Yesterday Was a Life Changer

8:58 AMHeather

In doing Beth Moore's study of James, I was so impacted by her words about wanting God's glory.  She talked about those mountain top moments when we feel God so close--we see his shekinah.  And, she pondered why we don't abandon more to live in those moments.  Why we ever want material things or status or any other distraction from the pursuit of His shekinah.  Those words have been whirling around in my head like a cyclone, repeating on a continual loop.  Fueled by the musings from the book One Thousand Gifts.  And, I've nearly felt frantic in my pleadings to see God's glory and His gifts every day.  Because I desperately want to embrace and really SEE those moments when the divine reaches into my every day life.  I want more.

The events of yesterday were profound.  So much so that I sort of want to curl up in a ball or fetal position--or sit and process it all and think of nothing else.  And, I think the events of yesterday were a life changer--in more ways than one.  Because I think yesterday, the Lord gave me a front row seat to His shekinah.  I think yesterday God whispered a secret to my seeking heart.  A secret that is a life changer, if I'll just listen.  A secret to seeing His shekinah.

On Tuesday, I had flown to Houston to go to an event with my in-laws.  I flew down with our family friend, Katie.  Katie and my MIL have been friends for years and years, and Katie has been a fixture in our lives since I first met my husband 22 years ago.  Ironically enough, when I pulled out my book, Katie and I had a long conversation about One Thousand Gifts.  She had read it and been impacted by it as well.  We had a great afternoon of just hanging out at my in-laws house, and then going to dinner with them and my MIL's cousin, Linda.  Tired from a long day, we all went to bed about 10.  And, boy did I collapse in that comfy big bed with the ceiling fan lulling me to sleep.

I was sleeping so soundly, and dreaming about my kids.  They were yelling in my dream, but then somewhere in my slumber, something woke me with a start.  It took me a minute to realize it, but it was Katie, calling for me or Linda.  I jumped out of bed, and went to her room, where I found her sitting on the edge of the bed, holding her head and heaving.  She said she had a headache like she'd never had, and her legs were numb.  I was still shaking off my sleep, and my first thought was to grab her a trashcan.  She was adamant that something was really wrong and she thought she was having a stroke.  But, when I asked the questions I knew to ask for that, it wasn't lining up.  Then, she said call an ambulance.  

The paramedics arrived and ruled out anything serious, but my mother-in-law insisted that Katie was going to the hospital.  We gathered her things, and got ready for the trip to the ER.  I rode in the ambulance, with my mother-in-law following behind.  At this point, we were thinking it was a horrible migraine or something else rather minor.  We stayed with Katie in the ER until her niece arrived.  Trusting Katie was in good hands, and seeing nothing alarming, Katie agreed we should go on about our day.  We said our good-byes as the doctor arrived.

I was shocked a half-hour later when we got the call that Katie had a brain aneurysm and she was on her way to surgery.  Her daughter was catching a plane from Oklahoma, and my in-laws were working their connections to help hook Katie up with the best neurosurgeon  in Houston.   Hours later, we learned that Katie's aneurysm was the size of an egg.  She had her surgery, as well as a drain placed in her head for the fluid building in her brain, and will spend the next 7 to 10 days in ICU.  She will be closely monitored for complications.  

Here's the thing.  We now know that Katie had a 50% chance of dying before she got to the ER.  Even at the hospital, she still had a 50% chance of dying before they could operate.  Yesterday was a life changer for her.  We were unaware when we went to bed on Tuesday night that the next day her life would hang in the balance.

Glimpse of grace:  Just as I was unaware when I woke to hear her calling out that simply hearing her would be a life changer.  Or that when we flew to Houston, Katie--who lives alone--was flying into the exact circumstances that would make the difference and be a life changer.  Or that insisting she go to the hospital would be a life changer.  Or that the exact timing of this incident--before rush hour traffic in Houston--would allow us to request she be taken to the hospital where my in-laws have connections.  Where she could be placed under the care of a world renowned neurosurgeon.  Where a niece lives minutes away to come to her bedside.  Where friends and family could work together to get Katie where she needed to be.  Life changer.  Every detail of this experience, every tiny detail was a life changer.

And, I am overcome with this truth.  Every detail was God's shekinah glory.  It was God's gift that Katie be sleeping steps away from two others, instead of alone in her house.  It was God's gift that I heard her calling.  It was God's gift that Linda, my mother-in-law's cousin, could rally her prayer circle within moments to offer prayer cover over Katie as she was transported to the hospital.  It was God's gift that Katie was able to go to the hospital of our choosing.  It was even God's gift that we didn't realize just how serious things were.  Because we kept our sense of humor, making jokes and laughing with Katie--undoubtedly keeping her calm.  It was God's gift that just the right people at just the right time in just the right order were placed in her path for such a time as this.

And, oh, how I can hardly fathom the profound truth of yesterday.  It's life changing.  God's glory is not some glaring, bright light that moves you to inexpressible joy simply by it's grandeur.  Yes, that happens sometimes.  Sometimes, we sing a song or witness something so amazing that we feel that tingle all over and know we've just experienced something other worldly.  But, more often, God's glory is in the details.  The little things we take for granted and never notice because we are so bound by distraction.  God's glory is there in every day, in gifts He gives all day long, pouring out favor on His children.  Because He loves us.  He longs to be gracious to us.  And, if we can take time to be still and really consider it--we will train our eyes to see His shekinah.  What once was just the dull and mundane, when we adjust our sight, will suddenly become the life changing moments ordained by a loving and gracious God.  That I could be placed in the right time at the right place for God to reach down from heaven to spare Katie's life--it's too much.  Too much.  It's shekinah.  What a gift.  Won't you strain your ears with me to hear those calling?  Responding can be a life changer--for each of us.

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