July 22, 2011


Isaiah 40: 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint

On Tuesday, my grandpa Jack collapsed while playing tennis, and suffered cardiac arrest. Witnesses say he received CPR right away and was shocked in order to get his heart beating again. When I found out, I rushed to the emergency room at Overlake Hospital, while prayer after prayer raced through my head. My grandpa is nearing 87 years old, but he is active, otherwise healthy, and he is the patriarch of the Erlandson family.

While I crossed the 520 bridge, my eye caught sight of a large bald eagle, perched on a post, watching traffic go by. I breathed deep, and prayed that this was some kind of sign. Bald eagle sightings are rare.

I arrived at the hospital to learn that my grandpa would be treated with a protocol called induced hypothermia. This treatment increases the odds that a patient will wake up after a cardiac arrest, but it also can take days to fully see changes. Often, patients just won't ever wake up.

I decided to go home that evening to rest. As I walked up the stairs to my front door, I saw something large fly across the sky. A bald eagle was soaring above, with two friends--two smaller birds--following close behind. I kind of couldn't believe it. Two bald eagles in one day? I suppose it could have been the same bird I saw earlier on the bridge, but something in my heart leaped. What are the odds?

As I got ready for bed, I was drawn to the book of Isaiah, and especially the verses at the end of chapter 40. "...Those that hope in the LORD will renew their strength" encouraged me. Right now, we need God's hope. We need His healing. I kept reading, and suddenly felt a lump in my throat: "They will soar on wings like eagles." When I opened up my Bible, I had completely forgotten about this verse, but there they were--the eagles.

I don't really know what all of this means--the tests, the medications, the ups and downs. Hospitals can be scary and confusing. But I do know that there is a God that is involved completely in my grandpa's treatment. I believe that God can heal, and that anything is possible.


  1. my heart is moved reading this, rachel, and my soul affirms your faith in a personal, loving God who cares for each one of us more than we can fathom. praying for your family and your grandpa right now.

  2. What a hard time for you to be going through! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, prayers, and revelations. I am praying for you and your family!

  3. What a beautiful statement of faith and hope even during pain! I am so sorry that you are going through this, Rachel. Praying for you and your family.

  4. rachel-- I love you and your heart. That verse is my favorite and has gotten me through some seriously trying times. Know that we are praying for you guys and here if you need us.

  5. Thank you for your kind words, everybody. They lift me up so much!