Press Conference? With ME? March 28 Devotions

As I continue to reflect on my near-death experience of 30 years ago… I should tell you that I am working on writing a book about it, finally. It has taken this long partially due to the difficulty in “reliving” that traumatic event. What I have been sharing in these blog posts is your “sneak peek” into that book, which I’ve tentatively entitled, “Angels in the Midst of the Flames.”

Photo source: XANDERLICIOUS1

I am convinced that indeed, the hand of God and His angels formed a barrier between me and the flames…because witnesses at the scene said as soon as I fell out that second-story window, flames shot out behind me! Yet I had not even been touched by the flames–no singed clothing, no burns–I still believe it was a miraculous intervention. I’m still not sure why I had to go through the extensive injuries and nearly die–other than to tell this story to proclaim the works of God and to reassure people when it’s not your time to go, no matter how serious the injuries or how close you are to death’s door, you will recover and go on to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.

In fact, the local news agency AND a statewide TV station asked permission to hold a PRESS CONFERENCE in my hospital room after I regained consciousness! That was quite the experience–it was then published in our local town paper AND shown on the news that night!

 In addition, in those days after I regained consciousness, people I didn’t even know stopped in to visit and tell me they had prayed for my recovery. Another memorable event was a grade school class going on a hospital tour peeking into my room while their teacher came in to deliver cards they had all made for me (one child was the daughter of a friend and I guess it was her idea). They had told their teacher they wanted to visit “that lady from the fire who saved her kids.”

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“As human beings, we have a deep need to be understood. When we don’t receive it, we feel lonely. In listening to people share their hurt and pain, I find that the words ‘I understand’ have a very soothing effect.

One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is Hebrews 4:15, which teaches that Jesus is a High Priest Who understands our weaknesses and infirmities because He has been tempted in every respect just as we have, yet He never sinned. Just knowing that Jesus understands makes me feel closer to Him. It helps me be  vulnerable and trust Him. It helps me feel connected rather than lonely.” 

–Joyce Meyer in “New Day New You”  

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“Lord, what a joy to know that I can draw near to You at any moment, wherever I may be…that I can come boldly to Your throne of grace, assured of Your glad welcome–not because I’m worthy or because I’ve served You, but because You’re a God of grace, a God of unmerited, unlimited favor–not little dribbles of favor reluctantly measured out, but overflowing, superabundant favor.

‘That You should allow Your creature to have fellowship with You is wonderful enough; but that You can desire it, that it gives You satisfaction and joy and pleasure, is almost too much for my understanding.’ [The Quiet Time].”  

–Ruth Myers in “31 Days of Praise” 

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-1- This definitely means a lot to me. It is comforting any time someone genuinely cares enough to spend time listening and expressing understanding, and not judgment.

-2- It is amazing to think not only that we can enter the throne room of God without fear, to bring our prayers and concerns to Him–but even more astounding that He desires our fellowship. The Creator actually loves and enjoys His creations!

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So what are YOUR thoughts? Do you feel better when someone takes the time to listen and let you know your concerns and feelings matter and are understood?

Does it every boggle your mind to think you can go to God any time and  that God desires fellowship with you?

Where Am I and What Happened? – March 27 Devotions

Continuing my reflection of my near-death experience…and 30 years ago on this day, I suddenly woke up after being unconscious going into the third day after sustaining my injuries. And I had no idea where I was, why I was there, what happened, or why I was in so much pain. After looking around, I figured out I was obviously in the hospital, but I still didn’t remember what happened.

{Just a note: I had blurred out faces in these photos before I discovered that it was OK to leave them as is!}

 

A second cousin who was a nurse there happened to be the one who peeked in the partially open door and noticed I had regained consciousness and likely saw my bewildered expression. She rushed in, gave me a gentle hug, and told me how happy she was to see my eyes open!

And then I lobbed questions at her about what happened. She started telling me about the fire and suddenly I remembered at least that much–but I couldn’t recall what happened to the children and I was sure they were dead! She assured me they were fine aside from a little smoke inhalation, that I had saved them, and that the local news headlines had proclaimed me a “heroine.”

 

   

I didn’t FEEL like a “heroine”–since I couldn’t remember much of anything–and it wasn’t until my husband brought the children in to see me that I wept tears of joy to know it was true that my little ones were OK.

And guess what one of the verses in Psalms was that I read soon after getting my second chance at life?

“I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord…”  –Psalms 118:17

So that’s what I’ve been endeavoring to do, in various ways since then, such as through this blog… and after that rather long lead-in, here are the devotional thoughts for yesterday, March 27th. And remember, you can read more Psalms and Proverbs to accompany each day at my page Daily Scripture Readings.

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“There is power in the Name of Jesus. At the very mention of it, every knee has to bow in heaven, on earth, and beneath the earth (see Philippians 2:10). Jesus has purchased a glorious inheritance for us by the shedding of His blood. We are now heirs with Him (see Romans. 8:17). Everything He has earned by His sacrifice is in the heavenlies stored up for us. We have the keys to that storehouse, and the keys are prayer.”  

–Joyce Meyer in “New Day New You”

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“Lord, You are able to do infinitely beyond all our highest prayers or thoughts. Nothing is impossible with You! Thank You that when I praise You and bring my requests to You in simple faith, I plug into Your almighty power…that when I offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, I open a door for You to rescue me and bless my life, and I prepare the way for You to rescue and bless other people, near and far.” 

–Ruth Myers in “31 Days of Praise” 

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-1- I really believe this, about the power in the Name of Jesus. Even though I can’t remember a lot of what happened on March 25, 1985, I do remember pleading, “Jesus, help me get us out of here alive!”  And He did, and we are! I think that’s why it bothers me to hear people use His name in vain–to utter that Name as a curse or without thought about all that the Name of Jesus represents.

-2- Again, the power of prayer is very real. In the days and weeks after the fire, I learned a lot of fascinating details. Such as the fact I nearly died multiple times in the ambulance and after arrival at the ER–but people had already started praying upon hearing about the fire and my condition after my tumble from the second story window. I learned that my vital signs bottomed out after I arrived in the ER–that other than one nurse who stayed with me, other medical staff even started walking out of the room because they thought they had lost me.

BUT THEN…my vital signs suddenly reactivated and the remaining nurse called the other staff back! God indeed honored the prayers of those who offered them, and rescued me, because again…it was not my time to go.

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So what are YOUR thoughts? Do you believe in the power of the Name of Jesus? Have you experienced using that Name and getting amazing results?

Do you likewise believe in the power of prayer? I know we don’t always get the results WE think we should, but have you had answers to prayer that were beyond your comprehension so you knew it was the power of God manifested?

Unconscious Hanging Onto Life 30 Years Ago-March 26 Devotions

It’s hard to comprehend that 30 years ago, I was unconscious, fighting for my life in the hospital after sustaining nearly life-ending injuries and blood loss. The medical staff continued to monitor my vital signs, check for paralysis due to the broken neck, and keep me as comfortable as possible even though I had no idea they were doing all that.

And as family, friends–and even complete strangers who heard about the fire–formed a strong circle of prayer around me in the spiritual realm, I clung to life. As best as I can recall, I even had those “white tunnel” and “out of body” experiences so many people speculate about–and while I don’t clearly recall images or actual words spoken, I know I experienced the strong “knowing” sensation that it wasn’t my time to go yet.

I’m thankful on this day, 30 years later, that I can reflect on where I was…and where I am now, by the grace of God.

Now onto today’s devotions. And as always, remember you can read some Psalms and Proverbs for the day at Daily Scripture Readings.

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“We believe that God is inherently good and that He is also in control of our lives. Therefore, when tragedy strikes or loss occurs, we don’t understand why God does not prevent such things from happening to us and hurting us so badly.

Faced with tragic loss, often we become angry and ask, ‘If God is good and all powerful, why does He allow bad things to happen to good people?’ At such times, reasoning wants to scream out, ‘This makes no sense at all!!!’ Over and over the question, ‘Why, God, WHY??’  torments those who are grieving over losses in their lives.

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us that trust in the Lord brings assurance and direction. Trust requires allowing some unanswered questions to be in your life!

No matter how badly you may be hurting from a loss or tragedy, the Holy Spirit can give you a deep peace that some how everything will be all right. Being angry at God is useless, because He is the only one who can help.”  

–Joyce Meyer in “New Day New You” 

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“If you will give God what you have, no matter how little and ineffective you may think it is, God will use it and give you back more than you gave Him.

In other words, it is not our abilities that God desires, but it is our availability He wants.

He wants us to see possibilities, not problems. Don’t spend your life thinking ‘if only’ you had something else, then you could do something worthwhile.

‘If only’ is a thief of what could be.”

–Joyce Meyer in “The Confident Woman Devotional

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-1- Wow, I can certainly relate to this first one, especially in light of my reflections on nearly dying 30 years ago. I didn’t really understand then–nor do I fully understand now–why it had to happen. I also have to confess that I struggled even more with the “Why, God, why?” question when my dear Dad passed away back in 2002 after his brief battle with lymphoma. Yet even in his passing, and even in my near death, God had a plan and people have reflected on God’s compassion and embraced relationships with God in ways they might not have otherwise.

-2- I especially like these two phrases in this devotional–serious food for thought:

God is  more interested in our AVAILABILITY, than our abilities.

‘If only’ is a thief of what could be.”

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So what are YOUR thoughts? Have you struggled, or are you now struggling, with “Why, God, why?” in some area of your life or the lives of your loved ones? Do you find it easy to simply trust God is in control, in spite of how things appear, or does it frustrate you to have those unanswered questions in your life?

What do you think about the concept of God being interested in your availability versus your abilities, even though He is the One who gives us those abilities? Do you agree that getting hung up on “if only” steals what “could be” reality in our lives?