One year ago today I got a phone call that would forever change my life. I was standing in our living room here in Birmingham when my phone rang; I saw that it was my father, and I answered with my usual, "Heeeyyyy Daddy." But he did not say anything back. All I could hear was him breathing like he had just finished a sprint. I thought he had been in a car wreck and called me because I am alphabetically first in his phone. He finally choked out that it was Mom. She had collapsed at her store. She was not breathing. Her heart was not beating. Paramedics were working on her, but she did not seem to be responding. You know how in movies, when something bad happens, everything else just stops? Apparently, the filmmakers got something right, because that is exactly what happened. My mind could not process what my dad had just told me. He wanted me to call my sister to explain what happened and then call Mary and Leslie, my mom's two closest friends, and have them go straight to the hospital. By the time I called my dad back, they were still at the store trying to stabilize her enough to leave. Adam got home from work shortly thereafter and we collapsed on the floor and prayed. Prayed for a miracle. Prayed that somehow God would bring her through this. Our friends, Mary and Shegun, came over and prayed with us for the next six hours as we waited for phone calls that would update us on what was going on.
Never in my life have I felt so incredibly powerless. Never in my life have I been so completely consumed by fear. This was my mom. I was twenty-seven years old. I could not even comprehend my life without her. My dad told me to book a flight down to Florida because it did not look good. Doctors were giving her a 5-10% chance of survival. And even then, she would likely be living with severe brain damage. Our world was being shattered. After the longest night of my life, my plane left at 6 the next morning, and I arrived at the hospital around 10. My mom was on a breathing machine and they had dropped her body temperature to 91 degrees. She was freezing. The doctors were telling us to prepare for the worst.
And then I witnessed God's power.
The waiting room was overflowing with people. All of whom were praying for my mom. And it stayed that way. These incredible people did not grow weary and go home. They stayed. Even when there was no news to report. They stayed. They prayed. I will be honest. I was not praying "Lord, heal her if it is your will." Nope. I was praying, "God heal her. I need you to heal her." And God moved.
Slowly, she opened her eyes. She came off the ventilator. She spoke. She recognized us. She sat up. And then, eight days after being admitted, eight days after doctors told us that no one, not even Jesus Christ, could save her, she walked out of the ICU on her own two feet.
January 26, 2012 was by far the worst day of my entire life. I thought that I was losing my mother, the most God-fearing woman I know. I thought my dad would have to live without her, that I would have to figure out how to be a mom without my own mom by my side. And if that had been God's plan, then I know He would have carried us through it. But it wasn't His plan. His plan was to showcase His awesome power by bringing us all to a place where there was no hope other than Him. A place where doctors could not help. A place where medicine and surgery could not help. A place where He was the only One who could do anything about it. He brought us to a place where there was nothing else for us to cling to. And then He kicked down the doors of impossibility, broke through the walls of logic and reason and destroyed any and all doubt that might have lingered.
People like to say that God does not perform miracles any more. I disagree. I saw Him perform a miracle that impacted my life so profoundly that I will never be same. I saw God's power. I heard experts in the medical field tell me that there was no way my mom could make it. That if she did somehow make it that she would not be herself. Well. Guess what. God is bigger than medicine. He operates outside of the realm of human possibility. My mom's recovery is a miracle. A miracle that I know was orchestrated by God to display His awesome power. Not only did she survive, but she is herself. Doctors told us that her recovery makes no sense and that we might never know what happened. But we know. We know that God wanted to make His power a reality in our lives and in the lives of everyone who witnessed this. He used some extreme measures to do it, but that led to Him being the only one to receive the glory.
So even though this day will always remind me of the fear I felt at the prospect of losing my mom, it will also always remind of God's incredible power. God is this powerful everyday. Not just when we are facing the impossible. This is who He is. So we can pray to Him. All the time. And we can know that He hears us. We can know that He is working all things together for our good and for His glory. I am so thankful to serve a God like Him, and I am so thankful that He saw fit to keep my mom around for a good long while.
Believe in the power of prayer. It is the most significant thing we can do. God tells us over and over again in His Word that when we call out with a sincere heart, He listens to us. He loves us like the Father He is. Call out to Him. Ask Him to perform a miracle in your life. He is able.
"Look at the nations and watch--and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your day that you would not believe, even if you were told." Habakkuk 1:5