Amarillo, TX - 1978 - I had made a conscious decision to move back "home" where my daughter would have some family. I had gone snow-skiing with family and friends and had fallen hard on my tail bone. My back injury was painful and I couldn't function. I went to a doctor who prescribed Valium and bed rest. It was winter and it had snowed the day before. My little girl would get up and I'd have left a bowl of cereal on the table and she would get the milk and pour it in. I heard a knock at the door and I heard her saying she would get it and I hollered at her "NO!" I wrapped my robe around me and opened the door just a crack. A man in a beard, who was jumpy and looking over his shoulder, asked me if his little girl was in my apartment. "No", I said. Then he asked, "well, can I come in a look; her footprints led me here." I told him he could not come in, that his daughter was not with me. I told him to check the other three apartments in my building and I shut the door and bolted it. I looked through the window and I never saw him come around. He just disappeared.
Back in Los Angeles, Summer 1979 - My little girl and I had returned to Los Angeles for a job. I had rented what should have been the manager's apartment because it faced the street. I had invited several friends over for my southern fried chicken and was waiting for them to arrive. I had the sliding door to the blocked-in patio open. The front door was right next to it. Someone knocked on my door, and stupid me, I just opened it thinking it was one of my guests. But instead, there stood a young man with a folded newspaper under his arm, hands in his pockets, and hopping around from foot to foot and looking around. He had this English accent and he said, "May I use your telephone? It's really urgent!" I told him "no" and that there was a pay phone right down the block. He kept saying, "please, it's urgent, please let me use your phone!" I probably blew him off with some choice words and shut the door.
Eastern USA, 1980 - I moved here at my sister's urging of "come here and get married, have babies and be happy!" Sounds so silly now. So I did get married and my husband was a firefighter. We lived in an apartment where the doors were inside a cavernous space where the stairs to the upstairs apartments also lay. It was nighttime and there was a knock on the door. I turned down the television, I looked through the peephole and found him looking right at me. He was dressed in a black leather jacket and jeans and had brown hair down to his shoulders and a mustache. He began, "Can you let me in to use your phone? I see you in there; just open the door. I'm not a burglar or anything." He kept knocking for a minute and then he was gone. I didn't answer and stood at the front windows so I could see which way he went when he left. He left, alright, but he had to have slid right up to the windows of the next apartment to leave without my seeing him.
Eastern USA, January 2005 - After many years of problems with my back I consented to a double fusion to solve the problem. Between the surgery in January and the end of April 2005, my pain grew steadily. Two more MRIs and my doctor assures me its "only a little arthritis". This only fueled my husband and daughter's theory that I was putting on for attention. I cannot tell you how ugly my husband was to me during that time, but remember, he thought I was faking and it angered him. He would not even sit in the room with me. I prayed all day, every day for God to heal me, but the pain became so bad that it felt like someone was digging into my back with a sharp knife. I finally shook my fists at the heavens and screamed "WHY WON'T YOU HELP ME?" I checked myself into the hospital on April 28, was diagnosed as having staph and a bond marrow infection. I thought it was a death sentence. Twelve days in the hospital, a second surgery to remove the hardware from the fusion, and I went home with a PICC line. I could not even walk for the paid in my right hip and leg from the bone marrow infection. A nurse met us and I was put to bed and watched as she showed my husband how to change the tubing and start a fresh bag of medication every 24 hours. I was so depressed, I just cried. Now I had this bag that lay next to my head as I slept infusing a powerful antibiotic to kill the staph and bone marrow infection, I could hear it cycling every few minutes and it finally lulled me to sleep. I had to carry the bag and change the tubing every day for 8 weeks. Once a week, a nurse would come to check on me and bring seven fresh bags of antibiotics to put in the refrigerator until I was finally released in July. But I had a long way to go coming off the strong medications, etc. They made me so fearful and depressed for no reason whatsoever.
Why am I telling you all of this? It's to show you all of the times when I could have, or surely would have, died except for some higher power. I resolved after I got well in 2005 that God had taught me a lesson that was many years overdue. God knew how I was raised. He knew that I knew better, but I had put Him out of my mind. Thank God, He didn't put me out of his thoughts.
I saw that God had been with me all of those years, even when I had not acknowledged Him. He saved me from probable rape and possibly being killed. He saved me from a horrible motorcycle accident that would have surely taken my life. He saved me from a terrible infection and 8 months of suffering before I was well.
What I've Learned.
God allowed the pain and suffering for His greater Glory. He showed me that He was Master and I was Servant. He made me come to my knees before he allowed me to come home, to HIM. And there I have grown and grown with each passing year. My fear of dying is gone. I look forward to meeting Jesus and God, and seeing all of my family who have gone before me. I am so very thankful for the infections and all of the pain because now I know, for sure, exactly WHO is in control of everything on this earth, right down to one person - ME! I have a wonderful husband, a blended family of four adult children and four grandchildren. I am so very blessed.
Never give up Hope, for without Hope, you have nothing. God was with me all of those years, and now, He and the Son live in me and I in them. Don't ever give up.
Be still and listen! God has a plan for you, and he can calm any rough seas you might face. This is where FAITH comes in. It's so easy to let fear and anxiousness come before we think to pray, but prayer is what we need. We need as much prayer as we can muster, and we need to spread the word of God to others and help bring them to their own salvation.
I am blessed beyond anything I ever thought would happen to me. Years before, I could not grasp "having a relationship with Jesus Christ and God." I have it all now and I'm happier than I have ever been. I pray that this long narrative has blessed you in a positive way. When I think of all those things I wrote about above, I get a knot in my stomach for what could have happened. But my Lord and my God were watching out for me because they must have felt me worthy AND they had a higher plan for me. And that's to spread the word to YOU!
May he bless you with all that you need, and all of those whom you love.