I want you to know that God will never leave you. He has the patience of a Father. He plays with you, even if you are not playing back. He’s holding you, even if you think you’re holding yourself up. He brings you to His chest, even if you have forgotten His smell. He sustains you, even if you can’t see Him.
--Serena Woods, Author
You're Beautiful. You're Beautiful. Before you ever took a breath. Long before the world began. Of all the wonders He possessed. There was one more precious. Of all the earth and skies above. You're the one He madly loves enough to die. You're Beautiful.
--Mercy Me, lyrics to You're Beautiful
I've been trying to write this blog for several weeks, if not months, now.
It seems as though, for once in my life I might be speechless.
Not because I have nothing to say, but because I don't know how to say it. You see...God did something big, huge, ginormous a few weeks ago. I want to make sure that I do not miss anything or that I do not give Him the glory that He so deserves. There are almost no words to describe the feelings behind the events that transpired. My emotions are raw, and I almost get light headed when I rethink it all through. I want to make sure to get it all right so that you, the reader, can truly grasp His greatness. I will do my best to use alot of different adjectives, but I assure you...they will all fall short in trying to describe how I feel or how awesome our God is.
To sum it up for you...there is no other God.
He reveals Himself every day.
He is in everything.
He is in all things, good and bad.
He is in the little, and also the big.
Don't miss Him. I urge you...don't miss Him.
This might be a long read for you, but if you hold on til the end...I am sure you will be blessed. And I pray, that through this post...you will see God in all His Glory.
I'm coming to the realization that my life is truly not my own. It is only God's love lived out through me. Each of us have a mission to fulfill through Him. We must find it, grasp hold of it, and embrace Him for all that He is worth.
In August of 2009 I had a routine surgery and my life was forever changed.
I awoke from the surgery and was wheeled into my hospital room, after spending some needed time in recovery. I noticed I was in much more pain than I had expected and urged to the nurse that the medicine was not helping my pain.
That's the last thing I remember...
I awoke to a room filled with doctors, nurses and my husband holding my hand with red, swollen and teary eyes.
I had died.
The second shot of pain medicine, that was given to me to stop my pain, had stopped my heart instead.
It is assumed that I was gone for about 8 minutes or so.
My body was cold, gray and lifeless.
But...God wasn't finished with me yet.
As my husband and daughter realized that I was not responding, my daughter ran down the hallway and grabbed the first person she saw.
The woman in the picture above with me...was the woman who would become my hero.
That person is Rhonda.
She ran into my hospital room and began performing CPR and other life saving techniques. She worked on me for several minutes and would not stop until my heart began to beat again.
Although I give God ALL the glory for breathing life into me, and causing my heart to beat once again, I know that He used her hands to do it.
I would spend a couple of days in the hospital on heart monitors to assure that all was okay with my heart.
I went home and wouldn't see Rhonda again.
That is...until a couple of months ago. Over a year and a half later.
My daughter had to enter the hospital for an emergency appendectomy.
My daughter was rushed to the ER on Wednesday. She was soon diagnosed with Appendicitis and admitted into the hospital to have surgery the very next morning. Emotions were high. Our baby girl had only been put under one time before for oral surgery, but this was a whole different scenario and much more serious. When the word surgery came out of the ER doctor's mouth, I recall my legs beginning to shake profusely. I looked over at Amber, who at this time was burning up with fever and in agonizing pain, and she was completely calm. She had peace about the whole thing. Some friends of ours were there with us, and one of them was trying his best to console her, when she looked up at him and said, "It's going to be okay. God is in control through all of this."
Boy, was she right!
The day of the surgery, not long after she had been out of recovery, I was sitting with her in her room as she was getting some much needed rest.
She complained of pain, so I called to the nurse's desk to have a nurse come and check on her.
I was sitting in a chair next to her bed reading a book.
There was a knock on the door...
In walked Rhonda.
A wave of emotions hit my entire body.
I stood up immediately and walked towards Rhonda. We embraced tightly and began to cry.
I had thought of her every day since she saved my life. I prayed for her and her family, even though I knew little about her. But...on the other hand, I knew enough. I knew that her heart was as big as the moon, full of strength, and that she had saved my life! I felt a connection to her that was unexplainable.
She began to talk with my daughter to see how she was feeling. The conversation led to that day in the hospital room a year and a half before. She began to cry as she described how she felt as she attempted to save me, knowing that I had three children at home and a husband who needed me. She cried as she tried to explain an overwhelming connection toward me that she herself found unexplainable.
We both had been feeling the same thing for all this time, but had never had the opportunity to share it with one another.
Our moment had come.
We held hands as we cried, laughed and relived that day.
I felt such joy and peace.
I wanted to shout to her, all the things that God had done for me over the past year and a half. I couldn't say enough "thank you's" and I even wanted to spit out an "I love you" to her, because I didn't know how I did...but I had grown to love this woman, that I really didn't know. She was a part of my life even though she wasn't physically in it. I took her with me in all the moments I had been given. All the moments of my life that I had been able to live out, because of her bravery that day.
Because of God's saving grace.
Like seeing my son hit his first home run at a baseball game.
Watching my youngest daughter get dressed for her first dance.
Taking pictures of my oldest daughter for her first prom.
Watching her find love for the first time in her life.
Hearing the laughter of my children radiate through the walls of our home.
Sitting on the couch in my husband's arms watching t.v.
Staring at the wind blow threw the trees.
Watching a flower bloom the first day of spring.
All the moments. Every minute of every day.
I had not taken anything for granted since that day.
Each day, whether good or bad had been a blessing for me.
And I longed to share them with her.
Even as I type these words, my heart feels explosive with emotion and tears are running down my face.
I am blessed beyond words to be sitting, breathing, typing and sharing this story with you.
We visited for a while, talked about our families, exchanged emails and promised to keep in contact with one another.
A few moments later, my husband walked into the room and I told him what had happened. His face lit up and he too began to cry. He stressed how he wished he had been able to see her as well, and thank her again for being there that day and impacting our lives the way that she did.
Later that morning, he left to go get an early lunch for us.
He arrived shortly after, beaming with excitement. He told me that God had answered his prayer. He had prayed on his way down the elevator to be able to see Rhonda and thank her. As he was exiting the hospital, she was standing talking with another doctor. They embraced and shared a sweet moment of reminiscing just the two of them.
As he shared their short visit with us, I noticed that our daughter had a gloomy look on her face.
She had struggled with the entire event for the past year and months since it happened. I would stear away from talking about it, because I knew that it upset her to relive it. Her face grew somber each time it was mentioned. Even though I was alive and well, the whole incident was very scarey for a young teenager to endure. She hadn't ever discussed the events of that day with me or anyone. She tucked it tightly away in her heart, locked it up and threw away the key. I prayed and prayed for her to find some sort of closure. To find peace about it. My heart ached for her to find healing within her brokenness.
As we sat in the hospital room, I prayed for God to heal her heart someway, somehow.
I could tell, that even though she was happy for me to have gotten to see Rhonda and share that time with her, something still bothered her deeply.
Later that day, she began to have visitors since the anesthesia was wearing off. Her chorus teacher walked in with a bouquet of flowers and a card signed from her class. She was filled with smiles. As we sat talking with her teacher, there was another knock on the door. In walked a small framed woman with a clipboard and a huge grin. She was the patient representative for the hospital.
My daughter's face lit up as she said, "I know you. I know you. You're her! You're that lady!"
I looked at her and said, "She's who Baby?"
The woman looked a little confused as she asked, "Me?"
"Yes maam" she answered. "You are the one who prayed with me outside my mother's room when she died. My Dad was too weak and emotional to pray, so you held my hand and prayed with me! We prayed that God would save her and my Mom didn't die. God brought her back. I've wanted to see you again to Thank You! Thank you so much for praying with me and being there with me."
At that moment, the woman's face lit up and her eyes filled with tears.
She had remembered that day and that moment with my daughter.
My daughter's face shined with excitement. She began to glow with a peace I hadn't seen in her in a long time.
We visited a few moments with the woman, then she left the room.
My daughter fell asleep a short time later.
The next day, after she left the hospital, we were sitting in her bed talking.
She began to cry softly.
I asked her what was wrong. And then it happened...
She began to tell me everything about that day in the hospital when my heart stopped. Down to the smallest detail. She cried as she shared her fear and emotions with me about that day. She told me of the overwhelming feeling of not knowing, standing on the opposite side of the door to my room, as the nurses worked to revive my lifeless heart. She described the feeling of the life being sucked out of her, and how she saw her entire life with me flash before her eyes. How her feeling of helplessness was overwhelming. She had unlocked the pain in her heart and was allowing the healing to begin. She explained her connection to the woman and how blessed she felt to have been able to see her and thank her for being there with her.
I remember her telling me as she cried, "I didn't know I needed to see her Mom, until I saw her."
You see, the woman had met her in the hallway to console her because of my death. The woman, and many others assumed I was gone, and unable to revive. She had met with my husband and daughter outside the hospital room, to ask if there was a minister she could contact to help them make arrangments.
Arrangements for my funeral.
I remember my daughter telling me with great emotion as she cried, "I told her we didn't need a minister! We needed to pray because God wasn't taking you yet! You were not going to die! I prayed and told God that I needed you here with me! And He saved you for me! He saved you Mom!"
My heart was full for her and my eyes streamed with tears.
Her healing had come.
After all this time, it came...
through an emergency appendectomy.
You see, it may look like we entered the hospital for an emergency appendectomy and a short hospital visit, but God had much more in store when we got there. It was just an opening for God to pour out His blessings on us. To bring restoration!
In the 24 hour period that we entered the hospital until we left home, He had brought people back into our lives and healing into our hearts. He put a smile on my face that would last for weeks. I even told a friend that my face hurt from smiling so much.
As I relived it all, a day or so later, while standing at my kitchen sink, an enormous wave of emotions hit me as I thought and imagined...how excited God must have been the day before all of this happened. I pictured Him sitting on His throne giddy with joy as He thought to himself, "Oh I can't wait until Tammy, Frankie and Amber see what I have in store for them tomorrow. What joy will fill their hearts!"
Many O Lord, are the wonders You have made, the things that You have planned for us.
Oh, what a Mighty God we serve!
So there it is...my latest journey.
Although I have no memory of the time I was gone, I do have the rest of my life to make memories I will never forget and always cherish.
I've learned so much from God this past year and months.
I've learned His love has no end.
There is abundance in His presence.
I have been captured by His love.
Transformed by His grace.
Changed by His mercy.
I am blessed to know Him as my own.
I am convicted of the times I have doubted Him.
Because He is so much more than I will ever know.
So much more.
I will forever be humbled by His love for me.
I've learned through all of this, that even the smallest connections with people may mean something later.
Something much greater than we can imagine.
I guess that's why He tells us to "walk in love" with one another, because we never know when we will benefit from that love later.
We are all here with a greater purpose, and the Love of God and our connections with each other, will bring us there.
I'm blessed that He is still living out His purpose in me, and know that my life has only just begun!
To God be ALL the Glory!
He is the Rock, His works are perfect and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.
The Lord protects the simple hearted, when I was in great need, He saved me.
I am giving you a new commandment, Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
To read more about that day in the hospital and what God did with my heart, click on blog link below:
I'd like to extend a very special thanks to the staff on the OB floor at OGH!
Thank You for all you've done!!
My cup runneth over!