Have you ever had those times in your life when your circumstances felt too extreme and even praying for yourself was incomprehensible?

I hadn’t had one of those moments in quite some time, until this past January.

I am strong in my faith. I had the privilege to grow up in a strong Christian family. This does not mean that as a child I was super strong in my faith, but I knew all about Jesus and could sing many songs about him. As a teenager, I still knew him and held strong to the fact he forgave me for everything in my life, which was a great reminder when I was disobeying my parents’ wishes!

As I moved away from my family and went to college, I still had my faith in my pocket, but I wasn’t practicing. I wasn’t praying unless something awful was happening and I needed help, and I wasn’t surrounding myself with others who would encourage my faith.

Eventually, I decided I wanted to find a church home and I realized that I was really missing going to church services every week. I would cry at every service. Mostly because my heart was melting at how at home I was, it was like a homecoming I didn’t realize I was having.

Since then, my faith has grown astronomically. It’s not just something I have kept on the sidelines, but is what I hold first in my life. I try to get up every morning to have my alone time with God, and I am working at keeping him with me throughout my days.

So imagine my brokenness when I couldn’t even pray for my family.

Last month my son was overcome with sickness.

Our 16-month-old was sick. We had never seen him sick at all before.

Kaden is the most outgoing little kid you will meet. Right now he is super proud of walking independently. He will practically run down the halls of the church with his arms held high, a huge grin on his face, and a welcoming yell to make sure you can see what he can do!

When that little boy became lethargic from sickness, I felt paralyzed. Luckily, God moved my feet and encouraged me to get him help, because I had absolutely no idea what to do.

Before he got really sick I had been praying for his healing, I had even prayed with Kaden. We would ask God to heal him and get him healthy so he could play and feel all better. A couple of days later, he was still not drinking and not having enough wet diapers. He was vomiting and having diarrhea, still running a fever, and just had no will to do anything.

As we took him to the first ER of the week, I was still praying. I was bawling, but I was still praying.

You know that feeling you get in the back of your throat when you are trying to withhold a cry? When it’s going to become the ugliest cry ever, if you let it? That’s what I was starting to suppress as we got him admitted to the children’s hospital, two days after our first ER visit.

The son I bawled over two days earlier, was sicker, weaker, and just so sad. You would look at him and just melt, needing to hold him in your arms and make the world better for him. He was so scared that I wanted to be strong for him, and the thing about faith is, it brings us to our knees.

I am so vulnerable before God that there isn’t any way I could pray without losing all that I was trying to keep at bay. I would start to pray and then just have to stop because I knew I would be sitting next to Kaden’s hospital bed and sobbing uncontrollably, and I needed to be strong for him. I needed not to be another reason for him to be scared.

After the first night in the hospital, my husband came and brought me items I needed to take a shower. I was alone for the first time in 24 hours. I broke. I started to hyperventilate as the pain and agony was washing over me. I put my hands over my mouth to try to conceal the fact I was breaking. I didn’t want the other family in the room with us to hear me and worry about what was happening to the mom in the shower. My one desire was to sit on the shower floor and lose it in prayer, begging God to heal my son…but we all know that would be extremely unclean. So, I focused on the task at hand and pulled myself together. I got cleaned up and told my husband I needed to go for a walk and make some calls, which I did and calmed down a bit.

2 days later we were finally being released from the hospital with a healthier boy on the road to recovery. As we walked down the hospital hall to the exit, I felt like we were running from death. I wanted to walk as fast as possible and get away from the fear that the hospital held. We got outside and I started weeping.

It was as if God had given me the strength I needed inside those walls, but now I didn’t need it and it was time to see what He had done for me. I wept and wept. I wept out of disbelief of what we had been through. I wept out of thankfulness and gratitude for all He had done. I wept out of happiness that it was over.

I wept off and on for days.

A few days later, I realized the reality that I couldn’t pray for myself. And yet I was lifted up throughout that entire experience and given what I needed because I had asked for prayer.

In those times that I felt weak, I texted and emailed everyone I knew, even in the Facebook world. Just so that everyone possible could be praying for us. I asked them to pray for healing of Kaden and strength for my husband and me. In the reality of being home with a healing boy, I was overcome by how covered in prayer, peace, and strength we were!

In those times that we can only say His name, and ask for others to call upon Him in prayer for us, we are still strong. We are still covered in grace.

God knows my thoughts, He knows my heart, He knows when I’m hurting and why. I don’t have to be able to pray for help. I am so thankful that He knew my heart. I am so thankful that He heard the prayers of hundreds of people and that He held me in his arms when I felt sooo very scared.

Prayer saved me. Prayer made me strong. Prayer helped me be what my son needed.

And it wasn’t even my prayers.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Rebecca Spohr

Rebecca is a mother to a handsome 10-month-old boy and wife to her husband of 3 years. They live in Huntington Beach, California where they run two businesses out of there home, allowing them to spend lots of time with their son. Rebecca and her husband met in Olathe, Kansas and moved to California in 2006. They are still very attached to the midwest and travel to see family as much as possible.

God Has You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman hugging herself while looking to the side

Holding tight to the cold, sterile rail of the narrow, rollaway ER bed, I hovered helplessly over my oldest daughter. My anxious eyes bounced from her now steadying breaths to the varying lines and tones of the monitor overhead. Audible reminders of her life that may have just been spared. For 14 years, we’d been told anaphylaxis was possible if she ingested peanuts. But it wasn’t until this recent late autumn evening we would experience the fear and frenzy of our apparent new reality. My frantic heart hadn’t stopped racing from the very moment she struggled to catch a breath....

Keep Reading

My Husband Having a Stroke at 30 Wasn’t in Our Plans

In: Faith, Living
Husband and wife, selfie, color photo

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) This verse in the book of Jeremiah has long been a favorite of mine. In fact, it’s felt relevant across many life events. Its simple, yet powerful reminder has been a place of solace, perhaps even a way to maintain equilibrium when I’ve felt my world spinning a bit out of control. In this season of starting fresh and new year intentions, I find great comfort in knowing...

Keep Reading

She Left Him on Valentine’s Day

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband kissing wife on cheek, color photo

“Can you believe that?” Those were the dreaded knife-cutting whispers I heard from across the table. I sunk deeper into my chair. My hopes fell as everyone would forever remember that I had left my fiancée on Valentine’s Day. Maybe one day it would just dissipate like the dream wedding I had planned or the canceled plane tickets for the Hawaiian honeymoon. Some bridesmaids and guests had already booked plane tickets. It was my own nightmare that kept replaying in my head over and over again. I had messed up. Big time. To be honest, if it made any difference,...

Keep Reading

God was In the Room for Our Daughter’s Open Heart Surgery

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child's hand with IV

I’ve had a strong faith for as long as I can remember, but I always felt bad that I never had a “testimony.” I had never gone through something that made me sit back and say, “Wow, God is real, He is here.” I have always felt it to my core, but no moment had ever stopped me dead in my tracks to where there was no denying that it was God. And then, that moment happened to me on December 5. After five months of fervently praying for a miracle for our daughter, the day came for her heart...

Keep Reading

A Benediction for the Worn Out Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman leaning against kitchen counter, black-and-white photo

Blessed are you, Father, for bestowing upon me the honor of motherhood. For allowing me to experience the deep joy of bringing forth life—a joy I often take for granted and instead choose to begrudge. My children’s cries and demands have worn me down. I do not recognize myself. I selfishly long for the old me. My thoughts are an intangible mess of never-ending tasks, self-criticism, and comparison to those around me. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama But Your word says you are near to the broken-hearted and downtrodden. You do not forget the cause of the tired and the...

Keep Reading

God Doesn’t Forget You When You’re Lost and Unsure

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking into camera, color photo

I’ve been wandering around feeling lost for over a year. Wondering where I’m going, what I’m supposed to be doing. Nothing seems to make sense. I felt purposeless. I felt stuck. I questioned everything: my faith, my marriage, my career—if it could be questioned, I doubted it. And I was completely clueless how to fix the funk. For over a year, I’ve been in the wilderness. I’ve wanted to find my way, but every path seemed like another dead end. The wilderness. I’ve been residing there. Not feeling fed. Not feeling heard. Not feeling seen. Struggling to find a purpose....

Keep Reading

And Then, the Darkness Lifts

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother with baby smiling

Today when I woke, it had lifted, like sunshine peeking after rain. And as my toddler clicked on the lamp beside my bed to see her mama, I saw me too. I got out of bed and I walked down the hall. And the coffee pot sat there waiting for me, as always, like my husband at the kitchen table with his books. He smiled at me, and I think he could tell as I took my medicine, took down a mug, and poured my coffee. I opened the secretary desk and pulled out the chair and my Bible, like...

Keep Reading

Joy in This Stillness

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding sleeping toddler, color photo

I woke up suddenly in a sweat while it was still dark. Except for the humming of the oxygen machine, the house was silent. For a moment, I thought I might have time to enjoy a cup of coffee before my son woke up. However, a glance at my daughter’s crib told me that feeding my caffeine addiction would have to wait. My daughter has a terminal brain disorder called Lissencephaly, a side effect of which is uncontrolled epilepsy. Many mornings, a subconscious recognition that she is having episodes of repeated seizures rouses me from my sleep. Throwing on a...

Keep Reading

Sometimes All We Can Do Is Say How Hard Motherhood Is

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom with baby in foreground

I have been sitting in the peace and quiet of the office to do some long overdue Bible study for all of five minutes when the baby wakes up. With a heavy sigh that is becoming all too common, I go to the bedroom to pick up my fussy, probably getting sick, 8-month-old daughter who has been asleep for approximately 15 minutes. I bring her to the office and put her on the floor with some new books and toys. Sitting back down in front of my own new book of Bible maps and charts, I begin reading once again....

Keep Reading

Sometimes I Want to Skip This Part

In: Faith, Living
Husband and wife sitting on swing, color photo

Kelly Clarkson’s new album Chemistry is about the arch of her relationship with her husband and their divorce. The first song on the album is called “skip this part.” It begins with her asking if she can skip the heartbreak. She begs to jump over the deep pain that came with her divorce. The song is haunting and beautiful and says things like, “my heart can’t forget the ache before the mend.” She is honest and vulnerable, admitting she is not sure if she has the strength to get through the pain. She just wants it all to be over, for...

Keep Reading