In the blog last week, I wrote about learning to listen for God’s voice. I believe that when God speaks to us, we know, that we know, that we know that it is His voice. Some years ago, I felt very strongly compelled to go and pray for a friend’s daughter who was very sick.
Michelina and Nigel are friends from church, and their baby daughter Sarah was critically ill in hospital. I have asked Michelina to tell the story from her perspective.
It was January 1988, and one morning, I became aware that our 10-month-old daughter Sarah didn’t seem like herself. She had a small sore on her ear, and she was lying like a little rag doll, with no energy or interest in what was happening around her. I rang for the doctor, who said she had a virus, but when she was no better the following day, we rang the doctor again. This time, she was admitted to hospital, and that’s when we realised how seriously ill she really was.
I remember standing by her bed, and several doctors asked us to step back as Sarah started to convulse. I have never felt so helpless in all my life, watching my baby so ill and not being able to do anything to help her. The doctors did not know what was wrong with her, but they told us it was likely she had a very serious virus. In my helplessness, I was crying out to the Lord, ‘Lord, Lord, help her… please help her.’ It was like our whole world had stopped. I remember also praying: ‘Lord, if you’re going to take her, please take her… but if you’re going to restore her to us, please let her be whole and healthy.’ I asked God to give me a sign that if she was going to be well, she would sit up. If I saw that, I would know that God would heal her.
Over the next few hours, the doctors were able to settle Sarah down, and a prayer chain was set up so that our church could pray. Over the next few days, Sarah was very sick and was put into isolation while the doctors tried to find out what was wrong. One day, I was sitting by Sarah’s bed when our friend from church, David, suddenly walked in. I said to him, ‘How did you get in here? They won’t let anyone but family in?’ David said he had just walked in and was there because he knew God had told him to come. He laid hands on Sarah, prayed, and then left the hospital.
I am not joking when I say that by lunchtime, Sarah had gone from being critically ill to sitting up. I had prayed for a sign, and there she was, just as I had prayed, sitting up! I wanted to take her home right there and then, but the doctors said she was still very sick. I knew in my heart though that God had heard my prayer. I knew he was going to heal her.
Sarah then had to endure a painful lumbar puncture. I had to hold her while they put a needle into her spine to test her spinal fluid.
We were then given unbelievable news – Sarah had Meningococcal meningitis.
10 days had passed since she had been admitted, and it is almost unheard of for children to fight this strain of meningitis without antibiotics.
In fact, just a few weeks earlier, very sadly a 12-year-old boy who lived in the same local area had died from the same illness. The doctors immediately gave Sarah antibiotics, but they told us they couldn’t believe that she had survived. I said that we believed in God and we believed that He had healed her. The doctors told us they didn’t know what had happened, but it was clear something had. We were told that Sarah might have hearing problems or other development challenges, but I said, ‘no’. I had prayed that God would restore Sarah completely, and I knew He would be faithful to what He had promised.
Sarah was in hospital for a few more days, and after two weeks, she was allowed home. Even the local newspapers called her a ‘miracle baby’.
We just knew that God had saved her life.
Today, Sarah is 29 years old. She is a teacher, plays violin and piano, and is a mum to two children. We can only give all the glory to God for what He did in Sarah’s life. Sarah is literally a miracle, and it amazes me to look back and remember all that God has done.
I wanted to share Sarah’s story as a powerful reminder that we serve a big, miracle-working God. You might be facing your own ‘Sarah situation’ right now, but can I encourage you to listen for God’s voice, to pray, and to trust God with the outcome. He says that He will never, ever leave us, and He is always faithful to His word.
To God be all the glory.