by Tracie Miles
Although it happened fifteen years ago, I can recall the horror as if it were yesterday.
I had taken my two young daughters to visit my mother for a quick visit. While there, she mentioned there was a family heirloom she wanted to give to me, but it was stored away in the attic. I instructed my four-year-old daughter Morgan to stay downstairs with her daddy while I went with my mother to the attic, then proceeded up to the second floor of the house holding my eighteen-month-old, Kaitlyn.
As I was searching for the box in the attic, Kaitlyn was toddling around the cramped room, curiously checking out the strange surroundings. As I began searching in one particular area of the attic, Kaitlyn pattered across the bare wooden floor in her new, white walking shoes, wandering just a few feet away. Just as I looked up to call her back towards me, she vanished.
In a split second, she was gone.
For the first time in my entire life, I involuntarily screamed in sheer horror, and could not stop screaming. My heart stopped as fear filled every bone in my body. It was as if time stood still. My legs felt as heavy as lead as I tried to frantically rush to the exact spot where she had been standing just one second earlier. It was then that I saw the gaping hole in the floor for the very first time.
As I glared down the spot where my baby once stood, I caught a glimpse of her as she plummeted downward, just before she impacted with the hard ground. As my eyes were locked on her fall in disbelief, my mind could not grasp the reality that my child was potentially plunging to her death to the concrete garage floor twenty feet below.
But when her fall came to an abrupt halt, I witnessed a miracle. A rescue, above all rescues that I had ever, or would ever be blessed to see. I watched as her tiny little body collided with the ground and bounced . . . like a soft rubber ball. It was as if she had landed on a fluffy pillow of cotton, or even a tiny trampoline, and just gingerly bounced off. My mind raced with confusion, but the numbing fear that had overtaken my body left me no mental capacities to try to process what I had seen.
I flew down the stairwell at the speed of lighting, panicked and unable to breathe, taking three and four steps at a time. When I reached the garage where she lay, I scooped her up, and rushed to the Emergency Room.
Strangely, by the time my husband and I arrived at the hospital twenty minutes later, Kaitlyn’s tears had dried and she was acting like her normal, cute little self. When we finally saw the doctor and explained what had happened, a perplexing look washed across his face. Instead of ordering MRIs and X-rays, he was unsuccessfully trying to keep Kaitlyn from grabbing the stethoscope around his neck. As he gently tried to examine her little body, she giggled with delight.
No injuries were to be found internally or externally. She was miraculously rescued from harm by her Rescuer. Our Rescuer.
God has shown me in my life, that even as adults, we sometimes need to be rescued too. Not from physical harm, but from the mental and emotional harm that we are allowing stress to inflict upon our hearts, bodies and minds. We may find ourselves falling, plunging deeper and deeper into a pit of stress and despair because of the adversities, responsibilities and heartaches that life entails. It may seem that life is spiraling out of control, consumed with obligation, worry, and busyness. We may even be aware that we are plummeting downward, and wondering how hard the impact will be when we hit rock bottom.
Millions of people every day feel trapped by the weight of stress in their lives. Unable to enjoy life, experience peace, or embrace joy, because their circumstances seem overwhelming and hopeless. Every one of us needs to be rescued from the chokehold that stress has around our necks, and the only way to truly escape, is to be rescued by the only One who has the power to do so.
Regardless of the circumstances we face, we all need to be rescued at one time or another. Our ability to humble ourselves before God, and admit our need to be rescued will result in a miracle of our own. The miracle of a less stressed life.
Tracie Miles is a national speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries, and the author of Stressed-less Living: Finding God’s Peace In Your Chaotic World. She is a contributing author to the Proverbs 31 Encouragement For Today devotions, and the P31 Woman Magazine. She considers herself the poster child for stress recovery, and has a passion to help others discover the peace that God can infuse into our lives, even when our circumstances are less-than-peaceful. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children.