If ever there was a defining moment in my life it was the evening of 30th June 2003. As I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, I put my life into God’s hands. My prayer was, “Lord take me safely into Your presence, or please, cause me to completely recover.” Within minutes of arriving at the hospital it was confirmed that I was having a heart attack. Injections were given to unblock my arteries, but still the pain continued. Another injection was administered but to no avail. I remember the moment I drifted into unconsciousness, and then some time later remember waking to the sound of someone calling my name.
Some days later what had happened to me unfolded - my heart had stopped twice, and I had been given five electric shocks, and heart massage. It really was a miracle that I was still alive. An angiogram showed that I had experienced the rarest of all heart attacks - a dissected coronary artery. The main right artery had split from top to bottom. The doctor and nurses stood with their mouths gaping and speechless at seeing the spit and wondering how I was still alive.
But I knew why. The nurses attending me during the emergency told me of the presence of God in the room throughout the entire crisis! There was a purpose still to be outworked in my life, for which the Lord was preserving me for, despite the incredible odds. Being only 41 years old and the mother of 5 sons under 10, this event was very traumatic.
Six months later in January 2004, a bigger testing of faith was presented to me when our local family doctor confirmed that I was pregnant. This sent shock waves through my soul. I had been told while recovering from the heart attack NOT to fall pregnant. Most women have heart attacks only after child bearing age, but because I was still in that range it became a big issue among the health workers.
Within a few days I had appointments with the specialist cardiologist and the specialist obstetrician. Both described the risks of my pregnancy. The obstetrician asked if it is worth risking my life for another baby when I already had 5 young children. Both specialists couldn’t guarantee my safety throughout the pregnancy or rule out another heart attack, which according to the statistics of heart attack during pregnancy, was likely to be fatal. Termination was suggested.
I cannot describe the range of emotions that my husband George and I went through over the next 2 months. As Christians we believed in God who was without doubt, the author of every pregnancy and child born. We had no right, we felt, for any reason to terminate a life that God had created. Even in knowing this, I was fearful for my life and my children if I would die during the pregnancy or birth.
I turned to the Lord in desperate prayer. As I did He gave me the key to my situation and said, “Give up the right to preserve your own life.” Having understood His path for me, I simply prayed committing my life and the growing child within me, into His hands. Immediately I felt relief from my fears, as if a heavy weight had been lifted of me. We informed the doctors that we would not terminate but proceed with the pregnancy.
Some days later the Lord showed me a vision while I was praying - It was the child in the womb being held in His hands. Another time He told me, “You won’t carry this baby.” I thought that was strange and I didn’t understand what that meant, but as the pregnancy progressed, I noticed a lot of changes in comparison to my previous pregnancies. Firstly there was no serious morning sickness, that was a big change! Secondly, I wasn’t exhausted all the time and actually felt in the best health I had for ages. I often told George that I didn’t even feel like that I was pregnant. It was true, the Lord was carrying the baby. There were times along the way when I would be attacked with fear, but each time I cried out to the Lord, who would steady my heart and soothe my anxieties.
As the months passed, the condition of my heart was an issue raised again by the doctors who were wanting to decide on what type of delivery I should have - the one that would have the least amount of strain on my heart. I was sent to have a heart echo when I was seven months pregnant. The results were amazing. Many people would know that the heart is an organ that can’t regenerate. Once damaged, which previous tests showed mine was, it remains in that condition. But the heart echo showed little or no trace of damage at all. In fact the report said that I had 100% operation of my heart. My husband George and I were dumbfounded, but knew that God had done an incredible miracle. Because of this report the doctors decided to let me go full term and have a normal delivery.
The moment came in the 40th week. When the time came to deliver the baby, I hesitated wondering if I could do this and would something go wrong with my heart as I pushed. As I thought this, suddenly a tangible peace settled over the top of me and George, just as if a blanket had been placed over us. It was the Presence of God bringing me reassurance. We both felt it. I knew in that moment I could push ‘to my heart’s content’, and that everything would be O.K. I did, with the confidence that God’s peace brought, and our seventh son, baby Moses, was born two minutes later.
Three weeks after Moses birth I had an ECG done in the doctor’s office. In carefully reading the heart traces the doctor announced with amazement that some of the traces had actually reversed since the heart attack and returned to normal. We went on our way rejoicing at our God who takes up the things that we lay down to Him. He achieved what should have been impossible in the natural and brought our precious miracle baby Moses and me safely through it all.
I wanted to share this testimony of God’s healing and enabling strength to encourage other women facing pregnancies with medical conditions, to trust their lives into the Lord’s hands. It was true what He said to me - He was the One who carried Moses for me in the womb, and He brought him safely into this world. In the process of surrendering my life to Him, He took over and healed and carried me as well. This was supposed to be the most dangerous of all my pregnancies, but the Lord made it to be the best and easiest of them all. My soul magnifies the Lord for he has done wondrous things for me.
Karen Elengikal is an inspirational, published writer from Sydney, Australia. Karen's first book 'Kidz Battle Zone' was released in 2007. (see FW Book Review).