Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)
TITLE: Our Miracle Girl
By Johnna Stein
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My husband Frank arrived in the midst of all the chaos. His presence made the situation seem that much more real. We hugged each other and quietly shared our worst fears. My daughter writhed in severe pain and there was nothing we could do but wait and pray as they started the intravenous antibiotics. No pain medications until the diagnosis could be made. Time seemed to stand still in that moment and God felt so close and yet so far away. I looked up as the doctor slowly entered the room. He shook his head in disbelief as he relayed the shocking news that she was indeed infected with an aggressive form of bacterial meningitis. The doctor prudently warned us that her kidneys would probably shut down within the day and that she might soon need a respirator. They bombarded her tiny body with even more antibiotics, steroids and pain medications. They would do all they could, but the prognosis was bleak. She was too critical to be moved to a specialized children’s hospital; she wouldn’t survive the journey.
How would we survive this ordeal? I felt so alone. Just 5 weeks earlier we packed up and moved to Frank’s homeland, The Netherlands. We literally knew no one except his family. We were new Christians and had not yet found a church as we’d only been in our home less than three weeks. Who would pray for our little Olivia? My first response was, “Call Sally, Kim and Mom.” Sally, Olivia’s Godmother, had led us back to church and to Jesus. Kim had lovingly guided us in our walk and acted as a surrogate grandmother to our kids the last two years. My mother could share the tragic news with my family. Frank left quickly to make those three international calls while I remained glued to my daughters’ bedside.
In the middle of the night, as I helplessly watched Olivia suffer, I prayed to God that He would either take her quickly or heal her. At that moment I experienced a life-changing revelation; I realized Olivia was not mine, but His. She was his child and He had complete sovereignty over her life; she was merely on loan to me. Then, I felt God speak to me for the first time in that quiet, but firm voice. Olivia would be spared. She would not die. From that moment, she did indeed slowly show improvement.
The next months were filled with medical ups and downs, however, spiritually our lives were steadfast and strong. The three phone calls that Frank had made were exponentially multiplied in God’s Kingdom. We received cards and gifts from people we didn’t even know across America who were praying for Olivia and us. Our dearest family and friends made get well books, cassette tapes, cards and gifts for us. We discovered Olivia was on prayer chains from sea to shining sea. It was beyond our wildest imagination how many people had prayed for her recovery. What an amazing testimony to the nurses, doctors and other patients as we could more or less wallpaper her hospital room with the overwhelming number of cards which streamed in week after week! In a country where less than 8% are Christians, people were amazed at the outpouring of love and prayers coming our way.
We felt lifted up in prayer and experienced a strength which was not our own. For the first time I realized that prayer knows no borders nor boundaries; believers could be united no matter the denomination or location. We will never know the names of all those who joined in praying for Olivia’s healing, but God does. She has been completely healed and is a true miracle. God’s people united, on bended knee, pleading for one tiny life, in the name of Jesus, all for the glory of God.
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