75: Lifted by Love

75: Lifted by Love

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel

Lifted by Love

Faith is not without worry or care, but faith is fear that has said a prayer.

~Author Unknown

The weird feeling hit me like a fist to the midsection. I grabbed the top rails of the fifteen-foot ladder I was standing on to paint the exterior of the house. I shut my eyes and regained my balance before I closed the paint can and descended. Step by step, I inched my way down and staggered into the house. Then I began my litany of what might be wrong.

The noonday sun was too hot. I must have been hungry. Was I sick? After I washed my face, I fell across the bed to rest. As soon as my head hit the pillow, I knew. Pray! I needed to pray for Stephanie. Our daughter was on a rafting trip with her church youth group. But what could go wrong? She was a lifeguard. She was strong. Besides the Guadalupe River ran slowly through the city of New Braunfels.

The knot in my stomach twisted again and I quickly slipped to my knees.

“God, help my daughter. I have no idea what’s wrong, but I know You are looking over her. Please send angels to guard her. Lift her up to receive your blessing. Help her please, Father God! Help my daughter!”

Feeling better, I stood and did some house cleaning. It was Friday and my husband would be home early. I decided to stay off the ladder for the rest of the weekend. By Sunday, the incident was all but forgotten.

Sunday, Stephanie came bounding in the door after church. Sunburned, tired and hungry, she dropped her bags, rummaged through the refrigerator and came to sit beside me as I folded clothes. She sat close, her skin radiating heat.

“Wow!” I said. “You better get something on that burn.”

“You know me,” she answered leaning toward me. “It will turn to a tan in a few days.” I leaned in toward her and enjoyed the rare moment of my teenager actually wanting to stay close to me.

“Mom,” she continued. “I almost died.”

“What?” I asked, thinking I didn’t hear her correctly. “How?”

“I fell off my raft at one of the little falls. It was stupid because the water wasn’t very deep and it wasn’t white water or anything.”

“Did you have a cramp or something?”

“No, the raft was on top of me — so I dove under a ways. Then I couldn’t get up. No matter how hard I kicked, I didn’t go anywhere. It was like something kept pulling me back. Then everything turned dark and I knew I was going to die.”

“How did you get up?” I asked.

“I don’t know.” Stephanie’s blue eyes sparkled with emotion. “Something just lifted me.”

My stomach wrenched. “When did that happen?”

“Friday. It was right before lunch.” Her voice faded. “It scared me.”

“I knew!” I said. “I really knew.” Then I told her about the gut-wrenching feeling I had on the ladder and how I went inside and prayed.

The words to the old song “Love Lifted Me” swirled through my head as we talked.

“That explains why I felt like something pulled me up,” Stephanie said as she hugged me. “An angel lifted me.”

~Peggy Purser Freeman

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