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The hidden Mercies of God

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As many of you have already realized, I have lead a somewhat dramatic life, even for a drama queen.


I have spent many hours asking God why, especially why me?  It is so difficult to see God's hand in some of the most tragic moments of our lives. If you will bear with me, I would like to share one of those moments. I did not want to put this as part of my answer to the premature twin who is struggling, but it is those posts that brought this to mind.


When I was 19, and in my freshman year of college, I became active in Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship.  For some baffling reason, the chapter wanted to send me to the summer leadership training retreat on their campus in upper Michigan. 


The camp began the first week of August and I was enrolled in two rather heavy psych classes  and one psych statistics class that I was completely clueless in. To me, I thought they were just pulling numbers out of the air. It made no sense to me. I went in for extra help from the prof almost daily. One thing I could never understand, and still don't to this day, was a thing called "F" tests.  


In order for me to attend this Leadership Training Camp, I would have to go around, and ask each of my professors if they would release me two weeks early from the summer semester. I agreed to turn in any necessary papers and take my finals early. I was amazed that they all agreed to it.  It seemed like God really wanted me to go.

When I got to my Stat's final, the entire test was on "F" tests.  I'm sure there were tears that marked that test, because I cried all the way through it. Instead of attempting the math, I wrote a long letter to my prof, on the test, begging that he give me an incomplete. This was a required course and I could not fail it.  I sadly put the test into his mailbox and felt it was in God's hands, because I believed His Will was for me to go to camp.


I went home early and packed for the 12 hour trip, by greyhound bus, to the camp.  What was so amazing to me, was my nearly silent father had agreed to drive me to the bus station. He talked to me more on that trip to downtown Chicago then ever before in his life. He told me about his childhood, his father, how my uncle lost his leg when he was run over by a train. He told me private, beautiful memories I had never heart before. 


By the time I got to the Bus terminal, I was beginning to feel sick.  Like I was getting a cold. As I boarded that Bus, my father grabbed me and kissed me right on the lips. I said "no Dad, I think I'm catching a cold."  It felt like the most important kiss he had ever given me.


During the 12 hour trip I became very ill. By the time I reached the camp, I had a 104 degree fever. They put me directly into the infirmary and called a doctor to come out to see me.  I was diagnosed with a severe throat infection and put on an antibiotic. 


I slowly got better, the fever went away, but they kept me in the infirmary for the next two days. I was glad I was not being sent home. Still believing that God wanted me at that Camp.


During the third night there, I had a very restless sleep. I kept waking up every hour on the hour. I had no idea why. Then near six in the morning a nurse came up to awaken me. It was still dark out and so of course I asked what was the matter?  She looked into my eyes and told me my mother was on the phone and wanted to talk to me. That my father had died during the night.  I can still remember a feeling of shock start at the top of my head and spread down my entire body. All I kept thinking was "I have to control my voice, I have to control my voice," as I walked to the phone. Of course I squealed out "Mommy, what happened?" I had no control of my voice.  I remember my mother's saying, "Oh, honey, I was the one who wanted to tell you. I wish they had not told you."


Please  friends, realize I was 12 hours away from my family. I had no way to get home.  But God had planned ahead for that, it was a miracle. Two pilots were visiting some missionaries at the camp at that very moment. They had a small single engine plane. The camp director had called everywhere to try to get me a ticket to fly to Chicago's O'Hair airport, where my uncle was going to pick me up.  They found one.....one last ticket available on a flight to Chicago, leaving in two hours.  No way to drive there in two hours, but remember the pilots?  They flew me to Detroit in time to catch the flight to Chicago and to the waiting arms of my uncle.


Miracle after Miracle after Miracle.  And I had finished the summer session early at college, so I could stay and comfort my mother for the rest of the summer.  My grades came and the Stat teacher had passed me.  All these hidden mercies within the worst tragedy of my life.


I've verbally told this story before, but have never written about it. Grief takes a long time to work through, and sometimes we can still cry. But I remember every miracle God had provided. To the smallest details. People were praying for me from all over the world, but God had prepared the way ahead of time.


I still sometimes get angry with my Gracious Lord, and occasionally ask why about a lot less painful experiences. I have had my answer from God. "I am preparing the way for you."  "You are never alone, and I care."


Yes my life has been tough.  But God has known ahead of time and has prepared the way. I've never not felt His presence.


Many years later, Natalie Grant wrote and sang a song that represented both the pain and gratitude toward God I feel.  I'd like to share it here if I can.



Love to All,


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Mary Kaithe: Your story is an example of God's presence in the life of a believer. He is present all the time and guides us through those tough spots. When God stands with us, we might sense His presence, even if we don't understand at the time what is happening to us. I love the song.

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