Joy, anticipation, and anxiety engulfed my wife, Arlene, and me as we prepared for the arrival of our third child. But one day it appeared that our dreams might be dashed.
We were at our home in Georgia, USA, when we realized that Arlene’s heart was beating more than 250 beats per minute. This continued for an hour. Knowing that a normal heart rate ranges between 70 and 150 beats per minute, I made an emergency call, and medical help soon arrived. After examining Arlene, the paramedics explained that they would need to inject her with a medication that would stop her heart temporarily. The medication would wear off quickly, allowing her heart to restart, hopefully at a normal rate. This procedure was fairly common in the medical field, but the paramedics were a bit concerned about the unborn baby.
I held Arlene’s hand while the medical personnel injected her with the solution. She grimaced with pain, and I felt a terrible fear for her and our baby. But then Arlene looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “It’s okay, Adam. I know that my Redeemer lives.”
The Spirit filled the room, and I could not restrain my tears—not because of fear or sorrow, but because of my great joy and comfort in the living God. It struck me that Arlene could have said many things about the Savior. She could have testified of Him by saying, “I know that Christ died for me.” But she knew an even greater truth, and that knowledge gave us peace.
A few seconds later, Arlene’s heart resumed its regular rhythm. She was taken to the hospital’s emergency room and examined to ensure that her health—and the baby’s—were intact. All was well, and a few weeks later our daughter, Rebecca Grace, was born.
Arlene later told me that she had been singing the lyrics of the hymn “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (Hymns, no. 136) in her mind while the medicine was affecting her heart. I am so grateful for Arlene and for the beautiful way she expressed her testimony at a crisis point in our lives.
Photograph by John Rees; ECG Trace, Alfred Pasieka/Photo Researchers, Inc.