By Misty Kay
I pulled into the driveway about eight o’clock that summer evening. Instead of my husband Daniel, a neighbor met me as I got out of the car.
“Did you meet Daniel at the hospital?” she asked.
“No, was I supposed to?”
“Haven’t you heard?”
Those are the words every mother dreads hearing. I immediately thought of Chalsey, my eight-year-old. She’s the accident-prone one in our family.
“Chalsey was bitten by a copperhead snake! Daniel rushed her to the hospital an hour ago.”
My heart froze. We had killed copperheads on our property before and knew how dangerous they were. A bite from a copperhead can kill a child.
I later learned that Chalsey had been collecting bugs to feed the pet iguana and had lifted a small wooden walkway on the side of the house to look for bugs there. When she screamed out in pain, Daniel rushed over, found out what had happened, killed the snake, and took it with them to the hospital so the doctors would know how to treat the bite.
I jumped back in the car and headed for the hospital, 15 minutes away.
That was probably the longest 15 minutes of my life. A million questions raced through my mind. Is Chalsey in a lot of pain? Is she still conscious—or even alive? How could this have happened?
I prayed from the depths of a mother’s heart. It was just between me and God now. My hands trembled on the wheel as I cried out to Him to have mercy and heal my little girl. Flying down the freeway, my heart made a definite connection with His.
I was reminded of the story in the Bible about the Shunammite woman whose young son, her only child, had died suddenly (2 Kings 4:8-37). She put him on the prophet Elijah’s bed and went to get Elijah. When she found him, he asked, “Is it well with you? Is it well with the child?” and she replied, “It is well.”
How could she say, “It is well”? Obviously it was not well with the child. But her faith was strong. God had given her that child in answer to the prophet’s prayers, although she had been barren. She believed that God was able to restore life to her son, and because of her faith, the boy was raised from the dead, fully healed.
The message was clear. God wanted me to trust Him, to believe that He had already heard my prayers and to start thanking Him.
It was very emotional for me. I went from desperate tears of pleading, to soul-cleansing tears of surrender, to passionate tears of praise and thankfulness to my loving God. He would do as He knew best. “It is well with the child,” I said aloud in an affirmation of faith.
When I arrived at the hospital, I was greatly relieved to find Chalsey awake and talking. Her hand was swollen, her fingers were purple and green, and she was in a lot of pain, but so far the swelling had not gone past her hand.
The snake that had bitten her had been young, and the doctor explained that these can be the most dangerous because they don’t yet know how to control their venom. They can give an even higher dose than an adult snake, or they can give a small dose. How much did Chalsey get? Only time would tell. The doctor explained that if the swelling went past the wrist, more drastic measures would be needed.
For hours, we watched as her hand got bigger and her fingers changed colors. She was sick and cried in pain. We called friends and family to join us in prayer for her. We claimed in prayer that the venom would spread no farther. I sang songs with Chalsey and quoted Bible verses to her.
To our joyful relief, the swelling stopped at her wrist. It was a wonderful answer to prayer!
By the next morning she was smiling again, and in time the swelling and discoloration went away. Chalsey is such a resilient child. No matter what happens, she bounces back. (She also loves to show off her scars.)
Ever since my trip home from the hospital on the night of the snakebite, I have felt an inner peace. I had faced down my fears. My faith had been tested, stretched, strengthened.
Copyright © TFI. Used with permission.