Sarah Stultz: There was a miracle in time of heartache

Published 8:23 pm Monday, August 12, 2019

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz


It has been several months now since I first saw the preview for “Breakthrough.”

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I was drawn to the movie initially because it starred actress Chrissy Metz from “This is Us” and because it is considered a Christian film that showcases the power of faith.

In the film, a teenager slips through an icy lake and is underwater for 15 minutes before he is found, and resuscitative efforts are started. He survives, but is in a coma, and his family must rely on their faith to get through the challenging experience.

I bawled like a baby through the preview, so right off the bat, I was reluctant to watch the movie — not because I didn’t think the movie would be good but because I think I’m afraid it might bring up some difficult feelings.

You see, ever since my daughter, Sophie, died in 2016, I’ve avoided sad movies. I’ve avoided like the plague movies where children die or are sick in them. I’ve also avoided ones where children almost die in them but somehow miraculously are brought back and able to live with their families again.

Though my daughter wasn’t in a coma for days or weeks and she was only with us for less than two hours after her crash, we went through many of the same thoughts, feelings and actions as the parents in these movies.

I remember very clearly saying a prayer in my mind that Sophie could be healed when she was in the emergency room that day, but, ultimately, I know that was not God’s will.

Though I am grateful for this knowledge, it doesn’t make it easy.

While I believe everyone has a time to leave this life, and it was my daughter’s time to do so, these movies are still too close to home. They sting.

Last week, my husband picked up “Breakthrough” at the Redbox. I’m not sure he knew what he was getting into when he decided to rent the DVD, but when I saw it sitting on our entertainment center later in the day, I quickly told him, “I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it through that.”

The next day he was off work, and he started watching part of the movie. Needless to say, he didn’t make it very far into the movie either.

That evening after I got home from work, we decided to just return the movie to the Redbox.

Who knows if we’ll ever get the courage to watch it, but I would imagine, like other things, maybe that possibility would be easier over time.

Instead of that harrowing time when Sophie’s life was on the line, I would rather, for now, think back about the positive memories we have and the eight wonderful years we spent with her.

We may not have received a miracle that day in the emergency room, but we were blessed far and above by her presence during the years she was with us.

And the miracle in all of this? I know we’ll see her again.


Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Tuesday.