By Nancy Virden (c)2023 The Miracle Series
Early in the pregnancy, I was praying when I sensed a very strong warning. Something would go wrong. Over the course of the next few months, I tearfully entrusted the situation to God and asked that he save the baby.
Atypical circumstances pointed toward a specific action. A magazine article, then a friend, followed by my mother, none aware of the others, gave me the message, “You need to memorize Psalm 91.”
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’ (Psalm 91:1-2).
About 35 weeks into the pregnancy, I was told the baby, who we now knew to be a boy we named Timothy, was transverse. Unless he turned, his birth would have to be by cesarean section.
One Saturday I woke feeling uncomfortable. Pain in my lower back and tailbone area as well as uneasiness made me call the doctor. Not to worry, he said. Since there were no contractions I was to wait until I had some, then wait for them to be five minutes apart. Besides, baby Timothy was not due for three more weeks.
I spent the day watching TV in bed, tossing and turning, attempting to find a comfortable position. I had not experienced these sensations before. By midnight, my husband was ready to sleep. Since I was still moving about with the TV on, he went upstairs to sleep undisturbed with our three-year-old firstborn.
A contraction hit. Ok, now is when I am supposed to start timing them. I check the clock. It is 1:00am. I got up, intending to take a shower and pack a bag for the trip to the hospital.
Within seconds a contraction hit hard followed immediately by another. The fifteen feet back to the bed looked impossible to reach. I was already in the transition stage when an unborn baby is supposed to shift into the birth canal. One crippling contraction after another, I started yelling for my husband to come back downstairs. By the time he finally heard me over two loud electric fans, I had fallen onto the bed, and my body was trying to push the baby out.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night…(Psalm 91: 4-5)
Timothy was still transverse. For a brief few seconds, I felt his hand emerge and held it before it retracted. As I heard the ambulance my husband had called approaching, Tim’s umbilical cord came out. Not knowing what to do, I prayed and then sensed it was good to hold it tight in my fist.
Our ambulance arrived less than a minute after my husband’s 911 call because an earlier false alarm had landed them on our street. Immediately upon entering the room, a paramedic assessed the situation. He hesitated briefly because what he was considering was against the rules. His orders were to take mothers and babies in distress straight to the hospital.
I watched his face intently and saw a look of decision and determination cross his eyes. “This is going to hurt,” he warned. After being turned, Timothy was born breech. I wanted to see my baby because I feared there might not be another chance. I was told there was no time. I begged.
The paramedic paused for a nano-second on the way out of the room. My baby was completely blue. I have never seen such a color since.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you...(Psalm 91:9-10)
New paramedics arrived in a second ambulance for me. I found out later that baby Timothy was undergoing CPR all the way to the hospital. For ten minutes, he showed no life signs. He scored zeros on the APGAR scale for all of those passing minutes. The paramedic said he was lifeless.
Once loaded into the second ambulance, I remembered the memorization. Later, as the paramedics compared notes, it became clear that Timothy’s sudden huge gasp for air as he entered the hospital occurred just as I was praying Psalm 91:11-12.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone (Psalm 91:11-12)
He was in NICU for a week during which I received one bad report after another: he could not hear; he was seizing; and there was likely brain damage. A neurologist said Timothy could not move his legs. As she spoke, I looked over at my little son, his legs bent at the knees. His brother had worn that same outfit and had been shorter than this newborn. “His pajamas are too small,” I said. Freeing him from the confining clothes, his legs plopped down and wriggled as any baby’s limbs should.
Faith rose as I saw repeatedly that human doctors’ reports are not necessarily God’s facts. Timothy grew up to be normal, healthy, and intelligent, with excellent hearing, no seizures, and no brain damage. His pediatrician called him a miracle.
I am and will forever be grateful for Timothy’s life. He has brought joy and tears and lots of laughter into my world, a loss I would surely have felt if he had never breathed. When life is challenging and does not seem to make sense, I whisper a prayer of thanks to the God of the universe who has a purpose for each of his creations. Life is full of miracles.
Today’s Helpful Word
Psalm 91: 14-16
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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