Originally published Oct 19, 2011

My Papa had a heart attack over the weekend.  I was over 4 hours away - and so were my sisters.  That was hard.  I got the phone call while sitting in a boat in the middle of the lake.  Talk about feeling helpless to get where you really want to be!  I was understandably worried about my dad, but I think I was just as concerned for my mom as my dad underwent a heart cath to find the blockage, which would immediately be fixed.  I sat in that boat bawling, thinking "what if that was Chuck and I was sitting there all by myself?"  But my mom didn't really need me.  She is a Christ follower - so she's never alone.  Emmanuel is a name for God we don't hear much except around Christmas time, but it's a comforting name.  It means, "God with us".  And He always is.  My mom sang praise songs to herself during the entire procedure and really felt the presence of God.  He comforted her (a primary job of the Holy Spirit) and kept her calm.  Had I been where I wanted to be, she would have missed that sweet fellowship and confirmation of Providence's care.
When Shelby was a toddler, I was terrified for Chuck to go out of town and leave me alone with her.  In those days, every time she had a seizure we ended up in the ER because of the duration and severity.  Looking back, how I wish I had called upon my Savior and allowed Him to wrap his arms around me the way my mom did.  I am fortunate to have her as an example to follow.  I hope the next time a crisis comes (and in this fallen world, it will), I will reach out for what I know is already there - my Emmanuel.  The ever-present, all-powerful God of the universe.
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."  Psalm 46:1