Monday, August 4, 2008


We had quite the traumatic day yesterday.

My husband is part of a volunteer fire department where we live. It's a group of 60 or so farmers (and the random rural banker thrown in for good measure). Several times a summer, a small fire will start up in the wheat fields and it's put out within an hour. Pretty simple stuff..... usually.

Yesterday my husband was called out on a fire. I didn't think much of it. I was making my husband's favorite dinner, and it was just about finished when he got the call. I was irritated. Irritated because he would miss dinner, because I had to take the kids to the 4-H meeting by myself. He asked me to make him a sandwich so he didn't have to leave hungry. I said no.

I fed the kids and got ready for 4-H. With the kids screaming in the car "hurry up mom, we're late" I started to walk outside, but as my foot touched the first step on my porch, I heard God say "you forgot to pray for Chris". I always pray when he heads out for a fire, but this time I HAD indeed forgotten, so I said a prayer for his safety and went off to 4-H.

As we sat outside our group leaders home during our meeting, their phone kept ringing. It was ignored, and we carried about with our decorating and sheep details. Finally someone decided to answer the phone.

Chris had been pulled from the fire and was in the emergency room.

I knew nothing. I drove 90 miles an hour. I prayed like I never have prayed before.

Once I arrived in the emergency room I was bombarded with insurance questions... whay do they do that? All I wanted to do was find out how he was.

They only gave me a few facts

1. He was alive
2. He was talking
3. People were still trapped in the fire

I instantly broke down. I thought of our friends and neighbors that were out in the fire. Who was it still trapped inside?

After a few minutes they took me back to see my husband. He was hooked up to all sorts of machines, receiving oxygen, skin and clothes black with smoke, but he was alive and doing well.

After I held him and cried, I found out that indeed our dearest neighbor was one of those trapped. Sobs and prayers continued.

While fighting the fire, several volunteers went down into a steep ravine a few hundred feet deep. With a sudden shift of the wind the fire changed course and cut my husband off from the others. He had no idea what lay behind the wall of fire that separated them. But he did know what lay between his death and safety. The 100 foot wall of the ravine.

With all of his energy he climbed the ravine with the fire behind him. The smoke filled his lungs, and the heat was unbearable. At one point he said he gave up. He rested on a rock staring at the fire... praying to God that he didn't have to die this way. Fear of the pain as the deafening roar of the flames pounded in his head. At that point he passed out, but awoke to find himself climbing the final stretch of the ravine. Once at top fellow volunteers threw him into a pick up, fled from the flames and rushed him to the hospital.

He did not receive a single burn.

While he suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning, he was expected to have a full recovery.

The friends that were trapped have their own terrifying story, but they too escaped.

The fire was finally put out this afternoon. It got so bad they had to close down the interstate and bring in the firefighters from as far as 100 miles away.

On a final note, I would like to mention that it was around 6:00 that my husband almost died. God stopped me to pray at 6:00.

God is good.


Anonymous said...

Thank God he is okay. Wow. God really is good

Halfmoon Girl said...

Holy crap- that is amazing. (sorry for my lack of eloquence, but my eyes are full of tears and my heart hurts just reading that!) That must have been brutal to go through. God came through in a big way- what a miracle!!! Hallelujah for everyone's safe escape from that fire. I am so glad that your hubby was ok and that he was not alone in that fire. Reminds me of Shadrach, Meschach and Abednigo.

Emily said...

God is THE ultimate, THE ONLY Superstar. Just look how He rocks...

Becky said...

Oh, Karlie! I got the chills and then got all choked up and teary-eyed reading know, where you just see the hand of God at work and stand in utter awe and amazement. Praise the Lord for His amazing protection and care over your hubby, and for your obedience in stopping to pray at the very moment the Lord put that on your heart!

So thankful y'all (and your friends) got out unscathed!

Chelle said...

I can't imagine what you guys must have gone through!! Thank the Lord that he's okay, and that the others came through safely too.

Gayle said...

Oh My Gosh! I'm so glad Chris is OK!!!

~Rhen @yestheyareallmine said...

Thank you God for your powerful hands and awesome miracles.
Excuse me, I need a tissue.

Duckygirl said...

WOW! I'm so glad your hubby is ok. God is AMAZING!


Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

Oh my goodness, Karlie. I am completely choked up now.

PRAISE God for his protection and mercy. WOW!

His Girl said...

i keep meaning to come back and post a comment worthy of this post.

still can't come up with one.

God is so good. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

that's all i got.

Kimmie said...

Praising God that the story has a happy glad that everyone is okay.

The timing of your prayer is amazing.

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Thriftin and Craftin said...

WOW! Gives me chills. It's amazing how quickly things can change. I always have to remind myself to be grateful, and not get "bogged down" in the "little stuff". It's hard to do with the busy lives we have today, but stories like this remind us how important it is.

EEEEMommy said...

I.Am.Blown.Away. Wow! What an amazing testimony. What an awesome God we serve. And how challenged am I to respond more graciously and less irritably when...Thank God for His grace over the what ifs. I'll certainly be praying for your husband and the other firefighters!

javamamma said...

That is incredible. So cool that God used you to interceded for your hubby and your friends as well. And soooo glad that the devil didn't win this battle that could have claimed many lives. Praying for complete and quick recovery for your husband. Wow.

Sharon said...

I just want to say that I SOOOOO appreciate what your husband does. Tell him I say THANK YOU!

I live in dry western colorado and volunteer firefighters are much needed men. It is dangerous work and things can change in a flash.

Unknown said...

My husband is also a firefighter. Thank goodness that it turned out okay for your husband and fellow firefighters. That is an amazing story.