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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of ďA Stitch in Time Saves NineĒ (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: When God Speaks
By Hanne Moon


Sometimes when God speaks to you, itís a quiet whisper in your spirit. At other times itís a barely audible voice that has you checking to see who else is in the room. And sometimes itís a disquiet so profound that only in hindsight do you recognize the Masterís voice.

I lay in bed that night, replaying the scene at the doctorís office over and over in my mind. Nikki, my 14-year-old daughter, was having headaches and dizzy spells, and after an MRI her doctor had diagnosed Chiari malformation, a genetic anomaly of the skull and brain stem. The neurosurgeon we went to said there was no concern. We could wait a year and then recheck her.

My husband was relieved.

However, when I voiced my misgivings he grew angry with me. I knew it was his fear speaking - that gut-wrenching fear of a parent for a sick child when thereís nothing you can do. He was happy with the doctorís decision, and told me to leave it alone.

I canít explain the feeling inside that insisted I absolutely had to take her to another doctor. I wondered if my own fears were playing havoc with me, and if my husband wasnít right after all.

But that silent voice would not be quieted.

I made an appointment with the Childrenís Hospital in Birmingham and two days later was navigating a labyrinth of corridors that seemed to go on forever and in no particular direction.

I filled out insurance forms, medical history forms, and all types of paperwork, and then my daughter and I sat and waited for what seemed an eternity. The receptionist called our name, asked for the MRIs I was carrying, and told us it would be a while before the doctor could see us.

We sat and made plans for the rest of the day Ė lunch, shopping, and the bookstore. The next forty-five minutes was spent discussing the newest fashions, how hungry we were, and the latest guy she was head over heels for.

Mothers with children in wheelchairs and obvious neurological problems surrounded me, and I breathed several prayers of blessings for these people, as well as a prayer of thanksgiving for the health of my family.

I felt foolish for insisting we come here.

My daughter didnít belong in this place.

Our name was called, and we were ushered into a room. A round of residents and interns came in and spoke with Nikki, asking dozens of questions. They assured me the doctor would be in shortly.

After about twenty minutes, Dr. Oakes strode into the room. He was a professor at UAB and in charge of pediatric neurosurgery. He was a no-nonsense type of man, slightly imperious in nature, and obviously competent.

He jammed the MRIs into the light box, and sat down on a roll-around stool. He grabbed a long swab, told Nikki to open her mouth, and proceeded to poke her tongue, the roof of her mouth, and the back of her throat. He looked at the x-rays one more time then turned to me.

ďYour daughter needs surgery, and she needs it today.Ē

I stared at him, my mouth gaping. Nikki and I glanced at each other, and I turned with a puzzled frown back to the doctor.

ďYour daughter will be dead in six months, Mrs. Moon.Ē He pointed out the areas of compression on her brain stem, how her gag reflex was non-existent, and that her breathing would be the next thing to go.

ďIíll clear my schedule and weíll do the surgery in the morning.Ē With that, he walked out of the room, leaving me with a stream of nurses and receptionists as we made arrangements to admit Nikki to the hospital.

I donít remember much of the next twenty-four hours. Itís a blur.

Despite dire predictions of paralysis and possible brain damage, Nikki recovered one hundred percent.

She is healthy and active, and in her junior year of college.

Two days after the surgery my husband found me and, with tears in his eyes, thanked me for saving our little girlís life.

I shook my head. I knew who really needed to be thanked.

Sometimes our Fatherís voice is a whisper on the wind, or clarity of thought when reading a passage of scripture.

Sometimes itís a prodding, insistent reverberation deep in our souls, compelling us to obey.

I never want to be in a position to mistake that Voice again.

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This article has been read 1333 times
Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight01/10/08
Teresa Hollums01/10/08
I can only agree with the "still small voice" nudging us. Even when that nudge seems to call for inaction it still can be heard. Thanks for voicing your story.
Rita Garcia01/10/08
As Darlene said, AWESOME! Isn't He wonderful!
LauraLee Shaw01/10/08
What a moving story or testimony. God is good to speak to our hearts and minds in His perfect way and time.
Joanney Uthe01/10/08
What a touching example of the topic! I like how you brought it all back to your original thought. I also enjoyed the irony of how healthy she seemed compared to the other patients and the seriousness of her true condition.
Dee Yoder 01/10/08
Powerful entry and message! I was caught up in the whole story from beginning to end. Excellent.
jodie banner01/10/08
I am so relieved you got a second opinion.After reading the second paragraph and realizing the Dr. told you not to worry even though your daughter had acute symptoms I was afraid I was going to read a story about her dying.Great writing, I was engaged from the very beginning.
hannah anderson01/10/08
Excellent! The writing was vivid and seamless, and absolutely spot-on topic. I will definitely see this article on the list of winners next Thursday!
Joanne Sher 01/12/08
Very, VERY powerful. What an experience you have been through. Your ending is just perfect.
Emily Gibson01/12/08
Between a mother's instincts and the spirit of God moving you to action...what a powerful combo!
Debi Derrick01/12/08
What a fabulous, fabulous story of God's power. This piece of writing is truly a blessing.
Loren T. Lowery01/14/08
Wonderful testimony to that still, small voice we too often neglect to listen to.
Jan Ackerson 01/14/08
Powerful, beautiful writing. Gave me goosebumps.
Temple Miller01/14/08
You filled the story with so many great details that I could picture it as if I was watching a movie, or in the room. Great tenderness and respect for the Holy Spirit is evidenced. Thank you for a beautiful story.
Catrina Bradley 01/14/08
I was getting a sinking feeling as I read this and am so glad God intervened and your daughter is ok. What a testimony to listening to that small, still Voice that nudges our conscience. Excellent.
Linda Watson Owen01/14/08
Oh, WoW! What a story! and what a skilled storyteller! I'm guessing this is a true story. If it isn't, your skill is even more remarkable! ;-) I'm so happy for you that your daughter is healthy now!
Julie Ruspoli01/16/08
Such a special lesson. Your writing flowed well and was pleasant to read. Thank you for sharing, God Bless!
Tim Pickl01/16/08
This is excellently written from your heart, and God shines through it! Thanks
Sara Harricharan 01/16/08
This gave me goosebumps just reading this piece. Very good with the descriptions and most of all the little Voice. I am so glad she listened to it and the last line is one I want to be able to say with the same conviction. Great writing! ^_^
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/16/08
This is a very well written and memorable story with an excellent message about listening to God's voice to us.
Karen Wilber01/16/08
This is an amazing story in the hands of a gifted storyteller. A moving testimony.
Beth LaBuff 01/17/08
Wow! Amazing story. You've written this so well. I'm so thankful for your outcome. Great writing.
Debbie Wistrom01/18/08
This gave me chills, thanks for sharing.
Jan Ackerson 01/28/08
Hanne, this powerful story has just touched me again. I plan to feature it for the Front Page showcase for the week of Feb. 25. Look for it on the FW home page. You're definitely a FW up-and-comer!
Connie Allen02/25/08
Thanks for sharing. THANK GOD FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT and that you listened and heeded.
Jacquelyn Horne02/25/08
How awesome when we hear the voice of God! And how important to follow his leading. This is heart warming.
Cheryl Rogers02/26/08
This is a great read! Not only is it a heartwarming story, but it reminds others to give God the glory and teaches how to recognize God's voice. Those are important lessons.


Cheryl Rogers
Resources of encouragement in the Christian walk
LauraLee Shaw02/28/08
SO great to see this showcased on the front page, especially when God shines all throughout the piece. :)
Beth LaBuff 02/29/08
Congrats on being the FW Frontpage Showcase author with this!
Laurie Veneklasen02/29/08
Sweet cute article, but too cliche, good enough for the church bulletin but not the big time.

Left too many questions. Doesn't answer the question that everybody is asking how do we know when that little voice is legit or hypchondrism? How do you know that the dr wasn't just telling you what your hypochondrism and his pocket book wanted to hear. Maybe he was just showing off for the interns. Why didn't you trust your husband's judgment? We have a local story about a multi millionare dr. who presented his patients with all kinds of false evidence that they would die without his expensive treatments. My daughter has a friend whose hypochondriac mother ruined her young adulthood and maybe her whole life by enabelling (sp?) her daughter's headaches insisting that over ten different Drs. were wrong.

If the purpose of your story is to inspire people to listen to God, it isn't going to pass the cynicism test. Very sorry to go against the grain. Maybe more details about personal soul searching and personal history of listening to God's voice would help persuade the cynic.

Catrina Bradley 02/29/08
Congratulations on making the showcase!!!! I remember reading this wonderful account of God's voice, and I loved reading it again. Bless you. Cat
Anne Linington03/01/08
Hello; glad to read your article; thought it may be from here in the Uk, but probably Brirmingham, Alabama? Saddened by the cynical viewpoint, because I thought uou did hear God's voice and you and the family have received the results of such attentive listening.
Sally Hanan03/01/08
Wow. You wrote this extremely well, and I love that it is now showcased. I agree that the bitter post is way off--God speaks to his children, and he let you know what was important. I hope that it has not stolen any of your joy over hearing his voice that was loaded with so much love.
Debbie Roome 03/02/08
I just spotted this on the home page and am so glad I took time to read it. It's an awesome, inspiring story and one that needs to be told. Thank you.
Laury Hubrich 12/05/09
Thank you for sharing a small piece of your daughter's story. I'm so thankful to God that He put you in my path tonight. Is good to talk to someone that understands what this disease is like, so much like Chiari. Nice writing, too.