Miracles are everywhere, if only we’ll open our hearts and minds in belief that we’re never alone. “Luke 8:48 A Supernatural Journey of Faith,” reaffirms there are countless benevolent forces across the universe to help us. The true story of how my Dad never once lost his faith, despite a lifetime of horrible pain and suffering. Plagued with adversity from birth, he remained steadfast in his beliefs. This journey of unspeakable suffering and impenetrable faith would last for over sixty years, leading to a visiting angel with the message that his torment was over, he was healed.
My unusual childhood allowed me to witness many miracles surrounding him and our family. Little did I know, these supernatural events would pave the way for a personal connection with the Other Side after my own near death experience. Join me on this amazing journey of love, mystery, paranormal happenings, pain, and blessings.
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Luke 8:48 A Supernatural Journey of Faith
By Donna Davenport Cox
Balboa PressCopyright © 2016 Donna Davenport Cox
All rights reserved.
The Angel Visit
Turning five was such a peak year for me. I really don't remember a birthday party, Christmas, or any special occasion that year, although I know the events took place. Those memories just failed to store themselves in my brain I guess. One profound recollection engrained in my head, was almost losing my Dad; then again, it's not every day you meet your guardian angel either. My world, from as far back as I can remember, seemed to always gravitate around the supernatural. Many times my mind has wandered back to those early years and how life just always somehow equipped me for challenges I would face; ones not only in childhood, but my adult years also.
In May of 1969, Daddy had battled seven kidney stones in less than six months. The pain and suffering he endured at times was almost unbearable, not to mention how hard it was on Mama. I never realized, until I was older, what a strong lady my Mama was. It was an appreciation I could not fully grasp, until many years of seasoning on my part had gone by. One day, the thought of how she must have been a saint hit me like a bolt of lightning. I'm sure it wasn't easy dealing with ongoing health problems week after week.
Mama worked hard at her full time job. She also ran several businesses on the side for years, just to help pay Daddy's medical bills. It was a time when people stuck together through thick and thin; a time when you did what you had to do to survive. I've been told more than once I come from good stock; somehow knowing that makes me feel very blessed. My fortune lies in my education of life skills from those around me like my Parents and Grandparents. If you ask me to list three core traits among all of them, it would be love, dedication, and humbleness. I'd like to think I inherited at least a couple.
When I have a conversation with someone about daddy and the numerous stones he had, they just frown in disbelief. To date I've had eleven of those little Demons myself, but over a ten year span. I know the pain I've felt, so I can't imagine the effects on body and mind in dealing with it on a regular basis.
Not a week went by, for several years, without a doctor's visit or two for injections to relieve the pain. Many times Mama woke me up during the night to put my shoes on and get in the car so Daddy could see the doctor for kidney colic; that's what they called it. In addition to experiencing them myself, I've lived the torment through his eyes many times. I've seen those tiny little stones bring Daddy to his knees; the only relief being a shot of pain medication.
After almost two years of regular visits to the same doctor, we discovered him to be extremely kind and caring. He told Mama, during one of those times, that although he didn't make house calls, he was always available after hours. That was the beginning of us going directly to his house for Daddy's treatments. Instead of waiting in the ER, Daddy would call the doctor's home phone, no matter what time it was at night. If he was home, the doctor would be standing in his doorway as we pulled in the drive. Daddy would get his shot, pay him cash, and we'd be on our way in less than two minutes. After that, we'd come home and try to finish out the night's sleep as best we could; if there was any night left.
The medicine usually lasted for a few days, depending on the size of the stone. Many times there was more than one. I've had people ask why he never had the lithotripsy to break them up. They did consider it at one point. His doctors felt it would do more harm than good due to the amount and kind of stones his kidney produced.
Though Daddy was born with three kidneys, something was wrong from the beginning with one. The oddity of being born with more than two kidneys does happen, and normally it's not dangerous. My Parents were told on rare occasions they do begin, after a few years, to give problems. In Daddy's situation, the extra one was smaller. It sat on top of one of the other two, but didn't function at all. One doctor even entertained the idea he may have been a twin but none of the various medical theories offered were ever proven.
Daddy's daily health issues would have bought most people a one way ticket to the hospital. For us, it was a regular routine we'd become accustomed to. Mama told us his real problems started shortly after their marriage. By the time I was six years old he'd been hospitalized, or visited the ER, over 40 times. He always worked a full-time job, never complained, and did the best he could; we took life one day at a time. We never made any long term plans for traveling. We never knew if Daddy would be able to make the trip. I often labeled him throughout life as being the strongest man I knew. I failed miserably to give Mama the credit she deserved in holding the Strongest Woman title.
Daddy had every test known to modern science. Many times we traveled to the Baptist hospital in Winston -Salem, North Carolina; Emory in Atlanta, Georgia; and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. One specialist after another felt confident he could get to the root cause of the stones and bleeding. Each trip and many tests later left each one shaking their heads, baffled as to why it continued. Daddy was put on every diet you could think of. He was given hundreds of different medications to try, many being experimental drugs; nothing helped and nothing changed. One surgeon even told us it was a miracle he was still alive after everything he'd endured. The damage to his poor body through the years, had already taken its toll.
One Saturday afternoon, Daddy came in from working the garden early. He took a bath and got his suit clothes out for church the next day. It was a routine in our family to have everything laid out and ready to go. The Saturday before Mother's Day was always spent getting ready for the big event at our church; all special occasions were like that. Folks would plan all week for these fun filled times leading to finishing touches the day before.
Daddy had looked extremely pale all day. I'd have to say that most of the time he never let being sick stop him from getting his work done. At four in the afternoon, he already had pajamas on sitting bedside reading his Bible; it was something he did every night before going to sleep. I don't think there was even one time he did it because he felt he had too. It was like he couldn't wait to finish his daily routine, so he could read those sacred verses he'd come to love and depend on. I still recall his obituary where I included he'd read his Bible through in its entirety thirty two times. Daddy was never a proud man, never boastful, but he was proud of accomplishing that feat. In my eyes, it was always an admirable endeavor.
I climbed up beside Daddy and asked if he wanted to play a game of checkers. He smiled and patted me on the head like he usually did, telling me we'd play another day. That was the first time I noticed the underlined Bible verse in red. I could read pretty well by that age, so I read it to myself. Luke 8:48 "And he said unto her, daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace." I asked Daddy if he underlined that verse because of being so sick all the time. He closed his Bible and gave me the sweetest smile. "All God asks of us is to have faith and believe in Him. Your Mama gave me this Bible the first year we were married. I underlined this verse to show God that even though I have kidney problems, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that someday I'll be healed." "But what if God doesn't heal you?" I asked. Daddy said he knew He would in His own time.
Those early years were definitely the basis, or grounding I like to call it, for my path in life. They set the pace for the way I've always perceived and treated others. I raised my children with this grounding. I notice now, many times how it's been passed along to my Grandchildren. Their personalities are all so different but have one common thread; they all have a loving and kind heart. It really is just following the Golden Rule in our treatment of others.
Mama said Daddy needed some peace and quiet because he'd had a rough week working at the mill; the heat was terrible. Daddy said summer was coming on fast. Sometimes in the really hot months it got well over a hundred degrees in there, even with the industrial fans running. It definitely wasn't the easiest job in the world for someone with his type of health problems. Daddy was good at what he did and enjoyed his work. He took great pride in the machines he serviced and considered most of the folks he worked with to be family.
I recall many days when he got sick at work and had to leave. He was blessed beyond measure, throughout his career, to have great bosses who let him work around his normal schedule. Yes, there were days he left early but he always made the hours up. On good days, many times he would get up and head into work during the middle of the night. I think God just always put the right people in his life to help him. In return, they got a faithful worker who would go above and beyond to do his job right, always treating his coworkers with respect.
Many times before bed, Mama would check on Daddy to make sure he was okay. She would peek in, stand there for a few seconds, and watch to make sure his chest was moving. I can remember her rubbing cooking oil on the hinges so the door wouldn't squeak. Once Mama saw he was breathing, she sighed with relief that he was alright. I still recall those extra thick gold and brown floral curtains hanging in their bedroom to block the sunlight out. Those curtains must have hung there for twenty five years or more.
If Mama wasn't home, the responsibility for keeping an eye on Daddy fell on me; many times I called her if he got sick. When he felt extremely bad, he would finish up his work, cook supper (which he loved to do), and be in bed before she ever got home. All of the above was done only after getting his outside chores done first. Daddy would say, "Just because a person feels bad it don't mean the work stops." He would often times lock the door and tell me to watch television till Mama got home. "You stay put and don't go outside," he would say; I kept a close watch on him always. I really loved him and felt so much sadness for the daily pain he endured.
That same night, I woke to Mama screaming, it was 3 A.M. I knew this because Daddy bought me a Charlie Brown clock with Snoopy lying on the dog house. I loved that clock and checked the lighted face every time I woke up. I could hear Mama calling the rescue squad, telling them they needed to come to our house. I looked in on Daddy; he looked kind of bluish in color, I couldn't see him breathing. I'd seen this before but never as bad; he wasn't moving at all. I developed that gut feeling of something terrible happening when I was so young. That was definitely, one of those times. Little did I know, that feeling would remain with me my whole life; it would emerge at times I least expected it. After my near death experience, it would magnify itself at times to the point it would make me physically sick.
Mama told me to put my clothes and shoes on that we'd be leaving. The rescue squad was only about 2 miles from our house. They were used to getting calls from us at all hours. Many times I feel Daddy's life was saved because of their quick response. In all honesty, they became like family to us. Mama always took comfort in the fact that when she called, they would get there in minutes.
My stomach was in knots as I unlocked the door. I always got a sick feeling but this time it was worse; I prayed hard that Daddy would be okay. As I type these words, those overwhelming feelings once again return, even after all these years.
The Rescue Squad arrived, worked with him a few minutes, and told us he had a faint pulse. As they lifted him off the bed onto the stretcher, I saw that he was lying in a puddle of blood. I guess most children would have been scared to death but I was used to this type of situation. I'd seen puddles of blood many times. It never got any easier, even as the years and many experiences passed by. It didn't take long as a child to become accustomed to it.
Just before loading Daddy into the ambulance, my Mama's brother Buddy drove up. He passed our house going home and happened to see the lights. He drove Mama and me to the hospital; the two of them hardly said a word the whole way there. Looking back, I see now that Mama probably felt daddy wasn't going to make it. She explained to Buddy what had happened, then sat silently staring out the window the rest of the way there. Buddy always did love Daddy; they treated each other like brothers with a bond that would last sixty years.
Buddy dropped us off at the emergency room entrance so he could park the car. Mama sat me down in front of the nurse's desk; she told me to stay there while she checked in. I was used to the routine, for I'd done it many times before. I always carried my baby doll with me, along with my bag of coloring books, sticker books, and crayons; many times it was a long night or all night. I often wondered why Mama didn't send me to my Grandparent's house very much, but she didn't. Looking back on it now, her reasoning was probably that we went to the hospital so often she just couldn't think of anything but getting Daddy the help he needed.
The nurses immediately took Daddy back and the wait began. After a while, the Doctor came out and told Mama they were running more tests. He appeared to be in Acute Kidney Failure. He said he was so sorry but it didn't look good for him because of his many health problems. His body appeared to be so broken down and weak from loss of blood. I distinctly remember his words, "the odds he'll recover are stacked against him." He told Mama it would probably be a good time to call the rest of the family and let them know.
Mama went to pieces as she followed the Doctor to Daddy's room. Buddy said he would go home to get the family and let everybody know what was going on. Any other time, I would have jumped at the chance to go with him because we always had fun. But this time was different, I felt so sick I just wanted to sit there. I had such a weight on my shoulders, like my body was a big blob of glue stuck to the chair; my head and heart hurt as well. I wanted desperately to cry but didn't want the nurse or anyone else to see me. I wanted to run and hide till the nightmare was over. I'd learned to be strong even at that young age. Throughout my life, that skill has served me well.
I held my doll tight. I talked to her like she was a real person. Many nights her comfort was all that kept me sane; she'd become a constant companion. Besides my best friend Jennifer, I was pretty much a loner so just a hug brought me great contentment. I stared at the picture I'd colored for Daddy. I wondered if I'd ever be able to give it to him or if I'd place it in his casket. I thought about the way he always prayed about everything. He would say, "If you have something on your mind, pray about it. Just talk to God like He's right there with you."
I began to pray and thank God for Daddy, Mama, my baby doll, and my little dachshund Bitsy. Daddy always said we should give thanks for our many blessings first, before asking for anything. I told God what a good man Daddy was and how he'd been real sick for a long time but he'd helped lots of people. I explained he was a deacon. We always went to church even when he was sick; I told God how much Daddy loved Mama and me. Tears flowed as I pointed out how Daddy always cut the grass, worked the garden, and tended to the animals. I said we needed him because Mama just didn't know how to do any of that stuff. Somehow, I knew God could understand that, being a Daddy himself. He had a lot to do every day with all the people in the world but I just knew he was listening. I was careful not to leave one little detail out. I had to cover every point in my petition so that He would know just how special Daddy was.
I can still remember the emergency room, how I sat in that chair in front of the desk like it was yesterday; the sterile smell still lingers in my mind. Many times I've made a visit to someone sick and found myself daydreaming of those years. Back then, children really weren't allowed in the hospital but we'd come to know a lot of the staff that worked there. I guess that made it easier for Mama to take me with her.
Just as I said Amen, I felt someone touch my hand. I opened my eyes to see a lady sitting there next to me. She had white fluffy hair like my Grandmother, a sweet smile, and the most beautiful blue eyes I'd ever seen; the blue in her eyes was like no other color. Many times I've described them as being as blue as the Mediterranean Sea. It was as if she could see right through me down to my soul. I wasn't afraid, not in the least. She knew me somehow, and with that knowing came a great comfort that washed all over me. Mama had always taught me not to talk to strangers. In my heart I knew she was far from being that.
Excerpted from Luke 8:48 A Supernatural Journey of Faith by Donna Davenport Cox. Copyright © 2016 Donna Davenport Cox. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
ContentsAuthor's Page, v,
Chapter One The Angel Visit, 1,
Chapter Two Prayer in Numbers, 14,
Chapter Three Shot and Left for Dead, 27,
Chapter Four My Journey-Part One, 41,
Chapter Five My Journey-Part Two, 55,
Chapter Six My Journey-Part Three, 69,
Chapter Seven A Tough Decision, 83,
Chapter Eight I'm Always Amazed, 97,
Chapter Nine Mama Knew, 112,
Chapter Ten Message on the Interstate, 126,
Chapter Eleven Jan, 138,
Chapter Twelve Random Thoughts, 151,