March 7th is the anniversary of a miracle. There was a time when I thought that God didn’t do miracles anymore. I’m not sure why I’ve kept this story close for so long, but it feels like the right time to share it.
Those that knew B as a baby remember how sick he used to be. Pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear infections were commonplace, and by the time he was 2, he was taking regular breathing treatments, for no other reason than because it was winter. Things were rough. In March of 2010, he came down with RSV and H1N1 (now that’s some bad luck). We were in the hospital, not surprisingly, with all of his respiratory issues. It was a scary time for us, as parents. The doctors had started discussions with us about testing for cystic fibrosis and I was trying to keep my composure.
After a few days in the hospital, they got B stabilized enough to go home, with the warning that we should be on the lookout for the secondary infections that were, no doubt, coming (ear infections, bacterial pneumonia). We spent a grueling couple of nights with him, and because I know the signs, we started packing for the hospital that Sunday morning. Very early that morning, while I held him, hacking and wheezing, for his breathing treatment, I had written our church with a request that they pray for our baby. I called the pediatrician’s weekend line to tell them that he was coming down with pneumonia, and pulling at his ears. They made an appointment and we prepared to be admitted again.
For some odd reason that I cannot recall, I went into church that morning to sing with the choir, first, though. Ha! I suppose I had a solo, or something. It’s fuzzy. After we sang, a fellow choir member, David, stopped me. I knew David, but not very well. He told me that he had been praying for my son. He sat me down and told me that God had answered his prayer, in a dream, and that He was going to heal B. However, He told me that God required something of both me and my husband: For the next 3 nights, sometime between 12-3am, go get your son and take him where you can see the sky. Pray for him there. Ask forgiveness, ask for what you need for B, and have faith.” He told me, “What you ask of God for your son, there, He will give you.”
He looked me in the eye and in his thick African accent he said, “your faith is strong”. I knew it was over. I was SO. VERY. HAPPY. It was over.
I went to find my husband to tell him what happened, would he have me committed? David was close behind, ready to talk to him. And, I can’t explain it…it was just…True. For a moment, we actually even considered not taking our child to his doctor’s appointment! We did take him, though. We must’ve looked like idiots, grinning from ear to ear as we walked into the after-hours clinic.
She listened to him breathe with the stethoscope to his chest.
She put the stethoscope on his back. She rearranged it…
She looked up and said, “His lungs have never sounded so good!”
“I know!! He’s been healed!” I exclaimed! I told her a short version of the morning and left her speechless (probably wondering if she should have me committed).
Then she looked in his ears. Completely clear.
It was over.
The next 3 nights, praying while we faced the stars with our sleeping baby boy, were some of the most awesome nights of my life. I realized during those days, how often people used to pray to God while looking to the sky. I stumbled upon so much scripture that mentioned the stars, the heavens, and the vastness of the skies. My mom excitedly prayed with us, and I will never forget reading scripture with her by phone during those days. When she passed away in October, I found the scrap of paper where she had written these verses and tucked them away:
Healing our son was one of God’s gifts to us, but the next 3 days was a gift, too. He showed himself to us. He reminded us that despite this vast, amazing sky that He was capable of making, naming and keeping track of, He knows US. He loves US. We matter so much to Him.
So, we remember each year, on this day, the last time that our baby had pneumonia. The day God visibly touched our family. I wish I knew why it feels like He moves sometimes and why He seems quiet others, but when I’m unsure, I go back to what I know: We are not forgotten. We are loved. We. Are. Loved. Very soon, I’m going to face another difficult week in my life, and I have been letting anxiety creep up on me. What a perfect week to stop and remember.
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:26-31 NIV)
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:3-5 NIV)