A mysterious early morning nudge saves a family.
Posted in , Jan 2, 2016
My friend Beverly Hughes (co-founder of Sweetwater Youth Ranch in Asheville, NC) posted this story recently, and I asked her if I could share it with you…
It was the day after Christmas in 1994, and with two toddler girls, I was exhausted. The past few days had been hectic with shopping, baking, wrapping gifts and making rounds to visit grandparents. This was the day I was looking forward to. I already had plans to stay home, sleep late and watch my babies play with their new toys.
But now I was in a huff because I had been awakened abruptly. It was almost like someone had hit me to wake me up. I rolled over and looked at the clock to see what time it was, and 6:00 AM glared at me in bright red letters.
The windows in our single-wide mobile home were frosted over, and for good reason—it was 13 degrees outside. I glanced at my husband, and he was sound asleep. I looked to see if the girls had gotten out of bed and come into our room, but they hadn’t. I lay there listening to see if I could hear little footsteps, or even big ones from an intruder, but there was only silence. Everybody was fast asleep but me.
I started to fall back asleep but a gnawing feeling loomed over me. I could smell the water pot that sat on the wood stove, which usually meant it was empty. I threw the covers off and trekked to the living room where my eyes landed on the water pot that was half full.
Disgruntled, I turned to head back to my cozy bed when I noticed a flicker on the ceiling beside the wood stove pipe. It took me a minute to focus because it was just a flicker and my eyes were still half shut, but as I focused, I realized it was a flicker of fire. I made my way back to the bedroom where I woke my husband and announced “I think we are on fire!”
He sat straight up and replied “You THINK we are on FIRE?” He followed me to the living room where the flicker had by now spread farther around the pipe. He jumped into action, yelling, “Call 9-1-1, and then get the girls out of the house!” He grabbed his gloves and started ripping out the ceiling around the pipe, removing the fire into the ash bucket.
I called for help, and then turned around to see he had the front door propped open so he could carry the ash bucket out and dump the embers onto the frozen ground. He told me to get the truck and to take the girls to Grandma’s house.
As I returned from dropping them off, I was met by the firemen looking for our home. They followed me, and we found my husband already had the fire under control. After assessing the situation, the fireman said we were fortunate. Considering the age and construction of our mobile home, it would have gone up in a blaze in seven minutes had I not awakened.
As I stood there letting it sink in that our lives were spared by a margin of seven minutes, I was overwhelmed. I looked at the charred hole in the ceiling, the black ashes ground into the carpet, the few pictures left on the wall and my husband’s burnt gloves lying on the table, and I wondered why we were alive.
Why did I wake up? Who woke me? I believe with every fiber of my being that an angel—my guardian angel—had shaken me just a few hours earlier and whispered into my heart that I could not go back to sleep.
Twenty-one years later, as I lay there thanking the Lord for another day, I was reminded of that frozen winter morning when He let me know without a shadow of a doubt that He had a job for us to do. I lay there wondering, “What can I do today to serve Him?”
The answer was clear. “Tell your story. Proclaim My power, My glory and My grace.”
What story can you tell today about what God has done for you?