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In His Grip



Two minutes can modify your mindset, alter your attitude and engulf you in emotions.

What started as an ordinary day turned into an extraordinary story. It was eleven weeks to the day from my emergency surgery for a hernia repair. I was finally feeling “normal” again. My stamina had returned, my mental clarity was back and I was feeling as though I finally made it past the recovery stage and was on my way to a healthier me.


Tuesday was a fulfilling day with many tasks around the home, with my ministry and my writing that had been accomplished. I sat on my sofa and basked in the feeling of accomplishment. Eleven weeks felt like a lifetime ago and the sense of being further along in my recovery had weighed on me. It felt good to finally feel like I was back to my old self again.


The dull twinge in the back of my neck came sudden. I stretched my neck from side to side and began to apply a small amount of pressure with my thumb. The dull twinge quickly turned to radiating pressure throughout the back of my head and raced to my temples and behind my eyes. I rarely experience headaches and have only experienced one migraine in my life, I knew this pain was neither of those. The pain intensified to a level that was unbearable. I knew I needed medical attention.


As my husband did his best to relay to the doctors in the ER the story I told him, I sat on the bed with my arms wrapped around my head praying that God would take away the pain. The nurse placed an IV in my right arm as I continued to cradle my head in the bend of my left. The medication quickly took effect and the pain slowly subsided as the room grew cloudy and voices became muddled. I remember them telling us I would be going back for a CT scan. I could tell that this was serious but I was now in no mental state to comprehend the severity of the situation or even care.


Little did I know that soon after my CT scan my family was receiving news that had the potential to change their lives forever. The doctor said there was severe bleeding in my brain and the original diagnosis was an aneurysm on the main artery. They said they could not stress enough the severity of my condition. They prepared my family for the worst as they wheeled me to another room for a second CT scan.


As I lay limp on the exam table my mind drifted. I remember telling God I was ready to go home. Peace fell over me and it felt like sleep. I laid bound on the exam table. I sensed the activity going on around me but my mind was in another place. It was as though the conversations were background noise to a dream.


I remember a woman’s voice softly speaking to me as she caressed my right shoulder. She informed me they would be air lifting me to another hospital that specializes in neurological traumas. I understood but still did not grasp the severity of my condition.


While the pain and pressure in my head had lessened I was still very sensitive to light. I remember being loaded into the helicopter and the disappointment I felt not being able to see out of the window due to the make shift tent over my head. Flying is my happy place. In this traumatic situation all I could think of was; “I wish I could enjoy the ride”. I did peak through the small tunnel made by the blanket they draped over my head a couple of times to see the Phoenix lights shining in the night. Then I would close my eyes again and rest in His grip.


One week in Neuro ICU with several tests to monitor my situation grew very weary and tiresome. Especially since I did not feel I was getting any real answers. The final diagnosis was a brain hemorrhage due to a blood vessel tearing. The cause-unknown. I have no medical history or family history that makes me prone to this. The best answer I was given was “it is just something that happened”.


What happened from the first diagnosis to the final? God. That is the only answer I can give. It is the only answer that makes sense. He is the only One that can change the outcome of that first diagnosis to the final diagnosis.


When I was peeking through the blanket in that helicopter barely coherent I remember being at peace, feeling as though God was literally clenching me in His hands (I was bound on my loading board) and hearing a soft whisper in my soul “I’m not finished with you yet”.

I could sit back and ask “why”.


“Why this after the emergency surgery just a few months ago?”

“Why on the day that I felt the best I have felt in months?”

“Why us? Have we not gone through enough medical traumas over the last year?”


I could have asked why, but I have chosen to ask instead “please show me what I am to learn through this”.


I know everything that comes into my life first passes through the hands of God. Whether He causes something in my life or allows something in my life it is always for my good and His glory. I know there is something He wants me to learn from this experience and I am praying that He gives me eyes to see what that is. I also know that God uses our experiences to do a work in other people’s lives. I am praying that all who experienced this personally with us and those who will hear about this second hand will see the hand of God and will be touched by what He has done in my life.


Eleven weeks before this event God showed up there too. My hernia was a rare hernia. One that goes undiagnosed much of the time. It is usually caught when the patient ends up in the ER due to a ruptured intestine. The doctor prepared us before this surgery that there would be the possibility that part of my intestine would have to be removed due to “strangulation” from the hernia. Again, God intervened and allowed my surgery to go exceptionally well and not an inch of my intestine was compromised in any way.


It is only by the grace of God that I have been given a grim first diagnosis and have received the gift of a brighter outcome.


Why has God allowed this? That I cannot answer. Only He knows the answer to that question. I do know that none of this has been in vain. I know that He will bring good out of this. I know He will teach me and grow me through this. I know He is not finished with me yet. He still has plans for my life or I would have gone home that night.


I know God will use my story in someone else’s life. I pray that others will be touched by my story and what God has done.


No matter what trials you face in life, will you trust that God knew them long before you ever saw them coming? He has a plan and a purpose for all of it. Trust God even in the hard times. The trials. The sufferings. Even in the potential life changing situations.


It has been three weeks since that Tuesday afternoon. I have been in awe of what God has done for me. I have wanted to share my story but my emotions have been on over load and the words just never seemed adequate to explain the miraculous deeds of my great God. I still don’t think I fully comprehend God’s provision and His protection. It is evidence of the power of prayer. I know that I had many people lifting me up in prayer. God heard every one of them. I am so humbled by the amount of love that has been shown to us through this time. God’s love for me through His provision and protection and through His people. People who love me dearly.


Chances are, if you are reading this then you already know God and His great love. BUT, if you have come across this post and you don’t know this amazing love of God I beg you to reach out, get to know Him, experience His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, provision, protection, and His goodness. I would not be here today if it were not for God. I cannot be who I am if not for God. I will never become all I can be without God. Trust Him, for He has “plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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Portrait Photography by Nicki Price Photography