If I were to ask you where you were a year ago today would you be able to tell me? Chances are, probably not. May 1 is a special day to me, and here I’ll tell you my story.
On May 1, 2009, I woke up just as any other day. My cousin and I headed to Dallas Christian School to watch a friend play baseball. It was a very important game, the game that the team had been preparing for all season long. I remember sitting on the bleachers watching a good game. They put up a good fight, but sadly it just wasn’t enough. They lost a game they had expected to win, but little did I know that I would possibly be experiencing more than one loss that day.
I drove home with the windows down, music blasting, just living life at its best. I pulled in the house and ran straight up stairs to do Lauren’s hair. We were celebrating her 17th birthday in an hour, expecting 50-60 guests. While doing her hair, my dad came up and told us something you never want to hear. Dad told Lauren she had to cancel her party. Lauren not understanding asked Dad why. Then my Dad quietly said with a shaky voice, “Girls, there is a chance your mom wont live through today.”
In a moment of shock, Lauren and I went downstairs only to see our mother being carried by my father, almost completely lifeless. All of this had happened in a span of about 4 minutes, and as quick as it happened, was as quick as she was gone. We had no idea where they went, finding ourselves alone with 50 guests on the way.
Not knowing what to do, Lauren and I jumped in the car and began driving to the nearest hospital. Speeding close to 100, I was praying I wouldn’t get pulled over, but more importantly I prayed that today wouldn’t be the day I lost my best friend. We arrived at the hospital to find our mother had been taken into the ER. Lauren and I sat alone, with nothing but fear and anticipation filling the room. Our pastor was the first there, and I will never forget the prayer he prayed. “Dear Lord, we lift April up to you. We pray for you to heal her, but if it is your will God, take her home. Amen.” Honestly, at first I was not okay with that at all. My mom, best friend, was in the ER lifeless.
My Granny came out a few minutes after telling us that she had food poisoning. Now, I’m no doctor, but I am an Education major aware of the symptoms of food poisoning. I can assure you, my mother did not have food poisoning. She went back in once more and came out a few minutes later and told it and us her brain was bleeding, and it was not looking good. If you can imagine, Lauren and I were hysterical. All I could think is begging to the Lord, “not my mom, Lord. Not now.” My Granny came out one final time and told us she had had a stroke and had to be careflighted to another hospital.
Lauren and I got to go in and see her. It was something I never want to see again. She was almost completely lifeless. I remember being at her bedside drowning in tears as I reached my hand out to her to hold it. She couldn’t hold my hand. She couldn’t even grasp it. All she could do was throw her hand on top of mine, trying to hold it. Worst. Feeling. EVER. I remember telling her I loved her, and watching her mouth move….but with no response. I know what she was trying to tell me that day, and I know she heard me.
As we sped to the new hospital, silence was the only thing being said. I mean, what could anyone even say? We didn’t know if my mom was even going to live. We arrived at the hospital and stayed in ICU, along with almost 100 of our closest friends and family. I was overwhelmed by the love and support that day, and I thank God everyday for all 100 people that were there.
Mom had a hard road ahead of her. She was in the hospital for about another week or so, and my Dad never left her side, Now ladies, that is the kind of grenades you want a man to catch for you. Not even three weeks later, I left for 11 weeks to work for student life. I can honestly tell you it was not by my strength that I left my mom that long in her condition. It was by the Lord, and his strength only.
It took my mom almost a complete year to heal…. Hallelujah. Through all of this I learned how truly sovereign the God we serve is. Even in the times where we are so weak and beat down by sin and distress that we can’t even reach our hand out to grasp him, he holds it for us. The stroke was hard, but as weird as this may sound, I wouldn’t take it back, neither would my mom. I saw lives touched and changed, in my life and others around me.
Know this for sure: the God that I had to cling to during this time is the same God who is alive today. Our God is NOT dead, He’s ALIVE! And that’s something to rejoice in…. 100 strokes over.