“Enclosed from before and behind…skillfully wrought…and in His book were all written the days that were ordained, when as yet there was not one of them.” Ps. 139

The path of the bullet was through the front of her face, her nose to be exact, up through the frontal regions of her brain while ripping through brain matter and finally stopping at the back of her skull.

Petra (pronounced Pay-tra) Anderson(pictured above) had gone to the movies never in her wildest dreams expecting a madman to penetrate the theater in Aurora, CO.  With a flick of a trigger, he randomly inflicted a barrage of ammunition that left at least 12 dead and 58 wounded, including Petra with three shots to the arm and  one to the face.  

The surgeons at the hospital were grim because the trajectory of the bullet covered a lot of vital brain tissue.  If she survived, her thought process, her speech, her memory, and motor skills could all be deeply affected.  Her family and friends gather to pray and wait as the surgeons try to save what they can.

After surgery the doctors appear hopeful – it went much better than they had predicted and the next 48 hours will reveal more.

As Petra sleeps the next day, her surgeon comes in to explain to family and friends what they encountered when they opened her skull. 

A local pastor, Brad Strait, had been there at the time and this is how he describes in his blog, www.CelticStraits.wordpress.com, the report of the “surprised” doctors:

“It seems as if the bullet traveled through Petra’s brain without hitting any significant brain areas. The doctor explains that Petra’s brain has had from birth a small “defect” in it. It is a tiny channel of fluid running through her skull, like a tiny vein through marble, or a small hole in an oak board, winding from front to rear.  Only a CAT scan would catch it, and Petra would have never noticed it.

“But in Petra’s case, the shotgun buck shot, maybe even the size used for deer hunting, enters her brain from the exact point of this defect. Like a marble through a small tube, the defect channels the bullet from Petra’s nose through her brain. It turns slightly several times, and comes to rest at the rear of her brain. And in the process, the bullet misses all the vital areas of the brain. In many ways, it almost misses the brain itself.  Like a giant BB though a straw created in Petra’s brain before she was born, it follows the route of the defect. It is channeled in the least harmful way. A millimeter in any direction and the channel is missed.  The brain is destroyed. Evil wins a round.”  (Click on above link to read entire story)

That’s shaking your head, stomping your foot, banging the table, saying “AMEN” kind of wonder!! But even while we’re slapping our foreheads in amazement, a grin of recognition begins to rise and spread throughout our beings as the realization hits and we can’t stop ourselves from exclaiming…“He did WHAT??  Of course He did…of course He did…that sounds just like Him.”

While God formed her in her mother’s womb, he placed a little “defect” that saved her life.  He made a path…a way…THROUGH HER BRAIN – HE MADE A WAY!  Not just a different path to walk, not just a new opportunity that opened up, not just a new career, or relationship…things we often think of when describing a new way that God has made for us. 

He made a way through her brain—He cut a channel to safely guide a bullet HE knew she would one day encounter.  It entered at the exact point where the “defect” began!  And it did not just go straight from front to back – it “turns slightly several times” – a bullet making slight turns in a brain and consequently avoiding any vital area of the brain.  It boggles the mind and all reason.  Which is precisely why the story should be told and retold.  Because GOD BOGGLES THE MIND!

There is much we do not know in life…why some survived, why some did not.  Why a boy would do something so horribly tragic and why horrible things even have to exist.  We cannot know…it is too much for us.  Each loss such a devastation.

We learn to trust God’s hand, and when we cannot see His hand…we trust His heart.  Many are mourning for loved ones today.  But that does not make the miracle of Petra any less wonderful. 

For the rest of her life, she will have a testimony of the magnitude of a God who planned for her assault before she was even born. 

He made a way for her to continue life and hopefully spread the word of His provision for her.

He made a way for her mother (who has terminal cancer) to be able to have just a little more time with her.

He made a way for a speeding bullet to traverse through her brain and avoid any vital brain matter. How does a speeding bullet make turns, I ask you????

He made a way for all of us who hear this story to be reminded that His hand of mercy is present in ways we cannot even imagine.

Her doctors used the words “happily”, “wonderfully”, “luckily” and shook their heads in wonder.

But that’s what MIRACLES do—they leave us shaking our head in wonder…not at the unbelievable “luck” of the situation…but shaking in wonder at the feet of an awe-inspiring God who, even as He knit us together in our mother’s womb, planned each step of our lives.

Lucky?  Not on your life. 

Luck had nothing to do with this…this had been meticulously planned – before she even took a breath!



About Debbie Maulsby

My name is Debbie Maulsby...and I am a grandson-aholic. I unashamedly pursue any chance to be within hugging distance of my four boys. When I'm not with them, I can be found taking pictures of my husband, Ken, while he, the great fly fisherman, brings all fish unto himself. I walk, I plant flowers, I share Jesus...and I jump on trampolines with grandsons when they promise not to double jump me.
Aside | This entry was posted in God, God's Plan, God's Purpose, Heart, Hope, Miracle, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Ethel Boggs says:

    God’s miracles never cease. Your message truly confirms that. Blessings

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