A Miracle in Our Time

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On October 11, 1998, I was sitting in a pew praying for a sermon that would help change my life. My wife and I had been through some trials before that point. We had two healthy children, but then our next two pregnancies ended around 20 to 22 weeks. The babies’ umbilical cords had somehow wrapped around their necks and chests, preventing the life-supporting blood and oxygen supply from getting to them.

After those two tragedies, we had 3 more failed pregnancies. Those occurred at earlier stages—one at 12 weeks and the other at 14 weeks, the other one around 6 weeks..

My wife Doreen was now pregnant once again and two weeks before had visited the doctor for a check-up. The doctor had told her the heartbeat was too slow and this baby would not live more than a day or two. She was to go home and wait for a miscarriage within a couple of days. But nothing had happened for two weeks. We were beginning to worry more about Doreen’s health than the baby’s. She had hemorrhaged with the last pregnancy that had ended in the first trimester. She called the doctor’s office and they scheduled an appointment for the 15th to come in for an ultrasound and then a possible D and C.

Our pastor was preaching a sermon series on building a life for God and with God. On the eleventh, he had begun his sermon by asking why miracles were so prevalent in Acts but not now. He then answered it for us, we do not ask God for miracles anymore. The pastor then asked us to write down three miracles we wanted to see happen in our lives. We were to pray for these miracles to happen with the understanding that we would leave them in God’s hand, not our own. The pastor ended his sermon by saying miracles are for the benefit of glorifying God and His infinite mercy and power. They are not some magical wish list from which we are rewarded because of who we are, or what we do.

I quickly wrote my three miracles. I wanted to see our baby alive and well. Of course, that was the first on my list. I did not tell Doreen what I had put down. Monday I fasted and prayed all day as I went about my normal routine. I was working third shift at the time. Since her appointment was early in the morning, she went alone. When the phone rang, I was sleeping. But I answered it anyway and heard Doreen’s voice on the other end. “Guess what happen to me?” she said. To her astonishment, I answered that she had found out that the baby was actually alive and doing quite well. “How did you know?” she asked. I explained that was the miracle I had asked for. I also told her about the fasting and praying I had done on Monday.

On March 17, 2003, Philip, our miracle child, celebrated his fourth birthday. He is still a wonder and a testament to us. Each day he affirms the wonder of God. In many ways that sermon was a turning point in my life. In the last five years, we have lived through many changes. God has both blessed and tested us in many ways. The other two miracles that I wrote down that Sunday have only recently occurred. We moved into a house 3 weeks before Philip was born, this was my second miracle. The third miracle was to find a teaching job that would allow us to live on one income. On January 6, 2003, I quit my factory job of 16 years and my part-time adult education teaching job and began as a full-time teacher at a state prison. This job pays better than a beginning teacher at a high school.

Now that we have passed March 17 of 2010 Philip is eleven years old. He played basketball this year for a whole season and is looking at playing baseball this spring. He is an A and B student. He still amazes me, and I am still amazed at what God has done. As of December 8, 2010, Philip has made the transition from private school to public school. He no longer does breathing treatments 3 times a day unless he is very sick which does not happen as often as it use to. He is playing basketball in the public school and is in Band. He still is getting mostly A’s and only one or two B’s.

It is now currently April 4, 2013, and Philip is now fourteen. He had an undefeated season in 8th-grade football and started on defense in 3 games. His basketball season was good but short because of a lot of bad weather. He is currently preparing for the State competition in Science Olympia. He and his team qualified for states back on March 23. He medalled in 3 of the 4 events he competed in. He is going to go on his first Mission Trip with the Senior High Youth Group this summer. They are going out to help with the Sandy Hurricane Recovery in New Jersey. He is now 5 foot 7 and has begun a two-day work out with Andrew Campbell which he has been doing since November. Philip is growing spiritually and intellectually. He has many friends and does well in school. God has truly blessed him and us.

March 25, 2014, Philip is now 15 years old and pretty healthy. He is now 5’10” and looks like a teenager. He was the freshman representative in the school’s snow-coming. He played freshman football and played quite a bit. He also played freshman basketball and played quite a bit. He is doing well in school and band. He also is working in the church’s kids program as a volunteer during the second service. He went with the teens on the mission trip last year in New Jersey and God taught him some good lessons on serving. It is so wonderful to see how God’s miracle continues to move on through life.

November 7, 2014, Philip finished his JV season of football and both segments of driver’s education. He is now a small group leader in the kids' program at church. He went to Big Stuff this past summer and worked out with his brother Joe all summer. He is now close to six feet tall. He is growing both physically and spiritually. He has been on the honor roll and enjoys band also.

January 14, 2016, Philip is now 6 feet or taller. He is the healthiest he has ever been in his life. He has completed his first college class and is enjoying his Junior year of high school. He played varsity football this year. He is on the rocket club, is taking an engineering class, has done well in band, and is also in a weight lifting class. He is a small group leader to first and second graders during the second service at church. He has gone on one mission trip and two times to Big Stuff and plans to go again this year. He has taken a friend to small groups on Thursday night and he is growing spiritually as well as physically. This miracle has unlimited potential to what God has in store for him when he moves on as an adult but he is not waiting until then. This past fall I spent three hours at parent-teacher conferences while teachers told me stories of how Philip has helped them or changed their classes. How he is making an impact at his school. This is a miracle that continues to astound me at what has developed.

April 9, 2018, Philip is in his second semester at Michigan Technological University. He is doing well and is very involved in Inter-Varsity and the Pep Band. He went on a Mission trip to Milwaukee for his spring Break and worked on apartments that take in families who are homeless or coming off addiction and are getting help to get home. He graduated from High School Last year with honors and worked the summer for Quality Pool. God has truly blessed us and him.

June 26, 2019, Philip is currently finishing up a Calculus 2 class at Mott and working at Quality Pool in Clio, Michigan. He has finished 2 years at Michigan Technological University and will be going back in August to start his third year. He is still quite healthy and working hard at both academics and on his faith. He now has a girlfriend who he has been dating for almost a year. She comes to church with us when he is away at college.

December 9, 2020, Philip went back to MTU, but left there in October and moved back home. He worked at Bronner's until Christmas. In January he started classes at the University of Michigan Flint. He and Alyssa were growing closer and he was doing okay with his classes until Covid 19 hit and he had to do all of his classes online. Calculus 3 or 4, I do not remember starting to kick his butt hard because he could not go to the lab to get help. He was as far as I know was getting an A in his other two classes. On March 25th I found Philip downstairs in the study shot to death, it was ruled a suicide but I am not convinced that it was. I think it was an accident. I found him at 6 pm. Sometime between 11 and 5 he was killed. I and my family miss him dearly.