Have you considered my servant, Erika…?

After a wonderful long weekend with Doug in downtown Chicago and a delightful (very full!) day on North Park’s campus, I was exhausted but joyful as I headed out the door of a nearby coffee shop with a young woman I had just met (thanks to this blog) the hour before. It was raining and dark, and she was heading to the bus stop across the street to return home to Humboldt Park. I needed to walk the few blocks back to my host home, and we were laughing and chatting about being ill-prepared for the rain. As we stepped into the crosswalk, with the light, I saw a white taxi cab heading North on Kimball begin to turn in our direction. I assumed he planned to stop before he got to us but that was not the case. Claiming later that he did not see us, he struck me first, throwing me to the ground, and then hitting Rebecca.

A kind woman immediately stopped her car and told us that she was calling 911. The cab driver stopped as well, apologizing profusely. I got up right away from the ground but I was very concerned for Rebecca who was still down. She said she was okay, but we both knew that we needed to get checked out. I remembering just standing there, in the rain, saying to whoever was listening: “I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant.”

Very quickly an unmarked car pulled up and two guys stepped out and started barking orders and talking in radios. Suddenly a blue light was flashing inside their car, and they ushered me to their back seat. Now, earlier in the day it had probably come up four or five times that I have my set of fears and suspicions concerning the Chicago Police Department. As I crawled into the back seat of some men who I hoped were Chicago cops, I was struck by the irony.

Fortunately I had my host’s phone number in my bag, and as soon as I told Bob what had happened he said he would be right there. He arrived moments later and stayed by my side for the next two hours as Rebecca and I were transported to Swedish Covenant in an ambulance, and for the duration of my time there. He very gently prayed for me in the ER, as did Rebecca in the back of the ambulance, and I was so grateful for the love shown by these two people. I also managed a phone call home to my sister who was watching our kids while Doug was at his “Job and Human Suffering” class at Fuller. She got a hold of Doug and he called me back in tears. Having just walked through the very dark place of facing the loss of our baby six weeks ago, neither of us had much reserve to handle that prospect once again.

The pains in my stomach were terrifying for me. When the doctor started the ultrasound, I was relieved to see our little one moving, heart beating, and to hear her say that she could not see any damage anywhere. As she concluded the ultrasound, she said to me that she didn’t see any need to do a CT at this point, and she didn’t want to expose the baby to that high level of radiation unless necessary. “You are only at eighteen weeks. If you were a little further along, we would send you upstairs and monitor the baby for an hour or so with the external fetal monitor.” Then she looked at me, and I could see on her face that she was going to say Those Words: “But, since the baby is not yet viable, there would really be no reason to do that since there would be nothing we could do.”

Right after I found out I was pregnant this time, I spoke at Pasadena Covenant Church during their Sunday worship. A family introduced themselves to me afterwards, and I learned that the man was Todd Johnson, a new professor of worship and theology at Fuller who had previously taught at North Park. I had heard such great things about him from some friends, and I was pleased to meet him and his wife and kids. When I told them that Doug and I were expecting our third child, he did something strange: he spoke a blessing over the tiny little baby in my womb. He commented that the church doesn’t do anything to recognize the new life of babies until once they have been born and he said that this can be a great cause of grief for women who lose their babies for whatever reason before they are born. He blessed my little one with words that spoke to what I as the mother already knew to be true: this child is a gift of God; this child is a new creation; this child is beloved. This was before hernias and surgeries and taxi cabs, but how his simple act of offering that blessing has been present to me as we have passed through these dark places.

I am home now, much sorer than I ever would have imagined being as a result of being struck. I can hardly walk and sitting is painful, and we are scheduled to visit our OB tomorrow morning just to check again on our little one. I know that I have much to praise God for in terms of all that he did NOT permit to happen on Tuesday night. But I am feeling a bit down and discouraged nonetheless. As I said to Doug: “This is starting to feel personal.”

I haven’t heard back from my blogging friend, Rebecca, so I am hoping and praying for her wellness, and every time I move with pain I am reminded that she is likely feeling much the same right now. I am thrilled to be back home with my precious kiddos, and I will take the time later today or tomorrow to reflect more on my time at North Park. The day was rich with conversations with students and opportunities to reconnect with people who were dear to me when I lived there, and yes, Scot, I think I did drink close to ten cups of coffee that day!

29 thoughts on “Have you considered my servant, Erika…?”

  1. Erika,

    In my own unexpected altitude shift, I didn’t even notice that you had been knocked down as well, since you were up again so quickly. That multiplies my sense of relief that you are OK. In every pang of stiffness when I move, I’m reminded of how bad that could have been for both of us and I try to be deliberately grateful to God for your baby and you and all of our wholeness. I have been hiding at my parents’ house experiencing a variety of physical responses as all that adrenaline leaves my system after the big scare. I’m only just now getting back into the swing of things.

    Thank you for your time. As you told me over coffee, if you can’t say Amen, say Ouch.

  2. erika…oh how sad that this happened just a few moments after we were done talking. i had an eerie feeling when i woke up the next morning how great it was to talk with you, but had hoped you made it back safely to your home. i prayed then, and will continue to pray. please keep in touch and let me know how you are feeling-i will continue to keep you in my prayers and your little, precious, little child inside of you. i’m glad you are home safely..get some rest.

  3. Wow! What a story. I don’t think I understood just how serious that incident could have been just from Scot’s P.S. I’m very thankful that you and your child have gotten through this incident alive, if in pain.

    My wife Michelle has just signed on to do her PhD at Fuller with Todd, and we’ve come to know him well. This kind of act of kindness and spiritual awareness sounds very much like Todd, and is a huge part of the reason Michelle chose to work with him. I thankful you two have met.

  4. Rebecca,
    I am so glad to hear from you!!! I can barely move–I imagine you are much the same, and for that I am so very sorry. I am glad you have your family around you to help!

  5. Marie,
    Thanks for your kind words. As I sit here sipping coffee from the little Caribou Coffee mug that Doug bought for me, I am grateful that you left when you did :) Thanks for your prayers!

  6. it would seem that God is determined to have all the glory for this little one’s entrance into the world. i think there are big things in store for it’s life…

  7. Erika, I praise God that you are safe. You guys have had so much trauma or near-trauma in the last few months. I echo Todd’s blessing. Thank you Yahweh for keeping Erika and the little Haub safe thus far; we ask that you keep her safer.

  8. After hearing about this from Doug and praying for you two, I was struck by Job. The lesson of Job, the person of Job, the hidden and revealed God throughout the book of Job. How fitting, then, is the title of this entry.

    I have to admit, though, that my first response was sorrow, then anger. Sorrow at pain, at suffering of those I love, then anger at God.

  9. Oh, Erika, I read your post and weeped. Please know how many people are praying for you to continue to abide in Jesus and his love, focused on the amazing call and ministry you have with your family, including this new little one.

    You are beloved, too.

  10. I am so sorry that this has happened. You are in my thoughts. You are such a strong person, an amazing role model. Keep being faithful, God is your rock.

  11. I have a faint memory of saying something like “If you walk out into the street, they will stop. Assert your pedestrian rights.” Do you still have any post-natal ibuprofen horse pills? NPU security definately needs to add this to their orientation talk! Much love to you all…

    Ed wants to know if you have a neckbrace?

  12. What? I am absolutely-100% speechless. Thank GOD you are o.k. and mini Haub too. uhh…..wow.

  13. Hey Erka,

    I am so glad to hear you made it through your car vs. person fight.

    I’m also glad little Haublet is all safe and stuff. It’s no fair.

    Please know our thoughts are with you.

  14. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!! I’m so happy to hear of God’s great goodness to you and mercy in the midst of such trying circumstances. Wow, you and Doug have gone through alot! Many blessings on you and yours which we know certainly includes that dear little one inside of you.

  15. Erika –
    I’m so glad to hear you and your little one are okay! You both will continue to be in my prayers. Thank you again for sharing in my class Tuesday night. It was a powerful reminder of what can happen when one listens to the call of God. May God continue to honor your faithfulness and may God continue to protect this new little life. Have you thought about naming him/her Zosimos/Zosime? :) It means “Survivor” and this little one fits the bill!

  16. Erika, We are both shocked and relieved to hear about your Chicago accident. The blessing for your third child was words we often think but seldom speak. God didn’t just only think about his creation but spoke it into being.

    Your Dad and David are coming this weekend for the lake work party. We can rejoice together in the outcome of this incident.

    Love Carole and Jason

  17. Erika, more and more blessings on you as you heal. Allow the Spirit to work it’s mighty power in healing your spirit and pieces parts.

    My grandfather prayed that blessing on my womb when I had lengthy and serious things such as you have had going on in my pregnancy. Thanks be to God my son is now 19 and thriving beyond words in his first year of college. He had a very very sweet relationship with this great-grandfather compared to the rest of my children. Their spirits were intertwined from before his birth into the world.

    …Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…

  18. Erika,
    I have met you through the links provided by Scot McKnight. We thank God that you and your baby are OK and are praying, too, for Rebecca. I have linked “The Margins” at my blogspot.
    God bless!

  19. Thanks, John! I always enjoy your writing and have been blessed many times by the things you share at Jesus Creed. Thanks for the prayers and for the link!

  20. My 2 cents,

    Thanks for sharing the story of your son. That makes me think that I should definitely print up the last few entries here on this blog (with comments) so that someday my little one can read of the love and blessing and prayers carried by so many on his or her behalf. Thank you.

  21. Hi Jason and Carole!

    It is always so sweet to have you comment here. I wish I could be there with you all this weekend. I wouldn’t be much good for the work party, but I sure could stand for the sounds and smells of Newman Lake right now, and the presence of family. Love you guys!

  22. Erika,
    I’m in Minneapolis and haven’t had much blog reading time. Good Grief!!! I’m just going to have to prayer harder and more often for you, sis.

  23. Thanks, Bill. I hope Minneapolis has been good to you guys (Doug and I were just saying that we would really like to visit there), and just watch out for taxi cabs–they can be brutal!

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