Editor's Note: Beliefnet featured a Doreen Virtue book contest with the question, 'How has an angel or archangel helped you?' We share one of the amazing stories below.
Before I share my angelic encounter, I must tell you that I was an atheist at the time of this event. I had grown up in the church, but I left at a young age. After what happened with my toddler, however, I started questioning my atheism. I no longer deny that God exists, a loving father who watches over us all.
My now 16-year-old son was just a baby, not yet 1-year-old, when he developed night terrors. Each night without fail, he would sit in his crib, stare off into space, and scream for hours without end. He was not awake nor was he asleep. My child was trapped in some sort of limbo. I could not waken him, I could not comfort him. I could only stand by helplessly and watch.
This went on for more than a year. His pediatrician could offer no help, stating only that my son would eventually outgrow this disorder. This was echoed by all the doctors who looked at him.
One Saturday morning, I was helping my mother set up for a yard sale, paying little attention to the middle-aged, heavy-set woman browsing our wares. I must have looked exhausted because my mother asked if we'd had another bad night. I told her that we had, and that is when the woman approached. She apologized for eavesdropping, and introduced herself as a Wiccan high priestess. She then asked if she could pray for my son.
I must point out that, at that time, I would also have balked at a Christian offering me the same type of help. I had left the church for a reason, and I was still hurting. However, because I desperately wanted help for my son, I accepted this woman's offer of prayer. After giving her my son's first name--Michael--she turned and walked away.
I thought no more about this strange visit until I awoke the next morning. My son had slept peacefully through the night! It was the first time he had done so in over a year!
While visiting my mother, we tried to piece together who this woman was and where she might have come from. We both agreed that she did not have a car and was definitely walking. We also agreed that she was never a resident of our tiny town, which has a population of only 534. She was definitely a stranger.
She could only have walked in from a neighboring town, but that would have been impossible! The nearest towns in either direction were 5 and 7 miles away. So where did she come from?
I believe she was an angel, sent to help my son by God, who knows all too well the pain of watching a child suffer. She came to me when we needed her most, and she presented herself in the only form that I would accept. My son has never had another night terror. In all these years, he has never had a bad dream. I believe our angel remains with my family to this day.
Read more stories from winners of the book contest:
• The Angel That Saved Me
• Meeting Archangel Michael