EDITOR'S NOTE: The Times Free Press is continuing a series of stories from readers about life experiences they attribute to divine intervention. We'll publish another each week as your stories continue to arrive. If you have a God Thing to share, email Life@timesfreepress.com, or mail to Life Department, Chattanooga Times Free Press, 400 E. 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403.
This week, Pamela Wesley tells how her mother defied the odds through prayer.
I was born in 1962, the youngest of six girls. After sister No. 4 was born, the doctor pleaded with my mother to have her tubes tied. My mother had hypertension that became more and more uncontrollable during each of her pregnancies. My mother did not have her tubes tied and became pregnant again in the summer of 1959.
The doctor pleaded with her again, but this time he was asking her to terminate the pregnancy. Once again my mother refused. The doctor warned her that she was risking both her life and the baby's life. My mother went home and prayed as she had always done with each of her pregnancies for a healthy baby.
After a very difficult nine months, my mother delivered another healthy baby girl. Once again the doctor pleaded with her to have her tubes tied, and once again my mother refused.
Fast-forward to early 1962, and once again my mother is expecting. This time the doctor would not even listen to her and told her that she was going to terminate this pregnancy. As before, my mother refused, but this time the doctor refused to deliver the baby. My mother had to find another doctor.
The new doctor told my mother that due to the medicine she would need to be on to try to control her hypertension, the odds were that her and the baby would both die during the pregnancy or if the baby did survive he would be severely retarded. My mother prayed that once again she would have a healthy baby.
This pregnancy was the most difficult yet, but in November she once again delivered another baby girl, which was me. The doctor was amazed that we both not only survived the pregnancy, but that I appeared to be healthy. He said that it was a miracle. My daddy and mother finally agreed that I was the last baby and went ahead and had her tubes tied.
I wish I could say that her hypertension got better and we all lived happily ever after, but that's not the case. When I was 2 years old, my mother had to have one of her kidneys removed. When I was 8 years old and in the second grade, she suffered her first heart attack. At that time, she prayed and asked God to let her live long enough to see her baby grown and able to take care of herself. Over the next five years, my mother suffered two more heart attacks, a stroke and end-stage renal disease in her remaining kidney. She had to start dialysis. During these years and then over the next several years, we were told numerous times by the doctors that this was the end and that they had done all that they could do. However, the doctors didn't know about that prayer my mother prayed when I was 8 years old.
One Saturday morning in 1984, my mother was supposed to go to dialysis, but she said that she was too ill. I could never remember my mother saying she was too ill to go to dialysis. She asked me and my oldest sister, who was visiting at the time, to help her to the bathroom. As we were helping her back to her bedroom, she started seizing and as we helped her to the floor, my sister, who worked in the medical field, looked at her eyes and said, "She's having a stroke. Call 911."
Later at the ER, her doctor told us that she was brain dead and asked us what did we want to do. My daddy and us girls made the decision to withhold dialysis. My mother died that Wednesday afternoon. I was 21 years old, going into my senior year of college, engaged to my now husband of 33 years and most definitely able to take care of myself.
My mother did not leave me money or anything of much worldly value, but what she left me was a legacy of a life lived trusting and believing God to answer our prayers. She was a woman of great faith. I know for a fact that God answers prayers and he still work miracles.
— Pamela Wesley