It was the afternoon after Christmas when I found myself kneeling on the freeway, hunched over the car seat that held my precious baby. Only moments earlier, 18-month-old Laura had been secure in the backseat of my car as we drove toward home. 

But when I saw the red taillights reflecting on the damp pavement, my foot touched the brake and my car jerked out of control. Before I could blink, we'd spun out and slammed into an oncoming minivan. When the car quit spinning, I crawled out of a ragged metal hole and ran toward my daughter’s car seat.

As I stared down at my injured child, my voice lifted in prayer, "Jesus! I need a miracle! Please help Laura!"

I prayed this prayer as I rode in the ambulance to the hospital with my daughter, as I crawled into the hallway and sobbed against the window where the team of doctors fought for Laura’s life, as I collapsed into my husband’s arms when he finally arrived to the waiting room.  I prayed this prayer throughout the night and into the gray light of morning.

You would think that after all this praying, Laura’s condition would’ve improved.  But instead, Laura’s brain began to swell and her little body began to convulse as she sank into a deep level of unconsciousness.

“You’re daughter is in vegetative state,” the doctor finally told me.  But I couldn’t accept his diagnosis.  “My God is bigger then your opinion,” I claimed, still calling out to God for a miracle with my whole heart.

But the miracle wouldn’t come.  The days began to melt into weeks, then into months.  One night, I once again wept as I pounded on the doors of heaven with my prayers.  Suddenly, for the first time since our ordeal had begun, I heard the Spirit’s voice. He said, “A year from now you will have a son.”

The idea of another baby was so startling, I told the Lord.  “I’m not asking you about another baby, I’m asking you to bring back my daughter.”

But God went silent.

Two weeks later, I faced twenty-four healthcare professionals in a meeting about Laura’s condition.

“Your daughter is not in coma.  She’s in a vegetative state.”

“She’ll never wake up.”

“There’s no hope.”

Later that night I sat in the stillness of my daughter’s hospital room, holding her hand, watching for signs of life.  As I studied her, Laura looked as if her dark lashes would flutter open and she would sit up, ending our almost three-month-long nightmare. 

How I longed to hear Laura’s giggle as she snuggled with her silky hair against my cheek while I read to her from one of her favorite books.

Impulsively, I leaned over and kissed her cherubic face.  “Honey, it’s Mommy.  I love you...I know you’re in there.  I’m waiting....”

The words caught in my throat.  The mechanical breathing of her respirator jarred my thoughts.  A strange mood of uncertainty settled over me.  I looked at the child I had fought and prayed so hard to keep.  She’s really in there, isn’t she?

I stood up, trying to shake the doubt that had suddenly caught me off guard.  Noticing my watch read 11 p.m., I decided to get ready for bed.  Because my husband was out of town, I wouldn’t drive home, but would sleep over in Laura’s room.

Flipping off the light, I shut the door.  The nurses had already completed their evening rounds.  It would be hours before anyone would check on us.  I popped two extra-strength pain relievers and sat the bottle on a nearby tray table beside my glass of water.  What if the doctors are right-and Laura never wakes up? I thought as I spread a blanket in the window seat.