This is the 21st post for our Write 31 Days series 31 Days of Miracles: Who is Our God. Today, Wendy Balder-Wieringa (see below for her bio) shares her story. It has been translated into English from her native Dutch and shortened. You can find the original Dutch version here: Nederlandse versie.
I am a 31-year-old mother of 3 children. I grew up in a broken home, but my faith in God has always been there. God has always cared for me and His love has always been palpably present in my life. Especially in my teenage years. So palpable that I was never surprised when it stopped raining in answer to our joint prayers, or when I passed my exams. I never stopped to worry that important moments in my life would not work out.
I had been a member of an international choir for quite some time. We’d toured Europe two summers long. Danced and sung, as we were privileged to bring the love of God to people throughout Europe. Oh how I loved it all! And so was thrilled to later travel with them as an assistant conductor, helping to lead a group of 12 – 16 year olds. I was 19 years old. So so young!
We had a week of training, and after that we traveled by bus, with our podium on board. We started with a few concerts in the Netherlands and then traveled farther and farther south. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, we saw everything! Every evening a group of 30 teenagers stopped at another place to tell others about Christ. It was a special time. We had an amazing time and spent lots of time in prayer for people around us.
One day, Sarah got sick. Sarah was 12 years old and the youngest of our choir. She got quieter, kept complaining of stomach pain and didn’t want to eat anything. We prayed for Sarah, but her stomach ache didn’t let up. I gave Sarah paracetamol, but it didn’t help. We were in Poland at the time and the last thing I wanted was to have to visit a doctor in such a poor country. So, I put her to bed, nursed her and hoped things would improve. I didn’t really worry. God would solve it all, as always.
But, He didn’t. Sarah got sicker and sicker.
Sarah was examined by a nurse, but unfortunately she didn’t see anything either. We were brought to a room where five other adults lay. They were completely exposed, with wounds, stitches, drains and other awful things for all to see.
“Oh my, poor Sarah,” I thought. “How can I do this to her.” I began to protest. I told the lady in my English that this 12-year-old couldn’t lie here. No way. A kind of primal gut instinct welled up from within me to protect her. She was just 12 years old! Still so little!
The nurse didn’t speak any English and didn’t understand me. But using my hands and feet I was able to convince her that I wouldn’t be leaving my Sarah behind here. So, we walked farther down the hallway and were thankfully brought to the children’s ward. Thank God! There was a room with a bed, very big and empty. And so we were left alone in a cold, echoing room. I was expected to leave her there behind, alone. Ha ha! No way! But how could I make that clear to them with my hands and feet?
Sarah was asleep when the doctors entered. I tried to explain to them in my English what Sarah had and what the nurse had already done. The doctors interrupted me in their Polish to explain something to me. I didn’t understand them and they didn’t understand me.
After performing a short examination, one of the doctors grabbed a cart with all sorts of medical instruments. Because I was in training to become a nurse myself, I recognized the instruments.
NO! This was the cart with gynecological instruments. “Oh, LORD. They can’t be allowed to examine this 12-year-old girl internally! They would traumatize her for life! But how do I tell them that?”
I can’t remember how it happened, but it all happened so quickly. I wanted to open my mouth to say something and what a miracle! I talked to the doctors. In Polish! I understood them and they me. In that moment, I didn’t even realize I was speaking their language. I told them that this girl was not my daughter, and that I gave them absolutely no authority to do an internal examination of her. Sarah’s father was already on his way to Poland to get her and could explain that. Because Sarah was sick, but not critically so, the doctors were prepared to wait.
I explained that Sarah was still very young, and that the probability of it being a gynecological problem was very small. The doctors wanted to do all sorts of tests to determine the cause of the pain, and I think they also saw an opportunity to make some money from us. After a good chat, they drew back, and after about an hour Sarah’s father arrived at the hospital. Her Dad took over and Sarah flew home with him.
I will never forget how God gifted me the doctors’ language, so I could communicate with them. What if I hadn’t been able to speak up? What then?
From that point on my belief in God’s care became that much greater. Of course He had always been caring, but this was such a practical example of it. It was so beautiful and gave me such a window into His love for Sarah and for me.
That I was privileged with an opportunity to care for her and that God worked through me to care for Sarah. Prayer was such a mighty tool in all of this. I prayed and God heard me. Even if I actually prayed for healing and He gave me another language. Still, His love shone through. Even more than I expected. It really gave me a more mature adult faith: do what we are told to do in the Bible and step out in faith.
God cares for me in a special and intimate way! In my unique situation, in a unique way. I already believed that, but now I experienced it personally. The Holy Spirit can work through you in such a practical way.
That feeling that I had as I spoke I still experience today. When I feel that I know the Holy Spirit is talking to me and I need to listen. Step out and follow Him. Since then I have spoken many words and prayers for people that God meant for them. Without me knowing what I was saying, God spoke through me to someone through a prayer of mine. I have never again spoken a foreign language, but I have spoken in tongues: the language given us by the Holy Spirit to glorify God. Stunning! God is good.
And Sarah? Everything turned out okay. She was treated at a hospital in England (where she came from) and had recovered fully three weeks later.
In her daily life, Wendy Balder-Wieringa is a nurse, married to Mark and mother of 3 children: Livia(5), Matteo (4) en Lauren (2).