“…Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2Chron 20:15b
“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’” 2Chron 20:17
Some of the battles we face in this life, we must learn to work with God in order to experience the victory. But then, there are some that you and I cannot do anything at all about. One of Beckie’s battles was so intense, and so miraculous, that only God could have orchestrated the whole thing and triumphed over it. At this point in Beckie’s journey, God had already helped her survive so many un-survivable crisis, that my Faith in Him had grown profoundly deep. By His Grace, I learned, and continue to learn, how to discern His still, small voice in the midst of all the chaos and loudness of this world and its challenges. This is such an instance where God alone did the unimaginable, and I am, still, so excited to have been a participant in His amazing plan.
Sadly, as became our norm, Beckie had another crisis that landed her in the hospital. After some tests, the doctors at our local hospital concluded that Rebecca had a massive brain hemorrhage and was about to die. Since her neurosurgeon was at a different hospital further away, they took her by helicopter to that facility to see if they could do anything to save her. My husband, Joe, and I quickly followed by car, racing up the Parkway to be by her side. When we got there, and after some more testing, these doctors too agreed, and with a forlorn face said, “She has fought her last battle.” Beyond a doubt, they did not believe she would make it past this latest episode. They brought us her MRI scan which appeared to show that inside her skull, her brain had been pushed to one side and the rest was just blood. Completely devastating! Since I am a pharmacist by trade, and as her main caregiver who made the decisions for her health, they began to bombard me with questions about how I wanted to proceed. There was such a confusion and immediate demand for me to answer them that I had to get away to quiet all the noise. As became my custom, I ran to the bathroom, the only place I could be by myself to think clearly. I suppose this is my version of scribbling in the sand…if you are not familiar with that amazing story, check it out in the Gospel of John 8:1-11.
Anyway, as I locked myself in, I turned to God with my finger pointing in the air and began to say, “Lord, You told me…,” when I was interrupted. God softly spoke to my heart and said, “Yes, Child, I did tell you, so trust that she will survive this battle too. I have got her.” That was all it took to calm my heart, open my mind, and as that second verse above says, help me take my position of Faith. I went back to her hospital room and simply told the doctors to do whatever surgery they could to help Beckie, and that she would be fine. Listen, I fully realized how crazy that sounded! But I could see something…or rather Someone…that these poor men could not. But because it sounded so ridiculous, they took Joe and me into a room to “discuss things.” There must have been half a dozen doctors, some nurses and administrative type people etc there, but I stood firmly in my Hope of what God put in my heart. “Rebecca will be fine, just do what you know to do,” I urged them. Again, I know how frustrated they must have been with me, because they were convinced that they knew what they knew, period. Yet I told them that God had given us some knowledge and some gifts, like the surgery they could perform, so it’s our responsibility, and obligation to use them. To do what we can do, but then trust God for any results.
Out of genuine concern, these doctors did something that still hurts me today. They saw that Joe did not believe what I did. He had not yet become born again at this point, so Faith was still not the basis of how he viewed Beckie’s trials. They knew this and tried to pit him against me. Trying to put a wedge between us, they pulled him aside and tried to “reason” with him. I do not know the details of what they said, but I praise God for Joe’s response. He simply told them, “I do not believe what Diane believes, but I trust her. Do what she says.” Baffled, the doctors had to go through with this surgery, which they believed she would not even survive. Right before preparing for the OR, the neurosurgeon pulled me aside, and with head hanging low and head shaking from side to side, he said, “If this was my child, I don’t know what I would choose.” I quickly and gently replied, “As parents, we do everything we can do, then we trust God with the rest.” He kind of gave me this look, like he wanted to believe what I was saying, but he simply didn’t understand…so sad.
Since she had lost so much blood from the hemorrhage, before surgery Beckie had to have a transfusion, especially since she would most likely lose more during the operation. She had AB+ blood type which means she could receive just about any type of donated blood, the universal recipient as it is known. I have this silly way of thinking that the blood type of Jesus must have been O+, “O” because it is the universal donor…which Jesus certainly is since He gave His blood for the whole world!…and positive because there’s nothing negative about Him! So as a sign that I was not out of my mind, I expected the blood being transfused to be O+…but that is not what the nurse hung. Instead it was B+. I began to speak to God saying, “Oh Lord, I thought You would confirm in my heart that I was making the right decision here, that I have heard You correctly, but this is not the O-plus blood I was expecting, but it is B-plus blood instead.” To which I quickly heard, “Read it again, Child.” This time instead of B-plus, I read it correctly as B-positive. Did you get it? BE positive! I just can’t make this stuff up! God was clearly telling me to “Be positive that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, and then to just trust Him with Beckie.” I could not contain the smile on my face! As the nurse looked at me, I shared what had just happened with her. A bit shocked, she had a surprised look on her face and walked away incredulous. God is so very good!
So Beckie went into the surgery, the doctors did all they could, then she returned to the room, still alive by God’s Grace! Already the doctors were amazed, but still not hopeful at all. Again by God’s Grace, I was always able to stay by Beckie’s side in whatever hospital she was admitted to, so Joe went home and I remained with her. It was at this point where the Lord put a song on my heart and I just knew I had to hear this song! This was in the days before iPods and iPads and You-Tube’s etc, so if I wanted to hear it, I needed to get the CD. I “just happened” to have it at home and asked Joe to bring it to me the following day. The song is called, “Crazy” by MercyMe. It was never on the radio as far as I know, but it had always made an impression on me, and again the Holy Spirit was tugging at my heart to listen to it. The next day, Joe brought me the CD, we found a CD player at the hospital and I put it on, over and over again. As I listened, I was very encouraged. You see, the premise of the song is that, after all we have witnessed, it would be crazy not to believe in God and His promise for Eternity. So I heard it and the song lifted me up, but I did not really think too deeply about it. It was not until several days later that I fully understood why this relentless urge presented itself.
Much to the astonishment of the doctors, Beckie continued to survive and was as interactive as she could have been during her current state and at that point of her journey, but the doctors still thought, “Any minute now, she is going to die.” Yet I continued to stand firm in my Hope of what God had put on my heart, “She will be fine.” This is when they sent a psychologist to come and talk to me. Did you get it? They were openly saying that I was…yep, crazy. This is why God wanted me to hear that song, you see? They were all, in the background, thinking that I had gone off the deep edge and, according to them WHEN Beckie died, they were afraid I was going to completely lose it. And so this poor man came to speak to me. We must have talked for about an hour as I tried to explain to him how I lived my life since becoming born again. “I walk by Faith, not sight,” I tried to spell out for him, but he had no idea what I was talking about. Finally, a bit frustrated with me, he said, “Ok, ok. What will happen to your hope if she were to die right here, right now?” With a perplexed look on my face, I simply said, “Nothing will happen to my Hope. My Hope is not based on this world, but on the next. My Hope is in God.” He seemed to understand, at least as much as he was ever going to understand I suppose, and just said, “Oh, ok,” and went away. He must have reassured the doctors that I was in a good mental state because they did not try to oppose me or convince me of anything else. Several weeks later, we were able to bring my Baby Girl home with us, once again. Tell me God can’t and I will remind you that nothing, I mean nothing, is impossible for Him! I point us back to that second verse from above: Take up your positions [of Faith in God]; stand firm [in your Hope of God] and see the deliverance the Lord will give you [Beckie surviving the un-survivable, displaying God’s Love and Power over everything]!
The doctors did not know what to say, but this no longer surprised me. God was still working with Beckie to “astound the wise.” (see Isa 29:14) It was at the beginning of her tough journey that I had first heard this verse. She was having some kind of crisis and was being rushed into a room for a CT scan when I, out of desperation for some answer, played Bible roulette. You know, when you “arbitrarily” open up to a page in the Bible and start to read the first thing your eyes fall upon? I just needed a “word from God,” as they say, and I “just happened” to turn to Isaiah 29:14 where it says: “Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” And if that is not what was happening throughout her life, but certainly here in this “impossible, unsurvivable” circumstance, then I don’t know what to call it. These “professionals,” who are very intelligent and experienced men I admit, were absolutely dumbfounded. They had nothing…to…say.
Again, as became the norm for us, we found ourselves back in the hospital with Beckie about a month later for a different situation. As I sat in her room, one of the doctors that sent that psychologist to come and speak with me, entered. He pulled up a chair, and with head hanging low, he said, “I wish I had your faith.” I gently replied, “Faith is not something I can teach you. It is a gift from God. All we have to do is choose to use it.” My heart broke for this doctor that day. He just could not understand how Beckie was still living. The impossible was still impossible for him. Even though she was right there in front of him, in the flesh, alive and living, he could still not see. Lack of Faith in God is like having scales in front of our eyes…just like Saul/Paul, only God can remove them, if we but just ask Him to help us see. Any other position rather than Faith in God, taints our view of this world and the things that are happening to us and around us. Think of Faith like muscles. We must choose to exercise Faith so that we could be stronger than we ever could have been before the challenge. This is one of the major reasons why God allows these difficulties, to strengthen us and transform us into His likeness. Then, no matter what comes against us, we can take our positions, stand firm, and watch what only God can do!
Beckie continued to survive another year and a half. Another year and a half of making precious memories, including a family trip to Hawaii…another miracle that I won’t get into here. It was on December 21, 2007, that the Lord brought our Baby Girl Home. There doesn’t go a day that I don’t miss her. Yet I am still taking my position of Faith. By God’s Grace, I am still standing firm in my Hope. I still know God loves me, that He has a good plan for my life here, before I am reunited with my Beckie forevermore…in Paradise with my Lord forevermore, hallelujah! None of us will remain in this world forever, and that’s ok, because we were not created for this fallen, corrupted place. We were created for Heaven, and this world, while it can be filled with beauty and miracles, this is not Heaven. Only by God’s Grace can we get a taste of what that Paradise will be like. I praise Him for all the times He did save Beckie from physical death. But I praise Him so much more for saving us all from eternal death. She is safe and sound in His arms now, but I needed those years of “horrendous miracles” because they grew my Faith by leaps and bounds. They helped shape me, and continue to shape me, into who I will be forevermore. And now, I live to hear the words that my Baby Girl has already heard, “Well done, My good and faithful servant!” Rebecca’s life remains a success as she is still pointing me, and others through me, to Christ and Eternal Life. Now that is a legacy to pursue and a life well worth living. It is one I desire to live more and more, ever since by precious Angel Pie brought me to Jesus…how about you? Then won’t you join me?
Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think.
<>< Peace, Diane