When – Not If Message March 6, 2013 Archive 1271 Font Size » Large | SmallI dreamed I was in a wide open body of water, pulled by a strong current. I was scared. My feet could not touch the bottom, and I was pulled against my will into very deep waters. Looking up, I was horrified to realize the current was pulling me into the center of a powerful waterfall. I caught only a quick, deep breath before the waters enveloped me. “Jesus, help me!”, I prayed in my heart. I could hear and feel the power of the waterfall as it thundered over me and held me down. Then to my surprise, the current moved me forward and pulled me out from under the waterfall. I caught my breath again, only to be taken through another waterfall. Again I held my breath and prayed. I cannot remember how many waterfalls the current took me through, but I awoke gasping for air, praying as my heart raced. During my time with the Lord that morning, the verse from Isaiah 43:2 came to mind, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” I recorded my dream and the verse in my journal and then declared the verse over my life, not knowing what was to come. A month after my dream, an ectopic pregnancy shattered my fallopian tube and threatened my life. I almost waited too long before going to the emergency room. How could this happen to me?! I thought. The sonographer’s expression told me things didn’t look good. Bleeding internally, I felt myself fade. I thought of my girls and my husband, Brandon, and then told him to ask everyone he could think of to intercede. I was in such horrible pain, I wasn’t even scared of surgery. Bleeding internally, I felt myself fade. I thought of my girls and my husband, Brandon, and then told him to ask everyone he could think of to intercede. I was in such horrible pain, I wasn’t even scared of surgery. Thank God, the surgery not only saved my life, but revealed I had two cysts – one the size of an orange and the other a little smaller, which the surgeon also removed. Afterward, a member of the medical team met Brandon in the waiting room and told him how “lucky” he was to still have me. Leanna and Brandon with their daughters, Breanna (on right) and ArielaI sat in the hospital bed in disbelief. When I awakened that Sunday morning I never imagined I’d have an ectopic pregnancy that ruptured and two cysts removed. When finally released to go home I began experiencing periods of sorrow. I needed help with everything and could barely walk. I’d cry because I couldn’t hold my nine-month-old daughter. I asked God, “Are you really in control over my life? How could you let me be so close to death?” A picture kept coming to mind of me dangling on the side of a cliff, struggling to hold on to God for dear life. “God, I was struggling to hold on to You; were You going to allow me to go?!” After what seemed like an eternity, but was really just two weeks, I felt strong enough to go to church. As we entered into worship, I felt like Jesus’ arms were wrapped around me. I felt God telling me that I wasn’t holding on to Him for dear life, rather He had been holding on to me the entire time. It was a very soggy time of worship! My heart filled with gratitude. Rev. Richie Vedilago, pastor of Shepherd’s House Open Bible Church in Ozone Park, was the guest speaker that morning. (Our church is a branch of Shepherd’s House.) As Pastor Richie shared the opening scripture, my jaw dropped. It was Isaiah 43:1-3! Pastor Richie talked about going through the waters and walking through the fire. As a Christian there are no “ifs,” just “when.” The waters will get high and the fire will get hot. He encouraged us to keep our heads up no matter how high the waters may get. I realized God was with me all along. As in my dream, God didn’t let me drown or die even though I was close to death. He keeps His promises. I may never know or understand the “whys,” but I know I can trust Him. And there is NONE like Him.