When life is going smoothly, it’s easy for us to drift away from God and bask in self-sufficiency. As Dawson Willford‘s story exemplifies, it often takes tragedy to draw us closer to Him—but our loving Father is always waiting with open arms, even when we’ve shut him off.
As Dawson prepared to say his “final good bye” to his dying wife, a miraculous turn of events showed him how blessed a man he truly is. God showed up in a way he never could have expected, and it was a defining moment that changed his life forever.
He tells his powerful story in the viral Facebook post below:
On July 7, 2016 at 12:13 AM my wife was dying. She just had an emergency C-section and went into shock. I stood by her head while she was bleeding out and remembered every fight we ever had and the things I never did for her. I couldn’t let her know how scared I was. I stood in front of my wife saying my final good bye! What do you say to someone knowing it’s going to be the last time you talk to them. I tried so hard to comfort her and tell her everything is okay. I tried to smile and pretend that it’s all part of the operation. They called a code blue and people started rushing into the room.
She was shaking so much!!! I kissed her and asked God “please don’t take her home.”
I thought about all the times I missed church at Way of life. I thought about how to tell my new family the bad news. So much was going through my mind that I had no time to enjoy my son. I had to be strong for my family. I had to put the weight upon my shoulders and walk with this load of having my wife pass in the operating room. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to pray because I thought God would shun me for not being a good Christian. I was so sorry and asked God if somehow he could just hear this last request.
I was rushed to a different room and waited for about 10 mins. Jackie finally showed up and my heart was so so so so heavy with grief. I wanted to pick her up and carry her out of the hospital as if everything would be fine. I wanted to leave and have this nightmare be over! I stood with Jackie for about 3 minutes and the worst happened. She lost about 1 litter of blood in a couple seconds. I didn’t say anything, I was so scared. I just looked at my wife and couldn’t utter a word. I wanted to say I love you and tell her it’s okay. I wanted to help her as much as I could. I wanted to stop everything and start all over again. I knew she was dying in front of me.
They called another code blue! This time my heart stopped. I thought why didn’t I pray every night! Why didn’t I love her like God has loved me! I died in that room! I truly died! I didn’t know what to do again. I watched helplessly as they tried to save my wife. People were running and pushing me farther away from her. She finally uttered a word and it was like the room went silent.
She asked for some water and I knew she was leaving earth. They took me and my newborn son to another room. As we were walking I saw my mom and family. I wanted so hard for someone to hold me. I wanted someone to carry me like a kid and tell me it’s gonna be okay. I didn’t want to be a man anymore. I wanted to cry! I wanted to cry out to God and ask him why! I stood by my family for about 2 minutes looking at everyone and holding back all of my emotions.
My mother asked me “how is Jackie?” I almost lost it and cried like a baby. I just shrugged my shoulders and said I don’t know yet. I was lying, I knew she was in really bad shape. I wanted to run back in the room and hold her but I had to take care of my son now. He had to be given antibiotics to prevent an infection from starting.
After about 5 minutes I asked the nurses if I can go see my wife and they reluctantly said yes. The hallway to where my wife was is about 40 yards. I walked about 5 yards and started crying alone. I couldn’t keep up this persona for much longer. I was scared to walk back and hear the news. I wanted my dad to comfort me! I’m still his little boy!
I had around 30 something yards to walk and God spoke to me. Gabriel my son I love you more than you can imagine. I heard you and I was there! I saw the c section. I helped the doctors find the problem. I saw when she hemorrhaged and made sure they caught it really quick. I was waiting for you in this hallway when you wanted your father. It’s okay to call on me. I will always love you. Just as you asked to save your wife. I’ve been asking my father to save yours.
I walked with more love in my heart for everything in that moment. My wife and son are doing great and will be discharged Sunday. If you see me at church don’t ask me where I have been. Just say I’m glad to see you’re home!