Written by Michaela Gasseling & Terryn Drieling
Have you ever been able to clearly see God move a situation? Maybe not in the moment it’s happening, but looking back at it? How about in a conversation that literally changed the course of a life?
Well, a little over a year ago, one of my closest friends, Terryn, and I had one of those conversations. Today we’re going to share it with you because it is nothing short of amazing. Miraculous some might even say.
Terryn first adds, “There have been a handful of times in my life where I can look back and without a doubt see the hand of God and how obviously He’s moving in a situation. It’s easy to look back and see his fingerprints and the subtle ways He moves, but I’m talking straight-up hands all over, miraculous sort of stuff here. And sometimes, I can look back and see how He’s directly used me.
One of those rare occasions, happened about a year ago when He used me to literally change the course of a friend’s life.”
I will set the scene for us. My husband had earned a free trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, through his employer. We were to leave in four days. Months before, we had gotten our passports and made arrangements for our three kids to stay with their aunt and uncle for the four days we would be gone.
As the day of our departure neared, I began having major second thoughts. I had only ever been out of the country once—to Canada when I was 17. The thought of being out of the country and away from my kids suddenly terrified me. One of my poor kids even had a dream (nightmare, I guess) that our plane crashed.
Terryn tells it how it is, “Michaela (one of my dearest friends) was going through a hard season of motherhood. I’m sure you know the ones . . . you love your littles but you want—no you need—a break, a little reprieve from everyone needing you every day all of the time. You feel a little lost and disconnected. And all you want is to hang out with your guy and feel like you did when it was just the two of you again, not for long, just for a bit.
We’d been messaging back and forth for a few weeks about how hard the season was and how much she was looking forward to the free trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. She was excited to get her reprieve, recharge, and come back refreshed. But as their departure neared, the doubts started creeping in. And just four days before they were set to take off, things went south, and not to Cabo.”
Four days before we left, anxiety got the best of me.
I kept thinking that it was just such a terrible idea to be away from the kids for four days. I was so worried that we would be in a plane crash or that something would happen to us. Our childcare plans had fallen through due to other family emergencies. Plus, I didn’t want my kids to be a burden for someone else to take care of while we were gone anyway.
Terryn says here, “Their sitter situation had fallen through. She confided that one of their kids had a nightmare that they were killed, in a plane crash no less. She legit said to me, “I can’t not be in the same country as my kids . . . what was I thinking?!” The worry and anxiety had crept up and had her convinced she wasn’t going.”
I was taking all of these things to be “signs” from God that I was not supposed to go on the trip.
I was messaging all these thoughts Terryn. I also called my husband at work and told him he could call and tell them to cancel my plane ticket.
Terryn said we should meet for coffee and breakfast so we could talk more about it before I made a decision I might regret. But if you ask her, she’ll tell you that, “If you know me then you know that I’m more of a ‘listening ear, give advice only when asked and even then you’re allowed to fully disregard’ type of friend. That is unless I need to step up and say something unsolicited. This was one of those times.
So, I told (I did not ask, I told) Michaela to meet me at our favorite coffee shop. I listened as she laid it all out there, confiding her fears and confident she wasn’t going on the trip. She was certain the sitter falling through, the dreams, and the doubts were all signs God was telling her not to go. She’d even called her husband to have him cancel her reservation.”
Over coffee and burritos, I tearfully told her about my worries that the plane would crash or that I was being a bad mom for leaving my kids for four days.
She hugged me tight and handed me a napkin to dry the tears that had started to make their way down my cheeks. And she said, gently but emphatically, “Michaela, those voices you are hearing that are making your fearful—that is the devil talking. God doesn’t tell you things that worry or scare you.”
I instantly knew she was right.
Long story short, I went to Mexico and we conceived our fourth baby, who was born in October. She is an incredibly special baby (all babies are), but she is especially special to us.
You see, four days after she was born I was diagnosed with a large brain tumor. I had surgery a week after she was born, at a hospital five hours from home.
I believe I would have fought just as hard to recover and get home to my three kids, but having a newborn at home waiting for me made me that much more determined, and it made my homecoming just four days after surgery that much sweeter!
I can’t believe I almost didn’t go to Mexico. I would have missed the beauty of Mexico, the quality time I got to spend with my husband and, of course, we wouldn’t have our little “Hecho in Mexico” baby!
God works in mysterious and wondrous ways! He sometimes uses seemingly ordinary moments, and seemingly ordinary people like us, to do extraordinary things.