Her mother was dying, and her husband’s brain was swelling and bleeding. During these two different times of crisis, Carol Matson of St. Croix Falls , Wis. , knew she was not alone. She shares her stories of someone called Immanuel.
Desires of the heart
When I was a junior in college, my mother’s health was deteriorating to the point that the doctors were giving up. They shared that she was not going to live much longer.
Crying out to God, I asked Him for three things before He took my mom to her heavenly home. I asked God to allow my mom to be at my college graduation; to be at my wedding, even though I wasn’t seeing anyone at the time; and to see the birth of my first child. God gave me a calm assurance that He would grant me these desires of my heart.
Five years later, mom went to her heavenly home on the day my first child turned six months old. All three of my desires were fulfilled!
More recently, I saw God’s fingerprints in the midst of a scary time. On the morning of Oct. 8, 2008, my husband Bruce woke up with an excruciating headache and partial vision loss.
I tried to contact Bruce’s doctor, but he wasn’t available until later that day. I also tried to contact our eye doctor, but she was out of town. It must have been God’s plan to get Bruce to the St. Croix Falls hospital, because when I called the emergency room, they said to bring him in right away. The doctors at the ER determined that Bruce’s brain was bleeding and swelling and that he needed to be flown to Regions Hospital in St. Paul , Minn.
God continued to show us his loving care in so many ways that day:
- The morning was incredibly foggy, but the fog lifted just in time for the helicopter to pick Bruce up.
- Bruce was the first patient to fly out on the hospital’s new helipad.
- Friends “just happened” to be home and were available to drive me to St. Paul.
- I was able to get in touch with each of our children, even though phone lines were down at Luke’s school, even though Mark doesn’t normally get phone service in all areas at his college, and even though Kelly had planned to be gone for a few days. She had canceled her trip at the last moment.
At Regions Hospital , God kept reminding me that He was with us. The ER doctor said at least half a dozen times that it was a miracle that Bruce was conscious and alert with what was going on in his head. And when God knew I needed extra reassurance, he provided it. The name of Bruce’s nurse that first night was Emmanuel, which means “God with us.”
Finally, there was such an unbelievable outpouring of love from our church family. It was truly humbling to see God at work in His people.
“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:3
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10