Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Our Christmas Miracle

In the fall of 1992, I was a freshman at Maryville College and on work-study in the library. My friend Akiko was standing just on the other side of the circulation desk, talking with me, when a security guard approached and said I needed to call home. I hurried with dread to the payphone in the lobby, Akiko on my heels, and learned that my (paternal) grandma had died. I've never forgotten the comfort of my friend: how she walked with me to my dorm room, stayed with me as I packed. I've always believed that God sent her to the library to be with me.

I remembered this at the restaurant, last night, when I was hurrying to leave work and looked up to see Andrea and Vanderhoop just inside the front door. Am I dying? I thought, then: Whatever is happening, God has sent them. I've been here before.

My sister-cousin Andrea is a nurse. When I told her I was leaving work and why (more bleeding than after childbirth or miscarriage), she insisted not only that I go to the ER but also that I allow her to drive me. Jim and the four children had been at the zoo for the live nativity and headed toward the hospital. "Go ahead and check in," he said. "I'll bring the insurance card."

As I left with a nurse for triage, Andrea asked: "How do you want this to go?"

"I want you to take the children home," I told her. "I want Jim to stay with me."

And even as the words left my mouth, I realized: I already have my Christmas miracle.

I've been praying for a different one; Jim had a fourth interview, last week, and whatever the company decided, they decided, yesterday. They told him they would turn yesterday's decision over to HR and contact the candidate of choice early next week. I can't tell you how many times I've thought: Wouldn't it be nice if they called, this week, to say he has the job? 

I've been longing for my parents and brother's family in East Tennessee; I haven't been home for an entire year, and I guess I've never been apart from my mom at Christmastime. I haven't been able to bring myself to ship her a package. She hasn't been able to bring herself to put up a tree. Wouldn't it be nice, I've thought, to know Jim has that job...to just pack up and go home?

Our situation has not yet been resolved; yet, already I can say:

I would not go back.

I would not go back to where we were before Jim lost his job. We were with our third marriage counselor, and while he is incredible!, progress was painfully slow. Jim was so frustrated that he walked out of our last session. He lost his job right after; then, we didn't have the option to return to our (slow) miracle worker. We didn't have the $300/month to spare.

Trust me when I say: after Jim lost his job, things got much worse before they got better. But this situation has been like a jump-start, or defibrillation, to our marriage. I believe we will make it, now. I believe we will be okay. And I'm going to be okay: I was discharged from the hospital with a doctor's note for work and strict instructions to visit my OB/GYN, today. My body is changing. (There's a pill for me.)

My heart is changing, too, and Jim's. We are changing. God is at work, here. There has already been a Christmas miracle.


  1. I am soooo very happy to read this.... I am touched by it , more than you know....<3 this has been my wish / prayer for you for some time... AMEN

  2. Bless your heart, I love you. He just always is working in the midst of our all and all's.

  3. Oh friend, love you so. You come to mind often and when you do I say a prayer.

  4. I love this, Brandee! I love that God has given you such a gift of words and you share it so beautifully in such a powerfully vulnerable way. Such blessings to read about answered prayers. Merry Christmas to you!

  5. Brandee,

    I loved reading this and whenever God brings you to mind, I pray. I'm praying God continues to encourage you and Jim and for the good work He began to continue in your family...((Hugs))

  6. How wonderful it is to have God at work in our lives! Praying for you as you continue to change and grow with love for each other xo

  7. Here's hoping Jim's latest prospect is *the* one, and that you, and everyone have a healthy and happy 2016!



  8. I hope you are doing better and the job did come through for Jim. Even if not, I'm so thankful to hear the miracle of recognizing a miracle when God gives you one. Praise the Lord for sending you kind friends in those moments of need. May your health problems be resolved in a most straightforward way, and may the Lord provide all your needs and continue to restore your marriage and home.