Skip to main content

Petrichor :)

... the pleasant smell that often accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.

Oh how I love rain! And it's just timely that I received this beautiful story from an equally beautiful SFC sister, Rochelle. Read and be inspired as well. :)


A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the Doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. Still groggy from surgery, her husband David held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24 weeks pregnant, undergo an emergency cesarean section to deliver the couple's new daughter, Danae Lu Blessing. 

At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. "I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one." 

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Danae would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on. "No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away. 

Through the dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest thread, Diana slipped in and out of sleep, growing more and more determined that their tiny daughter would live, and live to be a healthy, happy young girl. But David, fully awake and listening to additional dire details of their daughter's chances of ever leaving the hospital alive, much less healthy, knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable. David walked in and said that we needed to talk about making funeral arrangements, Diana remembers. "I felt so bad for him because he was doing everything, trying to include me in what was going on, but I just wouldn't listen, I couldn't listen. I said, "No, that is not going to happen, no way! I don't care what the doctors say; Danae is not going to die! One day she will be just fine, and she will be coming home with us!" 

As if willed to live by Diana's determination, Danae clung to life hour after hour, with the help of every medical machine and marvel her miniature body could endure. But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Danae's under-developed nervous system was essentially raw, the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Danae struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl. There was never a moment when Danae suddenly grew stronger.

But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there. At last, when Danae turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later-though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero. Danae went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Today, five years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, what so ever, of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she is everything a little girl can be and more - but that happy ending is far from the end of her story. 

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Danae was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ballpark where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always, Danae was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, Danae asked, "Do you smell that?" Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain." Danae closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?" Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet, it smells like rain. Still caught in the moment, Danae shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest." Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to play with the other children.

Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Danae on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.

Photo Credit: LiveNourished.net

Popular posts from this blog

Jesus Week 2015: A Time To HEAL ♥

I had the best, most meaningful HOLY WEEK ever, so far (the best is yet to come!). :) Thanks to Joy who shared the Jesus Week poster on Facebook. It was God's personal invitation, and I couldn't thank Him enough for the grace that He also gave me to respond. Everything is grace. It was not just my personal decision to join. It was God's grace that allowed me to. 
So how did it go? Well, as what I have told my friends, it was amazingly beautiful! The experience was priceless! On Holy Monday, I posted Fr. Jerry Orbos' acronym for HOLY WEEK. I experienced all of that and more! :) 
I won't be able to share everything as there is just a lot of personal, intimate encounters with the Lord. But if I were to summarize, it was a time for me to HEAL. :) 
Halt. Indeed, I was able to stop and just rest in the Lord. Before leaving Manila, I have already told myself that this retreat will be all about Jesus (Jesus Week nga e :D). No emails, no texts, no calls. I'll just spend…

Understanding Lupang Hinirang

Every Filipino knows Lupang Hinirang (though some know it better as "Bayang Magiliw"). How can you not know it when it is the national anthem of the Philippines? But do we really mean the lyrics that we sing? Do we understand it in the first place? 


This video has gone viral weeks ago. This afternoon, I shared it to my teammates, and one commented, "Yun pala yun. Ngayon ko lang naintindihan."He immediately downloaded it and converted to MP3.
So for those who have not seen it, once again, here is Joey Ayala's version of Lupang Hinirang. And I agree, you would never want to sing it in another way. (But that's just me. :D) This rendition is simply beautiful. Truly Filipino. :) Of course that doesn't mean we need to revise our national anthem but maybe we can consider about correcting the way we sing it (read: proper pronunciation).

Read more about the Philippine National Anthem here.

P.S. I read a lot of negative comments on the original video uploaded o…

Thank You, Lord! :)

It has been a long and stressful day (the past three days have been lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng and stressssssssssssssssssssssssssssssful), but You are just so amazing, Lord that I couldn't sleep without telling You how grateful I am. :)
Thank You, Lord for the miracle that You did yesterday. Break even and more. :)
Thank You, Lord for the laughter and stories shared during the post-mission meeting with Team Thailand. :)
Thank You, Lord for Lawrence. He is just the (almost) perfect man. He has his flaws, but they are acceptable; he makes mistakes, but they are all forgivable. There are a lot of men but there can never be anyone else. He's really the one. And You know it very well. :)
Thank You, Lord for giving me strength and endurance each day. :)
Thank You, Lord for the short but restful sleeps. :)
Thank You, Lord for every waking moment and every opportunity that You give me to proclaim Your greatness. :) Thank You, Lord for Your message through Fr. Frank. I heard it loud…

The Holy Spirit*

*Cluster 4 Household Topic
Reflections from John 15:26-16:4

True friendship is strengthened in adversity. Jesus offers His disciples the best and truest of friends. Who is this promised friend? 
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit our Counselor and Advocate (also translated Paraclete or Helper). Counselor is a legal term for the one who will defend someone against an adversary and who guides that person during the ordeal of trial. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate and Helper who brings us safely through the challenges and adversities we must face in this life. As Jesus approaches the hour that He was to be glorified - through His death on the cross and His resurrection - He revealed more fully to His disciples the person and the role of the Holy Spirit. What does Jesus tell us about the Holy Spirit? 
First, the Holy Spirit is inseparably one with the Father and the Son. It is the Holy Spirit who gives life - the very life of God - and who kindles faith in hearts receptive to God's word. The S…

Just Be Grateful :)

We just had our sector GRATEFUL assembly and six sharers testified to God's goodness and faithfulness.
Boggs is grateful for the blessing of a new job and a possible promotion this month (let's pray for that). Ellen is grateful for the gift of community and God's means to keep her ablaze in service. Albert is grateful for a new life in Christ through the CLP. Shiela is grateful for the gift of health and a second chance to live. Cha is grateful for brothers and sisters in the community who made her experience God's redeeming love, and the realization that God will truly replace what was lost with something better, something more beautiful. Kuya Boyce is grateful for the gift of relationship.
As I was listening to their stories, I can't help but be amazed at how the Lord works wonders in each of our lives. And I was reminded of my own blessings, too. :) And so for this post, allow me to share the things for which I am grateful. :)
I am grateful for the cross becaus…