Lunch-Break Miracles
By Diana Aydin

The Miracles We Don't See

Have you ever uncovered a miracle months, even years, after it occurred?

That’s exactly what happened to our editor Sabra Ciancanelli. She’s been working at Guideposts for more than 15 years–and she’s also a Daily Guideposts writer–so she’s more than familiar with miracles. And yet, little did she know, she’d experienced something pretty miraculous in her past. Something that only revealed itself this past month, more than 12 years after it happened...

It all started with a routine doctor’s exam a month ago.  “Wait, what’s this?” my doctor said. “You’ve got something here. A lump in your pelvis.”  She arranged for an ultrasound right away and, minutes later, I found myself lying in a dimly lit room, trying to pray away my fears... and failing horribly.

“How long until I know the results?” I stammered.

“A few days,” the ultrasound technician said, averting her gaze. 

That night, while the rest of the house slept, I stared at the ceiling in a daze.  Six years earlier, my sister Maria had died suddenly in her sleep, leaving behind an 8-year-old daughter. She was 45, close to my age now.

I have a 12-year-old, Solomon, and an 8-year-old, Henry. They are everything to me, my little miracles. What if the tests came back positive? What if I didn’t make it? I pulled the covers closer.  Please God, I prayed. Let me live long enough to see my boys grow up.

Three long days later, I called the doctor’s office, desperate for news. “Let’s see,” the nurse said. I could hear the rustling of papers over the phone.  “Unremarkable.  Everything here in the report is fine. You’re healthy.”

“No mass?” I asked. “No cancer?”

“No,” she said.  “But, hmm... this is odd. Did you know that you were born with a rare condition, one that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to have children?” 

“But... I have two boys,” I said.

“I know,” the nurse said. “I remember looking at your file.  It’s strange this condition went unnoticed for so long. And the fact that you’ve had two healthy babies and no losses? You’re lucky. Very, very lucky.”

I hung up the phone, shocked. Lucky isn’t the word, I thought. I’ve always known that my boys are miracles. But I had no idea just how truly miraculous they actually are. Who knew it’d take a health scare to unveil something so extraordinary? 

Now I can’t help but wonder, though. What other miracles have I experienced completely unaware?

What about you? Have you ever discovered a miracle after the fact? Share your story below! 

Diana Aydin is an associate editor for Mysterious Ways magazine. When she was just a little kid, she got her first dose of the miraculous. She’s been on the lookout for miracles ever since. Her favorite time of the day is lunch time, when she gets to step away from the workaday world and enjoy a bit of God’s wonder, if only for an hour!

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I had gone in for my routine checkup days earlier and when my doctor called me at work and said I need to see you in my office right away—you have a brain tumor. My first thought was, “you have the wrong person”. I didn’t have a MRI or anything, so what is he talking about. He proceeded to explain to me that my prolactin level was extremely high. A normal woman’s is around 35-40, mine was 300—a sign of a tumor. All of this was Greek to me. After going to my supervisor and explaining to her why I had to leave, her first reaction was, “what bedside manners he has telling you something like that over the phone”. Next I called my husband who met me at the doctor’s office. I was sent to have an MRI and given an appointment at Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem the next week. All this rushing really had my mind and nerves going to pieces. I had a 5 year old son at home who I dearly wanted to see grow up. After visiting the doctor in Winston Salem, the first thing he did was calm me down and explain that the tumor I had in my pituitary gland was smaller than the size of a pea and it was not cancerous or I would have already been dead since it had been there for apparently years. He’d asked me earlier if I had ever had any really bad head-aches and at first I said no, but then my mind went back to years ago around Christmas time when I had the worst head-ache in my life. It lingered for several days and I was to the point of going to the ER. I decided to give it one more day. That night I went to church and during the service the preacher stopped and said, “Someone here is in pain, I can feel it”. He said to come to the altar. I went up and so did several other people. I remember praying and asking God to take away this awful head-ache. The next morning I woke up going about my usual routine and it was later in the day when I realized the head-ache was gone. I shrugged it off and went on with my life as usual. That day in the doctor’s office listening to him explain that normally this head-ache only goes away with removal of the tumor, I begin to realize how blessed I was—a miracle. The first of what turns out to be many. The doctor also had told me that this tumor puts you into pituitary shut down and the chances of me getting pregnant again was one in a million. That is where my second miracle happened—my daughter is now 16 years old and I tell her all the time she is my miracle baby (our one in a million). I had always wanted to have a little girl after I had my son but had put it out of my mind after being told what my chances were of having another child. I had her many years later when I was 38 years old and upon finding out I told the doctor I hit the one in a million. He laughed and said you know what, you have also added about 10 years to your life in the process. He went onto explaining the pituitary gland and the process---all Greek to me again but I just looked at it all as God’s blessing and favor. God has special plans for our daughter. Ever since the 6th grade she had said she wanted to be a lawyer. When she was getting ready to go into the 8th grade, we were in a store and this elderly gentleman was walking around witnessing to people. He said God raised him from his death bed to be a witness for him. We had never seen him before and he didn’t know us. Upon leaving the store he walked over to my daughter and touched her shoulder and said God told me to tell you to stay in school and be that good lawyer no matter what. Can you imagine the chills that went through my body and the expression on her face? How did this man we had never seen before know? All in God’s plans.

Thanks so much for sharing this story! I used to read Sabra's blog at the old Our Prayer site, and I miss the inspiring, encouraging, and heartfelt messages she always shared. Does Sabra currently have a blog, and if she does, would you mind sharing the link? Thanks and God bless ~ Angela