“I was facing death, and then He saved me.”

7:31

There are no words to describe that heart sinking, gut punching, life changing phone call. “Andrew collapsed at work, Sam. The ambulance is on their way and they’re working on him.” My Andrew? My Andrew that I had just spoken to less than an hour ago? He was fine; this can’t be right. My head spun and my heart shattered. I prayed, I cried, and took off to make it to the emergency room, unsure of what I would find when I got there. In short, that day and the days following were the worst of my life. The emotional and physical tornado that took over our lives has left quite the mark and, admittedly, we’re still trying to work our way through it. That is why it has taken over a month since Andrew’s stint in the hospital to update or post much of anything; we’re still trying to process and figure everything out.

Andrew and I are private people, which may seem odd considering we have this blog. But I even fought this blog and said no to until I could no longer deny that the Lord was calling us to share our testimony through recording this journey. With that being said, we can’t share every detail of those 12 days spent in the ICU. Those were the most private, intimate moments that we’ll ever have between us. But what we do want to share is how much of an absolute miracle Andrew’s life is. And I understand that is hard to comprehend and grasp without having all of the details, but trust me when I say, the fact that Andrew is alive is only possible by the grace of God. The fact that Andrew can walk and talk is a miracle. The fact that Andrew woke up out of his medically-induced coma as my husband, the same man I fell in love with years ago, the same goofy man who laughed with me just hours after awakening, the same man who fights through every single battle with every ounce of strength within him, is an absolute miracle. The fact that Andrew and I are sitting here together, side by side, is a miracle. Our hospital room was frequently flooded with doctors, nurses, medics, ER staff; all of the people that took care of Andrew at his worst. They had all heard how remarkably and inexplicably well he was doing, but they just needed to see it to believe it. There was no way that the man they had resuscitated and worked so vigorously on just days before was sitting up in his hospital bed, smiling and laughing. Several nurses that had been in the medical world for thirty years made a point to note how they had never seen anything like this. And I must say, I never dreamed I would see anything like this. How many people in this world get to see an honest to God miracle? I don’t use that term to negate the exemplary and impeccable care and treatment Andrew received. The medics, nurses, doctors, and specialists worked tirelessly on Andrew, and for that, I could never give them a big enough hug and thank you for. But every single one of them recognized that things should have been worse. Despite their care and despite their efforts, Andrew should not be where he is today. The initial scans looked bad. The circumstances were tough. The fact that he has cancer complicated things. Basically, things were not looking great the first day or two. I did not sleep for those first three days because if things got worse, I needed to be there for him. But if he miraculously moved his head or squeezed my hand, I needed to be able to see that, too. That’s how bad things were; we were at the point where I just needed to see something. Something to show me that he was still there.

In those moments, I prayed to God that Andrew would wake up and, of course, knew that I was going to love whomever came out of that coma endlessly. But I certainly was not the only one praying. Thousands and thousands of people were blanketing Andrew in prayer and I truly, truly believe that he was being prayed over every single second of those days in the ICU. I know, without a doubt, that the Lord heard each and every one of those prayers and gracefully gave my husband another chance at life. Andrew woke up quickly, which is not typically the case; we were preparing ourselves to potentially wait days for him to fully come to. He didn’t make me wait long to let me see that beautiful smile and share in side-splitting laughter. He was there. He was alive. He was Andrew.

Three weeks later, we are snuggled in our cozy home about to make cinnamon rolls and watch the premiere episode of “Houdini.” Andrew is doing wonderfully and every day gets easier and easier. He is starting work again this week and this time, I will be at his side as his company graciously offered me a position since he clearly cannot be trusted to keep breathing on his own 😉 . We have hit the reset button on our lives and plan to continue to live every day as fully as possible. The mantra of living every day because you’ll never know when it’ll be your last is a common one, but I truly hope and pray that after reading this, maybe that will sink in a little further in your hearts. I was speaking with Andrew a mere forty minutes before he collapsed and he was completely fine. For days, I feared that was going to be my last conversation with him and that I’d never hear an “I love you” again. Be grateful for those breaths filling your lungs and the “I love you’s” that are spoken from your loved ones mouths. Live each day as purposefully and gracefully as possible and love one another as the Lord has loved you. (John 15:12)

A note from Andrew: Even though I can’t remember everything, I just wanted to thank all of the people that came to visit Samantha and I at the hospital, and for all of the prayers, cards, gifts, and well wishes we have received. I know that Samantha would not have been able to get through the first few days in the hospital without all of your support and I am truly grateful for how well everyone took care of her when I was unable. Things are getting back to normal slowly but surely and that can only be attributed to the many prayers that have been said over the last several weeks. Thank you again and we look forward to continue to report good news.

“The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and then He saved me. Now I can rest again, for the Lord has been so good to me. He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth!” (Psalm 116:6-9)

13 thoughts on ““I was facing death, and then He saved me.”

  1. Andrew and Sam
    Thanks so much for the update. Yes we all have been praying for you and sending emails across the country. It makes me feel so blessed when I read your article. I will continue to pray for you both. So glad your back at work. I also have tears running down my cheeks as I sent you this note. I want you to know how much we all love you both. Jo

  2. I don’t think I have ever met either one of you. I was Jenni Smith’s nanny when she was a child and now watch your niece Harper. My husband is a pastor as we just wanted you top know we also prayed for Andrew and will continue to hold you both up in our prayers. I know without a doubt Andrews healing was a miracle. Our son in law went through cancer treatments twice and was in the hospital for a couple of weeks and totally out of it for 10 full days. He is doing great now and is cancer free. Praise God for His healing touch in our Joe’s life and Andrews life also!!!!!!! God is good ALL the time!!!!

  3. My husband and I are good friends of Jenni and Stephen and wanted to let you know that we are continuing to lift you both up in prayer. My mom is Angie, who just previously commented, and so my husband Joe and I know first hand also what miracles look like! The strength you have both had and the witness you both are to those around you is incredible! Joe has the same oncologist as Andrew and we too are thankful for the tireless work of doctors and all medical staff. Thank you both so much for sharing and allowing so many to experience part of this journey with you! Many prayers are still coming your way!

  4. God is sooooo GOOD! I remember the day it happened. Scott sent me a text and said an emergency staff meeting was taking place, and told me what had occurred. I sat in the parking lot of the school and cried and prayed for you both. So glad we serve a mighty God who hears and answers our prayers!! May God bless you both as you continue this journey! Zephaniah 3:17
    Luan Voehringer

  5. You are true testimony to God and what He can do for us each day. Thanks for sharing and I’m glad to read you are doing so well after all of this. God Bless.

    Janet Inman

  6. I thank God for both of your lives and that wonderful and inspiring testimony. You encouraged my spirit to BELIEVE AND HOLD ON TO GOD’S UNCHANGING HAND. God is an “ON TIME GOD….HE MAY NOT COME WHEN U WANT HIM..BUT HE’S ALWAYS RIGHT ON TIME…YES HE IS”I’m so PROUD of You for putting your total trust in GOD and not mankind!Thank You both for that awesome testimony(updates) May God Bless you!I will be praying for You an your Husband.take care.

  7. Andrew and Sam ~ We are so very grateful for God’s cover of protection and healing over you!! Thank you for sharing His miraculous power and grace in your message. Never doubt your walk in faith and testimony are touching many lives in a mighty way!
    Continued prayers are being lifted for strength and complete healing.

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