Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Miracles

For a while now I have been thinking about making a record of my most personally significant miracles.
I actually think about them often, the major personal miracles that I have experienced.
I mean, I could see many things as personal miracles, but honestly I only have about five that I think of as honest 'miracles' you know, the kind where angels show up and stuff?? Maybe you don't know those kinds of miracles, or maybe this post is not going to be read by anyone but me, so I'm the one that knows.
Anyways, here goes, stories of my miracles.
In all my miracles, well the ones I am going to describe now, I can actually tell you where they happened, like on a map and what physically happened is so obviously true because I'm still here to tell you about it.

My first miracle, the first one I can remember, besides the miracle of my salvation, which occurred a week after my first time through summer Bible school, during a boring sermon, where I first felt the Holy Spirit tell me that I am loved by God, before that, I really didn't understand, but then I did. It was the summer I was five, BTW.
The incident that I think of as a first miracle happened as I walked home from school alone, when I was five, so pretty much my first year of real school. Anyways, at the time my family lived in the smallest community in Calgary. Vista Heights, which is located just south of the Deerfoot and 16 Ave(if you know Calgary, you know where that is). I lived in a duplex(with stuck-co and green trim) just across from the park, and on the other end of that field that contained the park, is the school I first attended. From that house, my mom could technically watch me walk all the way home, almost. See, there is a hill. Well, the park, and the field, and the school, they all are lower than the road beside them. To get out of that field you have to climb out of it, and that climb is steep. As kids, my siblings and I often loved to sled on it in the winter. The only problem being that from the house we lived in, you could not see anyone at the base of that steep hill.
This is where I was attacked by some older boys on my way home, which was only about one block, maybe a block and a half technically, if you were counting from the roads on the other side of the field.
I was only walking alone because my best friend, Marian, was home sick with measles.
These boys that attacked me, they had teased me, and many others often.
They were the kind of boys that like to do stuff like that.
Here's how they attacked me, a five year old at the time, they pushed me down, face down on my belly.
Then I felt one of them (there were five of them, and I still know who most of them are, full names)
sit on my legs, another stood on my back, well, it felt like feet were on my back, but it could have been two of them with one foot each on my back. At the point where they were about to shove my face into the ground I actually clasped my hands together like you do when you pray when your a kid and shouted "JESUS HELP ME!"
That's when the strange and wonderful miracle happened. I don't know how, but instantly, INSTANTLY, I was standing, and moving. I thought I was running, but I didn't feel my feet on the ground, at least I don't remember feeling my feet on the ground, I also don't remember hearing my feet on the ground.
I do remember thinking that those boys might be chasing me, so when I got to my front walkway, I looked back at the field, to see how far I had gained on them, but they were all still just standing there, at the exact place where they pushed me down. You might think I am making this story up, but I'm not, and I don't care if you believe me or not. I do remember that my mom chided me about getting my shirt dirty, because it was a new white girls style polo shirt and I got grass stains on the front of it. As well, the first thing I did, because I did this every day, even when Marian walked me home, I would call her,or she would call me. That day I remember I called her, to see if I could come over. I could, because apparently she was well enough for me to come over and play. I remember that day I ran over to her house, which was one block down the street and three houses around the corner. When I got to her house, she said she was amazed at how fast I got there, it was like I developed some kind of Gideon like strength for running and sort of flew everywhere that day. I might be exaggerating it, but this is how I remember it.

My next miracle was when I was 11 years old and my family had just moved to this new house, the house I ironically live in now(even though I have lived many other places in my adult life). It was the first real day at this house, and of course my mom and some friends of theirs were all trying to get the house sorted out with all the stuff and all that moving entails. My siblings and I were apparently in the way so we were sent, with some neighbor kids, to the nearest park. Which is a part next too the community center, just about two blocks behind this house. In Falconridge BTW, it was a fairly new community when my family moved into the place. It used to be on the very north east edge of the city, but now there are two and a half communities where there used to be farm land. Anyways, I followed my siblings to the park next to the community center, but I didn't stay with them. I know, that was not very nice of me. I had this habit of not wanting to play the same things that my siblings did. I would rather explore, or read, or do anything else most of the time. I am that way now, I don't like to do what everyone else wants me to do. I'll do it if I really have to, but when I see a way out, I take it. So what I did was just keep walking. I don't even remember if my siblings and the neighbor kids even notice that I left them to play at the totally boring kiddie park. I had a plan though, I was only going to keep track of where I went in the neighborhood as I explored, you know, counting how many left or right turns I took or how many blocks I walked. I like getting to know places, even now, more than 20 years later, but I know as a child of only 11 years, I shouldn't have gone off on my own like that. It was summer time when my family moved to this house, of course, summer time is the best time to move with a family of school aged kids because then they can start the new year of school with all the other kids and not be like one of those oddball kids that has to interrupt a classroom one day with the teacher having to make an awkward introduction and all. That's just unnecessary and confusing for everyone because then being that new kid is hard because you have to catch up on things and stuff. It was good to move to this house in the summer of my eleventh year of life. It worked out OK.
Anyways, about the miracle that happened, well what happened was the my method of mentally tracking my progress through the neighborhood failed me. Also, because it was summer, and I forgot that I need to drink water, I had begun to feel the affects of the heat. I think it was about noon time when my siblings were sent with the neighbor kids to that park, I can't remember that part. What I do remember is suddenly feeling dizzy, because of the heat and looking around me and totally starting to freak out because I couldn't remember how to get home or how I had gotten where I was. It was mostly because I was distracted by a pink house. A pink house that still exists on that street, that is only a few blocks away from this house.
This kind of thing happens to me often, I will be thinking about things, and planning things in my mind and then I'll come across something and think 'Oh... look at that, I've never seen anything like that before' and suddenly, all my plans and previous thoughts just disappear from my mind. Also, the road I walked down has a gentle curve to it, it makes it seem like you are walking down a straight road, but really you are slowly walking down a road that turns slightly. This is why I started freaking out, because I remember that walking down this road, I passed a 7-11 and as I walked I looked back at the store a few times and saw it as a way of finding my way back to the road to the park by the community center, but because the road gently turned, about half way down it, I looked back and couldn't see the store anymore, and that's when I thought I would never find my way back home. It was also the spot where the pink house is as well. What I did, as I did before in my other miracle, I prayed for God to help me, and almost instantly, I felt a sort of calming presence. I was at a corner, and I was trying to decide which way to go when I felt and sort of heard a voice telling me to 'go straight'. I also had this strange sensation of being pulled, as if I had a sort of magnetic force inside me pulling me, gently, to cross the road. So I did, this happened several times, till I walked into a dead end street and the same gentle pulling sensation lead me to a hidden bike path that was nearly over grown with the brushes on either side of it, and the wooden marker at the beginning of the path was broken as well. I followed the bike path through to an alley, where it continued through another block, and when I got to the end of it, I was at the street where this house is, I don't think I would have found it without what I believe to be the guidance of an angel showing me the way home. I remember that my family was very annoyed with me because they were waiting for me in the van. We were going to the water park in the leisure center that is about a ten minute drive from this house, and it wasn't till then that I guess they realized that I was missing.
I was just glad to be home and everything, and not to have been left behind from the trip to the water park. 

My third miracle happened in the bedroom I write this in when I was 13, and it was really kind of spooky. When I started junior high, I had many problems fitting in and stuff, as usual. As well, things were really dysfunctional with my family(not that they are much better now) and I took it really personal, of course. I had serious thoughts of suicide, detailed plans of what I would do and everything. I really just wanted to stop existing, sometimes I still feel that way. It's not like I think I'll go to heaven if I kill myself, it just that sometimes life feels like far far far too much effort and that I am really unwanted, and I just want to somehow, erase my existence and remove myself from all the confusing pain and suffering I feel emotionally because people find it so hard to love me. The only love that keeps me from killing myself is God's love, because it seems to show up every time I doubt that life is worth, you know, living. What happened is I had a plan, and I was going to do it, my mom had pain pills for something, something about her teeth I think.
Anyways, I saw where they were, and I was going to take them all to kill myself. Not only that, I knew, at the age of 13, how to climb on top of the house from the railing of our backyard deck. I could do it, and I was going to jump off the side of the house that is hidden from street view, so that if I survived the jump, the pain pills would still kill me before anyone found me there. I didn't have the chance to even act out even one part of this plan because when I got up in the middle of the night, because I waited for a time I thought everyone was totally asleep to do this, but as I got up I saw something I know most people will not believe that I saw. Angels, and not the fairy-baby-glowing image that people think angels should look like. No, these looked like body builders, twice my height, make of sunlight so blinding that it hurt to look at them. I only saw them for a split second because one of them, I think there were about a dozen of them surrounding me, touched me and I collapsed in front of my bed, before the door, before I could take a step out of my bedroom.  What I felt was hard to describe, it felt like they talked to me from inside me telling me, viscerally,  that God loved me and wanted me to be alive. I woke up in that strange position with a even stranger kind of physical weakness, like a reminder that it had really happened. I remember even feeling like I had barely fallen, but when I managed to get up from the where I was, it was morning. Even now, if I seriously consider killing myself, it's like I feel that weakness, like the touch of an angel so strong that it can take away my freedom to do things. It's like I'm not allowed to kill myself, God won't let me, I don't know why He lets others do it, but I think the reason it works this way for me is because I devoted myself to God when I first came to know His love through salvation. It's that overwhelming visceral sense of love from God that keeps my faith strong.
 God protects me from even myself. It's humbling to think that I get so much favor from God, I don't think I deserve it.

My fourth miracle happened when I was an adult, just 19 to be exact. I had been living on my own in a shared accommodation house in the south of Calgary in a community called Lakeview, which is a very nice community. Although the bus service is not that good for that place. It was just before my sister Lydia decided to move to BC with Tyler, she had been working at a A&W where she had met him. We had gone out to a movie, I think it was for her birthday in August, but the problem was, as I found out on my way home, long after I had said goodbye, I found out when I was waiting for the bus that goes to Lakeview, the 47, and it went out of service earlier than I thought. There wasn't any other way to get home from the Chinook train station, and I was alone. My only 'roommate' at the time, a fifty-something year old woman I called Rosalie (not her real name) couldn't drive and didn't have a car or even cab fare to loan me. I knew this because I called 'home' from the Mac's store that's next the train station. I didn't have any money for a cab either. I really had barely enough money for the movie that Lydia and I went to that night, I really did a poor job of budgeting my money at that time in my life, and I didn't have any credit cards to help me either.
So I walked home from the Chinook train station at almost midnight. That's not the miracle, that I survived that walk, but what happened on the walk home on the Glenmore Trail that goes across Calgary largest man made body of water, the Glenmore Reservoir. The high way was actually pretty quiet at the time, and a kind of scary thing happened, a car was following me, and it creeped me out big time. Also, the bike trail that goes across the bridge was not finished at the time and I did something risky to get to it. I walked on the bike lane mostly, but then close to the end of the bridge, I noticed that the bike trail was just on the other side of the railing, about 15 feet down and it climbed a bit higher but I couldn't get to the higher part because it was fenced off with a 20 foot chain link fence to fence off the golf range that was there, is there, I think, I haven't been there recently. I decided to jump down to it, the bike trail below. I thought I should just hang on to the large railing, and drop myself down. I thought about my height, almost 6 feet, which would mean that the remaining distance to fall was about the height of a normal door, in my mind. This is what I was thinking.
What I didn't think about was the condensation on the trailing, I just thought it was cold, not wet. So when I slid myself under it, my arms on top, and then pushed myself off, planning to hang on to the railing. That didn't happen. I just fell off, and as I fell, totally out of control, I could feel myself falling crooked but then I felt like some kind of push on my left side. It might of been the force of an angel or the bike railing hitting my side, but it straightened me just as I landed hard on my feet. Which hurt a ton because all that walking up till that point had caused blisters on my feet because I wore the most stupid kind of shoes possible, canvas sneakers that were totally kind of small for me, but I thought they looked cool, that's why I wore them.
I know better these days not to wear things that look cool, I just wear things that feel comfortable, most of the time. All the blisters broke when I landed on my feet like that, and I screamed for a good five minutes I think, I almost collapsed right there, but I didn't, and I saw an angel again, like some kind of weird shimmering shadow and was barely visible. Somehow it seemed like this angel held me up and gave me strength to walk the rest of the way home. The best part though, I have not mentioned yet, because as I walked, I was now on the other side of the big 20 foot chain link fence that was around the walk way.
Just about a five minute walk past the bridge, there is a little car rest 'pull-over' lane. That car that was following me, it pulled into that lane, a man got out of the car as I was walking past and asked me if I would like a ride home. I had just walked so far from the bridge, and I was tired, but I couldn't get to the guy's car because of the fence, and I didn't really want to. I remember asking him "How do I know if you're safe" and the guy just shrugged, got back into his car and left. At least I don't think he tried to keep following me. I don't really know because after the chain link fence ended, about ten feet after the 'pull-over' lane, there are these huge cement sound barrier walls build to block the sound of the traffic from the community beside the road. These cement walls are about 10 feet high and have hidden, overlapping gaps that act as exits and entries that usually can't be seen from the road. I walked behind these cement walls until they ended, and I got home safely, much to the relief of Rosalie, who was so worried about me not returning at the time I said I would that she called my mom at 1am. Not a good thing. She had been waiting for me because I had lost my key and she was keeping the door of the place open for me. I totally had bleeding blisters and a strange, hand print like bruise on my side from that fall off the railing. I know I am lucky that worse didn't happen to me.
I will always be glad, even as a naive 19 year old, I didn't get into a strange mans car. Who knows what could have happened to me!!

These are the miracles that keep my faith strong, and that I think about often. I just wanted to get them recorded so I can look back at them when I need too.

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