It just disappeared! cancer < GOD

1 May
We sat around the table as a family. All five of us agreed that we would seek God for an answer, especially my mom. She wasn’t getting up without hearing something. One by one over the next three hours, my brother, dad, daughter and I left. Alone at the dining table, my mother waited for her “sign.”

 

Three months earlier on May 24, 2005, my mom was diagnosed with stage three rectal cancer. The hard, immovable mass was the shape of half a baseball, had tentacles, and had begun spreading to her lymph nodes. The advised treatment by Kaiser was six weeks of chemo and radiation to ideally “shrink” the cancer; then surgery to cut out the remains and perform a colostomy, ultimately rerouting her rectum to an external port at her side with a bag attached to receive the waste.

 

The “C” word had gripped me with fear; our whole family was in turmoil. Out of desperation, my dad suggested he and my mom go to a place he’d seen healing first hand; at the battered women’s shelter where he often volunteered, they prayed for things like a broken leg and back pain and seen people healed right before their eyes. Yet, even with these stories of miraculous healings, my mother’s mantra was, “Why would God heal me?” And while she couldn’t fathom why God would heal her, in particular, of cancer; she allowed the women of Shepherd’s Gate to lay hands on her, and ask God for a miracle.

 

As they left the property, the Director of the Ministry, Steve, offered my dad prayer as well, adding, “We don’t know what’s ahead, but I’m sure you’re going to need prayer as well.” And while my mother felt no different as they got into the car to leave, my dad claims that not more than a few minutes later, suddenly the Gift of Faith (see 1 Corinthians 12:7-11) was dropped into him and, “I just knew she was healed.” In the nine months leading up to this moment, my dad had been searching the scriptures, reading, and re-reading all accounts of healing.  The Bible has 43 recorded miraculous healings, and my dad knew each one intimately. Apparently, the reading of scripture had prepared the soil of my dad’s heart so that when prayer was added to the fertile ground of hope, faith sprouted in abundance!

 

The same day, my father gathered the family in the kitchen, “I know you are going to be healed; I know Elaine is going to be healed of cancer by Jesus.” We all looked at him with doubt in our hearts and concern on our faces. But he insisted, “I have read accounts where Jesus healed over and over again. I think God was preparing me; I know God heals. I can’t convince myself that he doesn’t. It would be like trying to convince me that the Pacific Ocean was not out there to the west. I know it is; just like I know you are going to be healed Elaine.”

 

While most wives might be encouraged by their husband’s declaration of faith; years of mistrust concerning my dad only made my mom uncomfortable and nervous. She didn’t trust her husband’s motives and she didn’t think God would do something so extravagant for her; the best plan of action in her mind was to take the doctor’s advice and go for the full medical treatment with all the bells and whistles, even if it did mean never using a toilet the same way again.

 

photo(13)Two weeks later, my dad’s proclamation about her healing began to take shape…the only problem was, we had no evidence. In the bathroom, just as she was about to flush, she spotted a fleshy clump with root-like fingers floating in the bowl; a similar but smaller specimen had appeared during her last bathroom visit. Yet even with two occurrences of abnormal items in the bowl, it didn’t yet register to her that she had seen firsthand “exhibit A and B” of her personal miracle. Out of habit and not thinking, she flushed the toilet.

 

Sixteen days later on July 11, 2005, my mother started chemo and radiation treatment at Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek. After only one week of treatment, her Oncologist called with some peculiar results. “Good evening,” Dr. Lui began. “Well, I have looked over your chart and it’s a bit strange. The cancerous mass is malleable and has become granulated tissue. When I examined you several months ago, the mass was solid…hard as a rock. Now the tissue is clumpy and gelatinous. It appears to be coming apart.” He paused and then added, “I cannot attribute this to your receiving only one week of chemo and radiation treatments (his records would later show he changed his mind). I might even classify it as miraculous.” But before we could start celebrating he went back into doctor mode and advised, “However, I think we should still proceed with your medical treatments just to be safe.”Being a good patient, my mother did continue her treatments for four and a half more weeks. Even while the evidence was mounting in favor of a miracle, she still needed to be fully convinced in her own mind that God was doing something phenomenal for her.  So there we sat…around the dining room table; my mother intently seeking God’s will about the situation. After we had all gotten up and left, she remained, determined not to move until He spoke. She wasn’t willing to simply adopt my father’s faith; she needed something of her own. As she sat quietly, eyes closed, she says at one point this large eye was all she could see in her mind. It filled her head and this tranquil blue eye was fixed on her. Along with the intense onlooker, who she could sense was God, came this verse into her head, with power and life:

 

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
 Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you.”
Psalm 32:8-9

 

This was the confirmation she had been longing for; without hesitation she too believed God was healing her and that she no longer needed the chemo and radiation treatments. That very afternoon on August 15, 2005, she called her doctors, “I believe God is healing me of cancer so I won’t be showing up for any of my chemo or radiation treatments.”  While they couldn’t stop her, the doctors advised highly against her decision; it was a death sentence in their minds.

 

On October 21, 2005, during Dr. Lui’s third examination since my mother had stopped her treatment, he became flustered and panicked.  In an authoritative, but frantic way, he ordered the nurse to get him prepped for a biopsy so he could remove tissue from the original cancer site. Duriphoto(14)ng the first examination after my mother stopped her chemo and radiation treatment, he refused to take a biopsy; while the mass of tissue had shrunk to only one tenth of its original size and God’s healing was materializing, Dr. Lui was still convinced logic would prevail and the cancer would need to be surgically removed. By the second visit, the tissue abnormality was now the size of an M & M, and Dr. Lui was still on track to do his job regardless; he didn’t care that his target was rapidly shrinking before his very eyes. But by this third visit, all hope for “business as usual” was gone…literally!  At the original cancer site, the rectal wall, previously engorged by a firm tissue mass of cancerous cells, was now totally pink and smooth, with no signs of abnormality. ALL THE CANCER HAD DISAPPEARED! Grabbing for metal devices, trying to find the right length and tool, Dr. Lui pinched and cut a piece of tissue from the site of origin as my mother winced in pain. “I’m sending this out to the lab immediately,” he said. “While it looks like there is no cancer remaining, we need them to test these cells because we can’t be sure it’s gone.” I don’t think Dr. Lui was against my mother being miraculously healed, it’s just that he’d never seen it happen before; he didn’t know what to do with himself. He was a doctor, without a job.

 

As we waited patiently over the weekend for the test results, there was rising hope that indeed, my mother had been miraculously healed of stage three rectal cancer! I’m sure it sounds odd that we weren’t already popping the champagne cork; but when you’re in the middle of a miracle, you aren’t quite sure what’s happening.

 

Doubts plague your thought life, “Is this what normally happens when someone does only part of their chemo and radiation treatment?”

 

“Is it a temporary glitch and the cancer will come back with a vengeance?”
“Did we imagine this whole ordeal? What is going on?”
The other difficulty with front row seats to the miraculous is that it’s nothing like it would be in a movie; there’s no soundtrack playing to a crescendo, lighting and close-ups to signal one intense moment over another and no voice-over to clue you in on what’s happening.

 

However, when the test results came back negative for cancer, when my mom flatly refused surgery altogether, and when each year every exam only confirms the lack of any cancerous cells…over time, this miracle only becomes more real and shines God’s glory over our family!  I now can confidently testify that God personally stepped into our lives, and did the impossible. We each were beautifully confronted with the Truth that God the Father is good, that Jesus the Christ does heal, and that the Holy Spirit personally brings life altering revelation from the throne of God.

 

Witnessing a bonafide Biblical sized Miracle pretty much messes up all prospects of remaining an average “churchgoer,” a “theological exert” or an aloof Christian with a laundry list of requests for God. I was face to face with my Creator, nowhere to hide; and I was now on the hook to respond in some manner…

 

What would you do if faced with a miracle? How would it change your life?  Who would you tell? How would you celebrate and acknowledge the event?
Intersecting Story: Origin of the Species
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Public Prayer…He hated it and so did I!

22 Apr

As the man approached, my guard went up; while his words conveyed he was simply a stranger in distress, I found myself doubting his story. We were in the heart of San Francisco, two blocks from the water; Ava and I sat waiting for my father outside a Starbucks on Market.

“Good evening mama, could I bother you for just one second,” the man had made eye contact with me and was approaching humbly, his two boys in tow. “I was wondering if you could help me out. You see, we just came into town and this morning both our luggage and our car were stolen. I have called a local hostel and they are willing to accept us for the night, but we need some money for a cab to get to the east side of town. Can you spare any extra change?”

Having lived in the Bay Area all of my life, requests for financial aid from people on the streets is a common occurrence. Are they really in trouble? Maybe…maybe not. Are they lying to you for money? Maybe…maybe not. Yet while his story might or might not have been true, his question was still the same, “Can you spare any change?” At this point in my life, the answer to that question simply depended on my mood and what I had in my purse. Most times the answer was “No,” and I would walk off quickly, a tinge of guilt trailing behind me, hoping they wouldn’t ask again or shout something rude. Other times, I simply ignored the question, trying to pretend I hadn’t heard them or hoping they were probably speaking to someone else (avoiding eye contact is essential in this scenario). And rarely, when I was feeling really generous, I would hand over a few dollars. In my head, this looked a lot like Mother Teresa ministering in the slums.

As I was about to make a decision on how to respond, my dad came out with his coffee and joined us. And while the gentleman re-explained his situation to my dad, I watched his two boys; they were about Ava’s age, five and six. Climbing all over the brick planter box, they appeared completely uninterested and emotionally unconnected with their father’s attempts to get strangers interested in their cause.

After hearing the man out, my dad made a decision and asked; “Can we pray for you and your sons?” my dad asked the man.

“Wait, what…No!” I thought to myself. “The man is asking for money not prayer!” I was repulsed by the idea for a number of reasons. 1. I don’t know these people. 2. He didn’t ask for prayer. 3. We are in PUBLIC. 4. We are in PUBLIC. 5. Did I mention, we are in PUBLIC…in the middle of San Francisco…with cars and business people passing by!

While I was having my own issues with my dad’s “monkey wrench,” it seemed so was our new acquaintance. Almost like a teleprompter, his face displayed extreme disgust. He seemed annoyed at us for wasting his time, and to add insult to injury, now he had to endure some old man’s ministry time with no payoff at the end.

Reluctantly, very reluctantly, all six of us formed a circle and joined hands on the sidewalk of the bustling city-center. Just before I closed my eyes for prayer, I caught a glimpse of the two boy’s faces. My cold heart melted as I saw their eagerness for prayer. These two boys, who just a minute prior were in their own world, trying to avoid their father’s “hustle,” were now completely engaged and anticipating someone doing something different, something that felt like love.

I don’t remember what my dad prayed; I’m sure it was amazing. What moved me (and I think the boys too) was not the words of the prayer, but simply the power of praying for someone personally. Caring, really caring, for the needs of another person enough to petition God on the matter, that was sparing something maybe even more valuable than money; that was real “change.”

“Could we spare some change?” Apparently that was the same question God had for me. Was there room enough in my life for “change?” Could I drop my prejudices and judgments? Was giving and caring for the needs of others something I even had the right to quantify or pass through a series of litmus test for validity?

As the man grabbed his boys, thanked us curtly for the prayer, and moved onto his next prospect, the boys’ eyes lingered on my father. Still in shock, but quietly grateful for what just happened, I began to notice the strongest, most fragrant smell of roses. It was as if a bouquet was right under my nose. As I panned the area looking for flower carts or passing perfume wearers, nothing seemed like a logical explanation. And as the wafting sweetness stayed for nearly five minutes as we made our way to the cable car, it seemed to me, this was a gift from God in acknowledgement for my “Change.”

While my story is great, here’s a real class act!

Luke 10:30-37 Parable of the Good Samaritan

30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

My eBook is here for only $3.99…Technology, Hey Buddy! Thanks for catching up!

18 Apr

 

My eBook is here!
(It will show up in your APPLE iBook app)
 
 

After years of struggle with publishers and printing, (see my post entitled: Origin of the Species) technology has opened a door…and I’m walking through it!

Please take a look for yourself here!

Book Description:

A Magical Wonderland of Scripture, this book illustrates how to hear and see God, His Word, and the Miraculous! By following the author’s lead you too can train yourself to see and hear God in your everyday life.

This 111 paged book is filled with vivid macro images of nature and seemingly motion-filled scripture. It’s the Bible like you have never seen it before! This book also includes some personal stories about the author that are humorous and candid. She shares openly about visions, sin, and her mother’s miraculous cancer healing!

Designed to display the Glory of God through pairing His Creation with His Word; this artistic work intends to bring God closer to you. Romans 1:20, Paul declares, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

Purchase a copy and support my Ministry Efforts. Buy Here

Origin of the Species: My Book’s Evolution and the Big Bang of His Words

18 Apr

“The photography and concept are exceptional. However, despite there being lots of interest in your proposal, I am afraid that we must pass…”

Senior Acquisitions Editor,
Zondervan Publishing
August 15, 2007

Only a few months earlier in May, I was walking on cloud nine. After two years of collecting photographs and verses, we pitched our concept:, a hardcover, glossy, coffee-table book, filled with colorful images and scripture to the largest Christian Publisher around; and the response was beyond my wildest dreams.

“This is really beautiful! It would be an honor to work with you!” Sue beamed excitedly over the phone to my partner Keith and me from her Zondervan headquarters in Michigan. “I have big plans for this work, maybe something like what we did with Rick Warren and The Purpose Driven Life. We’ll start with some revisions, but all I really need to do is get your book before the board at the end of this summer…then we’ll go full speed ahead and with a national launch.”

Preparing to become a Christian Superstar dominated my thought-life all summer; “What is my best side for the camera?”  “How much of the back-story do I tell interviewers?” There was a concern about how the fame and money might change Ava and me, so I determined we would stay in Danville and try to lead “normal” lives.

As August came into view, the anticipation grew. I was scheduled to meet up with Keith that afternoon and just before I left, I felt the Lord speak to my heart, “I love you. I love this book. I have so many great plans. Don’t be surprised if things work out differently than you think.”

“Wow!” I thought to myself, “This book is going to be even bigger than I imagined! If God himself is saying He has great plans…maybe I’ll even be on Oprah!” (At this point, I didn’t yet comprehend that God is not impressed with TV personalities and media exposure. He admires broken and contrite hearts.)

Yet, becoming a World Renown Christian Author was never my plan. Two years earlier, at the start of 2005, authoring a book was the last thing I had planned to do with my life. Having graduated from UC Berkeley with a Rhetoric degree, law school was on the horizon. Yet deep down I had reservations about signing my life away to a career that would take me far from my daughter. “Lord, I just don’t want to wake up thirty years from now wondering what I’m supposed to really be doing with my life and why I’m so far from it. If you want me to go into law, great. If not, please change my plans.”

While my prayer came from a very genuine place, I had no real idea what I had just done to myself! My life was no longer my own; I had just signed away the right to have things done “my way.”  God had His own version of “Ari Fry” and he was about to let me in on the plan.

Not more than a few days later, succinctly and straight to my heart God said, “You are not going to law school. You have finished that path to it’s end. I have some work I need you to do with your brother, your mother, and a book.” While I was excited that there seemed to be a new game plan for my life, straight from the Big Guy upstairs…I had no idea what it all meant.

God’s mysterious pronouncement about my future began to take shape within two weeks. Seemingly out of the blue, a friend shared a longstanding dream to create a coffee-table book that would make Christianity accessible through images. Almost as soon as his words left his mouth, I felt the Holy Spirit bolt through me confirming this to be “the book” God had mentioned. I thought to myself, “Wow, this God stuff really works!”

In the years leading up to our pitch for Zondervan, as I took the images, matched them with verses and photo-shopped key words, hearing from God was no longer a rare occasion…we spoke everyday. As the body of work grew, so did my eyes and ears to hearing His lead. In one instance, while hiking down a path, God told me, “Stop, get down low, and look to your left.” In a world of it’s own, crawled a green ladybug on the spike of a thistle. Another time, God said to me, “Make the ‘R’ bigger. No, much bigger.” He was right, I was thinking too small, and once I adjusted the size, the whole verse fell into place.  It was a sweet time of doing what I love with the one I love.

So as the summer of 2007 came to a close and the call came in that afternoon from Sue at Zondervan, this total direction shift, a complete 180, seemed to come out of left field. Keith’s face was overshadowed with sadness, I had a hard time comprehending what was happening. I was scared to ask, “What did Sue say? Did you talk to her this afternoon?”

“The are killing their ‘Gifts and Inspirational’ department. They are losing money and it’s not an essential part of the company, so our book would be too expensive for them to produce because of all the imagery.” Punch in the stomach, I was out for the count. Didn’t see that one coming…at least, not at first. As I sat there reeling from the blow, I remembered what God had told me just that morning, “I have so many great plans. Don’t be surprised if things work out differently than you think.” Ouch, I guess His “differently” wasn’t the same as my “differently.” And as crushed as I was, I gave a champagne toast that night to the fact that I had heard correctly form God.

As the years have passed, we self-published, but that was too costly to support long-term. We’ve pushed on several doors, hoping a publisher would catch the vision; but each door seemed barricaded. We even recently had a way back into Zondervan, but ironically it was Round Two in the ring, ending this time with yet another punch to the gut. All the doors just keep closing…until now!

I found my Open Door.

My “Open Door that no one can shut.” Revelations 3:8

INTRODUCING…My eBook! Click Here for my $3.99 eBook

(The book will be accessible in your iBook app)

Low production costs, no gatekeeper publishers, my work can finally be sent out to do what it was always intended to do; give viewer’s a visually rich experience with the Bible.

While this was not what I had in mind when God proposed a book deal, nor what I anticipated when He mentioned His “great plans,” for this book, in the meantime He certainly has reworked, transformed  and upgraded it’s author. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

Here are a few Excepts from the Book:

“Where were you when I was being molested?” A friend’s cry for answers.

15 Apr

Is God useless and helpless when it comes to human suffering? That’s the picture I had gotten in the past when questions like these came up. “Where was God when I was being molested,” questioned my dear friend. For the most part I never even wanted to look straight at that issue; my dull understanding came from sideways glances through a peripheral vision of seemingly endless atrocities committed against humanity.

As a vulnerable child is approached by their prey, where is God? Previously, I had two vague and disturbing images that would come to mind. Surrounded by bright light and ethereal clouds, an elderly

Father with a flowing white beard peers down from the Heavenlies to earth, searching the landscape for something discernable. Because he is so far removed, he can only see large worldly events through the haze of the glorious light. But if he squints and strains to bring an individual into focus, for only a second he can see the abuse, yet quickly recoils and thinks, “But if I help that one, then they will all want help!”

Worse however, I find it even more horrifying when I try to understand the abuse through the personal relationship Jesus Christ offers. No longer removed and distant, Christ is now standing in the room. He looks on helplessly as the child’s innocence is being devoured. Jesus watches the whole event with sadness and pain, just waiting for the ravaging of her body to cease so he can comfort her with a whisper through his tears, “It’s going to be alright.” No it’s not Jesus, why don’t you stop crying and do something! Pick up that chair already and hit him over the head you helpless, useless God!

As my dear friend continued to share about her experience, she revealed, “I cried out to God several times asking, ‘where were you when I was being molested?’ One day he responded with a vision, showing me that the whole time, Jesus had been in the room.”

“Ah ha, I knew it! So he was just standing around looking on helplessly,” I thought to myself.

“I don’t want to get too graphic,” she offered, “but the Lord showed me that Jesus was actually between me and my abuser. That everything the molester did to me, he did to Jesus first. He took the brunt of the abuse.”

My heart dropped.

I had no idea.

I had no idea.

I have no idea who God is…

The implications of this revelation tore my theological world into pieces. Somehow, this means that all day, everyday, Jesus is being molested. Yet not just molested, he’s being burned, hit, spit at, yelled at, raped, murdered, and maimed just to name only a few sins committed by one human against another. But how is this possible?

A few days earlier on Sunday at church, our pastor had been teaching from Ephesians 3:18, “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,” but he accidentally repeated the dimension of “high” twice and left out “long.” It got me thinking about how some have explained those dimensions form the shape of the cross; but a cross could be made by only two of those dimensions, so why all four? Just as I was pondering this, I had a very clear supernatural vision. The cross at the front of the church became brilliant gold and extended dimensionally both forward through the room and also behind the wall it was mounted on out into the courtyard, seemingly through time and space

.

My previously pathetic comprehension of the cross, the black and white still frame image of two pieces of wood, some

nails through Christ’s flesh, a painful death sentence he shared alongside some thieves, and the taking on of the world’s general sinful nature, suddenly burst into full color with rapid motion images.

The cross was not a stationary or metaphorical event. The traditional recounting of Christ’s trial, flogging and crucifixion is grievous indeed, yet there are many who have been falsely accused, beaten or crucified; potentially even all three. However, if in addition to being falsely accused and sentenced, beaten and whipped beyond recognition, and then crucified alongside legitimate criminals, Christ on the cross individually and personally experienced each human being’s suffering from the beginning of time to the last day, then I truly stand in fear and trembling before the greatness of my God.

Could that be what scripture recounts here, “From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’)” Matthew 27:45-46 An eerily similar cry to, “Where were you when I was being molested?”

The cross has always been the Christian symbol of Christ’s suffering for humanity, but could it be that in addition to the physical events portrayed in the gospels, on the cross, Christ supernaturally and personally interceded for each human being “real-time” up to the point when he declares, “’It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30

How do you work this thing? re:The Bible

11 Apr

The Bible scared me when I first considered picking it up. It wasn’t the Bible itself as much as the fact I had no idea how to start reading it or what all those names and numbers meant. And while we now have digital Bibles to make this process easier; I feel printed Bibles still allow a more interactive experience (that is, at least until my hologram Bible is produced, jk but not really). So…here’s a crash course in Passage Finding! This way the next time someone references like, let’s say, Matthew 12:15, you’ll know where to find it.

First off, utilize the Table of Contents in the front. There’s NO SHAME in looking up the page number. Look for the Book or Author name, in this case “Matthew.”

Next, find the Chapter Number just after the Book or Author Name in the top left or right corner. In this case, we are looking for “12.” Some books like Jude have only 1 chapter, while other books like Psalms have 150.

Finally, once you have located the Large Chapter Number within the text, then you will need to look for the Small Verse Number. This is harder to find because most times it’s hidden between words or even part of a separate paragraph. Looking closely, we find Verse “15” leading the pack. (The chapter number, 12 is separated and followed by the verse number, 15 using the “:” symbol).

There you have it, “Matthew 12:15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all who were ill.”

One last note, for many years I thought it was “wrong” to write in my Bible. “It’s a Holy Book,” I thought to myself, “I can’t mark it up.” Some of this mindset might have come from a reverence for “The Word,” but more than likely thinking back, it came from all those years using school text books. At the start of each year teachers would reprimand us, threaten us, and commit to invoicing us should we make a single mark in their precious text books! Someone finally straightened this issue out for me and gave me permission to write in my Bible. Hence: I HEREBY GIVE YOU FULL PERMISSION TO WRITE, MARK, NOTE, AND HIGHLIGHT YOUR BIBLE.

What did or has kept you from reading your Bible?

Angelic Visitation at Ava’s Birth, Just Like Jesus! (or just a woman that rocked my world and went on vacation)

11 Apr

It’s hard to believe, and admit this, but at the time I gave birth to my daughter Ava I still hadn’t decided if I was going to become her mother or if I would give her to a family through adoption. While I was still at Kaiser Hospital in recovery the day after Ava’s birth, a social worker assigned to my case by the state of California, visited me to ask questions about what I planned to do with Ava. I gave her the tenuous, and doubt filled answer of a scared nineteen year old girl, “I…I think I’m going to keep her.” Yet in my heart, I still wasn’t convinced I could do this.

As soon as the social worker had left the room, my nurse, a hefty African American woman, came in to see if I needed anything.  After assuring her I was fine, she continued to linger.  A few seconds passed before she finally asked, “Are you thinking of putting your baby up for adoption; is that why the social worker was here?”  I told her I was considering it.
“Why?” she blurted out emotionally.
Eyes widened, look of surprise on my face, through my head ran the indignant thought, “How dare she question me?” It seemed highly unusual and bordered on unprofessional for a nurse to insert her personal thoughts into my private business! Wanting to end the conversation as quickly as possible, I just told her that I didn’t know what I was going to do, which was the truth, I didn’t.  “Well, I was just wondering,” she said, “because I was adopted and always wondered how my mother could have done that.  I work with babies everyday and it’s just so joyful that I can’t imagine someone giving that happiness up.”
Um…awkward. Actually, I was kind of offended; her input was only making my decision harder. At the same time I felt compassion for her, it must be hard working in a field that is the literal birthing place of your pain (however, why she felt I was the person to counsel her through this trauma was beyond me).  Trying to answer her question, “Why?” I explained that some women don’t feel they are ready for motherhood.  And some people, like myself, were too young or unprepared, unmarried, and well, un-mommy types. I launched into the benefits of placing a child into a stable, two-parent family; the benefits of a lifestyle I couldn’t bestow.  At some point she retreated back to her duties; either she was satisfied with my answer or figured she had done enough damage for one day.
Yet, as jarring and agitating as her questioning had been, it made me think, think, rethink, and eventually actually help convince me into giving motherhood a try. Maybe I could do this. The next day, I let my nurse in on my decision to officially become a “Mom.” She was ecstatic. Because I was generally leaning toward adoption originally, I had nothing but a little green infant outfit and my aunt’s old car seat as my “baby items;” my nurse, full of joy, decided she was going to help solve that problem. Just before her shift was finished she came into my room, arm’s filled with baby tee’s, blankets, and diapers.  She had jacked a healthy portion from the supply room and was now stuffing them into my overnight bag. She gave me a wink and left the room.
Two weeks later, back at Kaiser for a “baby well care” check up, I decided to visit my nurse in delivery.  At the desk I explained, “Hi, about two weeks ago I gave birth to my daughter here and I want to thank my nurse; she was a real blessing to me. I can’t remember her name but she was tall, heavy set, African American, really loud and funny?”
They looked at me curiously.   “That doesn’t sound like anyone here in our department. Are you sure you have the right hospital?”
“Yes, I’m sure I have the right hospital; I’m not a lunatic!” I thought to myself. I walked off sheepishly with a heap of questions. I never did get to thank my nurse. I’ve run through several scenarios in my head. Maybe my description was off, maybe she was new there then left suddenly, maybe my head wasn’t clear after giving birth (however, I gave birth naturally so, no drugs), or maybe, just maybe, she was sent to help me make the right decision…
Do you have an angel story? I’d love to hear it. Email me and let me know if you want it to remain confidential or if I can share it. Nobody knows about this kind’a stuff because people don’t share this kind’a stuff.