Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)
Every year our family looks forward to taking a picture for our Christmas card. We generally pick out a new outfit, coordinate colors, sometimes silly poses, and sometimes we actually get everyone smiling and looking in the same direction!
Over the years, we’ve only missed one annual picture – 2010. We were living in Florida, far from family. Tye traveled and was in St. Petersburg on business. My cell rang at 3:30 p.m. I heard my husband say, “Do not come down here. I’m in the hospital and think they might keep me for observation.”
I was going to South Florida. What I didn’t realize was the LORD had already gone before us and was working out every detail that would meet our needs. Tye convinced the doctor to release him with the promise he would have a stress test the following morning. We spent the night, went that morning for the test, then headed home to our children.
Two hours into the drive the doctor called. He told us not to go home or stop for any reason, but to go directly to the ER. At that moment, my heart was amazingly calm. I drove straight to the hospital. Medical personnel were waiting and took Tye to ICU. As I followed behind the stretcher, I realized the seriousness of the situation. The LORD was going before us, taking care of details and placing people in my path whom He would use as great comforters to my heart.
The doctor came in and shared Tye had extensive blockage in his heart, but we would not know the full report until he had a heart cath. As they took him back for the test, I sat in the waiting room. A nurse walked by whom I knew. God sent someone when I felt so alone, a friend who was a member of our church.
She sat with me until the test was completed. Walking down the hallway, I could see my husband on a long flat table through the glass window.
The doctor said, “Mrs. Taylor, he should not be alive right now. Tye has 100 percent blockage in the main artery of his heart. The Widow Maker.”
My world began to move in slow motion as I tried to process everything. He showed me a tiny vessel on the screen.
“Do you see this line? This is a natural by-pass, the only thing keeping him alive.”
I remember a long pause and I said, “I see that vessel. I know it’s the hand of God keeping my husband alive.” Tye had emergency triple bypass surgery that year. It was a six-hour surgery without complication.
The waiting room was filled with our friends as everyone prayed and stood beside our family. We stand amazed at the LORD’s presence in our lives. Many times we felt like pressing our backs against the wall of the hospital hallways to just be still and watch Him move.
We didn’t have a Christmas photo to send in 2010, but 2011 documented hearts full of love, laughter and immeasurable thankfulness for His protection and presence among us.
1. Share a time when you realized God was working directly in your life and circumstances.
2. How did His hand in your life impact your relationship with Him?
3. Are there some areas in your life now where you long for God to work?
Shelly Taylor is the mother of three and grandmother to her first grandson. She and Tye have been married for 26 years. Shelly holds a BA degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master of Arts in Christian Education with a concentration in Preschool and Children’s Ministry from Dallas Baptist University. She has taught in the public and private school system and served in Kids Ministry for over 20 years. Her passion is to serve the LORD with all of her heart!