moments of grace

545803353There are times in my life when I have seen the Hand of the Lord specifically on me. I can look back and remember how He kept me safe. It is important for believers to take time to reflect on God’s grace in their lives. It is good when you recognize God at work, because those moments will encourage your faith. It has given me a grateful heart to know I have personally experienced the Lord’s mercy and grace.

I gave my life to Jesus when I was 7, but for most of my years I did not take my faith as seriously as I should have. In my teens especially I was rebellious and insecure. Looking back on the time I wasted, I also see how God protected me from going down a destructive path. I was like a sheep wandering away from the fold and the Good Shepherd drew me back to Himself. What mercy! What grace!

Fast-forward a few years later to when I was pregnant with Jesse. I can’t remember how many weeks along I was, like 8 or 10, when the doctor told me two things. First, the placenta had torn and I was ordered to not lift anything over 5 pounds for a few weeks to allow this to hopefully repair on it’s own. The second piece of news was that I had an ovarian cyst, 8cm to be exact. By the time I had my son the cyst increased to 10cm. The nurses were dumbfounded that I never had any pain. In fact, I did not feel it at all, but there it was on the ultrasound each and every time in all its glory. That was a moment of God’s grace. A lot of women experience pain with an ovarian cyst that is only 2cm in size. I am so thankful He allowed the cyst to remain painless, so I could enjoy my pregnancy at least through the 2nd trimester. The placenta also healed and did not harm Jesse or me.

After I delivered him he stayed in the NICU for 2 weeks. That was mid-April in 2011. On April 27, 2011 tornadoes ripped through the South. I just so happened to be visiting Jesse at the hospital that day. When the storms turned into tornado threats the hospital executed a specific code to remain on lock down. This meant that no one was allowed to leave the building until further notice. NICU nurses frantically pushed teeny tiny little babies in their carts with all of their wires attached, to the center of the unit. They tried to keep everyone away from the windows. In the middle of the commotion with lights flickering on and off, alarms wailing in the hospital, and tornado sirens, I managed to find the head nurse. I asked her if I could please just hold my baby for his safety. She quickly agreed and then kept marching forward focusing on her job of protecting the precious little ones.

I remember thanking God that I was with Jesse, holding him through his first tornado. I also prayed for the parents who were not with their babies at that moment and the sheer panic they must have felt. I also thought about the nurses, who were not allowed to leave, possibly worrying about children at home, spouses, or parents. It was chaos.

I had to leave Jesse later that night after the weather calmed down, driving though a city and to a home all without power. But God was with me the whole time. Even when I held Jesse in the middle of the NICU I had a sense of calm. I kept praying as everyone waited in uncertainty of the tornado’s path, and had an unexplainable peace. This was God’s grace. I am usually a worrier and control freak, so to be so serene was quite a different approach.

The next day Jesse had his MRI. The hospital ran on generators, as the rest of the city remained shut down. The cysts on his brain were no longer there and he was released from the hospital. (See the full story about his cysts in The Healer). Finally. The only problem was that being a new mom, I had to take my newborn baby fresh out of the NICU to a house without power.

By God’s grace He sent us help through my mother-in-law, Charolette. She was in town visiting us and received word that her area had power. My mother-in-law lives over 2 hours from Huntsville and we had less than half a tank of gas. Lesson learned: Never leave your tank under the half mark in case of a tornado and you have to run for the hills! We made it to her house on gas fumes, again thanking God for His protection and indescribable grace in keeping us safe. My husband’s parents allowed us to stay with them for 5 days until the power was restored in our city. I don’t know if I ever told Charolette, but I am so grateful for her help and service to us during that time. I was an emotional wreck, and needed help with taking care of a new baby. She was there for me, an instrument of God’s grace.

What are some of the moments in your life that you distinctly remember the Lord’s provision or protection? His grace is all over us, we just need to take time to notice and then thank Him. The very fact that you and I are even breathing right now is by God’s grace. Every day you wake up and every night when you go to bed is a testimony of His grace on your life. He keeps you. He upholds you in the middle of a storm. He loves you with an everlasting love. Never forget that. For the unbeliever there is common grace, yet for the child of God His gifts are so much deeper and richer! It is like an unbeliever receives just a taste of God’s goodness, but for His sheep the dam breaks wide open. I’d love to hear how the Lord has specifically worked in your life. Look for His Presence.

Grace upon grace,

April

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