04 October 2016

the throne of grace

I can only think of one other time in my life when I boldly and definitively and vaguely prayed, "Lord, that simply cannot happen. Please, change this circumstance entirely.  Make it go away."

The first time was when I was pregnant with dear Sofia.  We were back to the States for a few week, and went for my only prenatal appointment.  When they found that heartbeat, we cried.  It was true!  Four months in, it was just beautiful to have someone say, "yep, there's a baby!"  But as they started to take more pictures, everyone grew quiet.

After several minutes and an awful lot of silence, they braced us for the worse.  Diagnosed with complete placenta previa, they explained firmly that I would not be returning to Haiti...and that even my dad's house was too far from the hospital in Columbus.  They talked about how I could bleed out in moments if I went into labor, how easy it would be to lose this baby, how not taking extreme caution could mean losing my own life.

We were numb, and they told us what we would need to do, what the next 5 months would have to look like, what I could expect, etc.

They gave me an appointment with a specialist for the next week, to help us create a plan, and we headed home, confused and overwhelmed.

Couldn't go home?  Lose the baby? Life threatening?

I remembering laying on my bed, my mind and heart swimming.  Matt would have to return to Haiti without me, how could we tell Lily, how could we tell anyone, what if I went into labor and Matt was in Haiti and there wasn't enough time to get us to the hospital in Ohio?  As the questions started to charge over me, I suddenly and unexpectedly felt a strong and clear hand of peace press on my heaving chest.

Utterly and amazingly and instantly calmed, all the chatter and what-ifs faded and I prayed boldly before the throne of grace.

God, I refuse to worry, I refuse to plan, I refuse to think through this. God, change this situation completely.  Change this situation completely, Lord, I ask you, for your glory.  I am grateful.

I refused to worry, refused to think about it, for the next week, keeping my palm on my stomach and praying that prayer any time I was tempted towards worry.

Long story short, a week later we went to the follow up appointment, they explained to us all of the same fears and horrors,  we talked about which hospital would be closest, warning signs, etc., and then to techs started take pictures.

This time, they were even more quiet.  Looking, measuring, printing, clicking, typing...all of which I didn't understand in the least as I prayed and listened to Sofie's heart.

Finally, they closed down the machine, and stood unexpectedly to leave.

"I don't know what to tell you," the specialist said.  "You simply don't have it" she said. "There is nothing wrong, everything looks beautiful, and I don't know what to say except that somehow everyone that looked at you was wrong.  We are SO sorry.  This past week must have been horrific."

It wasn't.  And they weren't all wrong.

God entirely changed my circumstances, as I asked Him to, by faith.  It was a miracle, and nothing less, and one I had felt clearly directed to ask for.

And I've been praying that same prayer for this hurricane day and night, despite seeing newscaster after article "guaranteeing" that we were going to see 36 inches of rain and 150 mph winds and total destruction and devastation, calling it "deadly hurricane Matthew" long before it got near people.  There was no doubt, everything would be entirely obliterated, catastrophe was immanent, and we heard from more people praying for us than I think we EVER had.

And it's now late Tuesday afternoon, we STILL haven't seen anything more than a light rain.  I mean, a rain storm we had a few weekends ago was FAR worse.
And I know the south of Haiti got a lot more rain (though still NOTHING like predicted) and I know that EVERY time we get steady rain, thoughts of cholera and malaria surface...I do NOT want to say that this is nothing, because it is not.  Many lost much, and many more are dealing with lots of water.  but.

I have prayed and prayed, and many of you have, that it simply would not be what they said.  That it would turn and weaken or move or ANYTHING.

And God exactly did.

As I listen to the soft rains and see the looming mountain which is typically buried in clouds during storms--not today--I am amazed at the miracle I am witnessing and experiencing, and as many colleagues and neighbors laugh at how easily the silly foreigners trust the news, I know that weather people are not perfect...but that they had nothing to do with this miracle we're sitting in.

As we speak to our staff throughout Northern Haiti, they have experienced light rain only, and even our friends in Port-au-Prince say light winds and light rains have been the extent.  Please keep praying for people on the southern coast, for wet homes tonight, for Haiti.

If all continues as is, we'll be back to classes tomorrow, grateful for and relying on your prayers, as always, and for the Mighty God who chooses and rejoices, again and again, to hear them.

Therefore, let us draw near with confidence
to the throne of grace,
so that we may receive mercy and 
find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16


  1. Oh praise the Lord Stacey!!! I have been continually praying along with multitudes of friends here....I've kept checking trying to find information but couldn't really find much. Will continue to pray for those affected but SO thankful it didn't turn out as they were predicting!

  2. God answers prayer! Thankful for your safety and the safety of those at Emmaus, and continued prayers for all those in Haiti affected by this storm. Love you.