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"God's Directions"
by Jerry Blackerby

We have had many experiences that show that God is always with us. The following is one of the most pointed and direct experiences that I have had in which God showed me that He is with us.

We started to Mom and Dad's the day before Thanksgiving, 1989 - ten years ago. It is a 300 mile drive from Carrollton, Texas to Clarendon, Texas. My wife, Billie, was complaining of heartburn before we left, but insisted that we go anyway. She slept most of the way to Wichita Falls.  As we drove through Wichita Falls, her heartburn became almost unbearable. Five miles north of
Wichita Falls, I turned around to look for a hospital. She had chest pains, back pains, and her arms were becoming numb.

The CB radio had been active. Twice, I asked for directions to a hospital on the CB and no one responded. It was as if no one was there. Coming into Wichita Falls from the north on 287, a large blue sign marks the exit to Wichita General Hospital. I DID NOT see it! Downtown Wichita Falls has one-way streets for several blocks, both east/west and north/south. Wichita General Hospital is a large building less than a block to the right of southbound 287 before the first stoplight.

As I reached the first stoplight, we saw a small blue hospital sign pointing to the right. I was in the middle lane and going through the intersection before I saw the sign. Knowing the next street went one-way to the left, I moved over and took that street. I circled the block and came back across southbound 287. Wichita General Hospital was about a half block to my right, but I DID NOT see it!

I looked to the left and saw a tall building with a white cross on top a couple of blocks away.  That is where I headed. The tall building was Bethania, the Catholic hospital. As I stopped at the Emergency Room entrance, two medics came out with a wheel chair, almost as if they expected us. They were getting Billie out of the car as I came around and told them she had chest pains. They said, "she is in good hands, you can take care of the paper work later." I questioned what they meant. They said, "You must move your car. Put it in the parking lot."  After parking the car, I returned to the Emergency Room. She was already in a separate small room being treated. I went to the admission's desk and took care of the paper work.

The chief Surgeon happened to be on duty in the Emergency Room because it was lunchtime and they were short-handed with the Thanksgiving holiday.  He came out and told me she was having a "small" heart attack. He wanted to administer TPA, a miracle drug to break up the clot.  Later they told me that we were almost too late. I found out that all of the heart specialists in Wichita Falls practice at Bethania. The other hospital probably would have checked her and sent her to Bethania, losing precious time.

After giving her TPA, the doctor had her moved to the CCU area. I would be able to visit her every four hours. Four hours later I was visiting her, when the heart monitor went crazy. The beats showed erratically, and the monitor said "fibrillation" as bells rang. Anytime that I have seen the monitor show "fibrillation" in movies, the patient died. Attendants ran me out of the room as they brought a cart with the electric paddles into the room.

I went to the waiting room and talked to God. I was not ready to lose my wife of 34 years and asked God to take care of her. Within about five minutes a nurse came into the waiting room calling my name. The first words out of her mouth were, "Your wife is all right. We did not use the paddles. She recovered on her own."  I immediately thanked God. The nurse insisted that I return with her to see my wife for myself.

The doctor did a heart catheter and then an angioplasty on her during a ten-day stay at Bethania. The angioplasty has been very successful, although she became an insulin-dependant diabetic during the following year. In 1998, she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, because of the damage done to her heart, but she is still with me.

We drive through Wichita Falls several times a year and marvel that we did not see Wichita General Hospital. The only explanation I have is that God blinded me to Wichita General and guided me to Bethania. He made a point of it by having me circle the block where I definitely should have seen Wichita General. If I had gone to the second street and turned right, I would have seen Bethania instantly with no chance of seeing Wichita General. I think circling the block was God's way of showing me that it was not an accident that I missed Wichita General and found Bethania. He was showing me that He is in control.

I thank God often for allowing me to enjoy the company of my wife, Billie, for a few more years and SHOWING me that HE IS in control. I hope that someone reading or hearing this story will realize what God can do in his or her life.

Jerry Blackerby - work - home

Article submitted on 11-22-99