Jennifer, a registered nurse, wheeled my husband back in to the recovery room after his second cataract surgery. Even though Hank was groggy and slurring his words a bit, I immediately recognized the story he’d apparently been recounting to her.
“Our son, Aaron, had emergency surgery at this very hospital when he was only seven months old.” The sound of babies crying as Hank was wheeled out of his surgery room must have sparked his memory of that frightening night.
Hank finished his sentence just as Jennifer pushed his wheelchair into the room where I waited for him. I instantly recalled the horror of our pediatrician telling us, “You must take your baby to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa immediately, or I’ll call an ambulance to take him. I’ve already called the hospital, and they’re standing by now to do surgery when you arrive.”
Little Aaron had spent the previous few hours screaming in pain and drawing up his legs, then falling fast asleep – almost instantly, turning white as a sheet. I suspected a stomach virus– until I changed his diaper and found fresh blood! Even though my pediatrician’s office was closing, the doctor insisted I bring Aaron in immediately.
Dr. *Williams diagnosed Aaron with Ileocolic Intussusception, or “telescoping intestines”, in simple terms. Aaron’s intestine was going up inside itself, cutting off his blood and oxygen supply, so he was literally passing out (not falling asleep, as I’d thought). When the intestine would come back out of itself (like extending a telescope), it caused severe pain and fresh blood loss. Dr. Williams said the blocked blood and oxygen supply to the brain would cause death within 24 hours without immediate surgical intervention! *Name changed for privacy.
“Without this surgery, your baby will die within 24 hours .”
I paced the halls of that hospital from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., crying and praying non-stop. In those moments, I suppose I experienced a similar sense of helplessness that countless parents feel when their child is gravely ill or injured. Hurting for oneself is one thing— but hurting for your child is much worse. Hank and I both (and Aaron’s older siblings and grandparents) were shaken to the core. Thankfully, Jesus is our core- our Rock. And we surely needed Him in that moment.
That must have been what Nurse Jennifer’s family felt when her three-year-old nephew, Caleb, was diagnosed with Leukemia.
Aunt Jennifer, whom Caleb called “Sissy”, had recently failed her nursing board exams — for the second time. Jennifer considered herself “the good little church girl who loved Jesus and tried to do what’s right”, she told us.
When she failed the nursing boards the first time — and her “partying friends” who didn’t go to church — all passed the exam, she found herself disillusioned and angry at God.
Several months later, Jennifer took the nursing board exam again. She was extremely nervous, with vomiting and diarrhea (like the first time). But this time, Jennifer was also very angry at God, asince He’d “let her fail” the first time.
When she failed the board exam for the second time, Jennifer said, “I just gave up. Since I was doing what I thought was right and still failed, I told God, “I don’t need You!”
It was just a few months afterwards that Jennifer’s three-year-old nephew, Caleb, was diagnosed with a form of Leukemia (a blood disease). Several weeks later, Caleb told his Aunt Jennifer something that changed her life — and her faith in God.
“Sissy, I have something to tell you.”
“What?” I asked Caleb, drawn into his eyes, wide open with such urgent news to share.
“Jesus came to my house.”
Flabbergasted, I gently prodded the three-year-old.
“Well, what did He look like?“
“A king,” Caleb replied matter-of-factly, as if everyone should have known that!
“Did He talk to you??” My mind racing, now!
“Yes! He told me He made my blood all better, and I wouldn’t be sick again!”
Caleb was convinced. If Jesus Himself came to personally deliver such incredible news, it must certainly be true.
Alone later that day, Jennifer fell to her knees in repentance. Her heart softened by this obvious miracle, she prayed to God for forgiveness. All her pride and anger melted away by the overwhelming mercy God had just displayed!
The doctors and caregivers proceeded with Caleb’s (already scheduled) chemotherapy and radiation treatments. His family had been warned that he’d most likely be very sick with nausea and weakness, and lose all his hair. Incredibly, neither of those happened!
At his very next appointment (after Jesus visited him), Caleb’s cancer was declared to be “in remission” — GONE… undetectable!
A few months later, Jennifer thought to ask little Caleb a pertinent question.
“Caleb, why did you tell me that Jesus came to your house, instead of telling your mom or nana first?”
“Because Jesus told me to ‘Go tell Sis‘”, Caleb replied.
God knew that Jennifer, Caleb’s dear aunt whom everyone called “Sis”, needed that “hug” from Jesus! It was more evidence of the Lord’s tender love — and forgiveness — toward Jennifer.
It reminds me of what Jesus told the women at the tomb after He’d risen from the dead. He said, “Go tell My disciples and Peter…” Peter, the former foul-mouthed, impulsive fisherman who’d denied knowing Jesus three times right before He was crucified… that Peter. What mercy God showed! Mark 16:7
About six months after Jesus visited Caleb, a strange incident happened at the hospital where Jennifer works. She said that a woman who’d been discharged after having hand surgery, showed up back at the hospital with complications.
Strangely, the woman came back to the surgery center — not to the emergency room, as she should have. Jennifer, a nurse tech at the time, was assigned to take her vital signs. She asked the woman why she came to the surgery center, instead of the ER.
“Someone at the hospital who took my call told me to return to the surgery center.”
Jennifer and other staff checked with the hospital switchboard to find out who would have given this patient wrong instructions, contrary to protocol. Eerily, no one there had talked to the woman.
Whoever the stranger on the phone was, they told the woman to go right where Jennifer happened to be on duty! I believe it was an angel! (Reminds me of my song, “Entertaining Angels, Unaware”! Listen)
As Jennifer took her blood pressure, the woman (who’d never met Jennifer) made a startling statement.
“Jesus told me that you have a son.”
“Why, ye-ess…. I do. He’s almost two years old.”
“The Lord wanted me to tell you that your son will grow up to have great wisdom. He will grow in stature and have the favor of God.”
Jennifer was stunned, and replied, “Wow!” Jennifer told me she’d been praying for those very things for her son since she was pregnant with him.
Then the woman continued with her message from the Holy Spirit of God.
“The Lord also told me that you will pass the test you’re about to take.”
Jennifer was completely floored by her words, undeniably from God!
Jennifer told my husband and me that this happened on a Friday, and she was scheduled to take her nursing board exams — for the third time — the following Tuesday.
“I’d never met this woman before — yet she knew so much about me!” Jennifer recounted to us.
Jennifer said she was completely calm this time — no vomiting or diarrhea, no fear! When she walked to the parking lot after taking the test, she was praying that she’d passed!
Almost to her car, a woman approached Jennifer and said, “I am not sure why I’m telling you this, but things happen in God’s timing, not ours.”
Indeed, just as God had foretold through the woman in the hospital, Jennifer learned later that she did pass her nursing boards this time!
Over and over, Jennifer witnessed the mercy and intimate love of Jesus for her. God demonstrated His kindness and patience — and concern about every detail of her life — in inexplicable ways!
God uses the spiritual gift of “a word of knowledge” to give supernatural knowledge about a person or situation. These messages from the Holy Spirit are sent through various ways, including a strong impression or thought that the “messenger” wouldn’t have come up with on their own. Supernatural knowledge from God can come through dreams (while sleeping) or visions (while we are awake), as well. (See 1st Cor. 12:7-11)
This has happened in my own life countless times. Only maybe three times, however, has the Holy Spirit spoken to my own spirit so strongly that I could “hear” the exact words in my spirit / heart/ mind. By the way, any genuine gift or act of the Holy Spirit of God will never contradict
anything God has already said in His written Word, the Bible.
To sum up our own story (of baby Aaron’s life-saving surgery), we did not have medical insurance at the time. Some friends from church helped us put on a Gospel Singing fundraiser, which raised $1,500.
We had applied for any financial help / discounts we were eligible for at the hospital, based upon our income. Our final bill from the hospital for Aaron’s surgery? $1,497!!! Praise God for His faithful provision, once again!
And Caleb, who was healed of Leukemia after Jesus visited him? He’s now 17 and healthy as a horse. More importantly, Caleb is a faithful follower of Jesus, Jennifer said! Also, her son Riley is now 15 and “loves Jesus”, his momma reported.