Scariest Moments of Life….

I woke up in a state of panic. It was my body gasping for air that woke me up. I sat up as I tried to catch my breath with my heart pounding hard inside my chest. I realized where I was and I looked at the clock. It read 3:37 am. With that, I laid my head back down on my pillow. My heartbeat was still booming in my ears. I took deep breaths as I reassured myself, “It was just a dream…It was just a dream.”

Unfortunately, it was just a dream of one of the scariest moments of my life!

Sarah has done several things that have made me wake up in a state of panic as I recall them in my sleep. Once when she was a little girl I came into her room to wake her up from her nap. She wasn’t napping, instead I found her standing on the window sill of her second story bedroom window. She had opened the window and was holding onto the curtain rod as she wiggled and danced. I knew if I screamed it might startle her and she might fall out the window, so I very calmly came up to her and grabbed her from the window. I held her tight and thanked the Lord for protecting her. Needless to say, David and I put a wooden bar in the track of her window to prevent her from doing that again.

It still makes me ill just thinking of it, but that is not the scary moment that woke me up recently.

That moment was when Sarah and I were driving home from her ABA therapy appointment.  The center was about 25 minutes away from our house via expressway. We had to change expressways to get there. As I approached the overpass bridge that connected the two expressways, Sarah unbuckled from her car booster seat and proceeded to get out of it. I saw what she had done in my rearview mirror and yelled for her to stop. She was mad. She screamed and came up to me and hit me. She then did something that years later causes me to wake me up in a state of panic.

She unlocked the van door and opened it while we were going over the bridge on the expressway. (This was an older van. Newer van doors do not open when the car is in drive.)

I screamed and grabbed onto her with my one hand.

I pulled her close to me and tried to pull over. Sadly, the connection from the bridge put us in the second left lane. I moved across the lanes holding onto her all the while with the van side door wide open.  The sound of the expressway was deafening. I cried out to the Lord for protection. It was one of the scariest moments of my life!

When I pulled over I broke down in tears thinking what could have happened. I held her tightly as I wept. She was still angry and didn’t want to be held and pushed me away. Her actions made me cry all the more. I had a child who refused to let me love her even though I would do anything for her. I prayed thanking the Lord for His protection but I also told Him how weary I was with this life of Autism. I got her back into her booster seat, but it took me a while before I could drive again. I sat in my seat shaking. When I was ready to drive again I took side roads all the way home.

I told David we needed to do something to stop her from getting out of her car booster seat. Thankfully, we found a product called Angel Guard ( It is just a simple piece of plastic that goes over the seat belt buckle, but it prevented her from unbuckling.

Angel Guard. I love the name! I know our loving Heavenly Father has been guarding Sarah all along! While I still may wake up from time to time in a panic, I need to take this memory and give it to the Lord. He protected us and I need to find rest in Him. Psalm 62:5-8 has been a great comfort to me, especially during these times. I underlined this passage in my Bible and if that wasn’t enough, I put stars by verse 8. Psalm 62:5-8 reads, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

I am thankful that when the memories of the scariest moments of life wake me up at night, I can pour out my heart to Him! I love the imagery of these verses: ‘rock ’, ‘fortress’, ‘not be shaken’, and ‘refuge’. I can find rest because I know I am ultimately secure in Him!

Christmas Surprise

It is kind of ironic that she squealed like a pig when she saw it.

Sarah wanted a Tea Cup Piggy toy for Christmas. She really wanted it. It was a little pig toy that said over 20 phrases when you pressed the button on its back. It was housed in a cute little plastic tea cup and came with accessories to dress up your piggy. I bought one for Sarah and hid it with the other Christmas presents in my closet, but soon I found evidence that she had discovered it. The Christmas paper was unwrapped, box open and the toy was on the closet floor. I put it in another hiding spot, but she found it again. This time I hid all the presents in the basement storage room. When I came downstairs there she was jumping up and down squealing in delight, clapping her hands in glee with the piggy toy at her feet. (She also opened other presents as well.)  I told her that Tea Cup Piggy and the other gifts were for Christmas and to leave them alone.

I thought of one more place….

There is a space behind my bedroom door. When you open the door it stops at the corner of my dresser. With the door open, there is a pocket of space behind it. I put all our Christmas gifts in this spot and draped it with a bed sheet. It seemed to have worked. Each day I checked and the sheet remained unmoved.

Then one day, I found the plastic sunglasses accessory that went with the Tea Cup Piggy on the floor. I pulled back the sheet and found that Sarah once again found the toy, plus ripped open and destroyed boxes that contained gifts to siblings, nieces and nephews. I sighed. I had to once again find another spot.

Sarah did not know that I discovered her secret and I saw her walk upstairs. She carefully opened my door thinking she was going to find her secret stash.  I stood in the foyer looking up at my bedroom door and waited.

In less than two seconds later, the loudest shriek came from my room. Not a squeal, but a shriek! I raced upstairs to find Sarah frantically looking behind my door for the presents. Her eyes were wild and she was beside herself. She was not prepared for this Christmas surprise!

“Sarah, I told you the presents are for Christmas and not all of them are for you. You will get your toys at Christmas. Now go!” I pointed for her to leave my bedroom.

Sarah gave me the most exasperated looked. She screamed a high pitch scream at me and with clenched fists stomped off.


The older I get the more I am humbled that Jesus, out of His great love for us, left His throne in Heaven and came down to earth. The perfection of Heaven was forgone to come to an imperfect world. An infinite God took on a form of finite man.  This great love, this salvation, this gift was for us. While it was prophesied the Messiah was coming, no one 2,000 years ago expected Jesus to come as a baby and be found in a stable in Bethlehem.  Unlike Sarah’s Tea Cup Piggy gift, He was not meant to be hidden, but for the whole world to discover. He is Emmanuel (God with us)!

Our Savior’s birth truly was the biggest and best Christmas surprise!

Merry Christmas!

I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:1b-11