I awoke in the middle of the night with incredible abdominal pain. Probably the worst I had ever experienced. Certainly worthy of an immediate trip to the Emergency Room at my local hospital.
Memories of that night still are as vivid as when everything unfolded. No beds available in the ER; I was on a gurney in the hallway, somewhere in the hospital, so grateful someone finally had given me a big injection of pain medication.
X-rays had been taken, and I was able to settle down a bit, lying in the hallway, staring at the ceiling, wondering what had gone wrong. My gurney was outside a room with large windows separating me from it and the hall. Two doctors walked into the room carrying my x-rays; one patted me on the shoulder as they passed by. Turning my head to the side, it was easy to watch them as they looked at my x-rays.
What I heard next was not easy. In fact the words forever will be etched in my mind as possibly the most startling thing, ever.
“Oh my God, she’s not going to make it!”
Somewhere during the shock of such drastic words, and extreme speed with which everyone was moving around me, the doctors said my one remaining ovary had twisted, just as the other previously had done three years earlier, requiring emergency surgery when I was two months pregnant with my daughter. This time, it was even worse. Due to lack of blood supply, the ovary had become gangrenous, and there was seepage into my abdominal cavity. Surgery had to be performed, immediately.
It is with crystalline clarity that I recall the next event of that night. Moved to an area with a little more privacy, I had been flipped on my side, people were buzzing all around, and I was being given a spinal anesthetic. My face was towards a wall, and I could only hear what was going on behind me.
As the pre-surgery activity increased, all I had on my mind were my children. Two little ones, ages three and one, who, when I died, would be left alone with a not particularly competent father. I silently cried out to my God, in whom I had put the weight and trust of my life, asking him over and over, “What about my babies? What will they do without me?” I could not begin to imagine what would happen if they were left alone.
Mid-plea, mid-cry to God, the anesthesiologist began to sing as he worked. I was shocked! My favorite song from childhood being sung to me by a Japanese doctor, whose English was very challenging to understand. Yet, there it was, perfect and beautifully appropriate.
“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong. Yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me; the Bible tells me so.”
And that was all it took. My fears and concern vanished. I knew at that moment if God could cause a Japanese physician, whom I could barely understand, to sing my favorite childhood song, He had it under control. If I went home that night to be with Him, He would make sure my babies would be all right. Peace. I felt complete peace after that little song.
I woke up in recovery, so surprised and elated to be there, all I did was shout repeatedly, “I’m alive, I’m alive!” The nurses laughed, and one stroked my forehead, saying of course I was alive, that’s what they were there for. Fading in and out of a post-surgical fog made it impossible to explain just how miraculous I believed my successful surgery was. It was all right, though, because I would be returning to my family, and nothing could ever be more important than that.
Jump ahead one year. We had moved from Tacoma, Washington to Spokane. During the previous year, I fully recovered, but could not forget about the singing doctor, and impact his song had on my life. At one point, when I could not shake the memory, I wrote a letter to the anesthesiologist, thanking him for singing that night, and explaining how much it had meant to me.
A couple weeks later, I received a phone call from his office manager, who was crying. She called to tell me the rest of the story. She, too, was a Christian, and had been answering her doctor/employer’s questions about God, Jesus, and Christianity, but felt he wanted more than she could tell him.
When my letter arrived, she gave it to him, and he was stunned. He swore he had not sung to me that night. He was so curious, he took the letter to the hospital, and showed it to everyone who had been involved with my surgery. Each stated, emphatically, he or she had not sung my song.
The doctor was so moved by the experience, his manager said he was convinced an angel had sung to me, and to him that meant God was indeed a personal, caring Heavenly Father who made sure His children would find comfort in times of life and death struggles. He had become a Christian. As had the rest of his family.
To this day, I am so grateful to be alive, to have seen my children grow into the amazing adults they are, and to know that in my moment of being separated from death by a very thin veil, I was and still am but a child. And this child has an Abba father who can cause an angel to sing a song that reaches from His heart to mine, and stills all fear and concern.
Yes, Jesus loves me…