On the night of December 23, 2010, we were involved in a scary incident. Mark and I were held at gunpoint in a nice neighborhood here in Houston. It's taken me a little over a month to write about it, for two reasons. One, we've been very busy and two, it's taken me a little time to put the experience into words.
The night before Christmas Eve, Mark, the boys and I had gone to College Station to look at Christmas lights. We decided to try a new route home and go through Magnolia. Our closest friends, Wendi and Nick, were in town visiting from Doha. They were staying at Nick's mom's house in Tomball. We had a little Christmas outfit for their daughter, Georgia, that we wanted to give her before Christmas. It was late, but I just decided that we would just drop the gift off on the front porch.
I called Wendi and she said that she and her sister-in-law, Amanda, were almost home from the mall. So we waited out in front of the house for them. They pulled into the driveway and we said hi and Wendi ran inside to get Nick. (We couldn't go inside because Jacob and Isaac were sleeping in the car) As soon as Wendi was inside, five men wearing masks and holding guns ran towards us from behind the neighbor's car.
We thought they were teenagers playing a prank at first...but we quickly realized it wasn't a joke. Amanda was on her way inside when they came running and luckily she made it in the house. The men had Mark and I on the ground and were yelling for us to give them our money. Needless to say, I was hysterical...screaming saying that I didn't have any money...and to please not hurt my kids, who were in the car(and the windows were down and the car was running!) Mark ended up giving them his wallet(that didn't have any cash in it or personal credit cards...only his work credit card, a few health cards,etc)
But, come to find out they weren't after our money, while three men were holding us on the ground with guns, one other guy was looking for Apple computers that were in Wendi's car. They had followed Wendi and Amanda home from Willowbrook mall where they had seen them with Apple Computer bags. One other man was watching the front door of the house with a gun. When Nick opened the door to come see what was going on, the man pointed the gun at him and yelled at him to get back and get down.
They all five ran off to their car with Mark's wallet and Wendi's computer...which was actually a used computer that she had had repaired.
With ALL that to say, we are so thankful that no one was hurt. Wendi said that it was complete chaos inside the house. As soon as she found out what was going on, she hit her knees and started praying. I know for a fact that there were angels all around us and our boys...because of her prayers. God protected everyone involved that night.
Of course, when we got home that night, we didn't sleep at all. Mark and I got on our knees and prayed to God thanking him for his protection and asking him to give us peace and help us to not be fearful everywhere we go and in our new home. We love our new home, neighborhood and city...we don't want to live in constant fear.
Well, God has answered our prayers because we have slept beautifully every night since then(well, except for a few nights when Mr. Isaac didn't feel well and wanted some 3am mommy and daddy time!)
We are a little more jumpy than we used to be, but that's expected. The first time we heard firecrackers in our neighborhood around the holidays, we almost hit the ground!
We are also more cautious than we used to be. We look behind us when we're driving home, which is good. We try not to go out to the stores at night as much as we used to. But, the good thing is that we AREN'T scared, we're just more cautious.
Mark and I both believe we witnessed a Christmas miracle that night...our children were sleeping in the car, with the windows down and the car running and were unharmed. We were both safe and all of the people in the house were unharmed. Thank you Jesus.
It's also miracle that all of us are doing ok now. We are all giving it to Jesus and trusting that he'll provide the peace that we need. I'm so thankful that I have him and that he has me.
My prayer is that anyone that reads this post will be a little more careful and cautious. And please take time to pray over your families for their protection. Prayer is powerful!
Wendi posted about this night on her blog also:
Thank you for taking time to read this LONG post...we're just so overwhelmed by the power of prayer and are in awe of the fact that God really does perform miracles.
"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock." Isaiah 26 3-4 NLT