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    In June of 1988, while I was serving as a leader with the Young Women, the teenage girls at our church, we planned an outing to a local lake. Each of the leaders planned to take our own kids as well as the girls. That morning when I opened my eyes, I knew I was going to have to pull someone out of the lake. Was it a bad dream? I didnít remember anything except this sure knowledge that I would have to pull someone out of the lake. I spent a lot of time in prayer that morning. I told myself a dozen times over that I would stay home, I wouldnít risk my kids' lives. Or that I would cancel the whole outing so no one could go. I kept going back to my room to kneel by my bed and ask if thatís what I should do. But I never felt good about staying home. Finally I received an answer when the thought "what if itís not one of your kids" came into my mind. I was definitely going!

    The lake had a small swimming beach, well marked and with a life guard. There were plenty of other people there, but it wasnít too crowded. My older kids were 13, 11, and 9, and were all good swimmers. But my little ones were 4, 3, 2, and 2 and couldnít swim a bit. I admit, everyone else at the lake could have drowned that day and I wouldnít have noticed, because I never took my eyes off my little ones. It wasnít hard at first; none of them would even put their toes in the water. But gradually they played with their hands in the water, then their feet, and finally they would sit where the water was only a couple of inches deep.

    When the older boys came back and offered to play with the 4-year-old for a little while, I was relieved. They took him a short way from me and played for a little while. A few minutes later I glanced up in time to see them tell him to come back to me, then they turned and started walking straight out into the lake. Instead of coming to me, he followed them. The water was knee deep on the older boys, and waist deep on the 4-year-old. I shouted for him to come back and for them to bring him back. But sound doesnít carry over water, and none of them looked back. By then the big guys were hip deep and the little one was neck deep. I started screaming for help, but even then the big guys were up to their waists and my little one was in over his head. I ran as fast as I could while keeping my eyes glued to the spot where he went under. He came up, then went under again. It was about a hundred feet out to him. He came up again, and went under. I was still running, still screaming, and was pointing at him in hopes someone closer than I was noticed and could help. A little girl about eight years old swam by and saw me. She looked at me, obviously puzzled, till my son came up the third time near her. She reached out and held his arm till I got there. The water was just over his head and he had been able to kick and come up for a breath each time. He had not even swallowed any water. As soon as I made sure he was okay, I hugged him to me and turned around to walk back to shore. My friends were still playing with their kids, the life guard was still flirting with the girls, and no one was looking at us. No one had noticed a large woman in jeans screaming and running into the lake, let alone a very small boy slipping under the water.

    I donít know why this happened, or why I wasnít just told to stay home. Perhaps it was a test to see if I would obey. I do know that without the warning, I would probably not have been on such a high state of alert that day. My son could have very easily died. Instead, he is now grown and married, with a son of his own. I am very grateful for that warning, and that I had been taught to listen to the Holy Spirit.