The Hand of God by Jennifer Gladen

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gladen_jenniferWhy was my five–week old, Jacqueline, born with a liver disease?

Why is it that by the time she was five she had two liver transplants?

Why did I  hemorrhage at twenty weeks when I was pregnant with my youngest, Anthony?

I can’t tell you the answer to these, but I can tell you how I got through it.

In a word, it was God.

When I thought I would lose Anthony, I prayed my baby would be safe.

“Dear God,” I said, “this is my son. I’m strong enough to care for him if he’s ill, but it would take a much stronger soul to handle losing him.”

A few months later I gave birth to a baby boy. Later he was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease. He, too may be a future transplant candidate.

Someone once asked, “Do you still believe in God after all this?”

Such a question threw me off guard. All my life, including now, I’ve never had a doubt God was real. I never once feared that He’d left me.   With all the things happening to Jacqueline, especially at the time of diagnosis, I never felt more like He was with me.

Many others, my husband included, would feel abandoned and ask “Why did God do this to me?”

That thought never occurred to me. I knew in my heart I’d be fine, even if I lost Jacqueline or Anthony, because God was right there. He was holding my hand and walking me through the toughest times of my life.

For every needle that pierced their skin, God was whispering in my ear, “I am with you.”

For every surgery they had to endure, God was there drying my tears.

For every late night trip to the Emergency Room, He was my light guiding the way.

Yes, I was scared, but also never felt more safe. I knew no matter what, there was a reason and I’d be okay.

God didn’t abandon me. When he wasn’t holding my hand and walking beside me, He was carrying me like the Good Shepherd carrying the lamb.

An open heart to God, no matter how bruised, is never in danger. We’re all in the same place during our trials. We’re in the palm of the Hand of God. We’re vulnerable, yet the safest we’ve ever been. Terrible things happen in life, but God is there to pull us through.

Copyright 2009 Jennifer Gladen

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2 Comments

  1. HI JEN,
    I JUST READ THIS ARTICLE AND IT REALLY TOUCHED ME. YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH SO MUCH AND YOUR FAITH IS AN INSPIRATION. WE WENT THROUGH A TOUGH TIME WITH OUR SON TOMMY (YOUR BROTHERS MIKE’S AGE I THINK) WHEN HE WAS 8 MONTHS OLD HE HAD OPEN HEART SURGERY, HE WAS JUST SICKER AND SICKER AND THEY COULD WAIT TILL HE WAS 3 AS THEY WANTED. I WILL NEVER FORGET THE PAIN WHEN THEY TOOK HIM FROM TO HEAD TO THE E.R. PRAYERS ARE WHAT HELPED ME DEAL WITH THOSE TERRIFYING MOMENTS, HE SURVIVED, RECOVERED, AND IS NOW 33. I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD HAVE MADE IT BUT WITH GOD’S HELP I DID. LAST APRIL HE HAD A MASSIVE HEART ATTACK AND ONCE AGAIN WE WERE ON THE EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER A PARENT NEVER WANTS TO BE ON. I PRAYED AND PRAYED AND I KNEW ONE NIGHT AS I LAY IN BED I NEEDED TO ASK MARY TO HELP ME,SHE GAVE UP HER SON BUT I DIDN’T HAVE THAT COURAGE. I BEGGED HER TO TALK TO HER SON, TO LET ME KEEP MINE. SHE DID AND TOMMY RECOVERED. HE WAS ACTUALLY WAITING FOR A AMBULANCE TO TAKE HIM TO JEFFERSON TO BE EVALUATED FOR A TRANSPLANT, IN THOSE FEW MOMENTS BEFORE THEY LITERALLY PUT HIM ON THE STRETCHER TO TAKE HIM,THE HEART DOCTOR CAME IN AND SAID HIS HEART WAS IMPROVING! A MIRACLE, MAYBE BUT IN MY MIND MARY HEARD ME, SAW MY PAIN AND GAVE ME THE THE GREATEST GIFT ONE MOM CAN GIVE TO A DESPERATE MOM. I DO BELIEVE WE ARE NEVER ALONE TO DEAL WITH WHATEVER HAPPENS, AND I DO KNOW MARY TRULY UNDERSTOOD MY PAIN AND STEPPED TO HELP ME.
    I JUST HAD TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH YOUR ARTICLE TOUCHED ME, I WILL KEEP YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN IN MY PRAYERS
    HELEN
    I AM NOT SURE IF YOU REMEMBER ME FROM PENNYPACK, CATHIE AND TOMMY’S MOM

  2. Thanks so much Helen. I’m glad your prayers were heard. The graces you mentioned have been my experience as well. God always helps us out. How wonderful Mary interceded for your family. I’m so glad Tommy’s been healthy and got through that tough time last year. (
    Jen

    (I definitely remember you from PP. :) )

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