So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Colossians 4:2

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

There’s a room inside the Good Samaritan ER waiting room that is used for families when they are told a loved one has passed away. I know this because in 2011 it is where my mother-in-law was told that her husband had died, and her children and step-children gathered to console her. 

In  2014, I was led into this room again, and as I stepped across the threshold, I wanted to run and scream and vomit and hide and cry. I was sure a doctor was going to enter the room at any minute to tell me that my son had been killed in the car accident. There was a nun standing to my left, my mother and daughter sat across from me and I was bending over a trashcan. This is the absolute worst memory that I can recall. But I also remember something else, quite clearly. As I sat there waiting, I was praying. Praying the same sentence over and over again. “God, please let my son be alive.”

After what seemed like forever, a doctor did enter the room and led me into a hallway where my husband had been talking to our pastor. The doctor told us that we could see him now because the tests and x-rays were done. I think it was at that moment that my heart started beating again. He was alive and I was about to see him. God had been listening to my repeated prayer and had answered it.

I was flooded with relief when I saw him lying there on the ER bed. My hands were shaking as I stroked his hair and pulled pieces of grass and dirt and sticks out of it. He looked up and told us how sorry he was. Our pastor said a prayer, my husband almost fainted and I said “I love you” about a million times. We cried tears of happiness. 

And then the doctor asked to speak with us. Our tears became tears of grief, tears of future memories lost, and tears of hearts truly breaking. Our son— our football player, our baseball catcher, our wrestler— was paralyzed and would spend his life in a wheelchair.

Pray. It was the obvious thing to do. I prayed to God to make our son well again. I prayed for this thing called paralysis to be gone. I prayed through surgery after surgery, as the doctors realigned his spine with rods, reset his femur with pins, and inserted tubes to keep his lungs from filling with blood. Make him well, I prayed.

From waiting room chairs, from elevators, from a cot next to his bed……I prayed for God to make him well.

And on the third day, I left the hospital long enough to go home for a shower and to grab a few things. Just a quick thirty minute drive, but another opportunity to pray. However, this time, in the privacy of my vehicle, my prayer turned into a pitiful sobbing and pleading, one-way conversation with God. Why hadn’t he heard me yet? Why hadn’t my prayer been answered yet? Why was my son still laying in that stupid bed? It was an unfair conversation because I did all of the talking, all the way home and back again. Finally I reached south 2nd, and when I stopped at a red light, I decided to stop my rant with God. I realized how ridiculous it was for me to be questioning my Heavenly Father. And with that decision, at that moment and that red light, God had a chance to respond.

photo 1As I was stopped at the red light, a vehicle turned in front of me. It was a large truck. When the light changed to green I began following the truck, headed to the hospital. As I followed, I realized what was in front of me. It was a burial vault truck with a vault in the back, and I can only assume that it was driving toward the cemetery to place a vault into a grave. I drove the rest of the trip in silence with tears flowing down my cheeks. God had joined the conversation by reminding me of the prayer that he had answered three days earlier. My son was still alive and that was what I had asked of Him. 

The next day, my husband and I, along with our pastor, a surgeon, and a nurse, gathered around our son’s bed to tell him the news of his paralysis….news, that no doubt, he had already realized. At the surgeon’s request, we all joined hands to pray, but this time nothing was asked of God. Instead, we gave Him praise.

“Thank you God for our son.”

*Photo Credit: Brad Mellema

Kari Wells

Kari Wells is a small-town Nebraskan and wouldn’t have it any other way! She is a wife and the mother of two fabulous children. Kari has been a first grade teacher for 20 years and feels blessed to have had her summers free to take ‘One Tank Trips’ and little adventures, especially when her children were young. She is an avid baseball fan and roots for the Cubs, White Sox, Royals, Astros and Rangers. Besides her family and baseball, her loves include stargazing, traveling, cake decorating, and reading.

As an Anxious Mom, I Remind Myself You Were God’s Child First

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping

I remember bringing that squishy baby home from the hospital. His 9-pound birth weight didn’t label him as scrawny by any means, but he was so small to us. I cringed the first time I laid him in the bassinet beside my bed. I wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on him all night long like the nurses in the hospital nursery. I couldn’t make sure he was breathing every second of my coveted slumber. To calm my worries, we turned on our bathroom light and left the door wide open. The extra light wouldn’t disturb our angel from...

Keep Reading

Home is Holy Ground

In: Faith, Motherhood
Kids and mom at home

Some days, I wake up and walk around my house feeling my chest rise looking at the chaotic mess I didn’t get done the day before.  Trampling over toys, incomplete laundry, and dishes that seem to load up by the end of the day. I pause, I stare, and I wonder which of the objects in each room I should tackle first. I take a deep breath and notice my heart and my mind are overwhelmed with a running checklist. Why can’t everything just get done all at one time? You can talk to a dozen mothers and I am...

Keep Reading

I Want My Kids To Know God’s Always There

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding cross in the palm of her hand, color photo

A few months ago, my friend lost his dad. And it impacted our community profoundly. Because he loved SO BIG. Everywhere he went, he couldn’t help but talk to and engage with people—sharing a joke to make them smile or offering a compliment to build them up. He was a connector. And in all the connecting he did, he was quick to remind everyone he encountered that our hearts are ever connected to a God who loves us. It had become his thing to pass out little wooden crosses to those he happily chatted up as he went about each...

Keep Reading

In Motherhood, Grace Makes up the Difference

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young child

Today, I have been the mean mom, the tired mom, the overwhelmed mom, the anxious mom, the impatient mom, and the want to turn in my mom card mom. Mostly, I’ve felt like the I have no clue what I’m doing mom. I have raised my voice 47 times, told children to “suck it up, buttercup” 36 times, and have intervened in approximately 83 sibling disagreements. I have rolled my eyes 59 times, sighed 148 times, and visibly showed other signs of impatience, well, way too many times. RELATED: I’m a Good Mom, You Just Caught Me in a Bad...

Keep Reading

Jesus Meets Me in Motherhood With His No Matter What Love

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother embracing daughter in sunlit room

My toddler was that kid on the playground—the one who would push and bite, erupting into a tantrum and needing to be carried home screaming. As I would carry my child to the car, the other moms looked at me with sympathy, confusion, fear, and . . . judgment.  Parents of challenging kids know this look well. We see judgment everywhere we go. I knew others were judging me, and I knew our challenges were beyond the normal bell curve, but as an overwhelmed young mom, I did all I knew to do: I blamed myself.  At my lowest, I...

Keep Reading

Dear Child, God Sees All of You—And So Do I

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mom and young son painting together

Math has always come easily to him. Even from the beginning stages when we counted wooden blocks on the living room floor, the numbers just came to him. “How many blocks are there?” I asked him, pointing to the scattered row of blocks. I expected him to count them. He was only three or four years old. “Six,” he answered promptly. “Yes . . . but how did you know that?” I asked hesitantly. He had not taken the time necessary to have counted them. “Three and three are six,” he replied. And on it went. The math came easily,...

Keep Reading

Dear Girl, Give Jesus Your Mess

In: Faith, Living
Woman holding Bible, color photo

Oh, dear girl, Give Jesus the mess. Your mess. The mess you think is too much or too big or too unbearable. The depths of the mess. The very worst of the mess. Lay it at His feet. He knew you long before the mess existed. Nobody knows your mess like Jesus. I assure you—this will not catch Him by surprise. Even when you do not understand, even when it is most difficult, even when you have your head buried in your hands. Praise Him, for God wastes nothing.  Even when it feels like opposition is coming at you from...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love Is an Endless Pursuit

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child on bike, color photo

I look at him and my heart breaks into a million little pieces. It simply hurts too much to know he hurts. He is my heart, and it squeezes and revolts when he struggles. I want to close my eyes and hold him close, and when I resurface, I want the world to be different for him. Look different, smell different, taste different. But, it remains the same, this pain.   In the beginning, when he was in my womb, I held my hands on my stomach and his tiny feet kicked me back. His bodily imprint on my skin. He...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Brings Me to the Floor and Jesus Meets Me There

In: Faith, Motherhood

I recently came across a short memoir writing competition with the theme, “Places that have made me, changed me, or inspired me.” I could write something for that, I thought. I’m by no means a jet-setter, but I do have a passport. I spent my 16th birthday in Russia on a three-week mission trip. During college, I lived in Thessaloniki, Greece for a four-month study abroad program. After my British husband and I got married, we settled in the UK, where we’ve spent the last 10 years. And now, I’m back in my sunny Florida hometown. These experiences and places...

Keep Reading

I Will Be a Friend Who Prays

In: Faith, Friendship, Living

You mentioned it casually. They had found a lump in your breast again. You’ve been here before, and maybe that means you better know how to navigate it. Except how can we possibly know how to handle such things? What emotions lie hidden behind your words? You tossed out words like lumpectomy and biopsy as if you were sharing a grocery list. I don’t know you well yet, but as you spoke the words, I had a deep desire to let you know I’m sorry. Seated around the table that night, you asked us to pray for you. I committed...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections