Friday, July 10, 2009

Hanging On

If you have come by for the YES to GOD Tuesday study of Liz Curtis Higgs' book, Embrace Grace, I will have this weeks and next weeks chapters posted together next Tuesday. I'm so sorry, but I have traveled to KC three times in a week so I'm a little behind on stuff.

Been faced with some challenging stuff as of late in my walk with God and I tell you what...
I love my Savior more than even an hour ago and He is worth every step of this journey of the unknown with Him.
The Enemy on the other hand I could do without. Funny how Satan can get under your skin and just not give up on trying to bring you down. Amazing how he can make you question your faith, your talents and even how you are as a mother. If you let him that is. So I'm trying hard to focus on what God alone says about me.

These last few weeks I have learned much about the God I serve. I know I am so far from perfect that when I think too hard on it my mind just swirls in confusion that God even wants to be associated with the likes of me. He knows me better than anyone on earth does and that
doesn't stop Him from loving me and wanting to use my past, present and future for His glory.

Last week my husband and our 2 younger kids were at a family reunion in Florida.
Friday night they were at a hotel and there was another family reunion going on at the same time. Suddenly, a worried Grandma from the other reunion rushed over to Gene's family and described her 2 year old grandson. He had been missing for over an hour and she asked Gene's family to please look for him.
Within moments a lot of screaming started happening. Gene said it was so loud and piercing that his first thought was that someone had gotten shot. Even though he had kept Alivia in his sight, he began screaming for her to get to him immediately as Aaron was already near his side.

Suddenly the screaming from everyone became more intense and everyone began to point up.
They were in a courtyard and up on the top floor, the 15th floor, there was the missing little boy on the outside of the balcony dangling in the air. Aaron later described how he kept moving his foot backward like he was trying to put it on the ledge.
Here is a picture Gene and I found on the Internet of the hotel courtyard and it doesn't even show the top floor but you can get the idea of how high up it is.
Panic exploded out of the hearts of the little boys' family members and prayers began to be spoken out loud from the hearts of Gene and his family members.
My brother in law Will who has been a sheriff detective for 23 years in Orlando immediately went into the serve and protect mode and ran all 15 flights of stairs trying to get to him before he let go.
People on the ground started yelling instruction to the toddler begging him to not let go of the slippery railing he was holding on to. Others frantically grabbed cushions off couches putting them on the ground underneath where he was dangling hoping to soften the landing if he fell. Gene said he was so high up though that the thin cushions wouldn't have done a thing to help him.

He also told me that it was so scary...the type of fright you see on the big screen and he couldn't watch another minute of it. It's one thing to watch Tom Cruise hanging in danger in a movie, but to watch a two year old in real life is completely different. In tears Gene retreated to the room his family had rented and began to pray along with an Aunt and cousin.

My sister-in-law Dianne grabbed hold of the little boys' aunt that was running in no direction and just held her as she had about lost her mind searching for help.
And my kids watched in disbelief probably hoping if God answered any of their prayers that these would be the ones that would get His attention.

Angels had to have been holding on to this childs wrists until a curious hotel employee working on the 15th floor heard all the commotion and ran to the balcony to see what was happening in the courtyard below. Thankfully, he saw the little boy and quickly reached over the edge of the balcony and pulled him to safety. I'm sure a lot of held breath was released at that by-the-grace-of-God moment.

Aaron called me within minutes of this happening and I could tell that he was just completely shaken. As a Mom it was hard to be 1,500 miles away listening through a phone to the adrenalin make my big strong teenager's deep voice tremble as he described to me what he just witnessed.

My brother-in-law Will told Gene that in all the years he has been a detective, he has seen some horrible stuff, but never saw anything so scary in all his years on the force.

And when I talked to Gene later that night he told me he cried watching this child hold on for his life and how he felt so helpless so he just prayed. Made me fall in love all over again with the tender heart that pounds within my husbands chest.

Desperation for a life to be saved brings out the heroes,
the prayer warriors
and the love for the one needing the saving.
Until we say yes to Jesus Christ we are all just dangling.
Inches from our eternal death.
All in need of a Holy Hero.

I wonder when we make choices in our life that leave us barely hanging on if that is the reaction that goes on in heaven.
When we are on the path that leads to death do the angels try their hardest to save us?
Are they frantic in hope that we will say yes to the gift of salvation because they know that nothing can cushion a landing in hell?
Do they start praising Jesus on our behalf like the members of both family reunions did when they knew the boy was out of harms' way?

At two years' old, I'm sure he was so unaware of what had just happened to him.
What he had just put everyone through.
Within a little over an hour he went from being with family to probably returning to play time with his cousins minutes after being plucked from the hands of death.
I'm sure at such a young age he didn't thank his hero.
Thank you for saving my life more than likely never came out of his little mouth.
After being hugged and kissed on, he probably just went on with his little life.
Unaware that he just got a second chance.
Unaware that God isn't through with him on earth yet.
Unaware that he was saved.

How do we thank our Hero?
Do we live a life that brings Him glory or do we just go about our business our way?
Do we realize how we escape death when we invite Him to come into our life?
Do we know and appreciate that we just got a second chance or do we live unaware that God has plans for our lives?
Unaware that we've been saved.

This has really made me think about my walk with Christ.
I know I want more of Him.
I know I need more of Him.
I don't want to go through life unaware of His time spent on the cross.
Time He spent hanging in my place.

Thank you sweet Jesus for saving this little boy's life.
Thank you for the visual you gave me of You doing the same thing for me.
Thank you for hearing my continuous plea of needing you while dangling from the balcony of life and never failing to come to my rescue.
You are so precious to me.
You are my Hero.

Like I said before, I have no idea why He wants anything to do with me.
He is the closest I'll ever come to perfection.
These last few months, weeks and days I feel closer to Him than ever before and when the Enemy tries to throw me over the balcony of life, I know I can call confidently upon a Savior who won't just throw pillows below me to soften my fall, but instead will come running in response to my invitation and reach over the edge and pull me up close to Him.

I love you so much Lord.

~Many Blessings~
Next Tuesday...chapters 3 & 4 for the YES to GOD study of Liz's book.


Anonymous said...

I am speechless...

love you....and thank you for the words i needed to hear today...

Danielle said...

I am in tears here! Just the thought of that little boy... and then changing the picture of myself hanging over a ledge like that!...

Thank you Jesus for being my Hero!!

Thank you Leila for posting this. I needed this today!

Mel said...

having our lives saved, something we often forget or this part of we...and i am so glad that the little boy was ok...

Pamela (His maidservant) said...

Gene goes through some really big drama...I remember the acccident you posted about. I love that your man turns to prayer-how awesome is that!! I am doing a personal study with my accountability partner and women's ministry partner on "The Pursuit of Holiness" by Jerry Bridges and it is shaking me up in relationship to sin. I have only gotten through two chapters and it is already transforming...

I will be at church youth camp next week. Pray God will show Himself in a mighty way, especially to those kids, especially to my girls. I so want Him to capture their hearts. I will set chapter three to post on Tuesday. Would you add my name to your Mr. Linky? I will have no computer access.

Thanks friend.

Hi Maidservant~Pamela

Jill said...

Thanks for sharing the story and applying it to my life as well. As I read your words and relate to how we all struggle with the idea that Jesus would want anything to do with us I thought of a book study we just started at our church this week. It's Susie Larson's The Uncommon Woman and I'm sure would be wonderful for your Yes to God studies if you ever run out of material. Blessings to you as you keep hanging on, Jill

Tina said...


Thanks so much for sharing this awesome testimony of the power of Christ! No matter what the situation God is in the midst working and willing to accomplish His purposes in us. You are so blessed to have a husband who so quickly turns to the Savior! We are blessed by your gift for relating your life experiences in ways that help us to see Jesus. Keep serving sister!!

In Him,

Andrea said...

My heart is still pounding. I am thankful GOD led the worker to the balcony and saved this little one.

Thank you for sharing...

Runner Mom said...

Oh, Lelia! Mercy! I'm looking for my Kleenex...praise the Lord that everything turned out fine. Even though your family witnessed that, their faith grew. We have such an awesome GOd.

Love you!

Stacy said...

Oh, Lelia. My heart was pounding as I read your words. Praise God for the safety of that child and Praise Him for His safe-keeping of us.

I can only imagine the sort of spiritual attacks Satan is throwing your way with all that has gone on in your life over the past couple of years.

Stand firm, my friend, while at the same time, falling into the arms of Jesus. You have helped teach me that is the safest place for anyone to be.

Much Love to You!


Letters From Midlife said...

As amazing as the story is, your connection of this to our spiritual life was even more piercing. Thank you for sharing.

Jennifer said...

WOW, that was very powerful. Thank you for sharing.

It was just what I needed to hear this day.


Hi! I'm Grace said...

What a testimony! God is indeed good!
This is my first time here and I would like to say that God is glorified in your blog, Lelia. :)

Laura said...

What an amazing story, Lelia. Praise God. Praise God. Amen.