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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Surprised (09/06/07)

TITLE: Life Happens While We're Making Plans
By Jacquelyn Horne


It’s funny how life can be wonderful and peaceful one moment and, in the next, utter chaos. But life is astounding…

The steaks were lying on the counter, the charcoal in the grill, the sun shining brightly, and the whir of the lawn mower drifting into the house when I heard the sirens. I didn’t think much of it. Sirens are heard several times a day in the city. But this day turned out to be different. This day it was my eight-year-old son, Keith, lying on the pavement moaning, waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

I ran to the scene in panic and quickly instructed my neighbor standing beside me to watch my other three children and call my husband to meet me at the emergency room. As I scrambled in beside my son, the attendant, who was supposed to sit there, climbed into the front seat shaking his head. I realized later that there wasn’t time to deal with a distraught mother. They just needed to get moving immediately. And move they did!

By the time we reached the emergency room, Keith was completely unconscious. He stayed thus as he was transferred to the head-trauma hospital eighty miles away. I arrived before the ambulance did, and, once he was settled into his room, stayed with him. It didn’t cross my mind to leave the room.

Meanwhile, I prayed, telling God I wanted my son to live, but desired His will. Challenging as it was, I left the outcome in His hands.

Friends and family brought me clothes and toiletries, and for eight days, I never left Keith’s room. He remained unconscious. I remained numb. Waiting. Praying.

On the eighth day, he opened his eyes, but continued in a trance, unable to communicate. Just staring, with no recognition. It was heartbreaking. I wondered if he’d ever be right again. Only God knew.

For those eight days, Keith neither ate nor drank anything. Then, they brought grape drink in ice to give him. He chewed the ice hungrily, and I quickly asked for food to feed him.

“I believe he’s hungry and can’t tell us,” I begged.

“We can’t give him food without a doctor’s order,” snapped the nurse.

“Then, someone had better get a doctor in here!” screamed a desperate mother.

Within half an hour, Keith was sitting in a chair with a snack tray in front of him. Waiting. It wasn’t easy getting him there. He was still unable to use his left side, so I practically carried him to the chair.

Placing his meal of hamburger, gravy, mashed potatoes and peas in front of him, I was in for another shock. Although I had put a fork and napkin beside the plate, he dug into the food with both hands, shoving it hungrily into his mouth. He sat staring forward with food dripping from his hands and chin.

Oh, God! He’s illiterate. My heart sank another level. But I still remember leaving it all in God’s hands. Only God knows where I got the strength. But I had to trust in Him. There was nowhere else to turn.

I sat Keith in a chair each day to break his monotony. On the sixteenth day of his confinement, he sat staring forward without comprehension, but was able to sit without tumbling out of his seat. I sat across the room from him, a cup of hot coffee in my hand, drifting into thoughts of my own, oblivious to the scene around me.

“Is that coffee you got in that cup?”

I almost dropped the cup! In a world of my own, I was startled by the familiar voice. When I looked at my son, I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears! He was looking straight at me. He had been the source of the question.

Recovery had come almost instantly. We left the room immediately, for the first time together, and walked (his arm around my waist, my arm across his shoulder) into the waiting area. I quickly dialed our home. His father answered. I handed Keith the phone, and he spoke to his father with perfect speech.

There was great celebration in our family that day. God had made his decision, and, still in wonder, we were happy with it.

Later, the doctor explained to us the reason for the quick recovery. But I knew that God was the basis behind the miracle. Without His intervention, the result could have been much different.


Note: This story is true. Keith is now a grandfather. God is good!

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This article has been read 813 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanney Uthe09/13/07
Great title and even better story. You drew me in and kept me throughout. I love this kind of story.
Mo 09/14/07
Wow. This would be a good fit for Guideposts.
Lisa Holloway09/16/07
Wow--to the story and the writing. Your writing style is well paced for each stage of events and kept my attention. And yes...there are many blessings to be had when we leave the outcome in God's hands, as hard as that can be to do. Thanks for sharing. I imagine that moment was one of the most wonderful surprises you'd ever had!
Sharlyn Guthrie09/16/07
A life-altering day to be sure! True stories are always so inspirational, and this one did not disappoint. Great title and nice job in the telling of your story.
Jan Ackerson 09/16/07
What a wonderful story of God's intervention!

I almost think it'd be better without the introductory paragraph...and I wasn't sure about the use of the word illiterate, which means unable to read. It doesn't quite seem to fit the context. Those are very minor nitpicks, though.

I liked the epilogue with the update on how he is now...very inspiring.
Joanne Sher 09/18/07
You definitely kept me on the edge of my seat! The writing is fast-paced, very fitting to the story. I LOVE that it was true. WOW.
Dianne Janak09/19/07
GOD IS GOOD! Thanks for reminding us of what God can do... there are so many times we forget the past and start fearing the future. We need to keep these stories on the front burners of our hearts..HOORAY for GOD!
Betty Castleberry09/19/07
Stunning, for sure. God is the Great Physician, isn't He? I, too, wondered about the word illiterate, but it's a minor thing. This was a very good read. Thumbs up.
Dee Yoder 09/19/07
Wow, what a testimony to the power and love of God! Your story is a true reminder of what God can do in our lives. I'm so happy your son has been healed and is now a walking testimony to God's healing power!
Beth LaBuff 09/19/07
Wow! You've done a great job of writing this "parent's worst nightmare" event. Yet, you showed the hope you had, plus willingness to leave the outcome with God. I'm so glad the ending was good, and I liked reading the update on Keith.