The Power of a Praying Mom
by Luisa Rodriguez
There are some phone calls you just don’t want to get. This was one of them. When I saw Mary’s name flash across my cell, I thought it was a routine call. I was her mom mentor through a volunteer program targeting mothers with no social-networks. I had spent countless hours helping her navigate the ups and downs of motherhood. How do I breastfeed? What do I do if my child has a fever? I expected to get just another question, but instead, her call plunged me into a world of extreme suffering, prayer, and miracles.
“My daughter fell and she is in the ICU. Can you come help me please?” said Mary. I quickly jotted down the name of the hospital, frantically grabbed my things, made arrangements for my own daughter, and sped over to the hospital. She had not given me a lot of details, but I knew it couldn’t be good if her daughter Lily was in the ICU.
Mary’s tone was eerily calm. I was not sure what to make of it. Maybe it wasn’t all that bad? But Lily was in the ICU, it had to be bad. But why was Mary so calm then? What I had not perceived in that moment was that her calmness was a symptom of shock. Mary was still in a state of disbelief, unable to fully digest what had just happened to her daughter.
As soon as I walked into the hospital room, the weight of her daughter’s suffering hit my like a ton of bricks. Lily was covered with tubes and her swollen, bruised face was unrecognizable. As nurses approached her, this beautiful three-year old screamed in terror. I looked at Mary. On the outside, she seemed quiet and subdued, but in her eyes I saw fear. I hugged her tight and began to cry.
It would take some time for me to get the full details of what had happened. Understandably, Mary found it hard in the initial few days to talk about it, but like the slow drip of a melting icicle, I got each chilling detail a little bit at a time.
Mary was babysitting a younger toddler, but she had an errand to run. As she left the apartment building, she had the younger child by the hand and was carrying a bag full of items with the other. Lily was following close behind as she always did. However, her usually calm and quiet Lily darted away from her mom and back up the apartment stairs. Mary chased after her with the other child in tow trying to keep up and yelling for her to stop. But it was too late.
This little three-year-old thought she was playing a game with mom. She bolted towards the railing on the second floor and climbed right over. Behind the railing was a decorative cinder block wall, but with a large gap between the railing and the wall. We believe that Lily didn’t see the gap. From her perspective, the floor kept on going. At a later date, when I retraced her steps and knelt down to her level to see what she saw, I couldn’t see the gap either. My friend’s daughter plunged from that second story floor, and hit the cement ground, head first.
At the hospital, Mary was notified that Lily had multiple small fractures on the front of her skull. That made surgery impossible. She also had blood clots that had to be drained. The doctors could not give her any guarantees. She would live, but it was unknown how much damage her brain had sustained and what that would mean for Lily’s quality of life. Despite the shock and uncertainty, Mary did the one thing she knew how to do. Pray.
Mary is the reason I have become such a strong proponent of prayer. I may have been her mom mentor, but she became my spiritual mentor in a lot of ways. As I got to know her better, she became more of a friend and less of a client. The more time I spent with her, the more I learned that my prayer life was lacking in more ways than one.
Mary was not the kind of person that said a ten minute prayer before bedtime and called it a night. Ever since I have known her, she would pour her heart out to God for hours at a time. She could easily spend four to six hours praying despite being a single mom and working a full time job. So, when her daughter fell from the second story of an apartment building, Mary prayed and prayed.
Many of us took some time to pray with her for Lily, but none of us could keep up with her dedication and persistence. In her pain, fear, and shock, she took it all to the throne of God and she was determined to stay there until God responded. And He did.
Lily spent a total of eight days in the hospital, but then was released to go home. Today Lily is a normal middle-schooler. If you talk to her, you would have never imagined that she had suffered so deeply. Some may chuck it up to the resilience and flexibility of toddlers. However, I remember looking at her disfigured face wondering how there could possibly be a happy ending. And yet, almost nine years later when I see Lily laugh I am reminded that yes, God does answer prayers.
About the Author
Luisa Rodriguez is a writer and artist who lives in St Charles, IL. Her professional background is in National Security and International Studies. However, recently, Luisa writes mostly about issues that pertain to spiritual growth.
Her daughters are one of her biggest inspirations. Much of her writing centers on female themes and lessons learned from parenting daughters. However, Luisa’s military studies give her a unique perspective on warfare / military themes in the Bible and she weaves that into her articles. Because of this, she appeals to male readers as well.
Because of her artistic background, she often illustrates her own graphics for her written work and website. You can read and see more of Luisa’s work on her website, Fruitfully Living. Follow her on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
You can read Luisa’s “Sunday Inspiration” column on the first 1st Sunday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.