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The Story of Dana Booker

The Story of Dana Booker

Rev. Crystal September 1, 2013 0 comments
When I think of my testimony, I don’t even know where to begin. I feel like I can go all the way back to when I was 6 years old when I first received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Or perhaps it starts when God opened the door for my parents to move our family from Hawaii to Missouri, where my siblings and I would have a better life and a more positive outcome in a life living for God. I can literally look back over my life and see how God has perfectly orchestrated situations, opened doors, closed doors, guided me through hardships, and through relationships that have all directed me to the path that I am on today.  I have seen him protect me in car accidents, save me from relationships that weren’t in His plan and place friends in my life for different seasons. It amazes me daily what he has done for me and that He loves me that much and more.
                However, I have two situations that have occurred in my life that makes me thankful on a daily basis. These testimonies are by far my favorite! They are the birth of my two children, Brylee and Jaden.  Due to severe preeclampsia and through no fault of her own, my daughter, Brylee, was born On October 22, 2008 at exactly 31 weeks, weighing in at 2 lbs. and 13 oz. The doctors said that she would be in the hospital for 2 months and before she would be able to go home there would be a checklist of milestones this tiny one would have to complete. The toughest on this list was to learn to breathe without assistance, learn to breathe, suck, and swallow all at the same time (so she can drink from a bottle), all while trying to gain a significant amount of weight.
                It took her awhile to get the eating part of her checklist down but she did it and came home after just one month- way earlier than we had expected! There was nothing like getting that phone call saying to get her room ready because she would finally be ready to come home! The months to follow were a little rough as she struggled to keep any food down in her little tummy, but God had his hand on her life from before she was even formed. After much prayer and trusting in Him, she was back to being a healthy baby!
                Brylee was and is still really tiny. When she was a baby, anytime we were out in public people would stop and talk to us about how small she was. They were just amazed how such a tiny baby could be healthy, happy and sitting up eating at a table. Without fail, someone would say “Oh, wow… she is so tiny.” Our response was always the same, “She was born two months early!! But, God has been so good to us!” We would continue on about how God has kept His hand on our baby. We always made sure to give Him all the glory.
                Almost two years after Brylee was born, her brother, Jaden was born. Due to severe preeclampsia again, which later turned into HELLP Syndrome, he was born on October 1, 2010 at 31 weeks and 1 day. He was born a little bigger than Brylee, at 3 lbs. and 15 oz. However, Jaden was a little more fragile than his big sister. At the slightest touch, his vitals would drop; therefore I wasn’t able to hold him for a few days. He had a hard time breathing as well. It was heartbreaking watching him struggle to breathe. Seeing his little belly move up and down in a rhythm that was way too fast for a little baby was hard on this mom. Having the head doctor of the preemie unit tell you “I’m sorry, but your son is not doing very well today,” is something you will never forget. I can still remember those words and see her face as if it was yesterday. I didn’t sleep at all that night… just cried and cried. But I asked everyone I knew to pray and by the next day God had already answered our prayers. Jaden was doing much better! From then on, it was only good news. He, too, came home a month earlier than expected!! God is SO good!!
                Although Jaden was born tiny and fragile, he quickly made up his difference in weight and more! People will still stop us but it is now because they think we have adorable twins. They always have a good laugh when we tell them they weigh the same but are actually two years apart.


                Even though Jaden’s situation differs from Brylee we still are amazed at the doors of opportunities that have opened up to let everyone we come across know about how amazing God is and exactly what He has done in our lives. Every time I see these precious babies, I thank God for everything He has done! He blessed us with not ONE but TWO HEALTHY babies. For 2 financial blessings to pay off every single one of our children’s medical bills (and there were A LOT). For trusting us enough to put me and my husband through such hard trials to make us stronger and prepare us for whatever may come our way and for using us to further his kingdom. We are blessed beyond measure and I cannot wait to see exactly what God has in store for me and my family!
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About The Author Rev. Crystal Rev. Crystal Schmalz is a licensed minister in the United Pentecostal Church International, holds a Master of Divinity degree from Urshan Graduate School of Theology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Humanities and History from Michigan State University. Crystal has served as a staff chaplain at Barnes Jewish Hospital, has completed five units of Clinical Pastoral Education, and is a member of ACPE. She served as a ministry staff leader for ACMNP in Yellowstone National Park and enjoys the beauty of God’s creation. She served on staff at Life Christian Church pastored by David Stephens doing outreach, guest coordination, youth leadership, Sunday school, and music ministry. She currently attends New Life Center pastored by Garry Tracy, and is involved in teaching Sunday school, preaching at nursing homes, teaching Bible Studies, and helping people connect to God and community. Crystal loves to spend time with her husband Luke, and her hobbies include writing, “thrifting,” eating ice cream, and playing Settlers of Catan and Scrabble with friends and family.

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