Following a recent column on miracles, a number of readers submitted their personal stories to The Topeka Capital-Journal.
A second column was published, which in turn generated several more submissions.
Here are a few of the stories sent in by readers.
Frances Wood, of Topeka, writes:
"Every time a baby is born — it is a miracle.
"I marvel more and more at all the little intricacies of a newborn — how they have all the 'curly-cues' in their ears and all the creases in their fingers, let alone all the body parts that function one with another.
"To think how this starts from a glob of slime and within a year of birth, that being can walk and a short time later can talk.
Here's another from Cheryl Chellis, of Topeka, who said she has experienced "quite a few" miracles in her life.
"One of the biggest was in the late 1950s, when I was a student at Topeka High.
"I was still 14 when I started my sophomore year in high school. My mother was going through a hormonal depression and talking about suicide. The boy I dated at the time was also often suicidal. I was trying to keep them both alive and became very depressed myself.
"When I was about 7, I had rheumatic fever and had a prescription to prevent neurological symptoms from the disease. We never knew what it was or did. It just made me sleepy and zombie-like.
"For some reason, we still had the old bottle around the house. I thought maybe the medicine would freeze my emotions so I could deal with everyone's depressions. Our pharmacist refilled it without the doctor's permission or any instructions how to use it. I took what I assumed was an adult dose.
"I got suspicious when the medicine wore off quicker all the time. I knew that narcotics did that. Surely they wouldn't have given a kid narcotics, would they? I asked the pharmacist what drug it was. It was called phenobarbital.
"I researched it in the school library. I discovered it was a highly addictive narcotic and I was severely addicted to it. I was already in constant hallucinations from trying to withdraw from the drug.
"Between classes, I would be lost in the halls of Topeka High, not remembering which class was next or where it was located. I prayed and carried all my books. The Lord always got me to the right class on time. He even kept my grades up. This went on all during my sophomore and junior years at Topeka High.
"Sometime in the summer between my junior and senior year, I quit the drug entirely. It was so gradual I can't tell you the date. It was truly a miracle! My senior year I was drug-free and graduated in the class of 1961.
"I'm in the process of writing my autobiography about this and other things that God has brought me through. I'm calling it 'Stepping Stones,' after a poem I wrote during my addiction. I want to publish the book partly to tell people that addiction is really hard, but not hopeless with God."
Debra Stufflebean writes the following:
"As a young military wife, I recall taking a toddler and a baby to join my husband in Germany. I had never flown on an airplane before and now I was traveling halfway around the world. I had to change flights twice before we would arrive at the military base on the East Coast to spend the night and then head for Germany the next day.
"My little ones grew fussy, hungry and I was exhausted, and while sitting at the airport in Atlanta, I began crying right along with them. A lady came over and befriended me. She told the attendant I should 'pre-board' and then helped me get settled on the plane.
"Upon arrival in North Carolina, I would need to find ground transportation to Fort Bragg. The lady found me again in baggage claim and despite my parents cautioning me to trust no one, she offered to take me in her car to the fort. As if she could read my eyes and understood my apprehension, she made the comment that 'she would have just enough time before choir practice at her church.'
"My fear assuaged, we picked up some food at a drive-through, passed through the gates of the fort, and she helped bring in the luggage at our overnight quarters. Before she left, she handed me a piece of paper with her name, address and phone number and told me that if I had any problems in the morning, I could call her.
"Military personnel took it from there, however, and I made it safely to Frankfurt, but I never forgot her kindness. I found some beautiful carved wall hangings of a man and woman in vintage German attire. I sent them in a package along with a thank-you note to the address on the paper. Almost a month later, the package was returned, stamped 'unknown address' and written on the outside, likely from a postal worker, 'unable to locate person by this name.'
"I decided to make an overseas call to the phone number, 'the number you are trying to reach' ... you know the recorded message.
"Maybe this isn’t a good submission for miracles, but in case you ever do one on, 'Do you believe in angels?,' file this one away."