One of the great blessings hidden in moments of desperation is unusually intense focus, an almost superhuman concentration that enables us to see and hear things we would miss on a “normal,” sleepwalking-through-life kind of day. Even though we would never wish for circumstances that force us into crisis mode, we are wide awake – and God uses these moments of hyper-clarity to speak to us, if we will listen.
My five-and-a-half months of bedrest ended suddenly when my water broke at 34 weeks. We raced to the hospital. “Don’t have the baby yet!” the nurse commanded, and she sent the NICU team into the hospital room to hurriedly explain everything that might go wrong, even if the baby survived. A few hours later, I was in labor. Partway through the delivery, I began to bleed out. Suddenly, I couldn’t see; my brain was shutting down non-vital functions to protect my heart. Over the sounds of doctors yelling and nurses scrambling, I heard the intercom calling for blood to transfuse: stat.
There were so many people talking to me at once: “Can you see anything? Do you feel this? What do you mean ‘it hurts’? Where does it hurt? Has this happened to you before?” I kept asking, “Where’s my husband? Where is he?” They didn’t tell me they’d made him leave the OR. Instead, they called to each other: “Who’s got vital signs? Where’s the blood? We need a transfusion! What’s happening with this heart rhythm?! She can’t still be feeling pain!”
It was crazy. Totally chaotic. I was in complete darkness, at the center of a tornado of activity. The last thing I remember is wondering if I would die without seeing the baby.
Thankfully, I survived – and our baby did, too.
The next morning, I woke up in a hospital room, with a nurse reading the newspaper at the foot of my bed. On the front page, there was a photo of a McDonalds sign that said, “God can do anything.” I remember thinking, “What a crazy thing to put on the front page.” But somewhere much deeper, I affirmed, “Yes, God, I know it was you.”
It’s happened several times since then, God finding ways to speak to me in the midst of a crisis. Most recently, yesterday. My son fell and hit his head. The doctor sent us straight to the hospital to determine whether the concussion included a skull fracture or internal bleeding. As I began to fill out paperwork for xrays, I noticed a postcard tacked on a bulletin board: “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” [Jeremiah 32:27].
I’m primarily a visual learner, which means I register things best by seeing them. Do I think it’s a coincidence that God “speaks” to me with visual messages? I don’t. He knows how my mind is wired; He knows how I’ll “hear” Him best. Do I think these stories are coincidental? No. There have been times in my life when I’ve desperately needed to know God was present and in control, and He’s found ways to reassure me, “I am with you always.” He has heard my prayers for help before I’ve even prayed them, and He’s answered.
He will do that for you, too. It’s likely that He already has. Were you listening? Or watching? Did you grab onto His message, clinging to His words for dear life? Or did you rationalize, “it’s just a coincidence. That could’ve happened to anyone”?
God speaks to those who want to hear Him. If you cry out, He will answer. The Bible promises us, “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help” [Romans 10:12]. Are you listening? Watching for Him? Expecting Him to respond? The God of the universe knows what you need. Open your mind, heart and spirit to His words of hope.
He will speak.
Find more resources and cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com