God Stories – those times in our lives when God shows Himself real. Times we look back on when our faith is being shaken. Memories we count on to reaffirm our faith and see us through difficulties and tragic situations. Today, I’d like to tell you about my friend, Kim Prather, and her God Story.
Third grade was a memorable year for Kim. She loved to watch westerns on TV – it was the horses that drew her. One day her dad decided he wanted the TV back, so her got her the gift every little girl dreams of – a new pony! His love of sugar cubes earned him the name Sugarfoot..
Soon after getting Sugarfoot, she experienced God in a unique way – both through surviving a freak accident, as well as through the kindness of her 3rd Grade teacher, Miss Geiger.
Imagine a 40 – foot tree on a farm. Around the bottom was a cattle chute on one side, lots of debris, boards, branches and farm junk in the middle, and a old shed on the other side. Kim’s older brother, Mike, challenged her to climb to the top of the tree to get a bird nest to see if it had any eggs. While she did love her brother, the self-proclaimed monkey loved to climb even more.
Kim climbed the tree one branch at a time. She was very proud of making it to the top and finding the nest. After dropping it down to her brother, the next thing she knew she was on the ground, with her mom asking if she could move her neck. Although she doesn’t remember falling, Kim’s brother later told her that she had her arms spread out, just like a bird. Right before landing, she put them out like they were her brakes. She later found out that her mom had run to her aid even though she still had three cows left to milk. (Don’t worry – her dad later came home to finish the milking!)
Her injuries were quite extensive. She split her elbow, and only skin was holding her arm together. Remember the debris at the bottom? In God’s grace, Kim missed it all!
In a panic, brother Mike had run to get their mom. She asked Kim if she could get up. Kim said yes, and in her stubbornness, walked to the car by herself. Before she knew it, she woke up in the Norfolk hospital. Her right arm was in a sling on a pole with a half cast, and her left arm had a wrist wrap which she thought was for a sprain, but was actually because it was broken, too. She had a concussion as well as internal bleeding. Kim later found out that she was originally taken to the O’Neill hospital. However, they took one look at her arm and sent her to a bone specialist in Norfolk (Dr. Berley.) A detail about this doctor that always ministered to her in a special way was his name – Dr. Berley. Kim’s given name is Kimberly; at that time she thought Berly was her middle name! She felt a kinship to this doctor and knows he was sent by God to help her.
In the hospital, Kim kept asking her mom the same questions over and over:”Where’s my underwear?” “What happened?” “Why is my arm like this?” “Where am I?” This repetition was no doubt due to the concussion; Mom, however, patiently answered Kim every time she asked her questions! She stayed in the hospital for a week – all the while asking for her new, blue bunny. It had already been packed for the wedding the family was attending that weekend, but her dad found it three days later and brought it to her in the hospital. They never did make it to that wedding, though.
In addition to God’s protection during the accident, and providing Dr. Berely, Kim’s teacher, Miss Geiger, showed God’s love to her in huge ways. Kim had two casts when she went back to school that spring. Miss Geiger had all the students in class each make a homemade card, which she still has to this day. They also gave her presents. Miss Geiger extended the fun by only allowing her to open one large or two small gifts per day. Kim thought that was pretty cool – it made her feel special. Her mother made a scrapbook of all the memories of that year.
As Kim looks back, she realized God put her teacher into her life because of her big heart. She extended that love to Kim and made her feel like she wasn’t a burden. Miss Geiger was a large woman, but had a large heart to match.
Back to the horse – everyone thought he was the culprit behind her broken arms. Kim did sit on him after the accident, but wasn’t allowed to ride him until her casts was removed. Disclaimer – she may or may not have snuck on top of him a few times without her parents knowing!
Kim can remember other specific times in her life when she experienced God’s help, guidance,and protection. This goes back as far as when she was 3 years old. She said God has always been there for her, even though she hasn’t always been there for Him.
God has been busy protecting Kim all her life. Just ask Miss Geiger – or Sugarfoot!