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I was in the kitchen making a cake. My husband, BJ, was outside with our two boys, roasting hamburgers and potatoes over the open fire. I kept peeking out the window to make sure that all was okay and to make sure that the boys were not getting too close to the fire.

Figure. Kristene wit... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Kristene with son, Levi

As I put the cake in the oven to bake, I heard BJ saying to our youngest son, "Come on, Levi, you can get it up."


I recognized the worried tone in my husband's voice and ran outside to see what was happening. There stood Levi, his face red and his mouth wide open, clearly choking on something. BJ told me that he had just given Levi a little piece of potato. I could tell that he was not breathing and that he needed help getting this piece of potato out of his airway. I immediately picked him up and performed the Heimlich maneuver.


After about fifteen seconds, I turned him over to see if the food had been cleared from his airway. As I looked into his face and saw that the potato had not yet come up, I felt an overpowering fear and helplessness. I tried a second time, to no avail.


It's amazing how many thoughts can go through your mind in those brief moments of time when you are engulfed by fear. I remember crying out to God with all my soul. I began to wonder what I would do if I lost this precious son that he had given me. Oh, the guilt that overcame me. The feelings of inadequacy, the realization of the frailty of human life were so real to me in that moment. I turned Levi over and gave the Heimlich another try.


The Lord chose that moment to free the piece of potato from Levi's airway. I heard him breathe, and I began to cry. Trembling with fear and gratitude, I was overcome with joy, a joy unlike any I had ever known. It was a joy not only for the Lord's saving my child's life, but the joy of knowing that he did not spare his only Son when Christ died for me. God not only gave me my child back, he allowed me to experience a small part of the agony that he must have felt as we nailed his Son to the cross.


I want to spend the rest of my days praising the Lord for the gift of life. I praise him for the life that he gives us on this earth with its many opportunities, such as the one I had today, to recognize God's love for us and his sovereignty in our lives. We are God's children!! This truth rings louder for me today than ever before. What a privilege it is to walk this earth knowing that this God who gave his only Son for us is right here with us, allowing trials in our lives that enable us to catch a glimpse of the reality of his love for us.