10: A Voice in the Dark

10: A Voice in the Dark

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

A Voice in the Dark

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.

~Hebrews 2:1

“Get up and go to Ginny’s!” A resounding voice jolted me awake in the cold, dark hours of the early morning. I closed my eyes again. As a counselor at the summer aquatic camp, I had been allotted a lumpy dorm room bed. Not having slept well, I was not ready to leave my warm blanket behind.

The voice sounded again with commanding authority. “Get up and go to Ginny’s!”

Shocked, I bolted upright, my heart pounding and my head clearing.

“Lord, is that you?” I asked.

“Get up and go — now!”

Without stopping to ask why, I rushed into action. “Okay, okay,” I answered. “I hear you!”

Quickly, I scanned the stark, tomb-like room for my clothes and a hairbrush. The icy tile beneath my feet sent me scurrying for the bathroom. Disoriented, I screeched to a halt. Where was the bathroom?

The previous afternoon had been filled with orientation to the campus and a review of the week’s activities, so I had not fully unpacked. I scrambled to stuff a few loose items into my suitcase while I worried over a believable excuse to give the camp director for leaving. I felt certain that telling him the Lord had woken me up and told me to go to my daughter’s house would brand me as certifiably crazy.

Understandably, the director was disgruntled as I mumbled a few words of apology for leaving him in the lurch. I rushed across the college campus, determined but still asking myself, What are you doing? Did you really hear a voice?

My daughter had a two-year-old daughter and a three-month-old son. To her great chagrin, she was pregnant again. She had called the previous Friday to tell me the news, but expressed concern because she had experienced a couple of fainting spells that she could not explain.

She described how she had collapsed the first time in the grocery store. Suddenly feeling lightheaded, she slumped to the concrete floor. Her children were in the grocery cart, unattended, while she lay in a heap. Help came quickly, of course, but she was confused, embarrassed, and terrified by the realization that she had left her children alone in a public place, even for a few minutes. A day later, she almost fainted again while getting out of her car.

Ginny had never fainted before in her life, so of course she was afraid it might have something to do with the pregnancy. I agreed and suggested she talk with her doctor right away. When she called the doctor’s office to discuss her concerns, a nurse chided her about the fainting spells, saying they could be the result of a hormonal imbalance caused by becoming pregnant again so quickly.

“Call back if the problem continues,” she said briskly, putting an end to the conversation. Her abruptness seemed to imply that Ginny was overly excitable and wasting the nurse’s precious time.

After driving for an hour in the pre-dawn, I arrived at Ginny’s apartment and knocked on the door. It was 7:00 a.m. Shocked to see me standing there, my son-in-law asked, “Ann, what are you doing here?”

“I’m here to take care of the children while you take Ginny to the doctor,” I said firmly. Then I whispered, “All I know is the Lord woke me up and told me to come. So, here I am.”

Ginny padded into the living room looking rumpled and pale. Confused, she echoed her husband’s question. As I repeated my story, I began to feel very foolish. Had I just imagined the voice?

Ginny’s typical no-nonsense response was, “If the Lord told you to come so I could go to the doctor, then I guess I’d better go!”

Dressing quickly, they gave me instructions on where to find bottles, formula, and diapers, then rushed off to the doctor’s office without even calling for an appointment. I waited anxiously as I comforted my hungry and confused granddaughter, sterilized bottle parts, and soothed the baby. Doubts assailed me again. Was there really a serious issue, or had I disrupted their routine for nothing? I almost felt embarrassed, but not quite.

Several hours later, Robert called to say that Ginny had been admitted to the hospital. She had passed out again on the way to the doctor’s office. After examining her, the doctor determined that Ginny was bleeding internally from an ectopic pregnancy. Ginny’s condition was so precarious that the doctor would not even allow them to drive across the parking lot to the hospital. She called an ambulance to deliver her the few hundred yards to the emergency room.

“The emergency room doctors said Ginny might have died if they hadn’t seen her when they did,” Robert told me over the phone. “They were amazed at how lucky she was to have come to the doctor’s office this morning.”

As the words “she could have died” sank in, I looked at her babies and realized how much they might have missed in life. I cried. Shaking with relief, I silently acknowledged the true source of our “luck.”

Following surgery and a night in the hospital to monitor her blood pressure, Ginny was sent home for some bed rest. My camp clothes were perfect for taking care of two small children — children who still had a mother because I listened and acted when a voice said, “Get up and go to Ginny’s!”

~Annette Geroy

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