In 1987, I was having a very hard summer because of a difficult marriage. I was working full time while my husband was trying to start a dental HMO. He was under a lot of stress, we were living on my measly income, and we were in debt up to our eyeballs. One Wednesday afternoon in August, right before I was getting ready to leave work, the charge nurse asked me if I would stay over an extra 4 hours and work. I called my husband, and he agreed it was fine. However, instead of taking it easy and caring for the same 4 moms and babies I had taken care of for the last 8 hours, I was given four different patients. Mind you, I was not happy about this.
One patient’s name was Judy. She was 23 weeks pregnant, but her bag of waters had broken while she was on a camping trip with her family and her prognosis for delivering a viable fetus was poor. As I walked into her room to introduce myself, I repressed my anger about my assignment, smiled, and began a conversation with her. She told me she had two young children at home, and that she had two miscarriages before. I felt so bad for her, and told her that her kids could come visit her. That little bit of information made her feel better. By the time I was ready to go see my other patients, we’d made a wonderful connection.
Two days later on Friday morning, I found out Judy was in Labor and Delivery but that she had delivered a stillborn little girl. Her husband, Joe, was there. I comforted them, and Judy asked if we could get together next week or so because she felt such a strong friendship developing. I said sure, but that I would call her after a couple of weeks, since I was going on vacation to the Smoky Mountains with my kids.
That next day, my two kids and I drove to Tennessee. My husband stayed in Columbus, since he was busy with work. After the vacation, I came home and learned my grandma had died. The stress of my sad marriage, and the death of my grandma sent me over the edge, and I had a nervous breakdown, and ended up in the psychiatric ward of our local hospital. But while I was there, Judy sent me flowers. And when I got out, we became great friends. We’d go camping together, have bonfires, picnics, and even birthday parties for our kids.
Soon, I started going to her Bible study on Tuesday nights, not because I wanted to feel closer to God, but because I thought studying the Bible might be “interesting.” But the Bible and God called to me, and soon, I felt such a wonderful love for the Lord. The kind of love Judy had showed me. It blew me away that Jesus died for me. It was personal. He died for me! While I was still a sinner, He died for me. Not when I cleaned up my act, but while I was still messed up, God sent His only Son to die for all of us who accepted Him as Savior. So, I accepted Him into my heart, and He began to change me into a new creation. A loving, kind person. Not an angry, bitter wife. It was awesome. Looking back on it and reading what I have written, it sounds so easy and simple. Right now, as I am writing, I wonder how non-believers would react to this story. Oh well- on with the show…..
In the meantime, I helped Judy and Joe find an obstetrician who specialized in high-risk pregnancies. A year later, they delivered a healthy baby girl named Anna. She is now a delightful young lady, a beautiful believer and (like her parents) so on fire for the Lord.
So, I look at it this way. God looked down on the earth. He saw 2 people who needed “new life”. I needed it spiritually, and Judy needed it literally. He got us together, and BAM! We both got new life. Awesome, eh?