I generally feel like I am a person who has a lot of faith in God and his works....but this past month my faith was tested and I have to admit my faith wavered. Not in the sense that I thought God was not real or that I would not follow him, but in the sense that I questioned him in his plan. My friend Becky, (who is young-38, seems healthy, is thin and very active) collapsed from a heart attack at church. She is the mom of twin two year olds, a four year old, and two adopted older boys. She also has another friend of mine living with her family--an 18 year old who just recently found himself with nowhere to go. Becky is amazing. She and her husband Troy have fostered many children and adopted. When they take someone in they give them 100%. When I brought David over to their house to meet them for the first time (they had agreed to take him in just based on what I told them about him and before ever meeting him), Becky handed him a gift. It was a copy of The Blind Side in a gift bag. It was such an amazingly sweet gesture and immediately made David feel loved and wanted--perhaps for the first time in his life.
Anyway, a few weeks ago, Becky collapsed in the restroom after church. There were nurses there almost immediately starting CPR and using the AED several times. The ambulance arrived and they took her to the ER where they continued to shock her heart and intubate her. They then lifelined her to St.Vincents Hospital in Indianapolis. I went to see her the next day and my heart was broken. Before I saw her I did not realize just how severe the trouble was, but seeing her....well it was just sad. I worried about her family. The next day, Tuesday, I got a call stating that the neurologist said she was brain dead and had been since the moment she collapsed. I was asked to talk to David and that was maybe the hardest thing I have ever had to do....So, later that night, I received another message that another test had been done to confirm brain death and that it was conclusive that Becky was gone. This is the point when I wavered. Up until that moment, I had really thought that God was going to perform a miracle and show his power through Becky. But now, I had to face the fact that he was not going to rush in and save the day. How could he do this? Why would he do this? It just did not make any kind of sense to me at all. Her babies are little--would they even remember her? Her older boys had already lost their biological mom....how could they survive this again....her husband--how could he pull all of this off on his own....I questioned and stewed and kind of even maybe raised my voice a little with God....I tried to sleep, but I just tossed and turned all night. And then, well, then I got a call around 6 am from my friend Angela. I could tell she was crying and she said, "Did you hear? Did you hear?" My heart jumped a little hoping it was a miracle, but my head thought for sure it was more bad news. But, then she went on to say that Becky had started blinking her eyes and responding to simple commands like wiggling her toes in the middle of the night! My heart leapt...I sobbed....I was overjoyed. I still could not wrap my brain around it. That night I went to the hospital again. I did not go into her room, but just being there and hearing from the others that did go in felt amazing and made it more real to me. By the next day she was fully awake and trying to talk and overbreathing the ventilator. She was answering yes and no questions. When I had heard that she was awake, I still wondered if she would have any brain damage. Would she still be Becky? Would she fully recover? Well, the answer is YES! On Tuesday, exactly one week after she was pronounced brain dead, she had the ventilator removed. This week which has been another week, she had a test on her heart and had stints put in two arteries. Tomorrow she will be going home from the hospital. Now all of this is miraculous indeed, but this is only the beginning of the story.
Because of this tragic, yet amazing set of events.....our community came together in a little over a week and raised well over $20,000 to help this family. There have been people at their house around the clock watching their children, preparing meals, buying groceries, and driving their kids around. And in addition to that, this story has traveled around the world. People in nearly every state have been praying for this family. People who have never been to church are now attending church. People who have lost their faith have had it restored. People who have said they were lukewarm in their faith are now on fire for God. People are praying and openly talking about God and calling this a miracle. That to me is an even bigger miracle than Becky's recovery. It has made me wonder--what would this world be like if we all prayed like that all of the time? What more could I do if I prayed like that all of the time. What about the people who don't know Jesus....how do they get through something like this? And what about the people who don't have access to medical attention like we do?
The events of this month have changed me forever. They have made me really focus on my relationship with God, my relationship with my children, and my purpose in this world. I hope that I never lose this passion that I currently feel and that I am able to harness it to change the world. I am going on a mission trip to Brazil this summer. I was excited before, but now I cannot wait. I hope that these events have a lasting effect on my church, my community, my friends and family, and the world in general. Miracles do still happen. I BELIEVE.....Do you?