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  • Writer's pictureKristen Joy Wilkes

A Miracle, Just Not the One I Wanted

When I was fourteen years old, my dad accidentally inhaled carbon monoxide while he was

repairing the generator that powered our remote, mountain home.

My mother found him unconscious on the floor of our generator shed. I remember the crunch of the snow under my red slippers as I ran outside to help her preform CPR.

Once you have performed CPR on a real person, waiting and hoping for some sign of life, you never forget how to do it. But knowing the process, doesn’t mean it will work.

Our chests were tight with fear, when we learned that the ambulance couldn’t make it up our icy winter road. I ran to grab a blanket to cushion his ride as our neighbor carried my dad to the cold bed of our camp pickup.

They continued CPR while my grandfather drove them down the twisty mountain road to meet the ambulance.

Despite our prayers, my dad died that day.

And our lives were devastatingly, inalterably changed. My brother and I lost our wacky, wonderful dad. My mom lost her beloved husband. The Bible camp where we lived and worked lost their very first camp director. He had such a gift for connecting with people and his loss left a giant hole in our family and entire community.

I’ll never understand why God didn’t stop my dad’s death.

But I know that God planned for our care ahead of time.

When my Grandpa Dewsnap told us his story, we finally understood exactly how much.

A few years earlier when my mom’s parents, Grandpa and Grandma Dewsnap, were planning their retirement, God told Grandpa that someone in our family was going to die. God didn’t show him who it was. But somehow, he knew that he and Grandma Dewsnap needed to move nearby so they could comfort my mom in her loss.

I don’t understand why my dad had to die. But I do know that God cares.

God told my logical, non-vision-seeing Grandfather that we would lose someone we loved. God told him to move, and he moved. Grandpa Dewsnap’s quiet obedience provided the support that Mom needed to face such overwhelming loss.

I still miss my father–how he wore a tie to match his swim trunks, and always pulled his socks up too high just to annoy me.

But I’m grateful that God was gracious to show us His love by taking tender care of our family in that incredibly dark time.

God performed a miracle on our behalf … just not a miracle we would have chosen.

Psalm 34:18 NLT

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;

He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”


Kristen Joy Wilks lives in the beautiful Cascade Mountains with her

camp director husband, three teen sons, and a large and slobbery

Newfoundland dog. She has blow-dried a chicken, fought epic Nerf

battles instead of washing dishes, and smuggled a gallon bag of

cooked bacon into the movie theater to nibble. She writes about what

she loves: the quiet of the forest, the ill-considered schemes of

unstoppable children, and the love of loyal pets who will never leave

your side … as long as you pack ham! Follow Kristen on Instagram, Facebook, or try a chicken adventure for free with her newsletter at

1 Comment

Laurie Gaither
Laurie Gaither
Mar 01, 2023

Your ability to paint a picture and relate to so many human needs- sunshine, faith, hope is remarkable. I needed that today. Thank you….

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