minutes from the nearest hospital. God had his gentle, guiding hand in preserving and protecting not only my life, but the life of the precious unborn inside of me.