Retirement was supposed to be relaxing, but just a few months after I’d left my teaching job I found myself rushing around. It was our last day at home before my husband, Larry, and I took the three-hour trip to our summer place on Lake Roosevelt. And summer was certainly in full swing.   Today the temperature hit 100 degrees. But Larry and I had a lot to take care of before we could get going. I grabbed the keys to my Subaru Outback.   “You take the truck to run your last-minute errands,” I said. “I’m headed to the [More]
My mom and dad had known each other since high school. “We were meant to be together,” Dad said. My father didn’t show his emotions much, but you could see a sparkle in his eyes whenever he talked about Mom.   My older brother, Roland, and sister, Alma, and I always knew how much our parents loved each other. Long after they sent us kids off to bed they lingered at the kitchen table, talking and holding hands, just enjoying their time alone.   We lived in Midland, Texas, where Dad was a full-time CPA, and Mom had her own [More]
I was clearing up the breakfast dishes when the phone rang. “Something’s happened to your mom,” my dad said. He was trying to keep calm, but I could hear panic in his voice. “The ambulance should be here any minute.”   A rush of cold swept through my body, as if I could feel the blood draining to my feet. “Ambulance?”   “I found her collapsed on the floor. Hurry over! I’m alone here.”   I stumbled upstairs, jerked on my shoes and ran out to the car. Luckily my family all lived close together. My parents were only a [More]
Seven o’clock. Just about time for my evening walk. I tucked my cell phone into my pocket and headed off down the road, where the summer cottages stretched out along the Juniata River in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. I walked past the cottage next to mine, past . . .   I stopped. Gladys’s cottage stood empty. It was still hard for me to believe that she wasn’t inside. We weren’t family by blood—she and her husband were great friends of my parents while I was growing up. Her daughter and I were like sisters, and Gladys was like a second [More]
They call it the most magical place on earth. What better vacation spot for us to visit than Disney World that summer of 1985? My husband and I had only been married a few months, but all signs pointed to a long and happy future for our brand-new blended family. Life felt more settled already, and I was relieved to no longer be alone.   “Let’s do Space Mountain tomorrow,” my older daughter said as she got into the sleeping couch on the opposite side of the room. Her sister was already tucked into the cot. “And Cinderella’s castle!” she [More]
Knuckles white, I gripped the sides of our ski boat. The storm had hit with almost no warning and we were being tossed about like a cork, the wind and waves threatening to capsize us.   “We’ve got to get back to the dock,” Phil yelled over the gale. We’re veteran boaters. Not easily panicked. My husband and I were fighting for our lives.   From the middle of Kaw Lake, a massive body of water in northeast Oklahoma, I looked to where we had put in that morning, hoping to enjoy the day exploring the lake’s many coves. But, [More]
Scotch burned my throat on the way down. Finally. I’d waited hours for my favorite bar to open up and it wasn’t even noon yet. I couldn’t deny it anymore. My drinking was out of control and I was scared out of my mind.   “How are things, Jim?” asked Betty the bartender.   I shrugged and looked around the bar. The place was dim—none of the customers wanted to see anything too clearly.   I could make out a few faces against the wood paneling: A man in a rumpled coat hunched over a tumbler of whiskey. A woman [More]
All my 84 years, I’ve believed in angels. From the time I could be read to, my mother shared the Bible stories of when they appeared. And then there was another story, a special family story, that my mother told me many times. It wasn’t nearly as old as those Bible stories, but we knew it was every bit as true. Because it was a story about my own grandmother, back in 1898.   Chicago, at the end of the nineteenth century, was not an easy place for a young couple without much money. My grandpa had a job at [More]
All six of my children had been born naturally, in the comfort of our home. I knew the natural ways to induce labor—walking, evening primrose oil, a bowl of pineapple chunks, a warm bath. I was a pro at breathing rhythms and the most comfortable delivery position. By child number seven, I knew what I was doing. But after 35 hours of labor, my home-birth doctor sent me on to the hospital.   “You need advanced medical attention,” he said. “Your labor isn’t progressing.” I didn’t know if I was more disappointed or scared.   My husband, Michael, helped me [More]
Take your problems to the Lord. That had always been my policy. But as I pulled out of my driveway one morning, my biggest worry was…simply worrying.   My concerns were nothing out of the ordinary: a big project at work, a to-do list of household repairs, trying to keep in touch with family. There was nothing I could do about any of it at the moment. I was on my way to work.   And yet no matter how many times I told myself to stop, I couldn’t stop going over and over it all in my head.   [More]
“Sing, Dari! Loud as you can!” Normally my four-year-old daughter loved to sing. Now she just stared, uncomprehending, at the nurse. I squeezed her hand for comfort. The nurse wanted her to sing so she would take deep breaths of anesthesia. I understood that, but how could I explain it to Dari?   The doctor had allowed me to be in the operating room until she was asleep, but I didn’t feel like I was being all that much help. There was so much for Dari to take in: the mask over her nose and mouth, the doctors and nurses [More]
A beautiful spring afternoon on the lake turned into a nightmare when a family’s boat drifted too close to a power dam. The powerful current pulled the boat under—and took the family with it.
I love to look through our online submissions to Guideposts‘ family of magazines. Angel lovers won’t want to miss this one, from Paul Silway of Chinchwad City, Pimpri, Maharashtra.   His phrase “homegoing angels” was new to me, and one I won’t forget. He also included a drawing, see below, “The Anticipation and Joy of Going Home.” Thank you, Paul, for this comfort to all of us:   A Vision Read More: Angels escort a loved one to heaven | Guideposts
What was that? I listened closely, all alone in my dark bedroom, but heard nothing more. Just the house settling, I told myself. I rolled over and pulled the covers up tight around me. I’d never get to sleep.   My husband, David, had died only a couple of weeks before. Without him here with me, our cozy, familiar house became something else entirely in the darkness of the night. The moon cast a ghostly light across the floor through a gap in the curtain. Shadows in the corners of the room grew long and sinister. Creaks and groans echoed [More]
My mom and dad had known each other since high school. “We were meant to be together,” Dad said. My father didn’t show his emotions much, but you could see a sparkle in his eyes whenever he talked about Mom.   My older brother, Roland, and sister, Alma, and I always knew how much our parents loved each other. Long after they sent us kids off to bed they lingered at the kitchen table, talking and holding hands, just enjoying their time alone.   We lived in Midland, Texas, where Dad was a full-time CPA, and Mom had her own [More]
Heading to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in June had become an annual tradition for a group of camping friends and me. That’s the only time the species of firefly Photinus carolinus, the only known synchronous fireflies in the western hemisphere, puts on a not-to-be-missed show.   The darker the night, the more spectacular the experience. On this particular evening, we were in luck. The new moon was just a pale sliver in the eastern sky as my friends and I crossed the footbridge that leads across Jake’s Creek from Elkmont campground.     We made our way up [More]
It was the day after Christmas in 1994, and with two toddler girls, I was exhausted. The past few days had been hectic with shopping, baking, wrapping gifts and making rounds to visit grandparents. This was the day I was looking forward to. I already had plans to stay home, sleep late and watch my babies play with their new toys. But now I was in a huff because I had been awakened abruptly. It was almost like someone had hit me to wake me up. I rolled over and looked at the clock to see what time it was, [More]
My wife and I had an amazing angel encounter when we were in our 20s. We had traveled to Seattle in order to attend Christian Faith Center with Pastor Casey Treat. On the way back from church, we decided to drive up Mount St. Helens to see the destruction from the volcanic eruption of 1980. We drove probably three hours up to the lookout point that overlooks into the crater of the mountain.   As we hiked up to the highest viewing point, I noticed a man who had several cameras. He got my attention, because I wanted to get [More]
“I have the craziest story ever to tell you!!” my sister Priscilla texted me the other day around 7 p.m. A miracle too detailed to type out, she said. Well, how could I not be intrigued? As soon as I got home, Priscilla launched into the tale. She’d been waiting for the uptown subway on West 72nd Street after work, reading a book on her iPhone. The train arrived, but before the doors opened, Priscilla’s phone tumbled out of her hands.She watched in disbelief as it fell right through the gap between the subway platform and the train, landing just [More]
My younger sister Diane has come out from California to help care for me as I recover from this mysterious lung infection. Her prayers have been added to your prayers and the prayers of so many people, so many friends, so many strangers, so many who care and believe in God working through us. My toughest days in the hospital were in that first week. I struggled, at times, over every breath. The doctors put me on the the strongest antibiotics they could send through i.v. drips in my arms. They worked hard to send oxygen in my lungs, giving [More]
My 63-year-old dad had been in love with my mom ever since he saw her at a Christmas party at church when he was 17 and she was 14. She was his best friend, the one constant in all of his memories, his dreams, his motivation, his adolescence; she was his planning partner for the rest of their days on earth. Mom was essentially Dad’s entire life. That’s why, when one morning she ironed my dad’s work shirts, straightened up the house, and walked out the door of their home while he was at work—never to return—it waylaid my dad [More]
We worked on pronunciation, inflection, tone, pace and body language. He taught us the importance of making eye contact with the audience. Perhaps the most crucial thing he taught us was what we were doing when we were giving a reading. “When you participate in the church service, you are giving people a gift from God. That’s why we work so hard to open ourselves to the words on the page.” Under Father Rivers’s guidance, I learned to stop thinking of myself as a woman speaking in public. I was the tool God used to share good news with others. [More]
I lay perfectly still on the hospital scanning machine table with my arms and legs strapped down. Heaviness surrounded my heart like a shroud, but I purposely didn’t cry because I couldn’t wipe away the tears. My doctor had ordered a thyrogen scan to detect thyroid cancer. As I waited for it to begin, many questions raced through my mind: Did the radioactive iodine treatment work? Had the cancer reappeared and spread? Would I need surgery? After 23 years in remission, my bloodwork had shown a possible recurrence of thyroid cancer. Over the next year and a half, I endured [More]
I’ve always loved the idea of angels: messengers of God who guide and protect every human life; offer forgiveness, comfort, grace and aid; and love us as God does–unconditionally. So I was thrilled when I got hired at Angels on Earth almost 10 years ago. From my first day on the job, I felt like God intended for me to work at this magazine. After being at the magazine for about a year, one evening on my subway ride home from the office I wondered silently: Do I really believe in angels? I enjoyed that readers got so much reassurance [More]
Who held his hand after the devastating car accident? Most people who know me know I died on January 18, 1989, went to heaven, and was prayed back to earth about ninety minutes later; however, many don’t know the rest of the story—a part I didn’t know until more than a year afterward. One powerful element came out when I ate at a Chinese restaurant with Dick and Anita Onerecker. We had just come from church, where Dick served as the senior pastor. They had invited me to preach. My first encounter with Dick and Anita had been in the [More]
Little did they know that they were visited by an angel who bore a message from heaven. Sometimes, early in our marriage, for no reason at all, my husband would stop at a flower shop and buy me a dozen roses. “A whole dozen!” I’d say, overwhelmed and aghast. “Oh, Dave, they’re too expensive.We can’t afford this.” For a while he didn’t hear me. If he saw twelve roses, he’d buy them all. To the Italian romantic, more was better. But finally, my Scotch-Irish nature got through to him. “Oh, Dave, they’re so wonderful–but I just can’t appreciate more than [More]
Bang! The door slamming jolted me awake. The sky outside my bedroom window was pitch-black. It wasn’t anywhere near morning. Whatever time it was, my father was awake and furious. “Those no good…They’re gone!” he said. Then he yelled, “Everybody up!” I scrambled out of bed and followed my older sister, Geraldine, into the kitchen where my parents were. “The field hands have deserted us!” Dad said. “Snuck off in the middle of the night!” Why would they do that? I thought sleepily. Then I remembered. The afternoon before I’d been tucked up in the hayloft and heard Dad fight [More]