Finding God through a Heart Attack



Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed. — Psalm 85:10 —

It’s been months since I’ve been able to have anything to say. Hopefully, this post will do justice to the mercy that God has shown me in the past week.

I had a major heart attack May 9, 2015. I woke up feeling as if I had Pneumonia. Never had Pneumonia in my whoyle life, but the symptoms reminded me of when my mother used to get it. No coughing, hard to breath and a pain in my chest that felt like I had been violently coughing for days. I thought I got it from trying to kill the hornets that were buzzing around my back porch.

I sat down hoping for relief. My husband asked if I wanted him to stay home from walking the dogs, but I gave him the ok to go, telling him I would be ok.

He was gone maybe 10 or 15 minutes, when the pain, the inability to breath and incredible weakness hit me harder. I went to go lay down, but something told me, “If you lay down, your husband will come home and find you dead.” For a second or so, I almost gave into it, because that is how much I have loathed this world and my own life. But, the thought of my husband coming home to find me dead, made me sad, even though I had reached a point this past year, praying for the woman who would replace me if I died. So I walked out of the room, hoping a phone was nearby, as walking was a tremendous feat. I found it and called him, trying to be very calm, told him to come home as soon as possible. By then, I thought I was having a heart attack, but did not tell him, because I did not want to alarm him. I trusted him completely to come on home.

I called 911 and when asked what my emergency was, I barely was able get the words out, “I think I’m having a heart attack.” Each syllable cost one breath. she asked if there was pain. I gasped, “yes.” she asked if I was clammy. I asked, “Sweating?” She said yes, and I told her yes. She gave me instructions to unlock the door and make sure my husband would know what hospital I was going to.

I bent down to put my shoes on and all I can compare that to, is I could not have been any more weak and tired, if I had been wrestling a tiger.

I stood up, wanting my phone book so I could call a neighbor to tell my husband where I would be. I started to walk in the kitchen, barely 10 feet away, something told me no, go straight for the front door. I barely made it with each step. My legs and feet felt like they were weighed down with huge iron. I thought each breath was going to be my last, and the pain in my chest, incredible. I had been praying the most simple prayer throughout: God, help me.

As I reached the front door, I prayed, “Dear God, please let me see a neighbor.” I open the door, step out and see my neighbor across the street. He did not see me. I managed to call out his name before I buckled over the porch railings. He came over and I managed to tell him I was having a heart attack, emergency help was on the way, please tell my husband where I am going. I felt like I was about to fall and I laid down on the porch, thinking if I didn’t, I would crack my head wide open. I asked my neighbor not to leave me. He said he wouldn’t. I was not freaking out. That would have taken more strength and energy, and I just didn’t have any.

I had been told some years ago that I had three small arteries that were blocked , arteries so small that the doctors could not do anything about, telling me they would eventually close up and I would have a “small” heart attack. Thinking this was a “small” heart attack, I thought of what my brother, Ricky went through almost a year ago. Thinking, “Dear God, if this is a small one, what must have dad and Ricky went through with theirs. Thank You, it’s a small heart attack.”

Paramedics got there and began working with me on the porch. I apologized for being on the porch. They reassured me it was ok and told me to be calm, that I was having a heart attack. Oddly, I was calm. There was no other way to be. I found myself not only at the complete mercy of God, but everyone around me, as well. Somehow, I managed to rest in that.

My husband came home finding the paramedics working over me. I managed to tell him I love him and I think I told him to tell my brother and sister, I love them too.

In the ambulance, I did not see my whole life flash before me, but I did see certain things. I saw how I had lived my life the past few years. Taking the physical problems out of it, I was made aware of how the past few years have been spent in being terribly angry at the darkness that is overtaking the world. And now? For what? Nothing. I saw how nothing good came out of it. What had it mattered? It didn’t. In my heart, I told the Lord, I was sorry I had nothing more to give Him, than the woman I had become the last few years.

Once at the hospital, I was in awe of how complete strangers, working like a well oiled  machine, were trying their best to save my life. I still was thinking it was a “small” heart attack and was practically begging them to “Please, make the pain go away.” They told me they were going to do a heart cath on me and stay calm. I begged them to please give me a “happy shot” or whatever they give to make me not care. The nurse bent down and said, “Honey, you’ve had a major heart attack. Right now, we’re concerned about your life.” Immediately, in an eye blink, I was calmer, had peace. It was a peace that truly surpassed all understanding. I became more still than I had been. I accepted the pain, instead of trying to fight it.

I got to see my brother and sister before the heart cath. They had been crying and I know what we all were thinking. We were thinking about Ricky before me, now this. I told them not to cry, that I will be ok, no matter what happens.

The nurse did end up giving me something to relax me, and even though I was already relaxed, still more than glad to get my “happy shot”.

My prayer throughout the ride to the hospital and upon arriving was this, “Jesus, You are Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall declare it. If this is the end of my life on earth, I want these to be the last words that come out of me as I leave this world and the first to be coming out of me, as I stand before You. If you cast me to hell, You still are Lord of Lords and King of Kings. You still are a perfect and just God.”

I did not pray this in some kind of hopes that this would cause me to enter heaven. No, it had everything to do with who God is.

I went on to tell Him, “But, if You do take me from this earth, who will be left to teach my family about You? I know You could even get the stones to rise up and speak, if You desire, as I have been such a failure in so many things. I can’t make any promises, God. I dare not, because I know me. But if it’s Your will to leave me here, then help me be the woman You meant for me to be, because I can’t do it.”

Then asking Him to watch over my husband, our two dogs and my brother and sister and their families, I went back to my first prayer.

Earlier, as I was being rushed to the heart cath, I asked the nurses if any were Christians. Two said yes. I said, “Will you pray for me? I’m not ashamed of my God.” They said yes, and as the procedure began, they prayed for me. The fact that I could even speak was a miracle in my eyes.

After the heart cath was over, the doctor told me I had a major heart attack due to my major right artery was 100 percent blocked. He was able to clear it and put two stents in. The other two, one 40 percent, the other 50 percent, blocked. They will attend to the other two arteries sometime down the road.

I was told more than once, had I not called when I did, I would have died.

So, with all that being said, how did I find God through a heart attack, you may ask?

It’s pretty clear, isn’t it, precious reader? He was there all the time.

God is good to give me a second chance. He was with me with each step, each breath, each second.

His greatest desire is for us to know Him. I thank God for that heart attack. I sensed His presence in a way like no other time. I’m certain others can say the very same thing about their own experiences. Surely, if He can keep me through such a horrible event, He can keep you too, no matter what you are going through.

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor Angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

— Romans 8:38 —



















Part 2: Having the chance to say good bye

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While we waited to see if our brother was going to come off the ventilator, there were a number of people praying.

As for me, I reached a point of, “God, Your will be done and help us accept it.”

I realize there are some reading this who make faith a great factor. Perhaps even going so far to say, “if only they had MY preacher there, if only they claimed his healing, if only they believed God for a miracle.”

We were looking for a miracle. Even the doctor told us he believed it was a miracle that Ricky was still with us. We all thought that. But, when we began to see the extent of the brain damage, I had my human doubts. It appeared to me, Ricky was here because the doctor shocked his heart 39 times, not giving up on him. If that was the case, then what was the purpose? For it was next to impossible to see any “good” thing come from such a tragedy.

Our brother, once full of life, laying helpless, at the mercy of all those around him. To think God meant something “good” for the rest of us through Ricky’s suffering, seemed like a selfish thing to me on our part. It still does and I can understand how an Atheist thinks.

However, that is where faith comes in for a Christian. I would be lying to you if I told you I had the warm fuzzies for anything resembling faith. Quite the contrary. When I wasn’t at the hospital, apart from my siblings, alone, I felt anger. Not a why-did-this-happen-to-us kind of thing. But one of feeling completely helpless to do anything. Waiting on  God was not easy and what if God didn’t make His will clear to us?

I didn’t ask for signs or wonders. I didn’t make bargains with God such as, “If You do this, I’ll do such-n-such.” No. I knew just as our brother was at the mercy of all around him, we all were at the mercy of God. However that would play out, I knew within myself that God had seen us all grow up together: He knew every tear, every moment of laughter, our squabbles and our love for one another. He had been there all the time in the house we grew up in. He had been there when our parents were alive and He was still with us.

Ricky had to be suctioned every few minutes or he would drown in his own fluid. Even though the nurses made no big deal about it, I didn’t have the patience to wait for them to come and do it. So, I told them to show me how. They were more than glad. It was the last thing I could do for him while he was on this earth. Every now and then his eyes would gaze into mine. I saw what appeared to be great sadness. But was it? They (the doctors and nurses) said no, that he wasn’t really aware of anything. Only his brain stem was working, they said, but they had no proof. Even the tests couldn’t show it. But, his siblings treated him as if he could hear and understand.

My last indignant episode at how the staff treated him, allowed me to talk to one of his nurses, who had patience with me. I found him to be very understanding of our needs and wants. He asked me, “What is it that you think your brother is trying to show you through his eyes?” I told him,”Either to not give up on him or to let him go.”

Also, Ricky was scheduled for a lung biopsy. Even though he was a positive man in every way throughout his life, we were not convinced it was not going to be lung cancer. His doctor had told him before hand they thought it was Cancer.

We all could see he was not feeling well, but Ricky being the man he was, never let on about his health issues. At times, he would laugh them off, as if no big deal. I will say here, that my brother was diagnosed with AIDS back in 1988 or 1989. He was sent home with a death sentence of two years. But God…

We waited for signs of improvement, but there were none. All that could be done for him was suctioning and pain med. We massaged his legs, talked to him, anything we could do that we thought could relieve his suffering.

Finally, we came to the conclusion there was nothing that could be done, but to let him go. Ricky, himself, would want that. He was a free spirit, independent, a rolling stone. No way would he want to live hooked up on machines.

July 3rd, the staff told us we could take him off life support at anytime. They suggested that day as if he were to pass on the 4th, we might not want to remember a holiday with a loved one passing. It made no difference to us. We just wanted to end his suffering. So we went for the 3rd.

All the family was called in and we gathered around his bedside. The ventilator was taken out. I began to softly sing, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus,” thinking he would be gone within a minute. But he wasn’t. He began to suffer without the ventilator. I ran out of the room, speaking rather loudly, “Our brother is suffering! This isn’t suppose to be happening! Do something!” We all were under the impression he would go quickly.

They come in and start giving him something to calm him down. We stayed by his bedside for the longest time, waiting. But, his body was still strong, they said. They told us it could take up to two weeks! I was livid. “Thanks for letting us know ahead of time!”

We stay with him all day and into the night. I continued to suction him, as the fluid built up in his lungs.

I notice his eyes before and after removing the ventilator. Both times, his eyes appeared to be looking at something off in the distance, something beautiful, awesome. I’ve never seen human eyes look like that. I asked my sister if she noticed it and she said, “Yes, I think he was seeing angels.”

Some things are kind of sacred to me. That is one reason it has taken me so long to write about this. it is like by talking about it, you make it less beautiful or something. I probably didn’t explain that too well, but that is how I have felt.

The next morning, my husband and brother come in and tell me to go home to get some rest. I didn’t want to. Who would suction Ricky? Five nurses came into the room and told me they would. I couldn’t trust them because I knew Ricky wasn’t their only patient. Besides, this was just a job to them. For us, it was our beloved brother. They assured me they would watch over him and not let him suffer.

I let my husband take me home and I laid down. Just for a little while, I told myself. A few hours later I wake up and it is after 7 p.m. I fussed at my husband for not waking me up sooner. He said he wanted me to rest. I jump up and tell him to take me to the hospital. He had been up earlier and said Ricky wasn’t doing good. We rush off.

I found out no one was with Ricky. I began to pray that he wouldn’t be alone when he died. Even so, Your will, Lord, not mine. Please don’t let him suffer on anyone’s account.

I get to the hospital, rush up to his room, they have him on a gurney moving him to another unit. As I see him from across the room, his eyes appear to be glowing, yellow as if bright sunshine coming from them. I wanted to shout, “Ricky, I love you,” But I knew you didn’t shout in a hospital. I ran up to him. The nurse says she thinks he’s not going to be around much longer. I put my hand in my pocket saying I was going to call our brother and sister and then she says, “He just passed.”

He was gone. I was very much aware of my belief that as his soul left his body, he saw me. He saw me throw my body over his. He saw me wanting not to leave him. It was like he was hanging on long enough to see me one last time. Everybody else had been there earlier that day. Only one left was me. Knowing my brother, he could have been praying for God to give him the strength to say good-bye.

God was good to give my brother and me that one last chance.

But, it’s still not over. My brother had changed into a new man the past couple years.









Part 1: Having the chance to say good bye

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“Go on, touch her.”

“No, I don’t want to.”

“She can’t hurt you, go on.”

“No, I’m afraid.”

“Look. I’ll do it. See? She’s cold.”

That was my first experience with death. Standing in front of a casket, my younger brother, Ricky, inquisitive little thing that he was, wanted me to share in his fascination of a dead body. We could barely see her as we tippy toed to peer over the side. He insisted there wasn’t anything to be afraid of, but I wasn’t convinced. I never touched her.

I’ve thought of that moment quite a bit the past six months. The difference in our attitudes. It was the same all throughout our life together. He, not fearing death. I, paralyzed at the thought of it. He would challenge me many times, “How can you be so afraid, when you believe in God?” I had no answer. I still don’t. Perhaps it’s the suffering that may be involved or the finality of it in this lifetime. I just don’t know.

Many of us don’t have the chance to say good bye to a loved one. I had that chance with my brother and it is with that in mind, I write.

Ricky inherited our father’s heart disease (so have I for that matter) and he had three heart attacks over the past few years. The last one led him to the hospital in an ambulance. As the family arrived, the doctor took us all in a conference room and told us Ricky had another heart attack while the doctor was doing a heart cath on him. Went without oxygen to his brain for 40 minutes while the doctor shocked him 39 times. We were glad to know our brother was still alive. However, we were told chances may not be good. He could either go into kidney failure, infection could set in or he could be brain damaged. Time would tell.

It was brain damage. At first, we just held on to a hope that it was just the medications, being tied up in bed, being on a ventilator. We were not going to believe any bad report until we had proof. Tests were ran. Most of them inconclusive. Even the doctors could not agree with one another.

I made it clear more than once, that the staff would not talk in front of him like he was deaf. Using words in front of him like “brain damaged”  etc. However, they did anyway and by the second or third time, I let them know about it.

“I told you no! … He’s not deaf… He’s not a piece of furniture …. I realize you have other patients, but this is our brother here and you will respect him and our wishes … Don’t tell me he’s not suffering. How do you know? You ever been in his position?! … Do you think I’m stupid?! … Get me a patient advocate, Im not putting up with this …”

I had more than one round with these nurses who had seen it all and our brother was just one more body to them. But to us, he was our loved one. At the mercy of strangers, in my eyes. I had a hard time trusting.

We did get our advocate and she helped us in working with the staff.

My other brother, my sister and I spent time with Ricky. Trying to get him to respond. “Ricky can you squeeze our hand?” No response. There were times when even the slightest movement excited us. But it was nothing. It had to do with us having false hope more than reality. Still we clung.

My sister was the first to speak it: “He looks like he’s got cerebral palsy,” she tearfully told me over the phone. I thought the same thing but didn’t want to admit it yet. “It might be the drugs. Plus they have him tied down in bed. Could be his back hurts.” I realized I was grasping for straws. Something simple to explain his condition. It was easier than the reality of the situation.

We decided to give him a few days to see how he would respond when taken off the pain med. Surely, he will perk up and be back to his old self. I was already making plans on going home with him to help take care of him. But it wasn’t to be. He was on that ventilator 11 days.

(To be continued)







Fire Breathing Dragon


Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. — Psalm 51:6 —

It’s been months since my last writing. Not sure I can find the words to describe what has been going on with me since my brother passed away.

Some things have become more important and other things, less important. Family, being my top priority. Less important, politics of the world (though I can still get pretty riled up every now and then) and the ongoing apostasy within the Church.

For six years I have ran this blog exposing the manipulating man pleasing sugar coated occultic garbage coming out of the Church. I’m tired. Just as I have come to the conclusion that I have reached my zenith in playing guitar, never getting any better, so it is with other things I have given up on.

Perhaps, I am just a quitter or maybe it is God trying to lead me in a different direction. I don’t know.

I am finding the things I once had passion for, no longer interest me as much. My passion has became a curse. I am to blame. I could not control it. It became sin. Perhaps it was from the very beginning. God knows.

I knew this day would come. The day when all my resources would get burned out, literally burned out. At times I felt like a fire breathing dragon out of control. Anger raging in me such a way that felt more like something from the pit of hell, than a righteous anger of God.

Many of you came here, trying to show me, trying to reason with me. I saw it as weakness on your part. You were right, I was wrong.

More than once, I would wake up in the middle of the night so sickened of feeling like a complete failure to God, that I would go to the computer, sign on, come to this blog disgusted, wanting to delete it out of existence. But like everything else which touched my life, no peace about it. So I remained stagnant.

Perhaps I still am. God knows whether any good thing will come out of me or not.

In the meantime, just wanted the reader to know, I still appreciate those of you who pop in every now and then. I’m wanting to come back.

I want the dragon to die.




Speaking death to those who are dying

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My brother and I spent a lot of time together the past few months of his life.  He had decided to move closer to us and our other brother and sister. He was in the process of moving into his little house and fixing it up the last few weeks of his life. He would call on his way home from work, knowing I would invite him over for dinner. He loved being with family. Even more so, the past few years of his life.

When he would come over, we would talk about everything, even politics on which we were in agreement. Yet, he never let it get to him like I did.

I had  gotten back spasms a couple of days and the pain was terrible. That kind of pain makes me have to be completely still, with nothing at all irritating me, or it gets worse. One night he had come over, I had spent the night before with the spasms. He asked how I was doing and I told him I happened to hear the word “obama” come out of my husband’s mouth the night before as I had been laying in bed with the pain gone for a few minutes. Heard that word and immediately, the spasms hit. I had told my husband through gritted teeth, “I don’t want to hear anything about that man. Don’t even mention his name to me right now.” My husband did what any decent husband would do: Looking bewildered, he sheepishly left the room on tip toe. My husband is a true saint.

When I told my brother this over a bowl of chili, he affectionately told me, “Brenda, you got some anger issues.” My husband nodding his head “yes” in agreement with him. I agreed with them.

One thing I admired in my brother is how calm, cool and collected he could be. Not always, as he had his moments like anyone else. But, he had a logic about him, that transcended my passionate being that could explode in outbursts of anger. One of the things I questioned over the years, was why God chose me to be the oldest child among my siblings. It always seemed Ricky would have been better at it, and oddly though, I still for the most part saw him as the oldest.

That night, had I known what lay in store for him and the rest of us,within a matter of two days, my conversation would have been different. I would not have been discussing things I have no control over, things that have enraged me in the past five years, things of little to no eternal value.

We look at a new born baby and we see such life, precious life. Still, that life as new as it is, begins to die the very moment the umbilical cord is cut. It no longer has anything sustaining it, like it once had in the mother’s womb.

Had I known my brother was reaching the end of his life, my words would have been much different. That has been my biggest regret leading up to his death. I would have mentioned more of  the things of God. Even though, we had spent considerable time over the past couple years talking about the things of God, still, my words would have been cautiously chosen the last few weeks of his life.

Instead, I ranted and raged about the things that made me angry. However, I am thankful that just as I knew my brother and his little idiocentricities, he knew mine and we outgrew any teasing over the years, and somehow began to see them for what they are, loving one another in spite of them. Which caused a deeper appreciation and respect for one another. Not everybody gets to have this chance.

People are dying all around us, whether we/they know it or not. Our bodies began to die the moment we take our first breath. The aging process will affect us all in one way or the other, sooner or later. Don’t believe me? Go take a look in the mirror and tell me if you look the same as you did 10 years ago, 20 years, 30, etc. I don’t know about you, but I look nothing like I did 26 years ago on my wedding day. False teachers can “claim” all they want about never getting sick, but the day will call upon them too, when their own bodies start showing signs of aging, of dying.

What to do? I suppose one place to start is here, which I am trying my best to be mindful of every day with the exception of one of my responses I gave to someone who passed through here esteeming obama — oh well, Rome was not built in a day and neither will I:

Starting where? With my mouth. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t pussy foot around issues and have little patience with those with opposing views. Simple fact is, and I speak bluntly, if your opinion does not line up with mine, do not expect me to respect it. I will not. To do so, would be esteeming it as high as my own. I will not do that, and if others disagree with me, I expect the same in return. However, respect you? Yes, that I will, unless someone gives me a reason not to.

I am letting all the readers know, that my desire is to speak life, to encourage, to edify, to build up. It is one thing to point out false teaching. A lot of us can do that. But to actually lift up one who is sick and dying, to speak peace and comfort to broken hearts, to speak truth in such a way that it sets captives free, to make love the greatest gift a reality, that is another thing. A new challenge for me. A new calling. This my friends, is my greatest desire.

No doubt, I may slip up every now and then, because as I say, this is a brand new thing for me. But, perhaps it is not a new thing to God. Maybe, just maybe, this is what He had planned all along.


Where this blog is going


After the death of my brother, on July 4th, I have gone through some changes. Some good and some not so good. Grief is a hard thing to deal with and I tend to be one who builds a cocoon of safety around myself.  My family has become much more important to me and I seek solace along with them, with the cherished memories of our brother.

We have had the sad duty of finding out what to do with his belongings. Gods grace has been poured upon us during this time. A lot of families would be fighting with much friction in the air. Not so, with mine. My family and I have been a passionate bunch. Everything we do is hard. We play hard, we work hard, we laugh hard, we fight hard and we love hard.

We are respecting one another’s desires to grieve in the way each of us must, in order to move on with our lives. I believe if people allowed others during the time of grief, this freedom, they would find they will find a certain kind of peace, just in having that freedom.

For myself, I have taken my brothers clothes and will be making rag blankets with them and hope to have them done before Christmas, to give them to my siblings. I had done the same with our mothers clothes and I get great comfort in doing this kind of thing.

One of the last things my brother said to me before his heart attack, was, “Brenda, when you let people like that get to you, they win.” He was talking about my anger issues I have with lies and corruption and certain individuals in politics and the false teachers within the Church. I knew when he said it, it was the truth, yet, I did not grasp hold of it. Not until, I saw him suffering and just days left with us.

Yes, I still get angry over such matters, but can not allow myself to focus on all of the garbage that I can do very little about. I am finding relationships are much more important than my opinion on things. I know of people, sick and with Cancer and it makes me sad. Nothing I can do about that either. Yet, I will try and spend my emotions on those things, instead of the things of the world which have driven me quite nuts at times.

This blog, where is it going? I don’t know. I just know, that I think it is time I did something different than what I have basically done the past five years. I can not do it, anymore. If it makes me “weak” in some of your eyes,then so be it. I don’t have the energy to even care.

I want to be able to tell Good News, as is called of me. Sadly, it has taken my brothers suffering and death, to bring this home to me. Please be in prayer as to what God wants, not I. Even then, I still do not trust myself at all in the matter.

If you still are popping in every now and then, I want to thank you for your support of this blog for the past five years. God watch between you and me while we are absent from one another.


Brenda (AKA Redeemed Hippie)


I’ve not forgotten you


i have not forgotten you, dear readers. Once again, I had gotten a virus on my computer for the past few months and did not deal with it, until yesterday. But the most important thing has been, I have lost my brother through a massive heart attack. He passed away July 4th. His suffering and death has changed me in some ways. Not yet able to express what is and has been on my heart. Just letting the readers know. Thank you for any thoughts or/and prayers you may send our way. God watch between you and me while we are absent from one another.

Love, redeemed hippie (AKA Brenda)

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