A Call To The Remnant

Scottish Warriors for Christ- http://www.facebook.com/acalltotheremnant

The Day I met An Angel

Posted by appolus on February 15, 2008

“My icy heart melted in the presence of the Lord.Warm waters of love came flooding into my heart.The cry of my heart had been (Psalm 69)”Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink; let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters.

Do not let the flood of waters overflow me, nor let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut its mouth on me.Hear me, O Jehovah, for Your loving-kindness is good; turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies. And hide not Your face from Your servant; for I am in trouble; hear me quickly.”

 THE DAY I MET AN ANGEL

Angels Unawares?

The day started out with expectation. This would be the day for our final scan. My wife was three weeks away from her due date and she was definitely ready to give birth.

We joked as we drove to the hospital about the scan. Angie had not wanted to know the sex of our child, and I , the one who always tried to find Christmas presents early, wanted to confirm what my heart knew, that it was a girl.

I had become a Christian two years previous and life was good. We did not have much money, but our lives were totally different. Angie and I had met when we were 14. We both came from very violent and dysfunctional backgrounds. We sought comfort in each other and were very much in love.

Angie fell pregnant when she was 16. We married shortly after our 17th birthdays. Four months later Stephen was born 3 months premature, the cord had got wrapped around his neck and the Drs. estimated that he had went at least 6 minutes without oxygen. He lived for a day, and then, following the Doctors advice, we turned the machine of and he died shortly after that.

Our second son was born about a year and a half later. Christopher was a beautiful child, very happy and contented. When he was two, while the baby-sitter was watching him, a full kettle of boiling water was dropped on him. He received 3rd degree burns over 60% of his body. Christopher survived, but had to suffer horrendous treatments of salt baths and skin grafts. He also wore a special skin tight vest for the next two years.

When I was 26, I came to Christ. I left years of destructive behavior behind, including drugs and alcoholism. Most importantly, I left a stony heart behind. The Lord had given me a heart of flesh. For the first time in my life, I could take my son in my arms and tell him I loved him, so simple to so many, so beyond what I had been previously capable of.

Now two years later, everything was falling into place. I was a young, excited Christian and everything was falling into place. The Lord was giving me the desires of my heart and that is why I knew that this was the little girl I had always longed for.

As the lady scanned, she was not her usual self and seemed unusually preoccupied with what she was doing. Our previous visits with the same lady had always been light hearted and she knew how Angie and I differed on knowing the sex of the baby. I even tried bribing her, but to no avail:)

Five times she scanned the baby and measured. She asked us if we would mind waiting for five minutes because she had to speak to the Doctor. She assured us that there was nothing to worry about.I immediately started worrying.

We were ushered over to the Doctor, a very pleasant and kind lady. She said that there seemed to be a problem with the fluid and it was her best opinion that we should go ahead and deliver the baby that day. We were scheduled for a section, which would be Angies third and last and also a tubal.

We rushed home to get some things for Angie. We didn’t really speak much. An icy chill was rising up in me, starting at my toes and heading towards my heart. I prayed like crazy.

Two hours later we were in surgery and I held Angies hand while sitting at the safe end, behind the sheet.

Another defining moment in our lives had arrived. I looked up just in time to catch a look that the Doctor gave the nurse. This look was frozen in time.

I knew something was not right. The Doctor very gently asked me to come to the back of the room. There she showed me my son. I had been wrong. She then very quietly and with a lot of compassion told me that my son had all the classic signs of Down Syndrome.

I had hit an emotional brick wall that almost took my legs away from me. It was hard for me to think. “Do you still want the Tubal ?” I heard the Doctor say in the mist.

An hour later the poor Doctor came back and told me that my son was seriously ill and had to be rushed to the nearest Children’s hospital. I was really too numb to take this all in. I felt no connection to this child, no compassion, I was truly numb, my heart frozen in time. I held my wives hand and told her I would have to leave her and go to the other hospital.

I spent the night in intensive care with this child, still feeling nothing. How could the Lord let such a thing happen? I had been betrayed by the One I trusted more than life itself. It was hard for me to even think that thought, but it was there and trying to push itself to the front of my mind.

I got home about 7.00 Saturday morning, exhausted. As I took my wallet and loose change out of my pants I came across a piece of paper. It was a long list of telephone numbers to call about the “happy event.” I crumpled that paper in my hand and threw it across the room. I crawled into bed, pulled the covers over my head, and was not sure I cared if I woke up again.

Of course I did wake up, it was not a bad dream, it was all too real. The thing about a crisis in our lives is that the world keeps turning. Perhaps if it stopped then it would make more sense. Yet as I looked out of my window, there they were, the world, people, going about their business, didn’t they realize that the world has stopped spinning, why was I the only one falling?

I cried out to God and told Him that if He did not help me I was lost. In my Spirit I felt sure He would speak to me the following day at Church during worship which I loved. I arrived at Church right on time, so as not to talk to anyone.

The worship time started and the first song that was sung was “God will make a way, where there seems to be no way.” This was a promising start. Then the music stopped, which was unusual as we normally worship for at least 20 minutes if not more.

Then I realized what was going on. Twice a year they would have baby dedications. I could not believe the irony of this. Of all mornings, I would now have to sit and watch perfect little babies being dedicated to the sounds of Ooohs and ahhs from the congregation and loving family members. I thought, how cruel Lord, this was rubbing salt in my wounds. The worship started soon after and the tears were just rolling down my face.

The person next to me nudged me and handed me a note and pointed to a young woman of about 19 or 20 at the end of the row. The note read “I could not help but notice that you were crying, is there anything I can pray with you about.” I beckoned her over.

She asked what was wrong. I told her my son had just been born and he had Down Syndrome. She looked at me with confusion, the same look you get when you give a kid the right change at McDonalds.

I was momentarily irked by this kid, how was I suppose to explain Down Syndrome? I had no real idea what it was myself. In this one second as I was looking into her confused face I was suddenly looking into the face of the Lord, He also had the same confused look. He spoke into my Spirit and said to me “Frank, I do not know what Down Syndrome is either, all I know is that I have given you a perfect gift from the treasures of heaven.”

My icy heart melted in the presence of the Lord.Warm waters of love came flooding into my heart.The cry of my heart had been (Psalm 69)”Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink; let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters.

Do not let the flood of waters overflow me, nor let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut its mouth on me.Hear me, O Jehovah, for Your loving-kindness is good; turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies. And hide not Your face from Your servant; for I am in trouble; hear me quickly.

The irony is, the Lord used a flood to deliver me. He flooded my soul with love and understanding. And in that flood the enemy was drowned and I was delivered

Daniel, our son, has been through many trials and surgeries, yet nothing diminishes his light. Daniel is the light of our lives. The joy and the peace that he has brought to our house cannot be measured. He touches lives everywhere he goes and at the age on 15 continues to be a mighty source of blessing to all who come in contact with him.

I never saw that young girl again. I have often wondered if I had truly entertained an “Angel unawares.”

13 Responses to “The Day I met An Angel”

  1. timbob said

    Greetings. Thanks for sharing this testimony. We have a son with autism who turned 13 this month. The challenges are many but I cannot imagine life without him. As is the case with most autistic children, the symptoms didn’t begin showing up until he was almost two years old. Now he’s quite a handful and sometimes the situation can seem overwhelming. Yet I believe that Romans 8:28 is true; even when well-meaning acquaintances tell us “I don’t know how you handle it.” Thanks again for telling this.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.

    timbob

  2. appolus said

    Amen brother. Yes all things do work together, the steps of a righteous man and woman are ordered of God. No one else can tell us this, we have to discover it individually. In the yeilding of our life to Him, in the surrender of our own former hopes and dreams, in this lies the victory and the secret to abundant life, despite the circumstances………..Frank

  3. Wow, what a well written testimonial. And I do believe you were graced with an angel that day at church. Our kids with Down syndrome come equipped with Angels. My son’s very presence reveals who the angels are, and he repels the evil people from our lives. His very being sheds true light on character.
    My son is 14, and proving to the world that he is truly a MEMBER and not a spectator. He has inspired a petition to educate doctors to know more about Down syndrome so when they present a prenatal diagnosis, or a diagnosis after a baby is born they can tell positive things and not just the negative.
    This petition which currently has over 700 signatures can be found and signed at
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/DS-advocacy
    God Bless you and your family.
    Sandra McElwee

  4. joannmski said

    Hi there Frank. God bless you and your family! I am so glad that you were able to enter into the joy of your son’s life. As to your question, I do think that my brother Jerry is happier living in a group home than at my parents’. My parents both died in their 50s. He lived at home until he was 21, then came and lived with me. At the age of about 24 he moved to a group home, and it has been great for him. I guess it’s sort of like moving off to a college dorm. You love your parents, and your family, but going off to live in a fraternity (though sheltered, with supervision) is sure fun.

  5. appolus said

    Hi Joann. That makes a lot of sense. I am sure your parents would be very happy to see how much fun he is having and to see how independant he is.

    Daniel is fifteen and is quite independant himself. I have a strange feeling he is going to want to do something similiar. I am not sure people would understand , people who do not have special needs kids, that this would actually be the hard choice for us.

    There is not the same letting go and relasing with special needs kids as there is with “regular,” kids. Thanks for your comments and thank you for looking after your brother. My wife and I are comforted to know that Daniel has a big brother(24) who would look after him too and do what is best for him. If that is in a sheltered facility, then praise God. So as an older parent(we are in our forties) I thank you Joann on behalf of your parents for being loving and kind and for looking our for your brother, what a blessing……….Frank

  6. Donna said

    I don’t know how to send these links concerning autism directly to timbob, so I post them here in case they may be of some help. (I am not related in any way to these people.)

    http://www.bodyecology.com/autism.php

  7. micey said

    what a powerful testimony! thanks for sharing it and praise God He is so good! 🙂

  8. appolus said

    Hi Sandra…You are absolutely correct about the Doctors needing educated. Our local tv channel , just last week, ran a story on this particular subject. Very sadly about 90% of all children in the womb who test positive for Down Syndrome are aborted. Of course one of the driving forces behind better and better testing to identify Down Syndrome kids in the womb are insurance companies. The reason is obvious. I believe the average birth costs about $6000. When my son Daniel was born fifteen years ago, he had racked up a bill in the first year of about $80,000 due to other illnesses. The ignorance on this subject is quite scary. Someone on the prayer chain of my church recently asked for prayer for a couple that had received the sad news that their unborn baby may perhaps be Down Syndrome. I pointed out the fact that Down Syndrome is not a disease and that I could make a strong argument that these kids are angels of light, sent to show a cynical world that there are deeper aspects to life than “looking good,” and getting a well paid job. My son is peaceful and contented and is a lover. He has no hatred, is not racial, is not violent. When was the last time you heard a crazed Down Syndrome person murder someone ? 🙂 Or rape someone? Or step on someones fingers as they ascended the corporate ladder? Maybe we could all do with an extra Chromosome ? 🙂 There is a confused group of people in the Bible being ushered into heaven and they ask “Lord when did we do all these things?” And the Lord says to them “When you did it to the least of them, you did it to me.” The least of them in this example is the most vulnarable in society, those who need protected, those who do not have a voice. Society can be judged on how they protect and bless “the least of them.” The move towards eradicating Down Syndrome people is a measurement of the superficiality of our society. We look back and rightly are horrified at Hitler for killing millions of innocent people, including mentally handicapped people. Yet modern day society is moving towards the eradication of everything that is not “perfect,” or “normal.” It will be societies loss.

  9. appolus said

    Thanks Micey, yes He is good 🙂

  10. faithwalk said

    I am always blessed by your posts and emails that so clearly lift up the Lord and have an eternal, grace filled perspective. Thank you for blessing us with your testimonies Frank.

    We have known a few adult Downs kids, in fact there is a young man Carl who works where I do. He lives in a group home, comes to work every day on the bus and cleans the windows and tables and such. He has a great sense of humor; can’t resist eating everyones candy when it’s around :-), and is a joy to us all.

    He likes being independent and grown up and does very well as did our other friend several years back. Downs kids are special and your son is blessed to have been given parents who see and cherish him as the gift he truly is.

    May the Lord Jesus give you grace and strength as you raise your son for Him!

    Susan

  11. appolus said

    Hi Susan… I appreciate the comments. I am always amazed at the wisdom of God and how it runs absolutly counter to conventional wisdom. There is not a therapist in the world who would have looked at our situation 15 years ago, looking at two reasonably dysfuctional adults who came out of extremly dysfuctional backgrounds and say to themselves, “I know what these guys need, they need a Down Syndrome kid in their life.” (Divorce among special needs kids parents run between 70 and 80%) Yet that is exactly what God did and since we yielded to His will for our lives, He revolutionized our lives in ways that we could never have imagined. To yield, to surrender to embrace and to “give thanks for everthing,” is to magnify our Lord and to be changed……..Frank

  12. Keri Hollister said

    Hi Frank,
    I finally got to read your blog and being of similiar backround, late to arrive at the front door of Christ’ love, know that we were put in the presence of angels when God gave us our boys. I know this because if not for Alex, I would not know His glory or grace. I see the light you speak of in Daniel and have referred to Alex’s smile in the same manner. We are the lucky ones, Frank. Even more so because we know it. God bless and thanks for gift of words. Keri (AKA-Alex’s Mom)

  13. appolus said

    Kerri write “late to arrive at the front door of Christ’ love.” I like that Kerri. Yes, we are surrounded by angels of differing sorts, if only the world had eyes to see 🙂 God bless you Kerri, your doing a great job with Alex………Frank

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