From the book “Our Stories, God’s Glory “
A collection of real life inspiration stories from Oregonians
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Rebecca & Mike
I hate road trips and I was eight months pregnant, so what in the world made me decide to drive all the way from Portland to Sacramento to visit my parents? Only God could foresee the real reason for this trip.
My husband Mike protested. Unable to get time off from work to go with us, Mike asked me to wait to take the trip until after our baby was born. I stubbornly said, “No!” as I piled my son Cohen (three-years-old) and my daughter Devyn (who had just turned one) into the van and headed to California.
After I unloaded everything at my parents’ house that night, I found out that my mom would be working full-time all week. Again I wondered why I had driven down to see them if we weren’t going to have any time together.
I woke up on the next morning, March 24th, 2010, at 7:00 a.m. and heard my dad leave for work. Closing my eyes, I fell back to sleep.
When I woke up, I noticed black smoke pouring through the heater vent above the door. I leaped out of bed and ran to open the bedroom door, but when I threw the door open, I couldn’t even see the other side of the hallway. Everything was murky black.
Now fully awake and I realized what was happening—the house was on FIRE!!!
I left Devyn in her playpen and ran to the back bedroom where Cohen was sleeping. When I opened the door to his room, it was filled with black smoke. But it seemed like someone was shining a flashlight on Cohen in his bed because I could clearly see him.
I grabbed Cohen and ran to my brother’s room.
“Rich! Get up!” I screamed. “The house is on fire!”
We got Devyn out of her playpen, but now we realized that the fire blocked our way to the front door.
I knew we had to go out a window—but the problem was that all the windows were locked!
Finally I got a window latch open and I popped out the screen. The window sill was about four feet high, but I’m only 5’1”. I looked around frantically, but there was nothing in the room I could stand on.
I tried to pull myself into the window, but I kept falling back. I worried I would hurt my unborn baby.
Glancing over at my kids and my brother sitting on the floor, their faces black with soot, in my mind I screamed , We are all going to die!
The smoke grew thicker as I tried jumping and pulling myself up on the window sill, but I kept falling backwards.
Then I cried out to the Lord, “Please God! Help me get out! Help me save my babies!”
I am not sure what happened, but the next thing I knew, I was on the outside of the house! Frantically, I called to my brother, “Quick! Hand me the babies!”
Since my brother has a severe disease that affects his brain and all his muscles, it should have been impossible for him to be able to physically lift my babies up to the window sill. The fact that he lifted up Cohen and then Devyn to the sill and into my reach was a true MIRACLE.
I grabbed the kids and set them on the grass as I screamed for help. Now my brother tried to pull himself through the window, but he kept falling backwards and hitting the floor hard.
When he finally got partway up into the window, somehow I grabbed him and yanked him outside to safety. He fell flat, landing hard on the rocks below, but at least we were all out!
The fire raged on and completely destroyed my parents’ house, but I stood there amazed that God had rescued us and brought us out alive. God works through some of the roughest times to show us His mercies and love.
Also, because of going through the fire together, God helped me appreciate my brother in a new way. I realized Rich would have died in the fire if I had not been there. This whole event was a way God began to renew and rebuild my relationship with Rich—a relationship that had been severed several years ago. That’s another story to tell.
“I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you.”
Rebecca, Mike, &
Fire photo is file picture