The Smell of Rain!

"A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the
doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. Still groggy from
surgery, her husband David held her hand as they braced themselves for
the latest news.

"That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only
24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency cesarean section to deliver
the couple's new daughter, Danae Lu Blessing. At 12 inches long and weighing
only one pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature.
Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. 'I don't think she's
going to make it'" he said, as kindly as he could. '"There's only a 10-percent
chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim
chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one.'

"Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described
the devastating problems Danae would likely face if she survived. She would
never walk; she would never talk; she would probably be blind; she would
certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete
mental retardation; and on and on.

"'No! No!' was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old
son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become
a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.

Through the dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest
thread, Diana slipped in and out of drugged sleep, growing more and more
determined that their tiny daughter would live - and live to be a
healthy, happy young girl. But David, fully awake and listening to additional
dire details of their daughter's chances of ever leaving the hospital alive,
much less healthy, knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable.

"David walked in and said that we needed to talk about making funeral
arrangements, Diana remembers 'I felt so bad for him because he was doing
everything, trying to include me in what was going on, but I just wouldn't
listen, I couldn't listen. I said, 'No, that is not going to happen, no way!
I don't care what the doctors say Danae is not going to die! One day she
will be just fine, and she will be coming home with us!'

"As if willed to live by Diana's determination, Danae clung to life hour
after hour, with the help of every medical machine and marvel her miniature
body could endure But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for

David and Diana.

"Because Danae's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw,' the
lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort - so they
couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the
strength of their love. All they could do, as Danae struggled alone beneath the
ultra-violet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would
stay close to their precious little girl.

There was never a moment when Danae suddenly grew stronger. But as the
weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of
strength there. "At last, when Danae turned two months old, her parents were able
to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later -
though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of
surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero

"Danae went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.
Today, five years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering
gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, whatsoever,
of any mental or physical impairments. Simply, she is everything a little girl
can be and more - but that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

"One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving,
Texas, Danae was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local
ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always,
Danae was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting
nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest,
Danae asked, 'Do you smell that?'

Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana
replied, 'Yes, it smells like rain.' Danae closed her eyes and again asked, 'Do
you smell that?' Once again, her mother replied, 'Yes, I think we're about
to get wet, it smells like rain.' Still caught in the moment, Danae shook
her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly
announced, 'No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on
His chest.'

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to play with
the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed
what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least
in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two
months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God
was holding Danae on His chest - and it is His loving scent that she
remembers so well."

Oh how we all long to know that scent of our father. Hold Me Father........

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