Welcome back to the Broken Crayons Still Color podcast! I’m your host, Shelley Hitz and today’s guest is Retha Nichole.
Retha was newly married and 5 months pregnant. Life seemed to be going well until her husband went into a coma. God really spoke to her and changed her life in the year and 9 months she took care of her husband in her home with a new baby. She will share her story in today’s podcast.
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SHELLEY. Welcome back to the Broken Crayons Still Color podcast! I’m your host, Shelley Hitz and today’s guest is Retha Nicole. Welcome! Retha.
SHELLEY. So glad to have you.
RETHA. So good to be here.
SHELLEY. Yeah. Just to kind of introduce you to our listeners I just want to share a little bit about you. Retha was newly married and 5 months pregnant. Life seemed to be going well until her husband went into a coma. God really spoke to her and changed her life in the year and 9 months she took care of her husband in her home with the new baby. She will share her story in today’s podcast.
And Retha, I don’t think you know this but my dad actually was assaulted and was in a coma for 8 weeks and so I really just connected immediately with your story and I’m looking forward to hearing more about it today.
RETHA. Oh no I didn’t know that.
SHELLEY. Yeah. So just to start off with why don’t you tell us a little about what the broken crayons in your life looked like during this season.
RETHA. Well, I think that – it’s always interesting coz’ your show is broken crayons and I think that they looked like they had been run over by a truck I mean.
SHELLEY. Oh yeah
RETHA. You know I literally felt like a muck truck just hit me head on and I just didn’t know like how do you even pick yourself up from the news or just watching it – I literally watched it happen.
RETHA. I don’t know. I didn’t know like how am I going to get up, how am I going to open my eyes – is this a dream like what is happening.
SHELLEY. Yes. So how did it happen? You said you were watching it.
RETHA. Yeah – he was sleeping and one of the biggest blessings for us was were already in the hospital. He was going to be release from the hospital, he had sickle cell and so he had a crisis the day before and I went and drop our older kids off at school and then I came back to the hospital and he said okay they are going to do a shift change and then they’ll discharge and we can go home and I said okay. And he said I’m just going close my eyes for a minute till they are ready, so I said okay.
And I was pregnant at that time like you said and so I sat down in a chair at the foot of the bed and then for the first time in my life like I heard an audible voice that saying He’s going to stop breathing.
SHELLEY. Oh wow
RETHA. And I thought – man I’m tired.
RETHA. Like you know, I’m tired or crazy or this pregnancy or what is happening.
RETHA. So I got up and I looked at him and he always snored and he said he was snoring then and I was like – that’s when I was like okay I’m crazy like I need a vacation or something and I do a half turn need go back and sit down and he stop breathing like I heard. Like that and then it was over and he stop breathing and so to watch that they were in the room like in like 5 seconds because I of course screamed and it filled the more in a matter of minute with all these people and they kind of push you out and so I just paste in the hallway scaredly looking in – you know, not really wanting to look in but wanting to look in.
RETHA. You know train wreck mentality like I really don’t want to see it but I do. And they got him breathing again but you know via the machine and rush us to ICU and then when I say I felt like a truck hit me and I didn’t want to open my eyes because – then they put me on this prayer waiting room for 2 hours.
SHELLEY. oh wow
RETHA. While they assess him.
SHELLEY. Yeah. I know there were so many details and so many things that you could share but as that was happening and here you are pregnant and all of this is going on you have other children at home like through the process of seeing this happen but then having to take care of your husband for so long afterwards, was there a low point? Was the lowest point when you found out or was it later? Like what would you say was the lowest point?
RETHA. I think that – honestly the lowest point was probably about 8 months and I had just had it, I mean like literally Shelley I was like okay this is.
RETHA. Yes. Right because I had a newborn baby and I had 2 older boys and I opted to bring him home and take care of him in our home as suppose to a rehab facility or a nursing home or hospice type because I had juggle that for 4 months in the hospital. When I say juggle that I mean I had juggled going to facility, leaving, taking care of the kids and it was just so hard and ignorance can be bliss sometimes you just don’t know how hard it will be once his home but in my mind I just thought we’ll all be in one location.
RETHA. So probably about 8 months in to doing that dance I just laid him in bed one morning and I thought I’m not getting that today. I’m just not, I’m not getting that today. I’m just not, I’m not getting that today and literally this is going to sound so harsh but it was what I felt I just thought – he’s already in a coma and it’s over for him and I want it to be over for me and so I’m just not getting up and whatever happens happens coz’ I’m not moving.
SHELLEY. Wow. So you stone that coma at this time?
RETHA. Hmmm. Yup
RETHA. And so I lay there and I thought that and I cried and I was just so angry with God and I was just like you don’t understand like I’m tired and I’m by myself doing this 24/7 and you’re all knowing and you did this and so I’m done, I’m done, call it quits take me now. And so I laid there crying saying all of those mean things to God and probably about 20 minutes in to my own tantrum – the baby cried. And just not even a you know, just kind of I’m waking up kind of a cry and I just thought oh man, well he is not in a coma I can’t leave him there.
SHELLEY. Right (LOL)
RETHA. So I get up and I go over to the bassinet and he just smiles at me with the biggest smile. And then for the second time I heard that same audible voice and say that’s why you had a baby.
SHELLEY. Oh wow
RETHA. And so that’s all that I heard but somewhere I knew that that meant that’s why right because everything I had just said that God is all knowing and He did this and so He does things through tragedies and all of that, good and bad that may not be what we want but its for our good right. So that baby – its hard as that was the pregnancy of course was extremely difficult from there on and we tittered the bed rest line so many times, and we tittered false labor so many times and it was extremely rough but at that moment God said that’s why you had to have the baby because you would give up, you would give up. Now hadn’t not been for this little one.
SHELLEY. That gave you the motivation to continue on. So your husband wasn’t even awake when your baby was born?
RETHA. No, my husband never met his son.
SHELLEY. So your husband never came out of the coma?
SHELLEY. So sorry.
SHELLEY. Wow! And so wow – what a story and I know there is so much that we could bring out of it. Do you think that was the turning point where God said that’s why you needed to have this baby or was there another specific turning point for you?
RETHA. I do, I think that that was the turning point because then – mind you I just had that tantrum right.
RETHA. And I just told Him, You’re all knowing and why would you do and you did this and I blamed it all on Him. And so that was the turning point because that was when I realized like without a doubt You are in control – like even when its tragic You still are in control like You still got this.
And that’s when I truly learn that God isn’t all feathers and rainbows there is some hard stuff that He brings upon us to show us different aspects, to save us potentially, to reconcile some life lessons that He wants us to learn – there is so much and I think that for many people and myself included you are taught that He is rainbows and feathers and He’s all love and its all great and so to be able to see His hand in my life through the tragedy was magical for me, it meant the most to me and that was the turning point that I said okay You’re here so what are we doing.
RETHA. Like what will it be, what am I suppose to be learning. I’m dropping it all, I’m turning in to You hands open saying what are we doing.
SHELLEY. Yeah, point of surrender and that is typically a turning for any of us. You know when we get to that point of okay Lord I surrender, I can’t do it and you were at that point, you were out of energy, tired. And with somebody that might be in a situation where they’ve walked through extreme tragedy and lost – just a really difficult time and they’re tired and they just don’t know what to do, do you have a piece of encouragement or advice that you would want to share with them?
RETHA. Yeah, I think that it kind of goes along with what I said – just say to Him, open hands what are we doing like what is this all about. This is blowing my mind and not in a good way.
RETHA. And I don’t understand and so I need some help and so I really love the book of James, it’s a short book and I would challenge everyone to read the whole book and really take it verse by verse and just try to figure out but my favorite is James 1:5-6 and I’m going to read the NLT version if that’s okay.
SHELLEY. Yeah, that’s great.
RETHA. But it says “If you need wisdom ask a generous God and He will give it to you, He will not rebuke you for asking but when you asked Him be sure that your faith is in God alone, do not waiver for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and toss by the wind.” So remember that right like first of all verse 5 says ask him.
RETHA. So that’s why I’m being palms up ask him, like what are we doing like this is confusing and it hurts and it does not so good and I’m still alone and I don’t feel like anybody can help me, so help me. And when you do ask him that also be ready for that answer.
RETHA. For me when I turned in and asked Him that I knew that He was going to bring my husband back.
SHELLEY. Oh wow
RETHA. And so that was hard, that was devastating, what did that mean – its just you got to be ready and so you can’t be like in verse 6 where it says don’t waiver and you can’t be unsettled. You can’t ask Him and then give Him conditions for His answer.
SHELLEY. Yeah, that’s so powerful and I do – I love that verse because it’s a promise, it’s a promise that He will give us wisdom and it may not be what we want to hear, it may not be in the time we want but He is there, He’s listening even when it doesn’t feel like it, even when it feels like your prayers are heading a brick wall, God is there and He is willing to give wisdom.
Well you have just shared such a powerful story, I wish we had more time but if somebody really connected with your story and wants to connect with your further online, what’s the best way to connect with you?
RETHA. I have a website and its my name rethanichole.com and Nichole is spell with an H and then I’m not in much social medias but I like Instagram so its @rethanichole on Instagram as well and anyone can send me a message on either those outlets and I’ll be sure to get back to you, I will say this – sometimes I pray really hard before I get back to people that are in similar or tragic situations because I’ve been there, I don’t like to just give blanket answers and just blanket statements so I’m praying for.
RETHA. So it may take me a minute to process.
SHELLEY. Yeah for sure and I always say our God can turn our mess into a masterpiece, and so how is God using you today in ministry or to help others, or just to be a light, like what are some of the ways He is now using you?
RETHA. One of the ways that He is using me is that I do travel and speak and not only share my story but just share His goodness.
RETHA. And His richness and I have a Podcast as well so I try to share on my Podcast Just His word. My Podcast is strictly just a mini bible study I think that one of the reasons that he took me through that journey was because I was living a good life now Jesus meaning good person, good life but not really understanding what it meant to have a relationship with him so I believe that that’s my purpose and that’s what He uses me for to say everything can be great but You still need Him and you need to understand that.
SHELLEY. Yeah I love that and share the name of your Podcast so that people can find you.
RETHA. And the name of my Podcast is “My Light Still Shines” and its on iTunes and I chose that name because I want everybody to know that through anything you still have a light.
RETHA. And God is still within you and He will make your light shine again.
SHELLEY. Awesome. I just got goose bumps I pseudo names called them God bumps because He is using what was probably the worst thing that you could think could ever happen you know loosing your husband and walking through months and months and months of just uncertainty trying to take care of him and yet God is using you in such powerful ways. And so thank you so much for sharing your story, thank you for being here.
RETHA. Oh thank you.
SHELLEY. And I appreciate you and all that you’re doing.
RETHA. Thank you so much for inviting me.
SHELLEY. Your welcome. And I thank all of you that are listening and tuning in and I just want to remind you if you are someone you know has a powerful story to share I would love to have you on the show, you can apply to be featured on the Podcast at shelleyhotz.com/story and until next time I’ll see you later, bye!
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