In November 2000, I was going on 7 months pregnant and enjoying a ride with family from Queens, NY back home to Brooklyn. We were all laughing, joking, and listening to music in the car and I can recall even looking at a JcPenney maternity catalog looking for the perfect Thanksgiving outfit for myself and the little lady in my stomach. It was at this moment that myself and 3 other individuals were involved in a near fatal car accident on the Conduit at the Linden Blvd/Atlantic Avenue split. This was the day God begin to share His Saving Grace and the impact it would have on my life.
Let's fast forward to one week later as I sat inside a hospital room, my hospital room, in the now closed St. Mary's Hospital asking the Doctor when I would be discharged. I had already missed the Thanksgiving holiday home with my family being there and I was sick and tired of that hospital bed. The night of the accident my body went into shock and I was admitted for pre-term labor the following morning as I started to dilate. (Now being a mother of 4, I now know that as vocal I was about them discharging me, I should have been more vocal about what was going on the preceding week. My mucous plug had started to dislodge, I kept having contractions, if you can name it, I was going through it.) With no internal exams, the hospital finally decided to allow me to go home the next day and I was elated!
This decision shortly changed early the next morning (roughly around 2am) when my water broke. My first words were "Oh no, I can't have my baby right now. It's too early she won't survive." I was just turning 28 weeks gestation and I had no clues what was going with her little body. At this point, there was absolutely nothing that could be done as this little persistent lady was due to make her appearance. At 3:42am that Sunday morning my 2 pound 0 ounce shining star was born. I heard about God but I'd never experienced Him for myself. I had never read a Bible nor attended a Church service that I could understand (my family was Catholic....sorry.) Heck, I didn't even know how to pray. All I knew was that I needed God to help my baby survive. I didn't even know if He would hear me, I was FAR from perfect. I wasn't even close. A medical team started running all through the rooms with machines and supplies that I couldn't even begin to name if you asked me, but God stepped in and sent the staff that He assigned as well as His angels to protect her.
This was only the beginning of an exhaustive 6 month NICU run. It was during this time that I truly learned about the full power of God's Saving Grace. This run included plenty of operations, conferences with medical teams, and even an attempt to have her committed away in an institution as they felt her father and I were too young to deal with her medical/developmental issues as a result of her premature birth. These 6 long hard months, God chose to keep my baby. (Better yet how about this year by His Grace we will be celebrating her 15th Birthday!!!!) Not only did He keep my baby, He chose to keep my mind in PERFECT peace. There were many days I didn't know how I was going to make it. Looking back now, I know I didn't make it alone.
During the process my mother became ill and I couldn't be there for her as I was running daily back and forth to St Vincent's Hospital Hospital in Manhattan (now closed as well.) As years have since progressed, I have also learned that seeing my mother like that was not anything God had wanted me to see. To some it may seem harsh, but for that I am grateful. Had I witnessed this then, I might not be here for you to read this story now. God in His infinite wisdom was protecting my mind as I had witnessed death to frequent as a child and that probably would have been the icing on the cake for me. Sadly, my mother passed away just 2 months after my Little Survivor was discharged from the Hospital. Oddly, (still not in Church at that time) I found comfort in knowing that God saw her pain and called her to be free. It was well.....
Have you counted all of the ways God chose to show me, a little hard headed girl from the streets of NYC how His grace could save us when we ourselves aren't right? No matter what you have done in life, God wants to be apart of your story. Will you let Him?